DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist – Brainfreeze

This is the stuff Mixtape legends are made of.

I picked this up on a whim at the record store because I knew DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist and was already a fan of their work.  I thought to myself:

“Hmmm…a mix of funk 45s, how quaint.”

Then I tossed it in my pile, only to discover later that it contained some of the rarest, funkiest shit I had never heard of.  I have a shitload of old funk and soul in my crates, so for something this awesome to come out and not have a single track I could identify kind of brought my mind to a halt.  45’s like these go for mucho dinero on Ebay! But to fully understand the brilliance of this mix, you need a little history.

See, there used to be an awesome club in San Francisco called Future Primitive.  Their hook was that they would pair up two DJ’s with different styles, usually a party rocker and a turntablist, and have them throw down for an evening.  One one occasion DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist were on hand, and already good friends and musical contemporaries when they decided to rehearse a little set just using their old funk 45’s.  What happened was nothing short of magic…so they kept the recording, pressed up 1000 copies to sell at their shows and another 1000 for local record shops.

It sold out real fast.

Back in the 80’s, when DJing was just beginning to evolve, guys like Double Dee and Steinski started a mini revolution by releasing a few tracks called ‘The Lessons’ which cut and mixed snippets and parts of popular tracks together into a new track.  What most DJ’s didn’t know was that this was done in a studio by cutting and pasting audio tape.  As far as they knew it was being done live, so they began emulating this technique using two turntables instead.  The rest is history, and would eventually lead to the skills you hear on this mix.

“Brainfreeze”, named and themed after 7-11 promotional 45 that actually has a sick break on it, was never repressed officially after 7-11 sent a cease and desist letter and they boys decided to simply move on. This was a huge mistake by 7-11, who should have jumped on the bandwagon and supported this project instead. But god forbid they be associated with something this fucking cool. It has been bootlegged to death though, and can still be found at some record stores.

If you were lucky enough, you got to catch the boys doing this show live…and got to enjoy a Slurpee while doing so. What’s more amazing than the rarity of the 45’s on this mix, is the fact that Shadow and Cut pretty much destroyed their copies by doing this mix.

But real art requires sacrifice.

UPDATE: Here’s the whole mix…via Youtube!!!

Bonus!!! Here’s the tracklisting via Wiki!

Mix One

  • Lamont Johson Quartet – “Thunder Kick” (Trailer to unreleased film)
  • The Jules Blattner Group – 2001 – “A Soul Odyssey”
  • Fried Chicken – “Funky DJ”
  • The Mohawks – “The Champ”
  • Reuben Bell – “Superjock”
  • Albert King – “Cold Feet”
  • Ultimate Force – “I’m Not Playing”
  • Eddie Bo and Inez Cheatham – “Lover And A Friend”
  • Mack Rice – “Three People In Love”
  • The Nu People – “I’d Be Nowhere Today”
  • Nu-Sound Express Ltd – “Ain’t It Good Enough”
  • Mystic Moods – “Cosmic Sea”
  • American Gypsy – “Inside Out”
  • Odetta – “Hit Or Miss”
  • The Mar-Keys – “Grab This Thing (Part 2)”
  • Rusty Bryant – “FireEater”
  • Simtec and Wylie – “Bootleggin'” (Part 2)
  • Wilbur Bascomb and The Zodiac – “Just A Groove In ‘G'”
  • Eddie Bo and The Soul Finders – “We’re Doin’ It (Thang) (Part 2)”
  • Rufus Thomas – “Sophisticated Sissy”
  • The Showmen Inc. – “The Tramp (From Funky Broadway)” (Part 1)
  • The Original Soul Senders – “Soul Brother Testify (Part 2)”
  • Rufus Thomas – “Itch and Scratch (Part I and II)”
  • Alvin Cash – “Keep On Dancing (Instrumental”)
  • Lou Courtney – “Hey Joyce”
  • Bummer radio spot

Mix Two

  • The Singing Principal – “Women’s Lib”
  • Salt – “Hung Up”
  • The Soul Lifters – “Hot, Funky, and Sweaty”
  • Frankie Seay and The Soul Riders – “Soul Food”
  • The Interpretations – “Jason Pew Mosso” (Part 1)
  • Thunder and Lightning – “Bumpin’ Bus Stop”
  • Billy Garner – “I Got Some”
  • Pleasure Web – “Music Man (Part I and II)”
  • Gary Byrd – “Soul Travelin’ (The G.B.E.)” (Part I)
  • Clifton Chenier and Grandma Gee Gee – “Just Keep On Scratching”
  • “W” radio spot
  • Marlena Shaw – “California Soul”
  • The Vibrettes- “Humpty Dump (Part 1)”
  • Eddie Bo – “From This Day On”
  • 7 Eleven- “Dance The Slurp”
  • Kraftwerk – “Numbers”
  • Flash and The Five – “Flash It To The Beat”
  • Pearly Queen – “Quit Jivin'”
  • Tony Alvon and The Belairs – “Sexy Coffee Pot”
  • Chuck Mangione – “Hill Where The Lord Hides”
  • Funka Fize – “No Words”
  • Schooly D – “Gucci Time”
  • Jurassic 5 – “Unified Rebelution” (A cappella)
  • Third Guitar – “Baby Don’t Cry”
  • Don Pierce – “This Funky Thing”
  • Funka Fize – “Because You’re Funky”
  • The Troubleneck Brothers – “Back To The Hip Hop”
  • Stu Gardner – “Devil In A Man”
  • Samson and Delilah – “There’s A DJ In Your Town”
  • Giorgio Moroder – “Tears”
  • Tim and Bill – “Someone”

1 Response to “DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist – Brainfreeze”

  1. 1 Robin
    December 22, 2008 at 9:58 am

    my uncle whose long since passed away gave my mother his records when she got her first player in the late 50’s or 60’s..idk. when i was little and got my fisher price player somewhere around 1982, she gave me her records and Dance the Slurp was my favorite. I asked my husband 2 years ago for a turn table for xmas so i could play that record, it was great to hear it. It rocks!!! i just google it to see if I could find out anything about it.

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