DJ Krush (Hideaki Ishi)
is a Tokyo-born turntablist who started playing live with bands in
His solo albums are mostly instrumental. They belong to hip-hop only in name:
he builds soundscapes (not dance tracks) that are populated with snippets of
melodies (usually keyboards), old-school beats, dub-like bass lines, Miles Davis-inspired horns phrases, turntable scratching and
soulful diva crooning, and possess a strong jazz feeling.
Krush (Chance, 1993 - Ninty-Nine, 1995) established DJ Krush at the
helm of Japan's hip-hop with pieces of psychedelic, dub jazz-rock
(Roll & Tumble, On The Dub-ble, Into The Water,
Murder Of Soul)
but the artist greatly reduced the rhythmic impact on his sophomore album,
Strictly Turntablised (Mo'Wax, 1994), that remains perhaps his
most accomplished work,
thanks to elegant tracks like Kemuri (widely considered one of trip-hop's
defining moments) and Silent Ungah.
The jazz element is less visible on Meiso (Mo'Wax, 1995), which brings
back the voice to the forefront, but the
beats are now too strong and too many rappers distract the
attention from the underlying music. The best track is
a collaboration with DJ Shadow, Duality, and that is not a good sign
for DJ Krush. This album sounded mostly like an attempt to target the USA
MiLight (Mo'Wax, 1997) is another disappointment, if nothing else
because it is his most traditional album so far
(Hitotsu No Mirai Skin Against Skin).
Again, it is not a good sign that the best piece is a collaboration with
DJ Cam, the 10-minute trip-hop nightmare Le Temps.
The trumpet of Toshinori Kondo redeems
Ki-Oku (Apollo, 1998 - Instinct, 1999), helping DJ Krush concoct a
few melancholy ballads and swinging mood-pieces.
The airy Afro-jazz fanfare with disco beat of Toh-Sui,
the reggae-fied celestial lullaby of Sun is Shining,
the romantic lament of Mu-Chu (trapped in a lattice of surreal tinkling
and swampy percussion)
offer easy-listening music that is as kitschy as sophisticated.
the funereal and dreamy trip-hop of Mu-Getsu,
the malaric Miles Davis of Ho-Doh and Bu-Seki,
the Caribbean dance-music of Fu-Yu,
the soulful ballad of Shoh-Ka,
The majestic melody of Ki-Gen soars above the divertissment, paced
in a ghostly landscape by sensual breaths and distant gongs.
These pieces certainly rank among his best achievements, but, one more time,
the guest may be more important than the host.
Kakusei (Sony, 1998) is a more relaxed work that highlights Ishi's
oriental mind. The album is equally split between contemplative
trip-hop (Final Home, The Dawn, Crimson) and
acrobatic hip-hop Kinetics, Krushed Wall, but the artist's soul
beats (excuse the pun) in the former.
Code4109 (Sony, 2000) collects some of his live performances.
Zen (Sony, 2001) continues in the progression towards a less fractured
style, replacing rappers with singers (Danger Of Love) and streamlining
the beats (Day's End, with trumpet), despite a maverick incursion in
drum'n'bass (Sonic Traveler).
The Message At The Depth (Sony, 2003) is another transitional
album, a confused hodgepodge of straightforward hip-hop, illbient experiments
(Sanity Requiem) and quotations from fashionable styles (made more
credible by the distinguished guest vocalists/rappers).
The mood is darker and somber.
Jaku (Red Ink, 2004) is a hip-hop tribute of sort to his Japanese roots,
employing mostly Japanese instruments
(Shinishi Kinoshita's tsugaru-jamisen in Beyond Raging Waves,
Shuuzan Morita's shakuhachi in Still Island and The Beginning)
and jazz instruments
(piano and cello in Stormy Cloud,
Akira Sakata's saxophone in Slit of Cloud)
to craft the same decadent atmospheres.
The effect is, by his standards, serene (as the title of the album implies).
Stepping Stones (2006) is a collection of self-remixes.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami