As revealed last month, this Friday’s edition of The Remix on Xfm will be a DJ Shadow special. With Friday dubbed ‘Shadow Day’ by host Eddy Temple-Morris, the show will feature interview segments with Shadow himself, including questions submitted by Remix listeners, CMU readers and celebrity fans, plus there will be a series of mixes using his music created by five producers from a variety of electronic genres who cite him as a major influence. Ahead of the show, in his latest CMU column, Eddy gives a taste of what’s to come.
So Shadow Day has happened for me, but it hasn’t yet happened for you. It’s coming this Friday, and it wouldn’t have been possible without you, so I wanted to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took the time to get in touch and get involved.
I had questions from all four corners of the earth by the time Shadow arrived at Xfm, and the sheer scale of it all meant that, obviously, not everything could fit within the allocated hour and 45 minutes of quality Shadowtime that will slot between the amazing mixes by DJ Food, Bare Noize, IRN MNKY, Stereo:Type and Culprit One.
There were a few questions Josh deflected – he tends to dislike ones that start with “who is your favourite…” – and a few that he outright loved and answered with enviable clarity and clinical thoroughness.
I saw his schedule, this is one busy DJ. He had five days at home this month, and just a handful next month, so I also want to thank Josh Shadow for taking the time and effort to come to Xfm and get so involved with this. The artists I chose to create the mixes on the show were all run past him first, and I know he appreciates what each one did with his music, and the heart-warming reasons why they got involved for nothing but love.
DJ Shadow may be one of the most influential people who has ever appeared on The Remix, but he’s clearly one of the most humble too. “Self promotion has never been my strong suit”, it says on the ‘description’ box at the top of his Twitter profile.
He’s a strikingly normal person, seemingly unaffected by the furore and adulation that surrounds him. Hanging out with him is just like hanging out with one of your deeply knowledgeable friends, the ones who obsess about music in a way that borders on the unhealthy, but also crosses the border into the realms of the heroic.
The thing that struck me the most about him – I suppose we all reach for something in ourselves that we can see in a hero – was that he is, always has been, and always will be A FAN of great music. I’ve written here, numerous times, that no matter how famous, how successful and revered an artist you are, or become, that the moment you lose sight of that, is the moment you are lost.
I’m not going to ruin the show by giving you any of the answers Josh gave, but I will whet your appetite, and get you even more excited about this momentous show on Friday, by letting you in on a few of the questions I put to him:
The first one I had to ask was from Xander Smith, from the LA band Run Run Run:
“How does a kid from Davis, California find old skool hip hop instead of bad NASCAR rock/pop then go on to actually escape the locals and the cows to become a leading turntablist?”
This raised a smile from Josh and inspired a brilliantly distilled personal biography.
From British lyrical master, Scroobius Pip:
“Is crate-digging dead or has it evolved into another form?”
From irrepressible Mo Wax fan, Alex Metric:
“Did you have any idea who Richard Ashcroft was before he sang on ‘Lonely Soul’, and what did you think when you heard that vocal?”
From thoughtful fellow crate-digger DJ Food:
“Every artist has something in their archives that never quite made it for a variety of reasons. Was there ever a track, collaboration or project that never came to fruition through either a key sample not being cleared, a collab not quite working, or work that was started but then the time past and the moment was lost? If so then what was it?”
From Suki in London:
“Have you stopped being so hard on yourself?”
(This was probably my favourite question, and got a big smile from the man himself)
And from Suki’s three year old daughter, Maya – really, all generations of Shadow fans got stuck in:
“Did you have a nice birthday?”
And a sublime question from our own wonderful Mary Anne Hobbs:
“‘Midnight In A Perfect World’ was the unofficial theme tune for ‘The Breezeblock’, my first ever underground electronic music show. It began at midnight and it felt like such a victory to have this clear air space to get some incredible music on the radio… but what happens at midnight in YOUR perfect world”?
I’ll leave you with that delicious thought and the reassurance that there were many more questions answered and that Shadow Day will be on Xfm this Friday from 10pm, with the whole four hours in the company of a frank and open DJ Shadow and some stunning exclusive reworks of DJ Shadow’s music. The show will be repeated at the same time on Saturday and then be available for one week on www.xfm.co.uk
I truly hope you enjoy listening to it as much as I enjoyed making it.
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