'Psyence Fiction' by UNKLE recently claimed the singular honour of being the only record (to date) that I have bought on four - count 'em, four - separate occasions. The first time it needed replacing was entirely not my fault; I was the victim of a burglar of rare taste and distinction, with a particular fondness for hip-hop and its downbeat instrumental musical cousins, if the damage to my CD collection was anything to go by. Bastard. The insurance paid for a replacement UNKLE CD which, if memory serves, was itself in due course lost to girlfriend-break-up-related-issues. The third instance of the CD, fair enough, I just lost it. I'm like that. Fingers crossed the new version lasts the course a little better.
So is this the greatest album ever recorded, you may well ask, given that it has prompted a notorious cheapskate such as myself to part with hard-earned cash not once but a bordering-on-the-absurd four times? Not even! But it is pretty good. DJ Shadow's production ranges from haunting melancholy to ass-kicking exuberance, and the results of collaborations with artists ranging from Thom Yorke to Kool G Rap are never less than 'interesting'. At the time, it suffered from the massive overkill of hype and anticipation that preceded it, but taken in and of itself with the benefit of hindsight, it's just a pretty nifty album. It's not a masterpiece on a par with either of Shadow's solo albums, 'Endrotucing' or 'The Private Press', but, well, what is?
Worth buying, just maybe not four times.
Buy on Amazon: Psyence Fiction