Cut Chemist Remixes Nat King Cole, Talks J5 Reunion

posted February 27, 2009 03:56:00 PM CST | 5 comments

Veteran Los Angeles deejay and producer Cut Chemist spoke to HipHopDX yesterday about his role in the Capitol Records release of Nat King Cole's Re: Generations, a posthumous remix compilation [click to read].

The Jurassic 5 [click to read] member opted to remix the 1963 version of Nat King Cole's "Day In - Day Out" for the compilation, from his album Let's Face The Music!. Cut told DX, "I picked ['Day In - Day Out']. I got put on board kind of late; I think I was on the road or something. The selection, which [song] to choose from, was getting real slim. That [song] was one of them [left]. It was weird too, 'cause I had scanned through it really fast, 'cause I'd never heard the song. I scanned a few songs. By some stroke of luck, I scanned by the 'Thousand drum' vocal lyric, and said, 'Okay, that's it. Right there!"

Having produced records inspired by various musical eras outside of the late '60s, '70s and '80s norm, including J5's "Swingset," Cut Chemist spoke about inspiring Hip Hop fans of the appeal of Cole, who died tragically in 1965. "That's Hip Hop's whole M.O., man, to hit people with the past. It's kind of like a history lesson. I think that's exactly what they want to do with [Re: Visions] - school kids on [Nat King Cole's] legacy and how he can be relevant to today. That was one of the main reasons I wanted to get down with it; I have been using [older samples] since the beginning."

Cut Chemist is also involved in the recent documentary This Is The Life [click to read], inspired by Los Angeles' early '90s Hip Hop showcase at The Good Life. On Tuesday, March 10, at The House of Blues Sunset, Cut, along with Chali 2na, and various members of Freestyle Fellowship and Project Blowed will perform in the film's honor.

Having performed at The Good Life extensively with then-group Unity Committee, an enthusiastic Cut Chemist spoke on the significance, when asked. "Let me tell you something, man, I'm really glad you brought that up. I was talking to Hymnal last night, who was very much part of our time at The Good Life. I told him that I've been waiting for this to happen since we did it, in like '91 - Unity Committee and Dark Leaf and Volume 10 and all these guys that I've done music for. Ever since Jurassic 5 started and The Good Life era was over, I've been waiting for this moment. The fact that it's happening and we're all gonna get together is just gonna be insane. We'll have a couple [Jurassic 5] members short, but for the most part, the vibe should be there. We're all gonna practice these old songs that we all did, and we're gonna perform them. Hopefully, it'll be the beginning of getting everybody back together and doing some more music together, 'cause there's nothing more I'd rather do."

Jurassic 5 disbanded just over two years ago, after creative differences. Cut Chemist had reportedly left the group previously to pursue solo interests.

In addition to the remix and film release, the man who made the 2006 Warner Brothers album The Audience's Listening, is planning several releases this year. One will be a one-turntable mix CD of African music. "It's pretty-out there, mostly Ethiopian, some Nigerian [music] with one turntable and a loop pedal," he revealed, from a set of a recent concert. The deejay and frequent DJ Shadow collaborator is also planning to release a French Industrial music compilation and reissuing an LP from New York Psychedelic Soul singer Curtis Knight.

Re: Generations releases March 10.

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