DJ SHADOW at Kool Haus (132 Queen's Quay East), Wednesday (July 17). $25. 416-870-8000. Rating: NNNNN
Those of us who looked at DJ Shadow's two blindingly funky Brainfreeze bootlegs as a preview of what was coming on his wildly anticipated second album were in for a shock when The Private Press dropped this spring.
There were trademark, straight-up funk collages and more of the California record hound's stuttering hiphop breaks on the record, but the standout tracks on The Private Press were the ones that sounded nothing like Shadow at all. Cuts like the marathon classic rock epic Blood On The Motorway and the haunting pop song Six Days were still created entirely out of samples, but were also complete songs, showing off Shadow's David Axelrod-inspired skill at arranging as well as his knack at unearthing stellar breaks from dusty record warehouses.
Sadly, the complexity of these cuts means it's unlikely they'll surface when Shadow checks into the Kool Haus Wednesday. Given the peculiar trainspotting vibe of his live sets, with fans eagerly watching the stage and waiting for familiar breaks from Midnight In A Perfect World, it's actually too bad that Shadow isn't recreating the Brainfreeze sessions with crate-digging partner Cut Chemist instead of simply touring behind his new album.
Expectations aside, though, the man is a record hound first and foremost, so expect to hear a few funk bombs tossed into the mix regardless.