DJ Krush to spin a moody mixThere’s a scene in “Scratch,” Doug Pray’s documentary on turntablism, in which Japan’s DJ Krush spins a moody, atmospheric mix for an audience in San Francisco.
The documentary focuses on the evolution of scratching, mainly in the United States, with appearances by pioneers like Bambaataa, Mix Master Mike (of the Beastie Boys), DJ Q-Bert, Shadow and Rob Swift. The interlude with DJ Krush ―who appears in Seoul next weekend ―is pretty much the only time an artist based outside America appears, which attests to Krush’s international recognition.
“It is his fondness for incorporating hard bop, swing, jazz and hip-hop elements into his music which have caused him to be labeled as one of the progenitors of the global hip-hop and acid jazz scene,” writes Spence D in an article in the magazine The Bomb.
Incidentally, it was another such documentary that turned DJ Krush on to turntables. In the early 1980s in Japan, he happened to see “Wild Style,” Charles Ahearn’s 1983 docudrama about the legendary graffiti artist Lee Quinones. By 1987, Krush had formed Krush Posse, which went on to become one of the best hip-hop acts in Japan.
The group broke up in late 1992 and Krush went solo, releasing his first album, “Krush,” in 1994. In concerts, playing with live musicians, he would experiment with beats, ethnic instruments and samples.
London’s Mo Wax label released “Strictly Turntablized” in 1994 and “Meiso” in 1996. Following the release of “Meiso,” in an interview with “Global Music Culture,” Krush said, “Just like rappers, DJs also have something to say and I wanted to see how well I could deliver a message or an image in my mind just by sound. As a result of [the album ‘Meiso’], especially the track with Shadow, I now think that such a thing is definitely possible and I have now opened new avenues to explore.”
Subsequent albums with Sony continued to push hip-hop’s boundaries. “Zen,” his sixth album, won Best Electronica Album at the 2002 AIFM Awards in the United States.
In 2004, he produced the soundtrack for “Arakimentari,” a documentary on Japanese photographer Araki, and released the album “Jaku,” a melodic approach to hip-hop, with Japanese overtones.
Krush will perform in Seoul on Jan. 21, at Club Otwo in Hongdae. The DJ lineup includes some of Korea’s best hip-hop DJs, including Soulscape, KidB, Murf, Wreckx, Jinmoo and Hydro.
by Joe Yonghee
For more information, visit the Web site www.clubotwo.com. Admission is 40,000 won.