Photo by Joseph Armario
Cut Chemist has been recording and performing for over twenty years. He started dj’ing in 1984 and then became a producer in 1994 when forming the rap group Jurassic 5. One year later he became a founding member of the Grammy award winning Latin funk outfit, Ozomatli. Keeping his involvement with both groups in tandem with one another, Cut also created a cottage industry of critically acclaimed mix cds and remixes. The most successful being his collaborative 'all 7 inch' vinyl campaigns with DJ Shadow which started in 1999 with Brainfreeze and ended with The Hard Sell which they debuted headlining the world famous Hollywood Bowl in 2007.
Cut Chemist brought his vision of instrumental hip hop to the major labels in 2006 when his solo debut album "The Audience’s Listening" was released on Warner Bros. The title track was quickly placed for the first Worldwide Apple Nano commercial while the single, "The Garden" became a favorite with taste makers and the single “Whats The Altitued” became one of the most viewed videos on YouTube.
In 2007 Cut Chemist toured this debut album supporting Shakira on her "Oral Fixation" tour. Cut won over her audience with his innovative cut ‘n’ scratch audio visual presentation. This is where he records the audience with a video camera and then scratches the playback, instantaneously. This is something that no one has ever done in a performance before or since, giving Cut Chemist the reputation of pushing the boundaries of what a ‘DJ’ can do.
Cuts history in music garnered recognition from movie director Jason Reitman. Upon returning to LA from his 3 month tour with Shakira he was asked by Reitman to make a cameo appearance as the chemistry teacher in the academy award winning movie Juno, as well as other Jason Reitman productions, Jennifer’s Body and academy award nominated Up in the Air. Reitman and Cut have since forged a friendship and have been doing dj sets together for fun.
Cut ended 2010 pushing a new concept mix he released entitled Sound of the Police, different than the conventional DJ mix CD using two turntables, this was created live using only one turntable, a mixer, a loop pedal and all original vinyl pressings which upheld his reputation to be of one of the worlds most respected record collectors. Cut thought when performing this mix live it would challenge the contemporary DJ as well as himself. The music chosen for this mix is driven by his passion for Ethiopian, Colombian, Sudanese and Afro-Brazilian sounds respectively. Sound Of The Police is still demanded by audiences worldwide as it displays Cuts unique performance skill and unique taste for music.
Cut Chemist is now working on some final touches on his follow up artist album to The Audience is Listening. This sophmore album entitled Die Cut will feature a variety of live musicians and vocalists. The first single, "Outro(Revistied)" features LA underground rap veteran Blackbird. These two have come together to create a new sound that delivers a much different texture than his past catalogue. "This song hails not from world rhythms or funky drum breaks but industrial meets Orange County punk", says Cut. "Outro" also features live drums played by Deantoni Parks ( Mars Volta, John Cale, Meshell Ndegeochello) and LA's own Lonnie Marshall (Marshall Law, Weapon Of Choice)on bass. Deantoni and Lonnie are featured throughout the new album. This maxi single is the first look into a new world of music which Cut has taken years to create. Unlike The Audiences Listening, the Die Cut LP will offer a much more collaborative effort from musicians and vocalists around the world. "I havent put a band of artists on one record like this since Jurassic 5. It feels good to work with different people with different musical backgrounds to explore new musical boundaries.