He saw the movie "Wild Style" in 1987 and bought a turntable the next day. Something about Grandmaster Flash's vinyl theatrics keyed into DJ Krush's body and brain. He knew he'd come across a new calling the moment he heard the... [more]
He saw the movie "Wild Style" in 1987 and bought a turntable the next day. Something about Grandmaster Flash's vinyl theatrics keyed into DJ Krush's body and brain. He knew he'd come across a new calling the moment he heard the edgy articulations of the scratched record and the breakbeat rhythm. Within the same year he formed his first hip-hop band, Krush Posse.
It would be an understatement to say that Tokyo in the late 1980s didn't boast a prolific hip-hop scene. It was utterly unknown. There were no Japanese bands experimenting with the kind of sounds proliferating in the West, and hardly any foreign hip-hop had filtered into Japan.
DJ Krush was on his own, but he was not without guidance. His father was an avid fan of jazz and funk. DJ Krush had grown up listening to Miles Davis and James Brown, and as he began dabbling in hip-hop the ingrained harmonies of hard bop were preparing to make a timely return.
When his first album, "Krush," was released in 1993, DJ Krush became an immediate phenomenon in the international club scene. He was recognized as a master of manipulating vinyl; multiple textures and rhythms gave his music a richness and depth that most hip-hop of his time was lacking. The reputation he earned with this style would quickly become a resource, providing him numerous opportunities to work with Western artists. The result is an eclectic, layered mix of musical styles that is nevertheless tightly integrated into a minimalist brand of hip-hop.
The influence of jazz in DJ Krush's music is perhaps its most distinguishing feature. Over the simple baselines he weaves instrumental melodic lines with piano, trumpet, and saxophone. The trumpet in particular is a central element of Krush's style; in 1998 he collaborated with Japanese jazz trumpeter Toshinori Kondo to produce "Ki-Oku," an enticing blend of sampled and instrumental sounds.
As Krush has continued to digest influences from around the world, his music has become increasingly complex. He orchestrates intricate moods out of a vast multiplicity of samples. His recent albums, "MiLight" (1997) and "Kakusei" (1998) display his ample capacity to integrate his individual style with those of a wide range of other artists. [show less]