Endtroducing.com - Unofficial Site
UNKLE.tk - Unofficial UNKLE site
As half of the UNKLE team, member of the Solesides/Quannum Crew, one of the major players on the MoWax Label, a leader of the sample-based music scene - to say Josh Davis (DJ Shadow) has credibility is an understatement.
In 1991 he won Source Magazine's "Unsigned Hype" contest by entering a four-track demo he made called "Hip-Hop Reconstruction From The Ground Up." From there he got some production work for the HollywoodBASIC label, and through this, James Lavelle (who at the time was starting the MoWax label) got in contact with him.
Along with MoWax, he released a number of singles and such albums as Entroducing, Preemptive Strike, and Private Press.
In 1998, he hooked up with James Lavelle to create the UNKLE album Psyence Fiction.This album featured a number of big time guest appearances such as Mike D (on "The Knock (Drum Of Death Part 2)"), Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Richard Ashcroft (ex-Verve), Ian Brown (ex-Stone Roses), Justin Newstead (Metallica) and Badly Drawn Boy. There are only two different versions of the track with Mike D on vocals: the Album version, and "The Drums Of Zep" Mix which was done by Noel Gallagher of Oasis. (Note: There is also an Instrumental version of the album track, though obviously Mike D doesn't appear on it) DJ Shadow has been using the Drums of Death track in his live shows with a different slant on it which is quite cool.
Later, Mike D, Thom Yorke and DJ Shadow all guest appeared on Dan the Automator and Prince Paul's joint project Handsome Boy Modelling School.
In 1999 he joined with Cut Chemist and went on tour mixing 7" records. Two official releases have been created from these sessions entitled Brainfreeze and Product Placement. (Do a search on "Brainfreeze" in your favorite search engine to read the drama relating to this release - it's an interesting story)
DJ Shadow has also edited and scored the soundtrack to the movie "Dark Days."
To quote DJ Shadow: "I miss albums that demand an hour of attention," he says. "Today, lots of music insults the listeners. [Entertainers] think [audiences] can't handle anything longer than three and a half minutes at a time. I like music that has a theme, a plot. That's why I love Public Enemy's It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, De La Soul's Three Feet High and Rising, and the Beastie Boys' Paul's Boutique."
In 1991, DJ Shadow met up with 5 other like minded people and formed the Solsides crew. The group consisted of DJ Shadow, Chief Xcel, Lateef the Truth Speaker, Lyrics Born, The Gift of Gab and Blackalicious. In 1998 Solsides broke up and formed Quannum, as they felt the collective had changed. Various singles and albums have been released from different members of the groups including an album called Quannum Spectrum which had collaborations with Jurassic 5, Divine Styler, Souls Of Mischief, Company Flow and Dan the Automator.
One final note, don't get Josh Davis (DJ Shadow) confused with J.Davis (Q-Tip from a Tribe Called Quest).