Soul Strut 100: # 33 - DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist - Brainfreeze (Mix)

RAJRAJ tenacious local 7,778 Posts
edited February 2013 in The Soul Strut 100
I will slowly be unveiling the Top 100 Soul Strut Related Records as Voted by the Strutters Themselves.

# 33 - DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist - Brainfreeze (Mix)



The list so far:

# 100 - Jr. and His Soulettes - Psychodelic Sounds
# 99 - Sir Joe Quarterman & Free Soul
# 98 - Donny Hathaway - S/T (1971)
# 97 - Bernard Wright - ???Nard
# 96 - Tom Scott - Honeysuckle Breeze
# 95 - People Under the Stairs - Question in the Form of an Answer
# 94 - Harlem River Drive
# 93 - Black Moon - Enta Da Stage
# 92 - Marvin Gaye - Here, My Dear
# 91 - Muddy Waters - Electric Mud
# 90 - Les McCann - Layers
# 89 - Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland
# 88 - Leroy Hutson - Hutson (1975)
# 87 - ESG - S/T (1981)
# 86 - Can - Tago Mago
# 85 - Bohannon - Stop & Go
# 84 - WILLIAM DEVAUGHN - Be Thankful For What You Got
# 83 - Power of Zeus - The Gospel According to Zeus
# 82 - Gang Starr - Hard To Earn
# 81 - The J.B.???s - Doing It to Death
# 80 - Parliament - Osmium
# 79 - McNeal & Niles - Thrust
# 78 - The Lafayette Afro Rock Band - Malik
# 77 - Earth, Wind, and Fire (1971)
# 76 - Dr. Dre - The Chronic
# 75 - Black Sabbath (1970)
# 74 - Trap Door / An International Psychedelic Mystery Mix (2006)
# 73 - Bob James - One
# 72 - Matthew Larkin Cassell - Pieces
# 71 - The Beginning Of The End - Funky Nassau
# 70 - Big Bear - Doin??? Thangs
# 69 - Steely Dan - Aja
# 68 - Quasimoto - The Unseen
# 67 - Curtis Mayfield - Curtis/Live! (1971)
# 66 - Al Green - Im still in love with you
# 65 - The Beatnuts - Street Level
# 64 - Archie Whitewater - Archie Whitewater (1970)
# 63 - Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth - Mecca & the Soul Brother
# 62 - Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die
# 61 - The J.B.???s - Food For Thought
# 60 - Don Blackman (1982)
# 59 - Niagara - (Tiddies)
# 58 - Can - Ege Bamyasi
# 57 - Whatnauts - On the Rocks
# 56 - The Mohawks - Champ
# 55 - McDonald and Giles (1971)
# 54 - Darondo - Let My People Go
# 53 - Dorothy Ashby - Afro Harping
# 52 - Beastie Boys - Paul???s Boutique
# 51 - Mulatu Astatke - Mulatu of Ethiopia
# 50 - Lyman Woodard Organization - Saturday Night Special
# 49 - Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul
# 48 - Lyn Collins - Think (About It)
# 47 - James Brown - In The Jungle Groove
# 46 - Bill Withers - Still Bill
# 45 - Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
# 44 - Silver Apples - S/T
# 43 - Mobb Deep - The Infamous
# 42 - Lyn Christopher (1973)
# 41 - Serge Gainsbourg - Histoire de Melody Nelson
# 40 - Gang Starr - Step in the Arena
# 39 - Diamond D - Stunts, Blunts, & Hip Hop
# 38 - Terry Callier - What Color is Love
# 37 - David Axelrod - Song of Innocence
# 36 - The Invaders - Spacing Out
# 35 - Leo Sayer - Endless Flight
# 34 - Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back

Please discuss your reactions to this record. The thread will be archived later here.

About


The hip-hop mix tape has come so far. As passed down through DJs such as Kid Capri and Funkmaster Flex, it has served essentially the same purpose -- as a compilation of segued-together cuts rather than a stand-alone work itself and, therefore, an archetypal soundtrack to house parties or underground gatherings. But taking its cue instead from Grandmaster Flash, who pioneered the form commercially on his landmark cut classic "The Adventures of Grand Master Flash on the Wheels of Steel," Brainfreeze transforms the mix tape into a genuine piece of musical art, a sampladelic, turntablist collage that may be the apotheosis of -- or at least a turning point for -- the genre.

Even prior to the release of the album, the collaboration between Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow had developed an almost legendary buzz. In the fall of 1999, the two kicked off a series of live performances sponsored by San Francisco art collective and record label Future Primitive Sound. Brainfreeze captures for posterity, in two uninterrupted takes, the live DAT rehearsal tapes from the duo's premiere show together, and it is an amazing display of spontaneous music-making. The music splits the difference between the groundbreaking, Brian Eno-worthy soundscapes that have characterized DJ Shadow's solo career and the ebullient, breakbeat-savvy, street-corner jive of old school-style rap, as exemplified by Chemist's crew Jurassic 5. Some of the snippets cut and pasted here will be readily familiar to longtime fans of rap music, and some formed the basis for tracks on Shadow's first two albums, but the majority are from extremely rare and generally forgotten 45s absent from the crates of even the most ardent beat-diggers.

The project itself signifies a duality of sacrifice and resurrection. Sacrifice applies because in the act of spinning these premium records the DJs were literally destroying or damaging their rare vinyl. Also, due to the music's improvisational nature, the set could never possibly be repeated in quite the same way. On the other hand, it is a resurrection in that it synthesizes a half-century of soul and funk music that has fallen through mainstream cracks, thereby revealing an entire alternate history of principally black urban music.

Unfortunately, the album stops short of being the actual history lesson it might have been, as it fails to list the artists and song credits. Some of the value in uncovering them in the first place is, as a result, nullified. It is a minor blemish, however, when measured against the visionary, forward-looking aura of Brainfreeze. It is a dizzyingly brilliant, virtuoso work of two exceedingly fecund imaginations.



http://www.allmusic.com/album/brainfreeze-mw0000382602

Related Threads

Brainfreeze, Product Placement, or Hard Sell
DJ Shadow booted during his set for being ???too difficult???
Post Brainfreeze Product Placement 45 mixes
Shadow (why did he fall off?)

Media



«1

  Comments


  • This was ground zero for middle class white students listening to scratching and cutting. Loved it at the time myself for a while, but haven't listened to it in over 10 years.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    I'm not much for listening to mixes, but I have the video.

    After a while I stopped watching everything but Z-Trip's segment.
    The Brainfreeze thing is very impressive, rare records, 4 turntables, one little clever thing after another.

    But for me, Z-Trip is just a lot more fun and enjoyable.

    Hate me now.

  • DJ_EnkiDJ_Enki 6,471 Posts
    LaserWolf said:

    The Brainfreeze thing is very impressive, rare records, 4 turntables, one little clever thing after another.

    But for me, Z-Trip is just a lot more fun and enjoyable.

    I agree, but of course, Z-Trip is much more of a "life of the party" guy than Cut Chemist or Shadow

    I do really like the main Brainfreeze mix as well, for a variety of reasons. And the influence that mix had is pretty crazy. Do people still put BRAINFREEZE in their eBay listings?

  • I was invites to the OG 45 session that birthed this, but was not old enough to get into zee club (21+). I listened the cd quite a bit. Definitely birthed a monster in terms of influence/eBay sales. Some of the blends are pretty fire. It's a bit rough/too much scratching for me now. Not dissing it at all, but it's aged a bit.

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    You bitches voted this higher than Nations? SMH.

    I think I own some DVD of this.

  • Did you vote? I didn't, so I can't really say anything about the order. Its more about SS importance than overall importance though, right? Like this probably caused more discussion than Nations, but not because of musical validity or anything.

  • batmon said:
    You bitches voted this higher than Nations? SMH.

    I think I own some DVD of this.

    Chez Whitey strikes again.

  • batmonbatmon 27,574 Posts
    Controller_7 said:
    Did you vote? I didn't, so I can't really say anything about the order. Its more about SS importance than overall importance though, right? Like this probably caused more discussion than Nations, but not because of musical validity or anything.

    Do u think Brainfreeze has more references in the history of SS than Nations?

    I forgot this shit existed.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    Brainfreeze to me was where all the people who agreed with Shadow's sentiment of hip-hop sucks in '96 went off into their little hovels, when all of the genuine fans of rap music stayed the course into newly developing areas that weren't necessarily tied to the 4 elements theorem.

    I had a vinyl copy of this that I listened to once, then never again. Never really got the hype.

  • I loved it then, and I love it now.

  • that shit was pretty flawless. amazing selection of obscure funky as hell monsters, with no duds at all. whats not to like?

  • Had it for awhile, and later traded it for something else.

  • RAJRAJ tenacious local 7,778 Posts
    As far as digging goes, this was a game changer.

  • Please to explain what sounds "dated" about this mix. Not saying thats wrong, just wondering.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    tripledouble said:
    amazing selection of obscure funky as hell monsters... whats not to like?

    At the end of the day the common shit that Z-Trip plays is more listenable. In My Wrong Opinion.

  • strataspherestratasphere Blastin' the Nasty 1,035 Posts
    RAJ said:
    As far as digging goes, this was a game changer.

    Yes^^

  • dan, to each their own, of course. but the 45s on there were new to a lot of people and were extremely top notch examples of heavy heavy funk shit. the mix was lovely, but i was equally as hyped to learn about a bunch of new gems to start looking out for. obviously, many people felt the same way as the prices skyrocketed for a while. definitely had a big impact

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    tripledouble said:
    dan, to each their own, of course. but the 45s on there were new to a lot of people and were extremely top notch examples of heavy heavy funk shit. the mix was lovely, but i was equally as hyped to learn about a bunch of new gems to start looking out for. obviously, many people felt the same way as the prices skyrocketed for a while. definitely had a big impact

    Same here.
    The mix definitely blew my mind, and made me look for things I did not know about.

    I am saying that I have watched the vid numerous times and only the Z-trip segment holds up for me today.

  • DustedDon said:
    Please to explain what sounds "dated" about this mix. Not saying thats wrong, just wondering.

    Music wise, nothing. Hot songs and top notch blends. There are a few scratch segments that I'd rather just hear the music and a little less of the cuts. I'm talking about scratch solos, not mixing.

    To me this has nothing to do with following shadows hip hop sucks in 96 or whatever. You should be able to like whatever hip hop you like and also a well mixed mix of funk, soul, and jazz. I think it probably helps to appreciate turntablism to an extent.

  • DuderonomyDuderonomy Haut de la Garenne 7,773 Posts
    Personally I listen to Product Placement more, but the impact of this mix was massive. Dog-rare funk records? Check. Incredible mixing? Check.
    I remember reading a Soulman interview with DJ-black-dude-angry-that-white-dudes-were-getting-so-much-hype, and I guess other DJs who'd done funk mixes may have felt the same, but this raised the bar in terms of skills & selection imo. Maybe it doesn't have the listenability of other mixes, but it was essentially a promo for a live show, and the one-take aspect blew the minds of a lot of Timmy Diggalots back then (me included).

  • minimini 879 Posts
    Great mix. Still listen to this every now and then.

  • i can definitely see why this got placed ahead of artistically superior albums. this was one of the recordings that picked up the record digging game and dropped it on it's head. one of the signposts to a culture, and for arguments sake, the culture represented by this website.

    so, good call.

  • RAJRAJ tenacious local 7,778 Posts
    Please people.... This happens almost every other thread...

    These were voted for most relevant to SS discussions... NOT best albums of all time.

  • PrimeCutsLtdPrimeCutsLtd jersey fresh 2,632 Posts
    Great mix. I remember seeing Shadow/Cut Chemist in Philly and they were going to do the Brainfreeze set, but somebody stole their records at the airport. That sucked.

  • damn, someone came up

  • If you were digging at the time this dropped, it made an impression. Product Placement even more for me.

  • HarveyCanalHarveyCanal "a distraction from my main thesis." 13,234 Posts
    LoopDreams said:
    If you were digging at the time this dropped, it made an impression.

    Except when it didn't.

    Something I also never got was dudes bending over backwards trying to land their own copies of records from the Brainfreeze mix. You nab them and then you spin them out...and ultimately you are just copying some other deejays.

    I do like the idea that Brainfreeze made dudes dig even deeper for their own discoveries. But in reality, that damn mix inspired far too much aping and positioning for my taste.

    And yes, I'll go as far as saying that if 2 black dudes made Brainfreeze, it wouldn't have taken off the way it did.

  • LaserWolfLaserWolf Portland Oregon 11,517 Posts
    HarveyCanal said:


    And yes, I'll go as far as saying that if 2 black dudes made Brainfreeze, it wouldn't have taken off the way it did.

    We have this thread somewhere don't we?

    I don't think anyone started digging for just Brainfreeze 45s.
    You would have to already be a digger to care. If you are a digger you are not going to pass up AAWB just because it is not on Brainfreeze.

  • BurnsBurns 2,227 Posts
    HarveyCanal said:
    LoopDreams said:
    If you were digging at the time this dropped, it made an impression.

    And yes, I'll go as far as saying that if 2 black dudes made Brainfreeze, it wouldn't have taken off the way it did.

    No, it probably would had been better and you would had liked it.

  • BurnsBurns 2,227 Posts
    HarveyCanal said:
    LoopDreams said:
    If you were digging at the time this dropped, it made an impression.

    And yes, I'll go as far as saying that if 2 black dudes made Brainfreeze, it wouldn't have taken off the way it did.

    No, it probably would had been better and you would had liked it.
Sign In or Register to comment.