The answer lies in the purpose of the compilation LP and whether or not it achieved its purpose. In 1998, DJ Shadow was leaving Mo' Wax Records for MCA and wanted to re-release some of his earlier singles in a package that he could control (hence the name "Preemptive Strike"). Mo' Wax has a culture of releasing a lot of singles, EPs, and compilations with a limited number of pressings (often with high-quality packaging), so prior to his 1996 debut LP he had already released at least an LP's worth of material appearing in a variety of formats, most of which are long out of print. For Mo' Wax, the vinyl or CD and its packaging are an integral part of experiencing the music, and the exclusivity of limited releases reinforces this.
To assemble this LP, he chose:
- The A and B sides of first full single, 1993's "In/flux" / "Hindsight"
- All four tracks from 1995's "What Does You Soul Look Like"
- Two of the four tracks from 1997's "High Noon" ("High Noon" and "Organ Donor (Extended Overhaul)"
- Three short, disposable snippets of studio chatter named "Strike 1", "Strike 2", an "Strike 3"
- 1993's "Entropy", from a split single with Asia Born
- 1994's "Lost and Found [S.F.L.]", from a split single with DJ Krush
- 1996''s "Hardcore (Instrumental) Hip Hop", from a joint release with the Groove Robbers
- 1996's "Red Bus Needs To Leave!", "Midnight In A Perfect World (Gab Mix)", and "The Number Song (Cut Chemist Party Mix)" from the "Midnight In A Perfect World" single ("Red Bus Needs to Leave!" also appeared on the "Stem" single).
- 1997's "Untitled Heavy Beat", from the "End of Violence" soundtrack
- 1997's "Devil's Advocate (Heaven v. Hell Bonus Beat" from the "High Noon" single
- Lost and Found [S.F.L.]
- What Does Your Soul Look Like (parts 1-4)
- Hardcore (Instrumental) Hip Hop
- Red Bus Needs To Leave!
- Midnight In A Perfect World (Gab Mix)
- The Number Song (Cut Chemist Party Mix)
- Untitled Heavy Beat
- High Noon
- Devil's Advocate (Heaven v. Hell Bonus Beat)
Final Score: 9/10. Because of what it misses.