When DJ Shadow gets on the phone, it’s with crossed fingers that there will be a special guest at his performance with Cut Chemist the next night: Afrika Bambaataa. After all, the Renegades of Rhythm tour was built from Bambaataa’s collection of 40,000 records.
“We really wanted to nail it,” says the mix-master born Josh Davis in San Jose, Calif. “We wanted to express our admiration and respect for Bambaataa as a recording artist, a DJ, and as a missionary for hip-hop culture in the way he has been for the last 40 years.”
Shadow and his Southern California counterpart, Cut Chemist (Lucas MacFadden), were invited by Cornell University to peruse the vinyl goldmine. After clearing the project with Bambaataa (Bronx-born Kevin Donovan, 57), the pair whittled their selection down to some 700 titles used in the set – a “physical representation” of the sounds of New York streets in the Seventies and Eighties.
“In those records, you can find a lot of the themes he pursued as someone who was given a position of influence within the music industry,” explains Davis. “He was constantly trying to improve his community and improve the lives of people around the world who were oppressed.”– Abby Johnston
Canadian Oscar nominee (Her) finds his dream pop In Conflict.
Flush from summer tours, Austin’s elite unite for this four-day bender at the cavernous Empire Control Room alongside a hip-hop contingent straight out of L.A. Thursday, electro hip-hop duo Two Fresh close with a crackling, distorted, and downright fierce flow. Friday Cali dubstep king 12th Planet closes following local DJ mob Peligrosa and Brooklyn dancehall producer Dre Skull. Local psych showmen Pure X pitch their third release, April’s Angel, on Saturday with indie strummers Marmalakes. The road through festival circuits goes on forever, so the party never ends.– Nina Hernandez