DJ Shadow had one of the most iconic and experimental instrumental hip-hop records back in 1996 with Endtroducing…, putting his name up into the same category as legends like J Dilla. Since then, he’s kept the status, like anyone who did something great and then was mediocre from then on, and now in 2016 he released The Mountain Will Fall, a hodge-podge of basic sounding drum machine loops, electronic instrumentals that don’t go anywhere interesting, and a decent collaboration track with Run the Jewels. I guess the mountain fell.
BadBadNotGood were the Toronto jazz outfit, as they’re constantly described, that provided the music for Ghostface Killah’s Sour Soul.
Since, they’ve done some collaborations with Mick Jenkins and fellow-Canadian producer Kaytranada, garnering attention for their fourth album, aptly-titled IV. Without Ghostface, some tracks like “Speaking Gently” feel empty, but it’s not all BadBad either. That’s not to say that it’s not NotGood, it’s just okay. The Mick Jenkins track is decent, as well as “Time Moves Slowly” with Future Islands’ Sam Herring, but IV doesn’t hold anything with any amount of wow factor for a group that absolutely killed the instrumentals when they worked with Ghostface Killah.