Turntablist: one who practices turntablism. Turntablism: “the art of manipulating sounds and creating music using phonograph turntables and an audio mixer.” Lucas MacFadden ’97 a.k.a. Cut Chemist: world renowned turntablist and UCLA alumnus whose first full-length non-mix CD released this spring, The Audience is Listening, remains a celebratory testament to electronic hip hop beats and pop sensibilities.
Formerly a member of Latin funk band Ozomatli and rap group Jurassic 5, Cut Chemist’s claim to fame can be traced to L.A.-based underground hip-hop group Unity Committee. After collaborating on a track with Rebels of Rhythm, the two groups formed Jurassic 5 and released the critically acclaimed eponymous EP Jurassic 5, which Cut Chemist produced.
While in the celebrated underground hip-hop unit, Cut Chemist worked and remixed with respective bands and turntabling artists Ozomatli, Less Than Jake, DJ Shadow and Liquid Liquid. In 1997, he released his debut album Live at the Future Primitive Sound Session, and continued to work with DJ Shadow in a series of live shows and recording sessions that formed Brainfreeze and Product Placement. By 2004, Cut Chemist created enough material to release a collection of previously unreleased remixed songs with Litmus Test.
Although Cut Chemist has left Jurassic 5 to pursue a solo career of DJing and production mixing, he carries a dominant presence within electronic music and hip-hop communities. Earlier this year he released a long awaited solo album The Audience is Listening, a follow-up to Litmus Test. The current contribution sees the artist relying on heavy scratching effects and catchy pop hooks; and as of late, one can find the talented turntablist looking towards the world of television: “The Audience is Listening,” a single from the same titled album, has been used in an iPod Nano commercial.