DJ Krush is one of the most successful hip-hop producers outside of the US and has evolved his sound over a series of flawless albums since his eponymous debut in 1994. His second album Strictly Turntablised (Mowax) was entirely instrumental and the music press began to use the term ‘trip-hop’ to describe his trademark sound, sparse mid tempo breakbeats with a smoked-out atmosphere.
However, Krush continued to release albums with new and different sounds, collaborating with US and Japanese emcees from CL Smooth, Black Thought, Mos Def, Company Flow, and Inden to name a few. His most recent proper album (not including remix projects etc.), Jaku, featured traditional Japanese musicians to create yet another variation in the Krush sound.
Long time fans can look forward to the first completely new DJ Krush album in 3 years, while for newcomers, I strongly urge you to investigate his whole discography because so far all his records have been winners.
While he was in London for his show at Koko I asked DJ Krush these questions:
Music press often credits you for inventing the genre 'trip-hop'. How do you feel about this?
DJ Krush: I don’t really mind as to how my music is categorised. If I should categorise my own music, I’d file it under “DJ Krush”.
What are your other interests besides music?
DJ Krush: I’ve been into fishing for the past few years. I go out fishing with my family whenever I have time, although I haven’t had the time at all recently.
What are your views on the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan?
DJ Krush: I wonder how long they should bear the current situation… Very sad.
What new projects do you have coming up?
DJ Krush: I’m working on a couple of projects now. Please wait a little more for details!
What is your opinion of (hip-hop) producers in the UK?
DJ Krush: I think there are many interesting producers in the UK. Plus, every time I visit UK, the country gives me a lot of inspirations.
Which other artists worldwide do you listen to and draw inspiration from?
DJ Krush: I have too many to list, but I am interested in artists who could express their originalities with their own sounds. It really resonates with me when an artist has a sound of his / her own.
What is your reaction to Nas's statement that 'hip-hop is dead?'
DJ Krush: To be honest, I don’t know what to say, as I think the meaning of the statement depends on the ranges of hip-hop he is referring to.
Do you pay attention to the Japanese (hip-hop) scene, and who do you recommend people outside Japan should be checking for?
DJ Krush: There are many unique artists in the Japanese underground hip-hop scene. Tha Blue Herb, Inden, Msc, Sibito… They’re all MCs with distinctive and interesting styles. I don’t listen to so-called Japanese mainstream hip-hop groups; they’re boring…
How would you describe the 'DJ Krush sound'?
DJ Krush: A Samurai sword whose blade mirrors various scenes of life.
Do you think drugs should be legalised, for example cannabis?
DJ Krush: I don’t know. But as long as human beings are using it, it’ll cause various problems.
Recently you have released albums of mixes and 'best-ofs'. When can we look forward to hearing a completely new DJ Krush album?
DJ Krush: I’m working on it. Gimme a bit more time!
By: ESH | For worldwide hip-hop: http://www.myspace.com/ibmcs
- DJ Krush official website: http://www.sus81.com/djkrush/