Cut Chemist: ‘The Audience’s Listening’ Album Review

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“The Motivational Speaker” opens the album with a 50’s recording of mono-toned, emotionless military voice. “The DJ of the future is going to be a respected member of the community,” the voice predicts. “Motivate people to get out… and buy… or try… or use.” “[My 1st] Big Break” warns that “The robots… are coming,” and the groove commences in a style highly reminiscent of Fatboy Slim, with its booming drums, groovy shuffle, and playground melody. Watch the music video for this track below. “The Lift” has a female voice recording that warns,“Doors opening,” before the galactic sounds commence, and warns “Doors closing” as you embark on your space mission.

“The Garden” draws from Bossa Nova,  Brazilian jungle boogie beat, and borrows vocals in the style of Astrud Gilberto, the sultry low voice is quite identifiable. “Spat” in an exchange of small chat between robotic 50’s records and possibly Jamaicans, all laid over a jazzy backing track consisting of piano, brushes on the drums, and the occasional sax honk. The samples are credited to Laurie Anderson.

“What’s the Altitude” features rapper Hymnal over an absurdly catchy hook you can’t help but bob to, made up of crazily diverse auxiliary percussion, and mix between surfy and pop beats. As with many catchy tunes, this track is fairly bare-bones. “Metrorail Thru Space” brings the album down for a bit, with slightly more ominous chord progressions, and a choral-style collection of “bum bums” that echo sonorously over the disco-like drum beats. The track definitely chills you out, despite the upbeat tempo and galactic synth runs.

“Storm” features Edan and Mr. Lif and like it’s name, the track storms through with 80’s electro beats and synths, with smatterings of underground rapped lyrics twisting your tongue throughout in the style of William S. Burroughs. “2266 Cambridge” features Thes One, and brings the groove down in tempo to stroll through a British street to the rhythm of a Rhodes-y keyboard and bass over varying drum tracks. Utterly relaxing by the time the neighborhood birds are heard tweeting.

“Spoon” is a funky psychedelic groove with a catchy bass riff. Even though it’s one of the longer tracks on the album (at five minutes), you could play it twice in a row and not notice the time gone by. Matter of fact, it’s the kind of jam you’d enjoy spacing out to on a smokey afternoon. “A Peak Time” has a sort of electro-pop-rap vibe to it, and the driving hi-hat rhythm rushes the close to five-minute song past you, causing you to press repeat in an attempt to regain memory of the time warp that just took place. “The Audience is Listening Theme Song” The abundance of hi-hat denotes a 70’s disco. “Now let’s practice using your subconscious mind,” instruct the vocals, and you comply willingly. At a short 2:21 in length, this track will undoubtedly be one those continuously on repeat.

Cut Chemist smirks ironically throughout the whole album; by referencing the mindless, soulless robots continuously, he pokes fun at the fact that his music is derived from machines and not organic instruments and live musicians. Despite this mechanical element of his record, Cut Chemist manages to maintain a human element, by way of his ironic message (or is it more of a joke?) and his strong sense of rhythm (something humans have long responded to).

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