It’s been more than two decades since the pioneering Bay Area turntable auteur released his masterpiece Endtroducing….. and essentially put together UNKLE’s heady psychedelic classic Psyence Fiction. And it’s been three years since Shadow released The Mountain Will Fall, his last proper album. But Shadow has never gone away — partly because his influence on downtempo music is eternal, and partly because “Nobody Speak,” his 2016 collaboration with Run The Jewels, continues to soundtrack every third movie trailer. So this is a great time for Shadow to announce a new guest-heavy double album.
Guess what? DJ Shadow just announced a guest-heavy new double album. Next month, Shadow will release Our Pathetic Age, a full-length divided into two parts. The first half, like …Endtroducing, is entirely instrumental. The second is utterly jammed with big-name collaborators. Shadow has already shared “Rocket Fuel,” his collaboration with De La Soul. But plenty of other luminaries also appear on Our Pathetic Age.
Nas and Pharaohe Monch, two eternal rap legends, show up on the same song. The Wu-Tang Clan trio of Ghostface Killah, Raekwon, and Inspectah Deck appears on one track, and on another, the New York rapper Dave East — who plays Method Man on Wu-Tang: An American Saga — shows up. Shadow’s old Quannum collaborators the Gift Of Gab and Lateef The Truth Speaker are in there, too. (No Lyrics Born, though.) So are Future Islands’ Samuel T. Herring, Interpol’s Paul Banks, and Wiki. And on “Kings & Queens,” Shadow again steps into the spotlight with Run The Jewels.
Today, Shadow has shared a track that features three decidedly non-famous rappers. Rockwell Knuckles and Tef Poe are two gruff underground rap veterans from St. Louis. (Tef Poe is also an activist and a big part of the Ferguson protests a few years ago.) Daemon, Google tells me, is from Italy. On “Urgent, Important, Please Read,” the three of them take turns rapping about our dystopian present over Shadow’s thunderous drum break and distorto-guitar chords. Listen to the song below and check out the tracklist for Our Pathetic Age.
01 “Nature Always Wins”
04 “Beauty, Power, Motion, Life, Work, Chaos, Law”
09 “If I Died Today”
10 “My Lonely Room”
11 “We Are Always Alone”
12 “Drone Warfare” (Feat. Nas & Pharaohe Monch)
13 “Rain On Snow” (Feat. Inspectah Deck, Ghostface Killah, & Raekwon)
14 “Rocket Fuel” (Feat. De La Soul)
15 “C.O.N.F.O.R.M.” (Feat. Gift Of Gab, Lateef The Truth Speaker, & Infamous Taz)
16 “Small Colleges (Stay With Me)” (Feat. Wiki & Paul Banks)
17 “JoJo’s Words” (Feat. Stro)
18 “Kings & Queens” (Feat. Run The Jewels)
19 “Taxin’” (Feat. Dave East)
20 “Dark Side Of The Heart” (Feat. Fantastic Negrito & Jumbo Is Dr.ama)
21 “I Am Not A Robot (Interlude)”
22 “Urgent, Important, Please Read” (Feat. Rockwell Knuckles, Tef Poe, & Daemon)
23 “Our Pathetic Age” (Feat. Samuel T. Herring)
Our Pathetic Age is out 11/15 on Mass Appeal.