Cut Chemist

Lucas Macfadden, who goes by Cut Chemist, boasts as impressive a resumé as any turntablist in the history of the art; he's been a member of both Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli and has pitted his spinning skills against the likes of DJ Shadow and Shortkut, of Invisibl Skratch Piklz fame. But Macfadden doesn't see the need to show off, and The Audience's Listening, his major-label debut (it's on Warner Bros.), is all the better for it. His technique is dizzying whether he's getting cosmic on "Metrorail Thru Space" or chilling out in "The Garden." However, he keeps his focus on entertainment value during tracks such as "Motivational Speaker," a scratch-happy reggae hybrid overlaid with absurdist blather ("The DJ of the future is going to be a respected member of the community!"), and "Spat," an aural pastiche that suggests a Looney Tunes soundtrack updated for the 21st century. Macfadden, who joins Lyrics Born at the Fox, is a chemistry teacher for the ages, and Listening definitely makes the cut.

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