DJ Shadow, one of the best DJs on the planet, released a live DVD/CD a few days ago, called In Tune and On Time Live! I got my hands on it this week, and am wearing a groove in the CD by playing it pretty much non-stop when I’m not around Alisa.
Shadow never lets me down. Tight, brilliant DJing all done in tune and on time, while simultaneously kicking ass as a rockin’ collection of songs. The tour this performance is from is all Shadow mixing Shadow (which means album work, collaborative work, B-sides, whatever).
If you consider yourself a Shadow fan, or if you like hip-hop, turntablism, breaks, etc., don’t even consider not owning this album. It might be a bit tough to find outside of his merch site, but once they restock (after selling out immediately) you should be good to go.
EDIT: According to djshadow.com, the album is not a website exclusive. In fact, the reason it sold out so quickly is because they got relatively few copies. You can pick it up at Amazon and other big retail outfits.
If you’re familiar with Live from Dallas, then you’ll recognize some of the general material (also all his own stuff), but the show is very different. It’s probably from the same tour, but Shadow crafted and re-crafted the set during the course of the tour. The In Tune and On Time stuff is brilliant. Shadow is a Jedi master at this shit, working all of it in a way that looks effortless. Even next to Cut Chemist, he looks calm. Focused, but calm.
At this point in their development, he and Cut create challenges for themselves just to stay entertained (another example being the all-45s Brainfreeze tour). Thus far, however, their highly technical and intensely mastered sets don’t descend into overly-specific, hard-to-understand, esoteric performances that are only appreciable by those who DJ themselves. The Invisible Skratch Piklz, particularly in some of the Shiggar Fraggar stuff, sometimes play for their own. So, if you’re not envisioning crazy-ass crabbing, and drooling over the rare breaks, it’s not as interesting (though they can put on a mind-bending show, so don’t get me wrong). Fortunately, In Tune and On Time never goes that route.
Admittedly, watching performances like this one aren’t necessarily the most fascinating things, but if you appreciate the art and skill, then you’ll enjoy it. There’s a good deal of video art going on, and less focus on turntable action. Also, since it’s just Josh Davis up there, you don’t have lots of interaction between performers on stage to entertain. But, the music alone is worth the cost of admission.
Now all I’m waiting for is the Keepintime DVD/CD to arrive. Watch the trailer on the Shadow DVD. How can you resist that shit?!?! Do you hear that? That’s the sound of awesome. Break yourself off a piece.