- Personnel: DJ Shadow (scratches); Martel, Brian , A-Lex , Lateef the Truthspeaker (vocals).
- Audio Mixers: DJ Shadow; Jim Abbiss.
- Recording information: The Parlor Of Mystery (2001-2002).
- Photographer: B+.
- Arranger: DJ Shadow.
- THE PRIVATE PRESS is DJ Shadow's follow-up to 1996's groundbreaking ENTRODUCING. Released in at least four editions--including vinyl (natch) and a limited two-disc CD set--PRESS finds Shadow picking up his toys and moving on from the playground that he built with his debut, a playground now inundated with followers and imitators. He experiments with a number of new elements, everything from extended vocal pieces and more "traditional" song structures, to the weird and wooly world of Krautrock. All the while he continues to display a mastery of turntables and drum machines, and perhaps most importantly, maintains his absolutely preternatural ability to create wicked combinations from THE most obscure and bizarre samples.
- Of particular note are "Monosylabik," a sonic fondue pot dripping with melted and seriously damaged rhythms and beats, and "Six Days," where an extended vocal sampled from an oddball 1971 psychedelic LP meets an armload of retro-futuristic sounds and effects. All in all, PRIVATE PRESS sees a mind-boggling array of skills used in the service of some laid-back grooves that are, somehow, simultaneously spacious and dense.
Rolling Stone (12/26/02, p.104) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Best Albums of 2002"
Rolling Stone (6/20/02, pp.81-2) - 3.5 stars out of 5 - "...A moody, murky album...and fascinating in its own right....A 57-minute pastiche of beats, sound effects, machine hums, found voices and mock-symphonic patterns of robot noise, shifting from texture to texture almost casually..."
Spin (1/03, p.71) - Ranked #19 on Spin's list of 2002's "Albums of the Year" - "...Indelibly shaped by hip-hop but lured astray by every other sound in the universe."
Q (May 2002, p.107) - 4 out of 5 stars - "...Much of [the album] evokes a dream-state between waking and sleeping....Davis is a man who takes himself incredibly seriously, with his intense demeanour and slavish devotion to hip hop..."
Q (p.134) - 3 stars out of 5 - "Josh 'DJ Shadow' Davis is undeniably a master of his craft..."
CMJ (6/02, p.5) - "...An astounding achievement that should easily catapult Shadow back into the spotlight...soul stirring beats, irrepressible DJ theatrics, personality and humor....Completely captivating and flawlessly imaginative..."
Vibe (7/02, p.135) - 3 discs out of 5 - "...The vibe here is more overtly bumptious...Shadow is working angles his contemporaries haven't thought of yet..."
Mojo (Publisher) (1/03, p.76) - Ranked #36 in Mojo's "Best Albums of 2002"
Mojo (Publisher) (5/02, p.96) - "...An intense experience, precisely focused yet disarmingly ambiguous....You will hear few finer records this year."
NME (Magazine) (5/18/02, p.35) - 6 out of 10 - "...This is the fetishasation of sound for its own sake...That's not to say there aren't great moments here..."