Release Date: Jul 11, 2006
Record label: Warner Bros
Cut Chemist's first non-mix full-length CD has been long awaited by the legions of turntable nuts and hip-hop fans who think he's DJ Shadow's heir apparent, and while it's not the mind-blower that Brainfreeze or Live at Future Primitive Sound Session are, it is a well-crafted, highly enjoyable effort that overcomes the "all samples cleared" challenge all big-label turntablist albums must face. Chemist's diverse background -- having worked with or been a member of Ozomatli, Jurassic 5, Unity Committee, and Less Than Jake -- pays off on this incredibly diverse album that tempers scratch-heavy feats of skill -- the robot-obsessed "(My 1st) Big Break" and the crazy "Spat," which finds a Laurie Anderson sample exchanging pleasantries with Jamaicans and records from the '50s -- with more musical numbers that offer plenty of substance once the "wow" factor has played itself out. Best of the latter is the luscious, Astrud Gilberto-borrowing "Garden," which falls somewhere between Zero 7 and Bill Laswell's worldbeat mashing.
Lucas "Cut Chemist" Macfadden, trip-hop pioneer and former Jurassic 5 DJ, covers a great deal of ground on his solo debut. Between the introductory words - "Start remembering what you hear" - and the final ones - "The record's over" - he gets through a dizzying number of samples and almost as many genres. The slicing and dicing, augmented by his scratching skills, yields the kind of specialist item that isn't normally found on major labels.