Beginning his career as a producer for the likes of Paris and Blackalicious, San Jose, California’s DJ Shadow has ascended the ranks to one of the most respected producers and deejays in music. While Shadow began in Hip Hop, the Solesides/Quannum Projects co-founder has dabbled with Electronica and other genres throughout his nearly 20-year career.

It was announced this week that DJ Shadow will promote his upcoming, yet untitled May 2011 album in a rather unique fashion. The singles to the album, “Def Surround Us” b/w “I’ve Been Trying” will be pressed on promotional vinyl, and hidden in a number of undisclosed record stores by Shadow himself. The promotional vinyl will be free to who finds it. “The idea is ’shop-placing;’ it’s the opposite of shoplifting,” Shadow wrote in a statement. “You go into a store, and leave your record in the racks to be discovered later. It’s not about being cute, it’s about passing the music along in the most unobtrusive way possible.”

Additionally, Shadow will release the songs for free on his website, as well as through iTunes later this week. However, the man who has produced for Latyrx, Cage and Keak Da Sneak bemoaned digital music sales. “I’d rather give away free vinyl than a download, because to me, downloads are so impersonal and soulless…No personality, no class. And from an artistic point of view, I think it sends a negative message about the worth of the music.”

DJ Shadow’s last studio album, 2006’s The Outsider, featured E-40, Q-Tip, David Banner and Phonte. Since, he has released a number of live albums and mixes, including The Hard Sell, his latest collaboration with Cut Chemist.