Cut Chemist – The Audience Is Listening

Cut ChemistCut Chemist (aka Lucas MacFadden) has always been an interesting character in music. As one of the turntabilists in Jurassic 5, he spearheaded a branch of hip-hop that used original samples instead of cutting edge production techniques. Then he became part of the hip-hop/latino supergroup Ozomotali. In between times he’s Dj-ed with DJ Shadow on the influential Brainfreeze and Product Placement mix albums and contributed his own versions of “The Ultimate Lessons”, Stenski’s seminal cut ‘n paste tracks. But all the while he’s refranied from putting out a solo album under his own name. That wait is now over with “The Audience Is Listening”, Chemists first solo original album (he previously released a live album in collaboration with the Invisible Skratch Piklz).

Most observers will be expecting a DJ Shadow “soundscape” brand of instrucmental hip-hop, but they’d be far off the mark. Chemist’s brand of hip-hop is humourous; the opening skit “Motivational Speaker” is light hearted and quick intro that gives you a flavour of what’s to come. Chemist is much more at wase showing his scratching skills, especially on “(My 1st) Big Break” which sounds as if the samples’ been lifted from a Gerry Anderson TV show. I keep expecting to her “Captain Scarlet” come in at some point. Shorter skit tracks like “The Lift” and “Spat” remind me of Kid Koala’s surreal cut ‘n paster medleys.

But this is an album with a lot more depth than you’d think and quite a few of the tracks make a real impression; “What’s The Attitude” had a simple beat but is catchy as hell (with rapper Hymanl on vocals), “Storm” has a classic-sounding electro beat that’s a big surprise. Best track on the album is “Garden”, which samples a range of styles from Latino songstress Bebel Gilberto to Bollywood. It’s a captivating track that stuck in my mind the minute I listened to it, when the beat kicks in 2:45 into it the track, it just sticks in your head. Brilliant. If you’re a fan of turntablisism then this album is a must, but it also does away with some of the goofy humour you get in most turntable albums. This is a fully realised music vision and it shows why the wait was so long. Chemist, all is forgiven.

Cut Chemist goes digging:


  1. John

    This is the album DJ Shadow should have made instead of that piece of shite he’s released.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

  • A Heart Full of Hornets

    Welcome to my blog. How you ended up here, heaven knows. Unless of course, I've been badgering you into visit almost every other day. I'll try and keep this updated regularly, with what I'm up to and any kind of musical recommendations which you can ignore at your leisure. If you want to get in touch with me you can e-mail aheartfullofhornets @
  • What I’ve Been Listening To

  • What is is a form of social bookmarking: basically I see something online that I find interesting, I can bookmark it and then it appears below for everyone else to investigate too.

  • Categories

%d bloggers like this: