Joshua Davis (known by his stage name, DJ Shadow) is a producer and DJ from San Jose, California. He is known for being a key figure in the development of experimental hip-hop, which was born out of his love for both classic hip-hop along with bands that featured DJs and used electronic elements heavily. In his almost 30 years of music making, Davis has released many unique records, including his most recent EP, The Mountain Has Fallen.
The intro track to this album, Systematic, features the hip-hop rapper Nas. The track begins with just a beat and a very simple guitar riff. However, as the song continues and the bass comes in, so do many subtle sounds and effects that work to complement the rap, and they do so very well. This song has a super catchy beat and a very solid rap.
The next track on the EP, Horror Show, features the rapper Danny Brown, who is known for his unique rap style and tone of voice. This song sounds just as creepy as you would expect. With some distorted horn sounds and heavy bass interplay with a “stomping” rhythm, this song is terrifying. The awkward drum hits make this sound even more unsettling and unusual. Davis went for a creepy vibe with this one, and he absolutely nailed it.
The next track, Good News, is an instrumental piece that is filled with bizarre sounds. After beginning with some very glitched out synths and drums, this song starts to form a rhythm of sorts, but only barely. As the song goes on it seems to solidify itself more and more, and a recognizable melody is introduced before this song comes to a close.
The final track on the EP, Corridors, features British film composer Steven Price. This is certainly a unique feature for a track by a DJ, but the result is absolutely incredible. This track has a very cinematic nature, with some beautiful orchestral elements mixed in with trippy drums and vocal samples and synths. This song gave me a Stranger Things vibe, both in reference to the show’s musical theme and eerie atmosphere. It follows some interesting chord and timing choices, which together create a very unusual audial tone. The end of this song crackles, and you will believe that you have lost your internet connection, but then a single note fills the empty space and signals the end of the EP.
This EP was filled with unique tracks that were very fun to listen to, while also featuring some incredibly talented musicians you may not have heard of before. Even though it is only 4 tracks, they are well worth your time if you have any interest in music that is outside the norm.