In The Flesh: DJ Shadow and Mophono at The Rialto—Masterful Visuals and Sonic History Lessons

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DJ Shadow at Rialto Theatre, Tucson, on  Wednesday, July 19. - MARGARET HARSTAD
  • Margaret Harstad
  • DJ Shadow at Rialto Theatre, Tucson, on Wednesday, July 19.

DJ Shadow with Mophono
Rialto Theatre
July 19

Appealing to the psychedelic purple chakra and the primal red root at once, Mophono and DJ Shadow took us on a rollercoaster of the mind, through moody, soul-deep bass, melodic jazz and classic hiphop. All the elements were masterful—the cuts, the breaks, the scratching and the samples. Two turntables and hardly any microphone had us alternately listening hard and pounding our fists in the air. And the themes Shadow tackled were heavy—namely the aural and visual manipulation of time. From his scratch solo right after, "This is a story about being free" to the remixes of each classic Endtroducing track, to his shirt which read "We're never going back," the legendary DJ demonstrated mastery over this key component to our world, both rhythmically and conceptually. The paired, projected visuals were, of course, time-lapse photography. Shadow also played with space, creating aural (paired with visual) topographic maps of oscillating reverberations, ably set in motion by collaborator and opener Mophono, who took us back to the Silver Apples conception of electronic music with spinning magnetic sound. From the atomic beats and melodies to their limitless molecular combinations, Shadow's show tackled nothing less than the act of creation itself.

DJ Shadow at Rialto Theatre in Tucson. - MARGARET HARSTAD
  • Margaret Harstad
  • DJ Shadow at Rialto Theatre in Tucson.

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