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DJ Shadow

How sample pioneers DJ Shadow and the Avalanches adapted to the YouTube era

How sample pioneers DJ Shadow and the Avalanches adapted to the YouTube era

In the fall of 1996, DJ Shadow blew minds around the world using materials he found in a dusty Sacramento basement. Four years later, the Avalanches did much the same from their headquarters in Melbourne, Australia.

DJ Shadow’s “Endtroducing” and the Avalanches’ “Since I Left You” were landmarks in the art — and science — of sampling.

Both debuts made new music almost exclusively out of old sounds: riffs and grooves and snippets of speech harvested from forgotten vinyl records and carefully assembled into original songs. The works felt modern and ancient at the same time. Neither act invented the method, but each...

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