This is a recurring debate, though a rather quiet one, and it exists since the very day Entroducing… was released: is this crucial album of the 1990's decade as great as its reputation says? In other words, is it really a classic? To some, asking this may sound like a lost battle, this record being regularly listed as one of the best pop music albums ever. Questioning this is a provocation. But still, it is legitimate.
The records from the Solesides – now Quannum – stable can be split into two categories: some of them are solid and consistent albums, now true classics (Nia, Endtroducing...); and some others are more heterogeneous, consolidating very diverse tracks, sometimes from different periods (The Album, Spectrum). Without any doubt, Solesides Greatest Bumps belongs to the second category. In order to celebrate their joining Ninja Tune, all five hip-hop artists proposed this compilation, full of unheard tracks, rarities or singles released at the heroic time of their own label, some of them even before electronica fans decided abusively that DJ Shadow would belong to their musical genre of choice.
Six years, no less, have spent between Endtroducing… and The Private Press. And they were more than sufficient to move from one era to the next. Now that the trip hop fad is over, and that DJ Shadow's rap roots are fully recognized - thanks to the multiples releases and rereleases of his Quannum collective, and to the arrival of a new generation of indie rappers influenced by him, at least indirectly - it was time to confirm the excellence of Endtroducing… with a brand new album.