Longtime friends and turntablist legends DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist are back at it again with a brand new project they’ve dubbed “The Hard Sell.” Spawned from an initial one-off show last June at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, the project has blossomed into a complete full-length album collaboration and extensive world tour that will be assaulting listeners with a seamless live mix constructed entirely from vinyl 45s. In order to perform their wax acrobatics this time around, the duo will be using eight turntables, four mixers and two effects pedals. Backing them up will be video director Ben Stokes, who will be mixing visuals live on two giant screens behind them on stage.
“When we did that set [at the Hollywood Bowl] we realized we wanted to make it longer. So we got back together again and tweaked it in certain places, expanded it in certain places, moved things around…it was an ongoing process all year,” says Lucas MacFadden, aka Cut Chemist. As always, Chemist and Shadow have done some extensive crate digging in putting this ninety-plus-minute performance together. “This set is a reflection of how people might think we’re only into funk and hip-hop, but when you hear us play it’s like, no, we’re into new wave, country, rockabilly, doo-wop…everything.”
In addition to the current tour, you can also catch MacFadden in theaters right now where he has a bit part in the Oscar-nominated hit, Juno. “I became friends with Jason Reitman the director…and he was like ‘Look, I got a movie that takes place in a high school and I think it would be funny, just as some kind of insider-type shit, to put you in as the chemistry teacher.’” MacFadden undoubtedly won’t be quitting his day job anytime soon to join the Screen Actors Guild, but he’ll definitely be pulling for his cast mates next month at the Academy Awards. “It definitely should win something because it’s a great movie,” he says. “It really is.”
As if the pairing of these two legends wasn’t enough, warming up the decks at the beginning of the night will be the one and only Kid Koala. “He stands for a lot of the ideals that we do, with DJing and turntablism and records …so it really works out great. He’s one of my favorite DJs of all time so it’s great to have him.” (Brad Knutson)
DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist perform “The Hard Sell,” with opening set by Kid Koala at Park West, 322 West Armitage, (773)929-1322, February 1, at 7:30pm. $30.