Dj Shadow Song Analysis

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Elements of Music Project
The two songs I am analyzing are by the same artist. The artist is DJ Shadow and the songs are entitled “Building Steam with a Grain of Salt” and “Midnight in a Perfect World.” These songs are from his first album “Endtroducing…,” which was written in 1996. Shadow’s music has been classified into a few different types of genres; trip-hop being the most prominent. What makes his first album so different is that it is composed entirely of samples. Shadow spent years and years “digging” and listening to thousands of old records to piece together his first album. He listened to each record with and open-mind; waiting for something to spark creativity. In 2001 “Endtroducing…” was published in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the “First Completely Sampled Album.” The only pieces of equipment that were used to produce this album included a 12-bit sampling drum machine and a pair of turntables. I have seen Shadow perform live a handful of times. His shows take place anywhere from small night clubs, to stadium style concerts.

The first song I am analyzing, “Building Steam With a Grain of Salt,” is the second track on “Endtroducing...”. The introduction of the song starts with a man’s voice saying “producing…” The song then jumps to a few twinkling of simple, high-octave piano notes played continuously with the plucking of a few lower octave notes to accompany it and set the rhythm of the song. There is a strong, hypnotizing drum beat that enters the song. The beat is at a slower tempo. It is very similar to a hip-hop style beat. Then what sounds like a choir singing starts, which sets the mood for the rest of the song. The whole song has a smooth, calming melody. The darkened, whimsical melody of the piano along with scratching of records, funky guitar riffs, xylophones, and scattered drum beats make up the rich texture of the song. The song, being mainly instrumental, has the constant melody of the piano, steady rhythm of the...
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