Back in '93, DJ Shadow (a.k.a. Josh Davis) began to cut and paste hip-hop beats, slow-mo basslines and mutant samples into found-sound audio collages, releasing several singles on the Mo Wax imprint. The British press was the first to react, labeling Shadow's creations as "trip-hop." "Preemptive Strike," a two-disc compilation, is a great way to rediscover Shadow's early experiments.
"In/Flux," the 12-minute single that started it all for him, still sounds as fresh and narcotic as it did when it was released, as does "What Does Your Soul Look Like (Part 2)," with its eerie guitar loops and liquid beats. Disc two contains one track, the 24-minute, DJ Q-Bert remix of "Camel Bobsled Race."
If the current crop of trip-hopsters (Hooverphonic, Gus Gus, Tricky) turns you on, DJ Shadow will shed some light on the genre's humble beginnings -- and its future evolution.