DJ Shadow”™s slot at Wireless 2006 was a roadblock, with some fans unable to get anywhere near the tent. So you”™d forgive us for wondering what was going on when we arrived just 10 minutes early this year to find a relatively empty tent and nothing on stage but a mysterious grey ball.
As the crowd finally begins to flow towards the Second Stage, they are greeted by text projected onto the ball:
“Welcome to the first DJ Shadow show in nearly three years”¦ DJ Shadow does not have a new album out”¦ but there is some new music”¦ would you like to be first in the world to hear it?”
After a quick appearance to greet the cheers of the now full (but never packed) tent, Josh Davis disappears into the ball. Although the projections offer an innovative and exciting visual backdrop to the music, it does make the show feel detatched, with the DJ and all his beat-crafting, turntablist trickery hidden away.
The new material is promising. Leaving the questionable territory of 2006”™s The Outsider behind, it sees DJ Shadow return to dusty samples and big beats rather than manic MC vocals and alt-rock guitars.
Still, the set does seem to lack momentum, without the funk breaks of The Private Press which could have added some energy (and dropping The Right Thing would also have been a clever nod to 2manydjs on the Main Stage). The big cheers are predictably reserved for classics such as Building Steam with a Grain of Salt (Endtroducing, 1996) and Six Days (The Private Press, 2002) and the crowd does get pumped towards the end as the bpm rises with some jungle-tinged vibes.
Thanks to some technical hitches delaying the start of the show, Organ Donor isn”™t quite the triumphant set closer it could have been as it is cut short, much to the disappointment of a crowd that is finally hyped.
Thankfully DJ Shadow appears to be going back to his crate-digging, experimental past with his latest tunes, and his classics get the heads nodding and the hands in the air, but with over-zealous stage production, this performance doesn”™t quite meet its full potential.
Photos byÂ Claire Withington