Review Summary: The soundtrack to sleepless nights.
There are a lot of people who have been around the block with Endtroducing
. It can be argued the album did as much for the genre of hip-hop as it did for experimentation within the realm of electronic music. However, many of these people didn’t stick around long enough to look into the future work presented by the artist. The release of The Private Press
sees Josh Davis taking a step back from the usage of entirely “organic” source material and bringing forth the inclusion of some digital samples. Undoubtedly this is the same person who created Endtroducing
, but the inclusion of multiple types of source material eliminates any of the staleness a direct clone could have brought along with it. However, The Private Press
still showcases the power of creating a mood and building a world around it.
The approach to this album is almost exactly the same as the previous release. There’s no concept or underlying theme, the songs flow together extremely well (clearly showcased in the transition from “Mashin’ On The Motorway” to “Blood On The Motorway”, which explores the connection between a rager’s accident and his unpredictable meeting with death), and can be played at random on their own without the listener missing a piece of the puzzle. The sense of pride Davis finds in his work can still be seen in segments here, most notably in “Walkie Talkie” where he tells the young and impressionable just how good
he really is at his day (read: night) job. The one-of-a-kind samples continue to set this apart from other albums which may be seen as similar; the feeling of completion and finalization they bring to the initial layer of drum patterns adds detail and a personal touch to somewhat cold drum beats.
It becomes impossible to forget the album when the listener gets to the one-two punch of “Mongrel…” and “…Meets His Maker”, an eerie and dark representation of someone’s current state of mind. Although the specific event playing out is uncertain, the music twists the listener’s mind along for the ride, building up and then down again in a final exhale. This example showcases the true strength of the album: the build-ups. The majority of the songs will continue to add layer upon layer onto the final product in order to create an ending where it is almost impossible to pick apart everything that seems to be going on. This effect is pushed forward even further by the fact that every sample picked for the songs fits perfectly within their specific context; there’s never a moment of head scratching or a wonder of why something was placed within a track. Besides, it shouldn’t be a surprise that Davis knows exactly what he’s doing.