DJ Shadow: The Mountain Will Fall review – cut-and-paste turtablist's inventive return

(Mass Appeal)

Coinciding with the comeback of fellow plunderphonic luminaries the Avalanches, Josh Davis returns with his first album in five years. Like the former, he no longer works exclusively in samples – though nor has he abandoned them entirely: an ambient 1970s composition forms the basis of the title track. But whether or not the majority of the music is original often seems besides the point – the irreverent, and sometimes slightly irritating, cut-and-paste aesthetic remains in place, proving that you can repurpose sound even if you’ve created it. On the Run the Jewels collaboration Nobody Speak, that involves clashing a brashly twanging riff with nerdily bleeping synths; on Depth Charge it means a combination of detuned guitar, sirens and drum rolls. Initially, it seems The Mountain Will Fall is walking a fine line between abrasive and amusing – particularly with the hyper-speedy scratching on The Sideshow. Once the onslaught of ideas becomes less disorienting, however, it just feels impressive in its inventiveness.


Rachel Aroesti

The GuardianTramp

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