Tuesday, October 16, 2007

THE VIEW FROM MY SEAT: DJ Krush @ Highline Ballroom 10/4/07

Why am I only now finding out about DJ Krush? He's been making history, forging new
ground, pioneering in the turntablist arts for well over 10 years. "History of DJ Krush" is a
fitting tribute to a man equally respected among the hip-hop community as he is by the
electronic cognoscenti. The "History of DJ Krush" is both the DVD release around which
the buzz machine kicked in, and the unexpected gift that introduced me to something I
find extraordinarily memorable. (Thank you, Justin!)

DJ Krush @ Highline Ballroom

Let's get this straight: DJ Krush is from Tokyo. Despite the language barrier, he has
collaborated with some of the brighter lights in the landscape of DJs and vocalists. You'll
find Black Thought of The Roots, the heavenly Esthero, and even Zap Mama's Marie
Daulne. But rather than being an unseen force behind the scenes, DJ Krush is really the
scene-stealer here. His beats are what I can only lamely under-describe as "fat." Words
just don't do it justice. And nowhere is this more evident then in seeing DJ Krush live.

DJ Krush is the perpetrator of some of the lowest low ends I've ever encountered live.
My ears sang with joy. (Disclaimer: I have a particular weakness for bass.) His taste in
hooks -- both vocal and instrumental -- areinfectious in the way that only the most gifted
trip-hop auteurs can boast. I'm thinking Portishead. I'm thinking Massive Attack. An
elder-statesman after more than 10 years on the international scene, it's a rarefied
universe that DJ Krush finds himself inhabiting.

DJ Krush @ Highline Ballroom  DJ Krush @ Highline Ballroom  DJ Krush @ Highline Ballroom

All of the aforementioned owes a debt of honor to Krush's most noteworthy ability. He is
a world-class, stunning turntablist. This man spins. Seeing him spin, one is mesmerized by
the speed and agility of his fingers. He plays it all live. His fingers move like smoke and
mirrors. They are magic, and lightning fast.

The best thing about the "History of DJ Krush" release is that it comes with three
individual DVDs, two of which are heavily saturated with live footage. You can watch the
man's fingers move up close, in ways that my humble video couldn't capture. I only hope
you can get a smidgen of a sense of the kind of atmospheric webs DJ Krush weaves
within the confines of four walls.

-See Photos: DJ Krush live at Highline Ballroom NY
-Watch Videos: DJ Krushlive at Highline Ballroom NY

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