Since DJ Shadow dropped Endtroducing on an unsuspecting World back in 1996, the bar for creative and original sample-based music was raised permanently. It seems a lifetime’s worth of dedicated crate digging compressed into sixty-three glorious minutes was a hard act to follow for all, not least Shadow himself.
Now, let’s get one thing clear – I’m not for a second trying to argue that we have the next Endtroducing on our hands here. However, if that LP represents the pinnacle of the crate digger’s craft, then this album from Frenchman DJ Oil is certainly swinging in the same ballpark. Speaking as a geek who prides himself on sample identification, I struggled to pin down any on Phantom, though it contains so many teasingly familiar sounds.
Highly atmospheric and engaging from start to finish, eclectic in both tempo and feel, the album would probably be described by “proper” music journos as “afro-centric retro future soul”. All I’ll say is this: if you’re a fan of Shadow, Madlib and/or obscure 1970s movies, you should definitely give this a listen.