DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing is one of the five or ten best records of the 1990s. Hell, if someone wanted to push it out to “ever ever” I wouldn’t mount a spirited argument against them. It’s the rare bird that’s both genre-defining and genre-altering, hopscotching in and out of the moment.
And on that musically disruptive album, “Midnight in a Perfect World” is the de jure centerpiece (which of course makes it one of the best tracks of the 90s). Which is why when DJ Shadow announced a 6LP Endtroducing compilation set of originals, demos, alternate versions and remixes, whoever tackled “Midnight in a Perfect World” was going to have a tough row to hoe. Just figuring out where to start surely had to be a challenge.
Whatever nervousness Hudson Mohawke might’ve had going into this thing doesn’t show at all. The “Midnight” remix is a constantly moving, self-assured number. It takes some of the original vocal samples (“Now now now,” “Midniiiiite” and the wordless female singing) and has them stick and move across the mix, all while HudMo makes the bass resound in a way that only he can. If there’s even the slightest scrutiny to be lodged it’s that the song is over too soon. But there’s always the option to hit repeat, to be stuck at midnight forever.
The Endtroducing “Endtrospective” (see what they did there) is out tomorrow, October 28.