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The Chop Shop 

Cut Chemist The Audience's Listening

Wednesday, Aug 16 2006
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Remember ye olde days of turntablism? When all the DJs (diggers, we called them) were high on their horses delivering lessons — literally, as our man Cut Chemist had his "Lesson Six," following in the footsteps of Godhead DJs Double Dee and Steinski. But then overnight all that cuttin' and pastin' and diggin' could be accomplished on a computer, not to mention most turntablists' music just became kinda wanky (sorry Kid Koala). So what are the chances someone could come along and bang out a winner? Pretty fucking good apparently, as former Jurassic 5 DJ Cut Chemist has done precisely that with his looooonnnnng-awaited first full-length. While rich with the kind of scholarly samples the Chemist is known for, the album shines primarily and simply because it's a real damn gas. Hokey-poky break beat "Motivational Speaker" karate kicks things off, "Garden"'s gauzy, alluring sway (built around an Astrud Gilberto sample) is a blast of hookah smoke in your face, and "Spoon" is so chilled out it may just reverse global warming. Of course, it wouldn't be a turntablism album without some self-congratulatory ain't-DJs-great samples, but for once this particular digger earns them.

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Garrett Kamps

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