By Michael Endelman
Updated July 14, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT

A hero to crate-digging geeks around the globe, this Los Angeles DJ-producer (formerly of Jurassic 5) creates the kind of cut ‘n’ paste groove music that’s typically disseminated via underground mixtapes. That way, his illicit mash-ups and frenetic samples don’t attract the attention of pesky copyright lawyers. Despite having to keep it legal on The Audience Is Listening, Cut Chemist’s found-sound aesthetic flourishes on his first solo major-label album. Equally influenced by DJ Shadow and Schoolhouse Rock, Cut Chemist makes frisky, gleeful funk that touches on Brazilian samba, surf rock, and even polka, without losing the beat.