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Music review: Cut Chemist – The Audience is Watching April 19, 2008

Posted by ashiah in old.
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Cut Chemist is a turntablist mostly known for being an ex-Jurassic 5 member. “The Audience’s Listening” is his first solo album and, depending if you have any history on Cut Chemist, the album is either good or not good enough. For those who are loyal Cut Chemist fans, they might be expecting a little more for a first time solo album. Others without a preconceived notion to base their judgments will find this album an enjoyable party romp through the land of samples.

Cut Chemist doesn’t take him or his music too seriously; all the tracks echo this mentality. Not to be confused with laziness, Cut Chemist makes music that’s fun, but not in a “leave your brain outside” way, but in a free thinking way. First track “Motivational Speaker” is spliced with hilarious samples about DJ music and ends with,”if you don’t like the product, keep your mouth shut.” A proper introduction into this chaos and probably partially true.

It quickly jumps to “(My 1st) Big Break” which jokingly probes the idea of robot music. Standout track “The Garden” is a Brazillian rumble through the countryside with gentle, yet danceable beats. “What’s the Altitude” and “Storm” brings out the breakbeats with vengeance. Here, the rappers – Hymnal, Edan and Mr. Lif – emerge and throw it down. “Storm” particularly is my favorite, combining throwback old school rap mixed with quick cuts of distorted noises.

Unfortunately, the excellence of “Storm” is hard to top and the album begins a slippery slope to a quiet death. “A Peak In Time” brings things back to a normal pace, but by the then, the album is almost over.

Most DJ albums seem to appear and disappear quickly while riding through the media machine. I guess the public has a hard time deciphering between them all, and so it’s hard for one to emerge and demand attention. “The Audience’s Listening” is a surprisingly impressive record that will hopefully get some well-deserved attention.

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