Cut Chemist has been recording and performing for over twenty years. He started dj’ing in 1984, at age 11 years old. In 1987 aged 14 Cut started recording with his friends including Chali 2na (Jurassic 5). Cut first became known as a founding member of both the rap group Jurassic 5 and the Grammy award winning Latin funk outfit, Ozomatli. Keeping his involvement with both groups in tandem with one another, Cut has developed a taste for music and rhythms from around the world while keeping his ethic for the hip hop tradition. His mix-tapes and remixes became critically acclaimed. His ‘Chemist’ moniker was fully realized with his instrumental, Lesson 6: The Lecture. A musical journey that challenged hip hop production with music theory ideals. Cut also found time to collaborate with DJ Shadow on what would be one of the worlds most sought after mix cd’s, Brainfreeze, soon to be followed by its sequel, Product Placement.
Eventually Cut left both Jurassic 5 and Ozomatli to pursue a solo career, starting with Warner Bros. where he landed his first solo LP, The Audience’s Listening in July, 2006. The title track was quickly placed for the first Worldwide Apple Nano commercial with Cut performing at all major US and European flagship Apple stores, while the single, “The Garden” became a favorite with taste makers and the single “What’s The Altitude” became one of the most viewed videos on YouTube.
In 2007 Cut Chemist supported Shakira on her “Oral Fixation” tour where he dazzled her audience with his selection of world music and a cut ‘n’ scratch audio visual presentation, something that no one has ever done before or since, garnering Cut Chemist with the reputation of pushing the boundaries of what a ‘DJ’ can do. Upon returning to LA he made a cameo appearance as the chemistry teacher in the academy award winning movie Juno, as well as other Jason Reitman productions, Jennifer’s Body and Up in the Air. Meanwhile, Cut also concentrated on making marks in LA of the highest praises by headlining the Hollywood Bowl with long time friend and collaborator, DJ Shadow. there they began the year long campaign for the third instalment of their mix cd series this time entitled “The Hard Sell” which toured all around the world to sell out venues and Festivals.
Since then Cut has been back in the lab re-inventing his sound, he had the opportunity to remix of Nat King Cole’s “Day In Day Out,” and more recently Quantic and his Combo Barbaro’s “Un Canto mi Tierra.”
As Cut Chemist works out some final touches on his follow up to The Audience is Listening, Cut ended 2010 pushing a new concept mix he released entitled Sound of the Police, different than the conventional DJ mix CD using two turntables, this exclusive offering was created live using only one turntable, a mixer, a loop pedal and all original vinyl pressings. Cut thought when performing this mix live it would challenge the contemporary DJ as well as himself. The music chosen for this mix goes quite a bit deeper into the crate than his other contributions. Driven by his passion for Ethiopian, Colombian, Sudanese and Afro-Brazilian sounds respectively, this mix also features a few classic tunes you might recognize. Sound Of The Police puts it all in the context to help the listener remember that hip hop culture is indeed rooted in Africa.
Originally Sound Of The Police was only intended to be a one time performance for Mochilla’s ‘Timeless’ concert series opening up for Ethiopia’s own Mulatu Astatke in 2009. He recorded the practice session and after the success of that performance he thought it deserved to be heard and seen by as many people as possible. The live performance attempts to be a reenactment of the CD but with cameras on the turntable and loop pedal so the audience understands exactly how the records are being manipulated. “You don’t have to be into DJs to enjoy this show. It’s like walking a sonic tight rope and the audience gets to see me fall if something goes wrong,” Cut says. “The interesting parts are when I mess up and fix it. The audience goes crazy and appreciates what a difficult balancing act this actually is.”
The legendary out-spoken Scotsman has been around the Northern soul & funk scene since the start and began his career as a dancer. As soon as he had enough money together he started collecting and buying Northern Soul in the UK, during regular trips to the US and was starting to play around the Wigan area at the heyday of The Casino. By 1981 he had gained a respectful reputation as a DJ.
He moved to London at the age of 22 and decided to start living a normal life and quit DJ’ing, but was quickly playing Northern-soul again due to heavy demand by old Wigan promoters. He brought the scene to London and drew the Northern punters that had moved to London after the Wigan scene dissolved. After a few years, the Northern scene faded, Keb sold his music collection but he still had a loft filled with ‘junk’ music (according to himself) that he had picked up in the states that was to-be classified as “Deep Funk” later on.
So in 1989 house music arrived in the UK, and Keb decided to play the funk grooves after a trip to Japan. He managed to get a regular night at an acid-jazz club called ‘The Wagclub’ and he finished there after a period. And around 1992/93 he met fellow collector Snowboy on the first funk-only night in London called ‘Deep Funk’, named by Keb (that he later used as a name to describe the sound) but arranged by the owners of the club (Club Ormonds). After a while Snowboy and Keb wanted to push the funk sound further and they decided to start their own night in an old restaurant. The nights failed due to the domination of house and shut down after a few months.
Not so long afterwards Keb got a tip for a new location that was a strip-club in Soho called Madame Jojo’s. The location was perfect and he managed to arrange a weekly night to start with. The nights took off fast and are today it is the leading funk night in London. Later on the strip nights closed and the venue became a full time music club.
In 1996 BBE and Keb Darge teamed up to start releasing the now infamous Deep Funk and Funk Spectrum series that spawned a whole host of imitators.
Today he holds two weekly spots at the club (Legendary Deep Funk –Fridays / Lost & Found –Saturdays, where he focuses on his current passion – underground 50’s music), traveling around the world DJ’ing, and running the label Kay Dee Records with Kenny Dope.
He has achieved legendary status by far with a 40’s to 70’s musical knowledge second to none that is perfectly reflected on his BBE compilations.