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On a Monday night, February 9th to be exact, DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist displayed an array of carefully picked records from Afrika Bambaata’s 40,000 record collection in front of a packed crowd, in Tvornica, Zagreb. On the wings of 6 turntables, mesmerising visualization and percussion machines the two did not only come to educate, relate and celebrate Hip Hop, but also put up a damn good show! And this is how the sto-ry goes..

Starting at 20:30, Blackout’s founder and Croatian Hip Hop pioneer Phat Phillie, along with German based DJ Cesar warm up the rapidly increasing crowd with cuts from their very own vinyl collection. The swiftness of people dropping in was quite chaotic, but the excitement levels on a Monday night were absolutely impressive and adequate to what they were about to experience.

As the clock hit exactly 22:15 DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist hop on stage, with all their equipment ready for the show. After a short, on-point introduction and a nice hello to the Zagreb crowd, the set is ready to rock. To kick it off, they payed homage to non other but the king of funk, James Brown and as DJ Shadow himself said, “this is where it all started.” Followed by more classic cuts by Grover Washington Jr, Kraftwerk, Yes, Sly and The Family Stone and many more, the duo also showed their incredible scratching and beat juggling skills. With minor technical sound issues, the DJs managed to successfully entertain the crowd with the first part of their show, ending in a truly energetic piece they drummed together on original drum machines, just as Afrika himself had used back in the day.

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Part two of the show, as Cut Chemist had introduced it, brought a different and more vibrant atmosphere. It seemed as though the technical issues were repaired and the sound was finally a bit louder and bass heavier. Also, the core of the second set was different than the first because this is where they introduced the sound of early Hip Hop. Along with hits from Run DMC, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious 5, Boogie Down Productions and many more, the duo also rocked the club with Afrika’s unique vinyl copy of Renegades of Funk, as well as his classic Planet Rock. Not only did the crowd move much more, but DJ Shadow himself also motivated all the b-boys and b-girls to take their chance and show their skill on the floor, which they undoubtedly accepted. As the end of the show came through, it was evident that the crowd in Tvornica was entertained, as they rewarded DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist with a massive applause.

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Not to forget, all of their show was backed by amazing visual art and animation, presenting various photos of cover art from Bambaata’s collection, pictures of Bambaata himself and visuals from the environment, crowds and parties of early Hip Hop.

The party continued with DJ Phat Phillie and DJ Cesar in Tvornica’s Mali Pogon where they played dominantly early 90s songs by artists like Mos Def, Talib Kweli, A Tribe Called Quest, Busta Rhymes and many more, as though they continued the timeline of Hip Hop on.

This whole evening was a pure celebration of Hip Hop culture. It pleased many ears, aroused many senses and entertained every true Hip Hop head. Simply put, it was a unique Hip Hop experience, we definitely need more of in Zagreb.

Photo Credit: Julien Duval



  1. Davor Vesligaj on Facebook on February 11, 2015

    da da …


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