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Coldcut

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London, England (1986 – present)

The duo comprises DJs Matt Black & Jonathan More, formed in London, England around 1986. During their career they have encompassed a wide range of styles from hip hop and rap to electronica and jazz-inflected sounds. They began working together in the mid-eighties on the (then) pirate radio station KissFM. Shortly thereafter they released their first single, “Say Kids, What Time Is It?”, which marked the first stirrings of the UK’s dance/cutup scene. This was followed by their influential remix of Eric B. & Rakim’s “Paid in Full,” which made the top 10 and was voted best remix of the year. Featuring a prominent Ofra Haza sample and a slew of other vocal cutups, it is now regarded as both a hip hop classic and a breakthrough in the remix field.

Their first major hit as Coldcut was the house-inflected “People Hold On,” featuring a then-unknown Lisa Stansfield. The single took the U.K. by a storm, and the subsequent album featured such luminaries as Junior Reid (on the single “Stop This Crazy Thing”) and Queen Latifah.

In 1991 they started their own record label, Ninja Tune, which continues to release groundbreaking and extremely diverse music by a small army of like-minded artists. In 1997 the duo unveiled their own real time video manipulation software, VJamm. Coldcut’s current live and DJ sets rely on video as much as records, taking the concept of multimedia performance into largely uncharted territory.

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