Culture

Cut Chemist fuses jazz, hip hop and funk on The Audience’s Listening

There’s only one album where one can find Brazilian guitar inspired sounds, space aged rhythms and break beats all mixed and scratched up into one. With his debut album, The Audience’s Listening, Jurassic 5’s (J5) recently departed Lucas Macfadden aka DJ Cut Chemist has finally released what a hard copy of all the record digging he has done sounds like.

With track one, “Motivational Speaker,” listeners can almost get lost in the amount of samples that are thrown at them but the album later shifts gears by bringing on guest MC’s. By far the standout track, “Storm,” features guests Edan & Mr. Lif. The beat on “Storm” would make any BBoy or BGirl go crazy and running for their linoleum mat, and “What’s the Altitude” featuring Hymnal, has the most impressive scratching on the album.

After departing J5 and Grammy-winning Latin alternative band, Ozomatli, Cut has been able to focus on his long-awaited solo project.

The album will most likely appeal to listeners of DJ Shadow and others alike. Listeners who do not have an open mind and are biased towards mixing musical genres should definitely not listen. The album is one giant fusion of jazz, hip-hop and funk. There are some drawbacks in some tracks-mainly dealing with the lack of rhythm and the absence of simplicity in the album; but then again, it is Cut Chemist and one should know what they are getting themselves into before pressing “Play”. Although many may expect the entire album to be nothing but scratching, guess again. It’s a rare-occurrence that is overshadowed by the hundreds of eccentric samples and sounds. The album overall deserves a listen at the unusual and sometimes unexpected sounds.

Marcos Colon may be contacted at m.colon2@umiami.edu.

September 29, 2006

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