DJ Shadow’s New Album Action Adventure, Out Today

By Jo Phillips

Pioneering producer/DJ/composer DJ Shadow has released his 8th studio album – Action Adventure – today on Mass Appeal/Liquid Amber. The album features 14 mostly instrumental tracks that represent the continued evolution of DJ Shadow. A new addition to an influential body of work defined by a restless ear, always searching to rescue some forgotten gem from the dustbin of music history or a fresh blast of sound from the cutting edge. 

Shadow has been profiled by Stereogum and SPIN and interviewed by Zane Lowe for his Apple Music show (Lowe calls the album “a stunning body of work”). He also recently sat down for a Q&A with Zane Lowe at the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles, was interviewed on KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic, made surprise appearances at recent shows with frequent collaborators Run The Jewels, and DJ’d at Fool’s Gold’s 15th Anniversary party at Public Records in Brooklyn. Upcoming appearances include a hometown Halloween show at 1015 Folsom in San Francisco and Levitation Festival in Austin this Sunday.

He has also shared music videos for album singles “Ozone Scraper” and “You Played Me” – two songs that show off the synth-heavy sonic worlds that Shadow explores throughout the record.

“You Played Me” was the result of serendipity, dropping the needle on an a capella track of a record he’d never listened to, over a beat that recalls a lost early 80s R&B classic. He says of the track,

“It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever made.”

The music video was filmed in a still-operating cassette tape manufacturer in Missouri – National Audio Company – and Shadow has been hiding cassette tapes of the single at indie record stores worldwide.

Action Adventure evokes the halcyon days of video store browsing, a fitting title for an album brimming with soundscapes and the menacing, mysterious feel that is laced through all of his work.

Making the album, which he started on January 1, 2022, pushed him deeper into his compositional bag than ever before. Though he isn’t classically trained, he asked himself questions like

“which chord progression would be most natural here, and which would be least predictable?”

and worked according to the inner logic that felt right to him. His rule for the record was simple: no compromises. 

DJ Shadow has been releasing music for over three decades. His landmark debut Endtroducing…..was released in 1996, is considered one of the finest albums of that decade, and continues to influence new generations of artists.

In the past few years, he’s reached some tremendous new heights. 2016’s The Mountain Will Fall featured “Nobody Speak” with Run The Jewels. That single has long since gone gold, has nearly 100 million streams on Spotify, and continues to seep into the public consciousness as a soundtrack to countless spots in film and on TV.

He returned in 2019 with Our Pathetic Age – a double LP featuring De La Soul (performing “Rocket Fuel” together on Jimmy Kimmel Live), Nas, Run the Jewels, Pusha T, Inspectah Deck and Ghostface among others. The first disc featured all instrumental, original compositions, a foreshadowing of how Action Adventure would take shape.

1. Ozone Scraper
2. All My
3. Time and Space
4. Craig, Ingels, & Wrightson
5. Witches Vs. Warlocks
6. A Narrow Escape
7. You Played Me
8. Free For All
9. The Prophecy
10. Friend Or Foe
11. Fleeting Youth (An Audible Life)
12. Reflecting Pool
13. Forever Changed
14. She’s Evolving

October 29 – LEVITATION Festival – Austin, TX
October 31 – 1015 Folsom – San Francisco, CA
December 6 – Pabellón del Palacio de los Deportes – Mexico City, Mexico

Pre-order here:

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