Those who are slightly unfamiliar with DJ Shadow's solo works, and more in tune with his collaborations, will probably be a little surprised by the songs collected on Reconstructed: The Best Of DJ Shadow. The reason for this is the severe lack of hip-hop. Whilst at first this may be somewhat of a disappointment, the mood should change quite quickly upon listening to the record, due to the diverse range of genres included on it.

Considering DJ Shadow (a.k.a Josh Davis) had his first notable piece of work (on a large scale) in 1996 with a record made completely of samples (a first for that time period), it is understandable how and why he would gather such an eclectic catalogue of work over the years as his influences are many. The collection begins with a track from his all sample album, Midnight In A Perfect World, a chilled out yet tense piece of music which contains as much haunting beauty as it does pure attitude.

Some highlights which will delight both hardcore fans and newcomers are the extended version of 'Organ Donor' and the Richard Ashcroft led Unkle track, 'Lonely Soul'. Two previously unreleased tracks are included on the compilation; 'Listen', a song which features vocals from Terry Reid and a plethora of horns, snare drums and strings, and 'Won’t You Be', a soft retro-soul number intercut with samples. The mixture of old flavours with modern sounds is one area which seems understated in DJ Shadow's work, but as far as this particular release is concerned, it is where the producer shines the most, in part due to one of the other stand out tracks, 'This Time (I'm Gonna Try It My Way)'.

Reconstructed is a brilliant glimpse at a career that needs far more time given to it than can be allowed on one disc, however that may be the point - rather than a summary of DJ Shadow's catalogue, this record is the bait which will hook you in and make you want to discover even more.
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