DJ Shadow - O2 ABC, Glasgow, Mon 5 Dec (4 stars)

Stunning live show continues to break new ground

DJ Shadow - O2 ABC, Glasgow, Mon 5 Dec

For innovation and impact, genre-mashing LA turntablist DJ Shadow, aka Josh Davis, has never bettered his entirely samples-based 1996 debut Endtroducing … But his visually stunning live shows continue to break new ground, and prove DJ sets can be just as arresting spectacles as any other gig.

This date in support of his new album The Less You Know, the Better saw Davis perform inside a 10-foot orb akin to a mini Star Wars Death Star – a multi-dimensional blank canvas onto which video artist Mike Dorrie projected a captivating stream of playful imagery. We got overheating circuit boards, bloody chainsaws and gorily exploding cartoons of celebs from Boyle to Bieber; the sphere became everything from the Earth to a basketball to the actual Death Star (big cheer). Davis was hidden until the globe suddenly spun around to reveal a cutaway reverse, and him scratching away busily at his hi-tech decks – proof enough he wasn’t just sitting in there playing solitaire.

‘Building Steam With a Grain of Salt’s’ spooky piano signature predictably got the biggest cheer amid a set that cut’n’pasted in all from crunching metal guitars to soulful female vocals and the kind of rumbling sub-bass that makes you feel slightly queasy. The surprising lack of dancing we’ll consider testament to just how mesmerising this audio-visual experience was.

DJ Shadow - Live @ Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver (Oct 25, 2010)


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