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DJ Shadow: ‘Music has never been worth less, and yet sampling has never been more risky’

In Australia for a ‘block party’ curated by the Avalanches at the Sydney Opera House, the pioneering DJ spoke about the evolving challenges of his craft

“Sampling isn’t just about dusty 45s anymore,” says Josh Davis, and he ought to know. As DJ Shadow, Davis has been responsible for some of the seminal, pioneering works in the genre, beginning with the critically acclaimed Endtroducing in 1996. His debut full-length album, it was composed entirely of samples, the first of its kind.

“My agenda back then was like, planting a flag in the soil and saying, ‘This is my art form, sampling is my art form, the sampler is my instrument,’” Davis tells Guardian Australia. “It’s real, it’s authentic, there’s art to it, there is a discipline, it’s a craft. And that’s what I wanted to represent. Now, obviously, 25 years later, we all know that ... The art of sampling in itself is no longer novel.”

Related: DJ Shadow review – a hyper-evolved beat frenzy

Related: Me and the muse: DJ Shadow on his sources of inspiration

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