Twenty years on from his landmark debut, 1996’s Endtroducing, Californian Josh Davis has changed his modus operandi. His fifth album emphasises live instrumentation and innovative production software, rather than the sampling on which he built his reputation. It broadly makes for a winning reboot, from the old-skool hip-hop stylings of The Sideshow and the urgency of Nobody Speak, a collaboration with Run the Jewels, to the more menacing atmosphere of Depth Charge and the jazz inflections of Ashes to Oceans. It’s not without its longueurs, however: Mambo is largely unremarkable until its closing 15 seconds, while Three Ralphs achieves the unusual feat of being both forgettable and mildly disturbing.
Phil Mongredien works on the Guardian's opinion desk. He also reviews albums for Q magazine