DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist, two of the most influential, critically acclaimed, and widely respected deejays of the last twenty years, have embarked on one of the most daunting ventures in either of their incredibly innovative and expansive careers: paying tribute to the godfather of hip hop, “the master of records” himself, Afrika Bambaataa.
The first thing that comes to mind when anyone even references the art of instrumental hip hop is Shadow‘s groundbreaking 1996 debut, Endtroducing, which was awarded the Guiness World Record as the “first album made completely from samples.” Music from the brooding cinematic masterpiece, along with new material, was later used to score the award-winning independent documentary, Dark Days (2000), a revealing film about homeless New Yorkers that resided in underground subway tunnels below the city. And this was only the beginning of his career; he’s continued to push himself and the artform continuously ever since. Occasionally he has done so with the assistance of fellow DJ/producer and Jurassic 5 founder/former Ozamatli collaborator, Cut Chemist. Beginning with 1999‘s Brainfreeze collaboration, centered around rare soul and funk 7-inches, the duo released a trio of DJ mixes supported by tours, even doing entire shows mixing only 45s live.
Along with DJ Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash, Afrika Bambaataa could be considered one of the 3 most important pioneers in hip hop history, helping to lay the foundation and shape the entire soundtrack for the burgeoning culture. His influence is so immeasurable that there’s no telling what we would have today without it. Bambaataa united his community, helping to end violence among rival gangs and support unity, the same way that he brought together seemingly disparate musical genres to give birth to entirely new ones. People often forget that the core of hip hop music is actually based on the sampling and combining of such varied influences. Although “Planet Rock” (1982) by Afrika‘s crew The Soul Sonic Force, is now considered an undeniably seminal hip hop classic, it’s impact is bigger than most may realize and it’s source material inspired. Featuring a sample from “Trans Europe Express” by the groundbreaking electronic/krautrock outfit Kraftwerk, and mirroring the beat from another Kraftwerk cut–“Numbers,” from the 1981 album, Computerworld–by incorporating the future hip hop staple, Roland‘s T-808 drum machine as its backbone, “Planet Rock” has been credited as ushering in and developing the entire electro-funk genre. Another influence for the song was derived from experimental, Japanese electronic innovators, Yellow Magic Orchestra, who are famous for being the first ones to really utilize the 808 as an instrument, after it’s 1980 release 2 years earlier. This pastiche of musical styles to create something fresh and new came to define hip hop and continues to influence a number of genres, in various degrees, to this day. And this is only the impact of one single cut from the living legend; his impact is much broader than this and much greater.
The Renegades of Rhythm tour sees Shadow and Chemist sifting through Bambaataa‘s 40,000-record-deep collection — now housed/archived at Cornell University — to tour a multi-facted routine utilizing Afrika‘s actual LPs, six turntables, and real-time sampling of the records while they’re played, condensed down to embody the Bambaataa‘s essence and presented with a focus on 3 major aspects: “Bambaataa as artist, exploring the influence of his classics like ‘Planet Rock;’ Bambaataa as collector, and the genre-defining breaks he discovered; and Bambaataa as peacemaker and force for social change.” An amazing visual component should also be expected. Notorious crate-diggers themselves, DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist‘s minds were blown by what they’ve discovered in in the pioneer’s vaults, including a treasure trove of unreleased material from artists that they never even new existed. Huge fans, aware of his impact on both them and the world at large, the duo approaches this project with complete reverence for Afrika Bambaataa‘s legacy and, of course, with the forefather’s enthusiastic support. So… basically, this shit is pretty amazing.
Thanks to our friends at the STG Presents, we have a pair of tickets to give away for the upcoming performance at The Neptune Theatre in Seattle on October 8th. Pick up your tickets now, and/or enter our contest below. You don’t want to miss this one, especially if you can get in for free.
[CLICK HERE to buy tickets]
THE CONTEST / GIVEAWAY:
*1 Winner will receive a pair of tickets to the following performance :
RENEGADES OF RHYTHM TOUR:
DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist Play Afrika Bambaataa
Edan & Locke
The Neptune Theatre – Seattle, Wa
Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 @ 9pm
HOW TO ENTER:
This giveaway will center around Afrika Bambaataa’s legacy and tremendous impact
The magnitude of Bambaataa’s impact on the world is so vast and so important that one could likely come up with a sound argument for his influence on almost anything. So why don’t we try?
Your job as the entrant is to take a seemingly unconnected event, invention, artform, discovery, style, pyramid scheme, genre, piece of technology, philosophy, species, what have you, and make a case explaining how Afrika Bambaataa or his work directly led to it coming to be. What you choose could be basically anything and from any time period (even the distant future). Be as simple or as detailed as you like. It’s up to you.
Post your answer in the comment section below.
There is no part 3. That’s all there is to the contest. It’s pretty straightforward… but you should probably read the fine print.
The Fine Print:
All entries must be received by Friday, October 3rd, 2014 at 11:59pm to be eligible.
You can enter as many times as you want, but use a valid email so that we can contact you.
If you sign in with Facebook, make sure that your account can accept a message from us.
Winner will be chosen arbitrarily, based on our personal “favorite.”
If you are not sure that you will be able to attend the show, do not enter! You’d be surprised how often that shit happens and we don’t want these going to waste.
If we are unable to contact the winner in a reasonable amount of time, a new winner will be chosen. Good luck!