Stick Shift Scratches
DJ Z-Trip has spent a decade slowly building his reputation as one of the most talented new-school DJ’s on the planet. After featuring his talents on movie soundtracks, acclaimed mixtapes, and in the documentary Scratch, Z-Trip finally gives us his full length debut Shifting Gears. It’s an album full of old school beats, fresh technique, and plenty of talented friends making guest appearances.Listen To the DJ features Soup from Jurassic 5 on the mic, who sounds right at home over Z-Trip’s funk beats that borrow from the same styles as Cut Chemist and Nu-Mark. “Take Two Copies” features rapid-fire rhymes by Bus Driver while Z-Trip cuts up Jethro Tull’s “Teacher” transforming it from classic rock to club with his nimble fingers. Bus Driver’s lyrics deal with an important theme in DJ culture – collecting vinyl – and he even gives a callout to LA’s most famous record store: “They’ll give it just a few spins / and they’ll probably sell it at Amoeba and I’ll find it in the used bin.”
“Breakfast Club” is another playful track featuring Murs and Supernatural rapping about cereal, cartoons, and toys in this trip down memory lane. However, Shifting Gears isn’t all fun and games. Mystic’s beautiful voice provides the hook to back up Aceyalone’s rhymes on “Everything Changes,” a more somber track about past relationships. “Walking Dead” finds Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) delivering his usual dark, aching vocals. Chuck D. gets political on “Shock and Awe” before the album winds down with the epic sample-heavy “Revolution.” Shifting Gears is a powerful debut that will help cement Z-Trip as one of the most important figures in turntable culture.