Though his own catalog has been hit-or-miss since 1996’s classic Endtroducing, I’d place DJ Shadow among the relatively few who have managed to stay ahead of the curve in the rapidly changing world of electronic music. Shadow’s own label, Liquid Amber, was formed in 2014 to provide an outlet for unique sounds, and a year later, they’ve already put out something wild.
A collaboration between Shadow himself and fellow west-coast producer G. Jones, Night School Klik makes sounds similar to yet more grandiose than what was heard on SD Laika’s 2014 album. Their 2015 self-titled EP situates itself most comfortably in the world of grime and trap electro, with three tracks (two originals and a remix) that are vaguely hip-hop oriented, revolving around throbbing bass, harsh synthetic rhythms, and intricate patterns of skittering noise. Higher-pitched sounds and sampled vocals swirl and screech atop the frequently thunderous low end, yet despite the dark and menacing atmosphere (and this is downright scary at times), it’s outstanding in terms of its audio production. Without doubt, Nite School Klik won’t appeal to those strictly interested in melody, but listeners who can appreciate experimental electronica will likely find this fascinating to listen to.
8.2 / 10
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