DJ Shadow – Dark Days [Single] 2001

Written especially for the excellent documentary film of the same title (highly recommended, also) the two versions of ‘Dark Days’ on this cd are amongst Shadow’s best tracks, in my opinion. This single was released in 2000 but the film didn’t find it’s way into UK cinemas until 2002 – even though it was filmed back in the mid-1990s.

Although he has been asked to do many soundtracks over the years, ‘Dark Days’ was the only one Shadow felt strongly enough about to not only consent to his music being attached to (almost the whole ‘Endtroducing’ album was used in the film), but also to go as far as writing a brand new track especially for it.

Style-wise, the instrumental, at least, is closer to what you hear on ‘Private Press’ than ‘Endtroducing’: laid back, yes, but with a fierce twanging gutiar hook and those distinctive Shadow beats holding it together. If you know the track ‘Fixed Income’, it’s along those lines, but less John Barry (60’s theme tune masetro -The Persuaders, James Bond, etc) and more Ennio Morricone (king of spaghetti western soundtracks – A Fistful of Dollars, etc).

The ‘spoken for mix’ is exactly the same track but with spoken word extracts from the film weaved into the tune. It works beautifully, even if you haven’t seen the film yet. And if you have seen the film, it’s a nice reminder of the rich cast of characters we get to meet. Read the dvd reviews for further info on the film. Can’t recommend both highly enough.

“Dark Days (Main Theme)”

Candid shot of Shadow’s home studio during Unkle demo stage, early 1997.

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