Island – 2002 – 71 minutes
In the long journey to producing a follow-up to his earth-shattering debut, DJ Shadow has had a number of diversions. The years were easily filled with the likes of James Lavelle's misfiring UNKLE project, 'Preemptive Strike' - a collection of various back catalogue oddments - and a couple of superb singles ('High Noon' and the brooding 'Dark Days').
So this is the second coming and, of course, it's a disappointment. 'Endtroducing's pensive wide-angle landscapes quickly became tedious cliches in the hands of lesser mortals, so Shadow had little choice but to take some new directions. Sadly, one of them is West Coast soft rock, on near-risible cuts such as 'Six Days' and 'Blood On The Motorway'.
'Monosylabik's minimal sample foundation is a cool concept. Unfortunately, like so many cool concepts (Richie Hawtin, we are talking about you) it's a dire experience for the listener.
Many of the tracks on 'The Private Press', such as 'Walkie Talkie', are perfectly serviceable West Coast hip-hop jams. But coming from the man whose lush atmospherics and unique style had our heads in a spin with 'Endtroducing', filler like this simply ain't enough.
My mind remained stubbornly unblown after listening to 'The Private Press'. Better luck next time Josh.
Tracklisting: Letter From Home - Fixed Income - Un Autre Introduction - Walkie Talkie - Giving Up The Ghost - Six Days - Mongrel... - ...Meets His Maker - Right Thing / GDMFSOB (Clean Instrumental Version) – Monosylabik - Mashin' On The Motorway - Blood On The Motorway - You Can't Go Home Again (Album Version) - Letter From Home (#2) - Giving Up The Ghost (Original Version)