DJ Shadow vs. Cut Chemist: Brainfreeze

This post is in the theme Influences on my own Creative Work. Read the first.

January 10, New York: I could not possibly tell you how I first came upon this album. It’s a collaboration (live, perhaps?) between DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist. I was never much a fan of either. Nonetheless, at some point in my sophomore year of college, this album found its way into my collection of burned CDs and became a staple.

It is roughly one hour of samples and deep cut soul tracks mixed and remixed by two master DJs, with a heavy emphasis on scratchwork. It begins “Hey martial arts fan. (scratch scratch) Are you ready to get your guts kicked out?” Yes, yes I am.

This was my work album throughout the film class in which I was shooting and editing super 8mm film. One of my few truly fond memories from that year of my life is sitting up late in my college apartment kitchen, surrounded by strips of Super 8mm taped to every available surface, drinking a cup of coffee, wearing a cowboy hat, and listen to this album on loop. Head bobbing, lips wordlessly singing along, fingers taping together bits of film stock.

For a contemporary listen, I saved it for a day I had some work to do. I stayed home Friday morning and focused on a two big projects for three hours. I put on Brainfreeze and was immediately productive. Like a magic spell for productivity. So happy I rediscovered this.

If you need a version of this that is not going to slow your computer down like a YouTube link, here you go.

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