was born Hideaki Ishii
Information about his early years is remarkably hard to come by,
according to persistent rumors he used to be in the Yakuza
s would seem to bear this out.
At the tender age of 18 he saw the classic hip-hop film "Wild Style"
and was instantly hooked;
in 1987, he and a few buddies formed the Krush Posse and started
mixing things up. His style is based on Grandmaster Flash, ie.
lots of scratching, cutting, juggling and general
turntablist wizardry. After the dissolution of the Posse in 1992
he set out on his own; his first album, the eponymous 1994 epic
KRUSH, struck gold and brought him to the front of the trip hop
movement. He quickly became -- and still remains --
one of Japan's best known
DJs, remixers, producers and composers.
The following is a brief discography of DJ Krush's albums,
omitting his numerous singles, remixes and compilation
appearances. (I have to pimp Mo' Wax's "Build and Destroy"
double-CD set here, it has a few excellent rare Krush tracks
and generally kicks ass.) Record labels have been listed in
parentheses after the date, as all Krush albums have been
released both domestically in Japan and overseas, often
at different times and in slightly different versions.
KRUSH, 1994 (Sinstinct, Nippon Columbia)
DJ Krush's eponymous first album, which instantly propelled him
to international fame.
, 1994 (Mo' Wax
), 1995 (Avex
More of the same, with whomping big beats and scratch wizardry.
The starting point of his evolution from hip hop and
trip hop; starting to sound ever-so-slightly dated, but
some consider it Krush's best.
, 1995 (Mo' Wax
From Japanese 瞑想, "meditation", although the official name of
the album is the romaji version. Generally hailed as
Krush's masterpiece, although those same some who like the
more stripped-down Strictly Turntablized
think the guest rappers are
distracting and even that "the beats are too strong".
The overseas edition has a killer
vocal version of Final Home as a bonus track.
, 1996 (Sony
), 1998 (R&S
Kioku is Japanese for "memory" or "recollection", but with
a more emotional feel -- retrospectives by artists are nearly
always called something no kioku.
Anyway, it's a joint album with noted jazz trumpetist
Toshinori Kondo, which ends up sounding like jazz with really,
really big drums in the background. Quite chill-out in effect,
decent enough but not Krush at his best; a few of the tracks are
dissonant to the point of being making you reach for the
fast forward button. Released overseas two years later than in Japan.
, 1996 (Sony
), 1997 (Mo' Wax
An intentionally odd rendering of Jp. mirai, "future".
Haven't got my grubby paws on this one yet, so no comment.
, 1998 (Sony
), 1999 (Columbia
, Red Ink
Jp. "awakening". And indeed, you can already start to feel
Krush shifting away from his older sound, this is already getting
pretty experimental at points. Hangs together considerably
better than his next album though, so if you don't mind listening
to music that makes you go "what was that?" every few minutes,
check this out.
, 2001 (Sony
No, that's not the 禅 of Zen Buddhism, this particular 漸 means
"steadily" or "gradually". Rarely
spotted outside math (漸近 means "asymptote"), Krush
probably chose it to confuse us gaijin.
Anyway, the album is a rather odd grab bag featuring a wildly
varying bunch of artists (only one track is 100% Krush),
some songs are
excellent but many are weird and some, most unusually, suck.
See Zen for a track-by-track breakdown.
: The Message At The Depth, 2002 (Sony
Krush's latest, available only in Japanese and French pressings at time of writing.
Official DJ Krush Homepage