Search - Cut Chemist :: The Litmus Test

The Litmus Test
Cut Chemist
The Litmus Test
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1

Cut Chemist's Litmus Test is a self-mixed retrospective showcasing one of the 1990 s great DJ/producers' repertoire. Originally released in 2004, the album ushered in his solo era as a precursor to his Warner Brothers deb...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Cut Chemist
Title: The Litmus Test
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Tube Records
Original Release Date: 8/10/2004
Release Date: 8/10/2004
Album Type: Explicit Lyrics
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop
Styles: Turntablists, Dance Pop, Pop Rap
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 171891550124


Product Description
Cut Chemist's Litmus Test is a self-mixed retrospective showcasing one of the 1990 s great DJ/producers' repertoire. Originally released in 2004, the album ushered in his solo era as a precursor to his Warner Brothers debut release The Audience Is Listening. A mix of selected productions/mixes Cut Chemist had done to date - some for hire, some for pleasure, and many for the group he'd become famous with, Jurassic 5. This compilation is a good snapshot of his career, and makes one realize the level of talent that was quietly lurking behind the turntables in J5 - from his work with retro-funk label Now Again ("Bunky s Pick") to backpack Hip Hop kids Ugly Duckling to futuristic complex rappers Blackalicious and bedroom cut-up exercises in "Lesson 6", Cut Chemist made a case that established his legacy as one of the greats of the era, expertly segueing and blending a catalogue of his own compositions, ending up with a new album, which turns out to be a real solid listen. For fans of: DJ Shadow, Edan, Q-Bert, Jurassic 5, Quannum, The Roots, Stones Throw Records and the Cut-Up genre.

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CD Reviews

Great remixes, but ridiculously overpriced
Hansol Lee | 09/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I'd just like to echo the sentiments of the reviewer below: 18 bucks is far too much to pay for mere 28 minutes of music, especially when it contains no new tracks. This is still a great CD though (would you expect anything less from Cut?), and I'm looking forward to his full-length release. I just hope that the next CD is a little more reasonably priced.
Exceptional......(But oh, so teasingly brief!!!)
fetish_2000 | U.K. | 03/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If (like me), you like to listen to some expertly (and deftly chosen) tracks, that have all been sublimely mixed, by some of the finest turntablists out there. One name that should feature on any list should be "Cut Chemist's"....this is a man that although his studio record output is hardly prolific, virtually everything he does put out, is usually of the highest quality. Preferring to concentrate on a broad selection of Old School Hip-Hop, Funk, Rare groove, Instrumental breaks and Rap on his albums. Not only have has he (& Dj Nu-mark) been the beat driving force behind "Jurassic 5", but both are arguably amongst the finest turntablists ever. But for this release, its a 28 min EP, that acts as a prelude for Cut Chemist's forthcoming LP (of yet there appears to be no specific date). For the price being charged for this EP (Which isn't far off the price for a full length CD), is this worth the price outlay???
Well, nobody is going to accuse Cut Chemist of rushing out a poorly devised and mixed EP, as this is a near flawless compilation of unreleased tracks, coupled with a choice selection of remixes of some of the work by the Jurassic 5 Crew (a excellent mix of Rap & Instrumental tracks). Although before the criticisms start flying around, These tracks are not your average remixes. Cut Chemist has obviously put a lot of time & thought into how the mix should sound different from every other Mix album out there, but more impressive is his attention to detail & meticulous fine tuning, until everything sounds just right.
And as expected, the mix isn't just purely geared towards Hip-Hop. Cut Chemist's love of Old School Funk & Rare Groove feature throughout (obviously not heavily, as the mix is only 28mins), but a keen ear for Groove and melody, as well as cutting up dialogue, have always earmarked Cut Chemist's mixes, above the usual cut & paste mix albums doing the rounds. A lot of these tracks will be familiar to those that listen to mix albums, or more specially like Cut Chemists work with Jurassic 5. Jurassic 5 Tracks such as "Quality Control", "Jayou", "Thin Line", "Contact", "Swing Set", "Lesson 6" & "Swing Set"...all crop up throughout the mix. And although the set leans towards a sort of remixed compilation of Jurassic 5 / Cut Chemist material, it's the way that Cut Chemist's ability to take previously heard material, and reinvent (or reinterpret) it in such a way, that although not sounding completely new, is a wonderful spin on an existing sound. Obviously the Jurassic material is interspersed with various other tracks (such as a sublime mix of "Gang Starr's - Eye on the Gold Chain"), to prevent this from being overly familiar. But such is the precise and skillful mixing / turntable dynamics on display here, that Cut Chemist rarely has to fall back on turntable trickery to impress. Sure, elements of scratching, beat matching, and sampling are in evidence, but their use is relatively subtle in comparison to similarly styled mix albums. And whatever some peoples misgivings may be with the large amount of existing material used here, few can deny that, Cut Chemists use of sound Collages, beat placement and profound knowledge of what makes a fantastic mix album, arguably makes for an equally sensational recording. And it's all done with such a a tangible playfulness, in its approach, with a knowing nod to the power of the old school DJ, that if the forthcoming LP, can maintain this remarkable standard, it'll rank amongst some of the finest work that Cut Chemist has ever recorded (and that's no mean feat).
But the main point of criticism for this release, isn't the material, or the mixing...(both are exceptional), but the fact that this is only 28mins!!??? I'm not going to lie to you, when I was listening to this, I found myself getting more & more into it, mentally patting myself on the back for buying this CD. Thinking how amazing this CD was, and how It just couldn't get any better.......and then the CD finished, and I was "Whaaaa the F>>>k!!??, Refund???". (I'm joking about the Refund Bit), but it's true, It really does finish, when you become completely absorbed in it. There can be no doubt that most people will want to run out and buy the (hopefully Substainally longer) LP, when It finally arrives. But what you want to know is "Is this EP worth the cost??".....weeeeell, if your like me, and you consider having to (sometimes) pay over the odds for fantastic music, part & parcel of being a music enthusiast, then you'll find the high asking price easier to shallow. But if price is a consideration here, then I'd have to say to 'Hunt around', and see if you can get it a bit cheaper, as it truly is a remarkable EP, and bodes incredibly well for the fully length. And there's nothing to say that the mix on this EP, is going to feature on the full length. Without seeming like a 'Cop-Out' I'd say, if your a big Cut Chemist fan, then this is worth the money, those that can wait for the Full-length, or just only have a passing interest in Cut Chemist's work should pass.
I'm giving the album 5 Stars for the music (which, for me), is what it's really about...if price is a consideration for you, when buying music, then knock a star off the rating."
Great, but too short
J. Dyer | 11/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"When I saw this in a local record store and read the total run time on the back as 28 minutes, I assumed it was an EP of a full album. I figured that I'd buy the full album from amazon. When I got my amazon order, I found out that it was the same full album price. They really should mark this as an EP as it's only 28 minutes long.

That said, it's a really great 28 minutes that I didn't regret paying the $15 for, but I would've liked it better had I bought it at the local used store for $10."