Cut Chemist's debut solo disc: Latin hip-hop with island atmospherics.
Deep underground, in his secret lab, Cut Chemist has been experimenting with his new set of sinister scratches and samples. The mad turntable tactician, consummate record collector and DJ-producer for Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli has just released his debut solo disc of sample-based songs, The Audience's Listening. Twelve slices of South American hip-hop percolate and pop, infused with island-music atmospherics. Cut Chemist employs luscious samples of old records (like Astrud Gilberto's "Berimbau" on the sexy suite "The Garden") in danceable mixes that bounce like Brazilian big beat; every track swings, struts and then combusts with guitars, drums, horns, scratches and periodic rhymes from such rappers as Hymnal, Mr. Lif and Thes One. The complexity in every groove -- from the hulking B-boy instrumental "Spoon" to the ethereal samba swinger "A Peak in Time" -- gives these newborn tunes the feet to tango, even alongside lauded works from record slingers like DJ Shadow and the Avalanches.