DJ Shadow, SWG3, Glasgow, Thu 27 Feb
- Hamish Gibson
- 28 February 2020
Colourful and technically brilliant set from the Bay Area turntablist and hip hop producer
'It's the fifth date of the tour and we've finally got the lasers working.'
Which is as good a time as any for SWG3's sell-out crowd. You couldn't think up a better space for DJ Shadow's AV bonanza tour, promoting his 2019 album Our Pathetic Age.
The night booms with colour and bass that vibrates both your retinas and clothes. 360° projection screens surround the iconic Californian producer's tight solitary setup. He eases into the set with recent spaced out tracks like 'Slingblade' (Our Pathetic Age's second track) and 'The Mountain Will Fall' (from the eponymous 2016 album). The warehouse bursts with multi-coloured collages of his music video catalogue VJ'd by Ben Stokes, featuring everything from 8-bit psychedelic mash-ups to bushfires, astronauts and time-lapse cityscapes.
He brings in vocal tracks from the likes of Run The Jewels and Zack de la Rocha and the crowd starts bouncing. It's funny that the guy behind 1996's Endtroducing…, a landmark in instrumental hip hop, is now pumping out rap bangers. But it's testament to his artistry that he puts in the time for both elements of the genre, and doesn't obsess over living up to a 24-year-old legacy. Title track 'Our Pathetic Age' featuring Future Islands' Sam Herring plays, and the soulfulness that Shadow is capable of comes pouring back.
Later on he brings in 'Rocket Fuel', a catchy party tune made with his self-described heroes De La Soul. The crowd are at it and loving it as he goes through the predictable but sincere lines of how much he loves Glasgow after playing here for 25 years. His work has followed in the lineage of British electronic music and he's always been grateful for it. You get the feeling this show is as much for him as it is for us.
In a smart twist, the gig ends with a roll of credits. Perhaps every gig should finish in this way.