DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist – Renegades of Rhythm Tour

Renegades of Rhythm Tour

Music fans are in for a once-in-a-lifetime experience when turntablists supreme DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist celebrate the legacy of Hip-Hop vanguard and Universal Zulu Nation founder, Afrika Bambaataa on their Renegades of Rhythm tour this fall.
“This has never been done before, definitely not on this scale. They’re HIS records, with his blessings. This isn’t just ANY copy of ‘X’ breakbeat, it’s THE copy, THE copy that started everything. Not just any records, the MASTER OF RECORDS’ records.” – DJ Shadow.

Using only vinyl pulled from Bambaataa’s historic collection – over 40,000 strong and permanently archived at Cornell University – DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist aim to present Bambaataa’s legacy in all its genre-busting and socially-minded complexity. DJ Shadow states, “His collection includes not just Soul and Rap, but also Soca, Calypso, Dub, Salsa…it’s obvious that this music was important to him, and it’s reflected in his own music. For example, when the Soulsonic Force is singing an African chant, it actually comes from a Manu Dibango record. That’s when being a crate-digger comes in handy – you have to be able to pick up on the references and reiterate them.”

Sorting through the collection with this holistic aim in mind was daunting. “The first sort was to make sure we didn‘t leave anything important behind. We definitely over-pulled,” adds Cut Chemist. To help them narrow their selections, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist focused on the appearance of the records themselves, “It was pretty clear what he played a lot and what he didn’t. The sure-shots were covered with tape and the jackets were beautifully tattered; that made it easier after a while to pull records.”

“The program will be multifaceted,” DJ Shadow explains. “Bambaataa as artist, exploring the influence of his classics like ‘Planet Rock;’ Bambaataa as collector, and the genre-defining breaks he discovered; and Bambaataa as peacemaker and force for social change. He influenced an entire generation worldwide, so we feel a great obligation to get it right.”

Naturally, it was paramount to the two DJ’s that the tour have the full blessing and support of Afrika Bambaataa himself. “I call on all who love Hip-Hop to come out, see them, hear them,” says the Godfather. “My story is our history in DJing.”

The Renegades of Rhythm tour will use six turntables and a variety of real-time effects. “It adds another performance level, real-time sampling from the record that’s being played,” says Cut Chemist. Visuals for the tour will be supplied by acclaimed video director, multimedia producer and regular Shadow collaborator Ben Stokes. The tour with be produced by Jamal Chalabi and Backlash Management.

The tour may be rooted in a historic vinyl collection, but both DJs are quick to point out that people should not come to this expecting strictly an ‘old-school‘ set. As DJ Shadow sums it up. “DJ Shadow + Cut Chemist + Bambaataa’s records + his blessings: it’s going to be epic. That’s all you really need to know.” Or, as Afrika Bambaataa puts it, “DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist are going to blow your funky mind.”

Regarded as one of the most influential and consistently innovative artists to emerge in the last 20 years, Josh "Shadow" Davis is widely credited as a Key figure in developing the experimental hip-hop style associated with the London-based Mo' Wax label. Shadow began experimenting with beat making in high school, but it was during college that he co-founded his own Solesides label as an outlet for his original tracks. DJ Shadow's first full-length, Entroducing..., was released to international acclaim and deemed by Time Magazine as one of the top 100 albums since 1954. DJ Shadow's follow-up LP The Private Press, was released in June 2002 and brought his sound to new territories beyond the use of sampling. His following release, The Outsider (2006), saw DJ Shadow showcasing the leading exponents of the Bay Area's then burgeoning Hyphy scene, while his next release, The Less You Know, The Better (2011), was a testament to his enduring sampling genius.

Hailed for his innovative visual performances in both a live and DJ setting, DJ Shadow's 2010 and 2011 tour was cited by Beatport as one of the top 10 DJ shows of all time, and was capped off by two memorable performances at the Coachella Festival. His hard-hitting DJ sets coexisted with the rise of trap, juke, and the fledgling beat scene, and solidified his legacy by playing alongside large-scale electronic icons like Dlplo and Bassnectar. DJ Shadow most recently released
an ambitious and comprehensive retrospective of his finest recordings entitled Reconstructed: The Best of OJ Shadow (released on one single CD and double vinyl) and Reconstructed: The Definitive OJ Shadow (a multi-disc box set). DJ Shadow has been spending time in the studio and continues to perform his contemporary OJ sets only hinting of the upcoming Renegades of Rhythm performances stating a "very different" type of tour is planned for the Fall of 2014.

Cut Chemist

Cut Chemist first picked up the turntable at age 11. He has been recording and performing for over twenty years. He founded the rap group Jurassic 5 and helped form the Grammy award winning Latin funk outfit, Ozomatli. Cut Chemist has developed a taste for music and rhythms from around the world while keeping his ethic for the hip hop tradition. In 1999 Cut Chemist left Ozomatli and stayed in Jurassic 5 full time as they soon would become one of the biggest hip hop bands in the late 90s and 2000s. During this time, Cut Chemist also created the groundbreaking all 7" size record mix series with DJ Shadow. The series went on to become staples with both record collectors and turntablists all over the world. In 2004, Cut Chemist left J5 to release a solo album on Warner Bros entitled 'The Audiences Listening". This album highlighted Cut Chemist's music sensibilities as both a rap song producer and an instrumentalist with his single "Whats The Altitude" which became one of the most viewed videos on YouTube In 2006.

In 2007 Cut Chemist was given the opportunity to open for Shaklra on her "Oral Fixation" tour. He won her audience with his invention of the cut 'n' scratch audio visual presentation. A milestone in his repertoire in which he films the audience and instantaneously manipulates the image by "scratching" it on screens for everyone to see. In 2010 Cut Chemist Kept up with the reputation of pushing the boundaries of what a "DJ" can do by releasing a mix cd entitled "Sound Of The Police" that turned one turntable into a loop pedal performance with all African and South American records. In 2013 Cut Chemist joined Jurassic 5 as they reunited for Coachella. 2014 marks the 20 year anniversary of Jurassic 5 and they are celebrating by headlining a tour with California hip hop legends Dilated Peoples, Beat Junkies and MC Supernatural.

"Whatever comes next you can expect the same ethic of artistic integrity" says Cut Chemist. "Hip Hop is not a specific type of music, its how its presented. I tee/ I've always proved that and will continue to do so.

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