This is the album that shepherded me into the rolling knolls of Vinyl Hunters Valley. This is because it causes the most mysterious synaptic firings within my squishy grey matter. Makes my temples swell with a pleasing uneasiness. Causes mysterious pockets within my loins to quake and flutter.
OK, so basically I have no idea what it does to me but I’m certain it transmits some sort of ultrasonic frequency that says, “GO ON EBAY AND BUY A TURNTABLE RIGHT NOW. NOT LATER, NOW. TURN OFF COPS, YOU’VE SEEN THIS EPISODE, GUY, BUY ONE NOW.” So I did and never looked back.
Despite the fact that I love, love, love this album I’ve been avoiding reviewing it here because it’s difficult to capture the essence with letters. Most stereoponies love to saddle the “Trip Hop” label onto this album but that does it no justice whatsoever. That term conjures the visions of hippies listening to hip hop, smoking a big J and spouting, “whoa man this rap groove is, like, so trippy. It’s totally gnarring my buzz, man.” While this album will most likely multiply and sassify marijuana-induced intoxication it’s so unfair to tie it to pot culture. Endtroducing would never, EVER get caught dead in patchwork corduroy pants.
Other bucking vinylbroncos like to describe the album by mentioning Endtroducing’s ingredients: hip hop, jazz, psychedelia, movie dialogue, television show trialogue, percussion samples etc. However none of these phonocowboys can ever really capture this wild one. True, you get a flavor of each along the winding train ride through British Columbia that is Endtroducing but it’s so much more than bits and pieces. It’s like describing your favorite pizza to a friend and saying, “Yeah man I had this awesome food today it was, like, a bit of tomato, flour, a touch of salt and some, like, I think cheese.” Those ingredients are all fine and good but separately they wouldn’t do an Adriatico’s Bearcat Pizza justice just like calling this album a fusion of genres is a crime. The sum is much greater than the parts.
I think, maybe, this album is like watching the most beautiful little bubble you ever saw. You can watch it dance on the wings of an invisible wind but as soon as you try to capture the damn thing in your hands it’s gone. You’ve taken your dirty little paws and ruined such a magical, delicate thing. You should be ashamed of yourself. We were all having such a wonderful time watching that little orb. Next time chill out, stop trying to bottle it up and just behold its angelic splendor while the gettin’s good.
What’s truly incredible about Endtroducing is how it was composed. You have to remember that this was created in 1996 and if anyone even had a laptop it could maybe hold a gigabyte of files, if you were lucky and rich. In addition, music manipulation software like AudioMulch or Adobe Audition hadn’t been invented yet. So, Shadow had to use an Akai MPC-60 music sampler/beat machine to cut, splice, and melt his tracks together. If you then take into consideration exactly how much trial and error of listening to thousands of big vinyl discs it took to find the necessary sounds for the album it becomes evident that either a miracle was performed in the making of Endtroducing or Shadow’s some sort of DJ genius. I prefer to believe the latter, especially after taking watching the following video.
So if you haven’t heard this album, regardless of what music you’re into, you need to get in the boat and get your float on. If you’re a fan you can always use a higher quality rip. And, if you really want to get deep, pick up the vinyl and take a voyage into the continental divide…of your mind!!!!
|A1||Best Foot Forward||0:49|
|A2||Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt||6:40|
|A3||The Number Song||4:40|
|C3||Why Hip Hop Sucks In ’96||0:43|
|C4||Midnight In A Perfect World||4:57|
|D1||Napalm Brain/Scatter Brain||9:23|
|D2.a||What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 1 – Blue Sky Revisit)||7:28|