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DJ Shadow announces seventh studio album and shares first single

'Action Adventure' is set for release on October 27

By Joe Goggins

DJ Shadow press shot, 2023
Shadow is returning to his instrumental roots. (Photo: Koury Angelo)

DJ Shadow has announced his seventh studio album, Action Adventure, and shared its first single, which you can hear below.

The legendary producer, who rewove the tapestry of modern hip hop with his seminal 1996 debut Endtroducing…, will release his latest full-length on October 27 via Mass Appeal. The first single, ‘Ozone Scraper’, is out now, and comes accompanied by a video that was directed by Stefano Ottaviano. The full record will feature 14 tracks, mostly instrumental, which marks a departure from his last album, 2019’s Our Pathetic Age.

That record featured a slew of special guests, including Run the Jewels, De La Soul, and members of Wu-Tang Clan, Interpol and Future Islands. This time, Shadow – real name Joshua Davis – has gone it alone, on what sounds like a nostalgic release that evokes the video store browsing of days gone by, as well as the crate-digging that has so defined him ever since Endtroducing…

A press release suggests that Action Adventure will be a highly personal album for Shadow: “This is about my relationship to music. My life as a collector and curator. All my records and tapes, and no one else’s.” The man himself goes deeper on the process behind the record on the release, saying: “I didn’t want to write music that was formatted for vocalists. I wanted to write music that flexed different energies.”

In putting together the record, he worked in uncompromising style, asking himself questions such as “which chord progression would be most natural here, and which would be least predictable?” and then making decisions based on instinct.

As usual, Shadow dug deep into the crates for Action Adventure, with one track based around sounds from a 200-cassette job lot that he acquired via eBay containing music from a mix station that serviced the Baltimore and Washington D.C. area in the 1980s. Elsewhere, he’s based tracks around little-known R&B a capella samples, as well as nodded to his comic book fandom with the song ‘Craig, Ingels, & Wrightson’, which name-checks three leading artists of the 1950s in its title. You can see the full track listing for the record below.

DJ Shadow – Action Adventure:

  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’