This relatively short audiobook chronicles the life of DJ Shadow, from his boyhood, to his discovery of hip hop, to his huge success with the release of the album Endtroducing. Endtroducing is an album that "cuts right to the blue flame of the heart," and this audiobook will add new biographical dimensions to any listener's experience of the music. Listeners can expect to listen mostly to DJ Shadow's own words in the form of interviews. Narrator L. J. Ganser's rather spare performance of both the interviews and the exposition of the book allows Shadow's ideas and language to speak for themselves. Author Eliot Wilder's own bits of wisdom are added to the text infrequently, but do provide good context for the interviews.
What resonated about Endtroducing when it was released in 1996, and what makes it still resonate today, is the way in which it loosens itself from the mooring of the known and sails off into an uncharted territory that seems to exist both in and out of time. Josh Davis is not only a master sampler and turntablist supreme, he is also a serious archeologist with a world-thirsty passion (what Cut Chemist refers to as Josh’s “spidey sense”) for seeking out, uncovering, and then ripping apart the discarded graces of some other generation - that “pile of broken dreams” - and weaving them back together into a tapestry of chronic bleakness and beauty. Over the course of several long conversations with Josh Davis (DJ Shadow), we learn about his early years in California, the friends and mentors who helped him along the way, his relationship with Mo’Wax and James Lavelle, and the genesis and creation of his widely acknowledged masterpiece, Endtroducing.