The abundance of similarly named acts has our heads spinning. We help you sort them out.
Who: Paul Blair is a Chicago-based producer and DJ whose highly danceable mix tapes helped him reach headliner status in the dance-club world. But his big break came when Lady Gaga asked him to create tracks for her mega-successful Born This Way album. His work with the pop superstar helped him land a spot on last summer’s touring Identity Festival, and he released his own EP of original music titled I’m Killing Me.
The Essentials: Included in the nine songs he co-produced on Born This Way are the empowering title track and the radio hit “The Edge of Glory.” Find his club-ready originals and remixes at www.djwhiteshadow.com
Who: California hip-hop producer Josh Davis has been building his reputation as a sampling pioneer since 1989. His first full-length album, 1996’s Endtroducing, was made entirely of samples. Rather than taking the most recognizable parts of songs and repurposing them in a catchy chorus, Davis’ approach is more about building textures and moods.
The Essentials: Endtroducing track “Organ Donor” makes the most of its namesake instrument before it evolves into a laid-back head-bobber. But his more recent albums, like The Less You Know, The Better (2011), see DJ Shadow step outside the hip-hop box. Find out more at www.djshadow.com
(Arbutus Records, $15)