DJ Shadow
Preemptive Strike


4.0
excellent

Review

by niobium USER (8 Reviews)
April 27th, 2006 | 22 replies | 11,801 views


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist


3 of 3 thought this review was well written

DJ Shadow has made some of the most detached, moody music the electronic world has ever seen. He is the man behind Endtroducing, an album so breathtakingly original (ironic, considering the entire album is samples), so surreal, it's widely considered the finest hour of trip-hop. It took him six years for a proper follow-up album, The Private Press, but with an album like Endtroducing to wait with in the meantime, it's not so bad. So does this mean in-between 1996 and 2002, there was no Shadow to warm our hearts? In 1998 he released the ignored Preemptive Strike. Not so much ignored, as itís not considered as an equivalent to his two albums, which is a damn shame, because it easily equals them.

Preemptive Strike is a culmination, a collection of his best songs from his early career, 1991-1996. It wasn't a stopgap measure, or to insure his restless fans had something new to listen to while he was off with UNKLE or DJ Q-Bert. The material in Preemptive Strike is just a normal album to me. It might not flow like one, considering these tracks are arranged chronologically. But this might be all for the best, because the first track on the album is the single, "In/Flux".

In/Flux has been sited as one of the first moments in trip-hop, if not, widely regarded as the sole creator of a genre. It's a comprehensive blend of different cultures and backgrounds, over a steady, funky bassline. In the way that only DJ Shadow can, it combines jazz, turntablism (der), hip-hop, and electronica. It turns and bends for twelve joyous minutes, grooving and sinking into the walls. It flows into the next song, Hindsight. I often call this the most underrated DJ Shadow song ever. It's simply a seven minute downbeat session. It's not very exciting, and it won't draw you in like In/Flux, but it's a wonderful track nonetheless. I can't say much more about it, but it's very enjoyable.

If you're a fan of Endtroducing, and you always wondered what happened with "What Does Your Soul Look Like, Pts. 2 & 3", these are on the album as well. Although the track sequence isn't from 1-4 (the order here is 2, 3, 4, 1), it's the complete half-hour carnation. While parts 1 & 4 were standout tracks on Endtroducing, the real attention is focused on parts 2 & 3. DJ Shadow did very little to spruce up the already majestic tracks, and it's a good thing he didn't try and fix the unbroken. I won't review them, because they're practically untouched from Endtroducing.

"What Does Your Soul Look Like, Pt. 2" is the longest song of DJ Shadows career, up to this point, and is the most touching and lonely song on the album. Images of a man trudging though dreary, rain soaked streets in a dark city are burned into your mind, even past the brass intro, the female droning, and the lone saxophone halfway into the song. Somehow, it's manages to be even more bleak than ďBlood on the Motorway", off of The Private Press. To sum up this song quite briefly, as I cannot describe how meticulously beautiful it is, I will quote one the beginning samples: "Does anyone remember who I am?"

"What Does Your Soul Look Like, Pt. 3 is an uplifting, friendly return to a much happier song. It begins slowly, with a chirpy flute fading in and out, accompanied by some wind chimes. The only drum line is a simple, pounding force that's beat into your head, and drives the rest of the song along. Some spare scratching and piano make up the rest of this song. It's really a shame DJ Shadow didn't incorporate the voice sample from the live version of this song from In Tune and On Time.

After Parts 1 & 4, we come across another single, "High Noon". It's the shortest song on the album, but that's because it follows an unconventional structure (for DJ Shadow, at least). It's obviously a single, when you listen to it, and a single, driving guitar riff determines that. It's a nice, solid little song. The last song on the album is an extended remix of "Organ Donor", from Endtroducing. It's twice as long, features drums and FX, and the organ track is varied throughout the song. Thank god he left in that organ solo. Itís more accessible than the original, but least memorable too. It can't stand up against beasts like "In/Flux", and the juggernaut of the album, Parts 1-4, but that was never really its purpose. It was only to extend upon the original with possibilities that could have been done, but weren't. It stands as a good remix and album closer.



Recent reviews by this author
Mark Lanegan The Winding SheetMr. Dibbs The 30th Song
Eyvind Kang Virginal Co-OrdinatesSleepytime Gorilla Museum Grand Opening and Closing
Godflesh MessiahTiamat Wildhoney
user ratings (104)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2006



16081 Comments


Its a pretty good review, you're a tad fanboyish though. It isn't unanimously declared the best. Many (Including I) do believe Mezzanine is the ever-so-better album. Regardless, its a very good tbt. Not a blow-by-blow, but it describes everything quite nicely. Props.

niobium
April 28th 2006



238 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I did write it in one hour. It will go some editing here and there, but yes I only mentioned one criticism (chronological order of tracks). I do sound fanboyish because I've never heard anyone praise this album, and I really wanted to send the message that I love this album. Thanks for the feedback though, that's why I did this review so fast.

Kingofdudes
April 28th 2006



294 Comments


Many (Including I) do believe Mezzanine is the ever-so-better album.


Honestly I would say that people are 50/50 split on the subject.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2006



16081 Comments


^Agreed 100%

Liberi Fatali
Emeritus
April 28th 2006



1588 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its a pretty good review, you're a tad fanboyish though. It isn't unanimously declared the best.

Yeah pretty much agree with this statement.

Iluvatar
Staff Reviewer
April 28th 2006



16081 Comments


This isn't showing up on Shadow's page. Anyone else having this problem, or is it just me?

morrissey
Moderator
April 28th 2006



1688 Comments


I think I need to check this out. Good review. It is always good to keep your biases in check but remember that a review is about your opinion - don't be afraid to display it, just do so rationally and with solid arguments. I'm not saying you didn't, though. This Message Edited On 04.28.06

Zebra
Moderator
April 28th 2006



2647 Comments


I haven't checked this out yet but I will eventually.
Great job on the review. While I agree with everyone that it was a bit biased it was still very descriptive.

Med57
Moderator
April 28th 2006



1001 Comments


I haven't checked this out yet but I will eventually.

Great job on the review. While I agree with everyone that it was a bit biased it was still very descriptive.


Word to this. I've yet to hear this, but I really dig DJ Shadow's music (except what it seems his new album is going to be like), so I'll check it out. Good review.

niobium
April 29th 2006



238 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

God, I hope his new album doesn't suck... I'd rather listen to that than the new Tool album. Such high expectations from a man who stated that he isn't going to live up to those expectations anymore.

STLMiguel
May 23rd 2006



335 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

"Influx" is incredible. I think its as good as any single song on Endtroducing. Not better, but certainly in the same ballpark.

bleep_bloop
June 5th 2006



37 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

"Influx" and "Hindsight" are amazing. i just got this cd and need to listen to it some more but it looks to be pretty good.

The Jungler
June 5th 2006



4827 Comments


123^
Those are the only songs I have heard off this, but I want The Private Press first.

MrKite
December 3rd 2007



5020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"What Does Your Soul Look Like, Pt. 2" is the longest song of DJ Shadows career

Naw man, Entropy and Radio Sole- Side A and B are longer than Pt. 2.

irishmanshibby
December 3rd 2007



355 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

whats Entropy and Radio Sole from? i never heard it. i have all his main cds and love em

MrKite
December 3rd 2007



5020 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I found them on something called Rare Shit. I'm pretty sure they're not on any official releases, though.

kygermo
February 3rd 2009



994 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Ive been jammin this album like crazy lately.

niobium
March 4th 2009



238 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

By now with the release of The 4-Track Era Bundle, there are 5 tracks longer than Pt. 2, three of them within 38 minutes. Guess I should take that bit out.

aok
February 1st 2012



4294 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

listening to this album right now. it was totally the right thing to do

Scoot
December 7th 2012



17681 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

part 2 is unbelievable

Digging: Unjust - Glow



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy