DJ Shadow and The Avalanches / Thoughts On Hip-Hop and Musical Growth

DJ SHADOW record stacks2

I’m a bad. ass. motherfuckin dee jay / this is why I walk and talk this way

There comes a point in certain young lives when music evolves from a form of social currency to something to be enjoyed on a deeper personal level. It’s a headlong dive into a world most people use as wallpaper, geeking out over the sounds, hardware, history, and meaning of it all.

I was always rather independent in my music choices, but growing up in the midwest before broadband internet meant that my horizons were limited. The advent of file sharing programs like Morpheus, Kazaa, and Soulseek was a supernova moment for teenagers like me, desperately seeking new sounds. On the rare midnight-show occasion when something on the radio piqued my interest, I’d get on the computer to look them up, downloading a song or two in 30 minutes.

Before the internet, certain genres never had a chance to touch my ears. Once I’d taken the plunge, I started devouring every fresh thing I could. One was my favorite radio discovery ever, an album I’ve called my “desert island” record. It harkened back to something I’d heard in my youngest days, The Beastie Boys sampling landmark Paul’s Boutique. It boldly recycled sounds and tropes from across the musical spectrum into something vibrant and dangerous. It was entirely new to me.

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Dimlite – This Is Embracing

dimlite-thisisembracing

So I’ve been on somewhat of an instrumental hip-hop kick this year, and Dimlite has been one of the unequivocal gems I’ve discovered. He is Swiss producer extraordinaire, Dimitri Grimm. And here’s a little blurb I found on the label website: “During the week that he was allowed to toy around with this first piece of real gear, he filled a whole tape with all kinds of circling noises and atmospheres with the purpose to make «music to smoke to».” I Like how they put it.

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