Review: DJ Shadow In Tune and On Time (DVD)

I am never enthused by today’s hip-hop, and find most of it ridiculous. As for dance (the club type), there is a mood, there is a time, and there has always been an interest with it, mainly because I find it more sophisticated as a music form. DJ Shadow is undeniably hip-hop, but has unbelievably gone beyond its own borders.

In Tune and On Time is a live recording of DJ Shadow’s performance at the Brixton Academy in 2002. Shadow is practically fence-sitting on the delineation of hip-hop and dance fans, that I’m guessing most of the audience are clubbers instead of the bling-bling crowd. They might miss the pogoing riots of most house, or breakbeat artists, but Shadow is a treat, and Shadow delivers. The background visuals do highly complement the concert, and it does fit for the music involved, which combines a neat mix of head-bobbing, toe-tapping, and the occasional actual furious dancing. This was one studio genius knocking heads off with his live presence.

One remarkable part of the Bonus Features included is ‘Pushin Buttons‘, which shows three white DJ’s (Shadow, DJ Nu-Mark, and Cut Chemist) performing the last live track off Shadow’s “The Private Press” CD. It’s enough to make you lust for this piece of equipment:


The performance is sans turntables, and involves mainly an MPC Sampler for each (I believe Shadow uses the above model, an Akai MPC-60).

In sum, this is one seamless, clever, and higly satisfying audio-visual experience that transcends Shadow himself. I had the mid-end 5.1 speakers set while watching it, only letdown is I had to see it boxed on a regular TV set.

[Listening to: Fallen – Cut La Roc – La Roc Rocs (6:08)]

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