DJ Krush Jaku

DJ Krush Jaku
With each new release, this Japanese genius seems to pull further and further away from the initial blueprint he laid down with his early Mo’ Wax releases. His compositions are becoming more instrumental and very eclectic, opting to rope in local musicians to deliver the goods to his hip-hop and electronic productions, rather than fishing overseas for American wordsmiths. It’s a fantastic decision for Krush to bring light to the talent brewing in the East, but the results aren’t nearly as majestic as past collaborations with Mos Def and Black Thought. Jaku continues to follow the path of difficult but incredibly atmospheric soundscapes that Krush began unleashing with his Kakusei effort a few years ago. The producer manages to develop gorgeous hip-hop instrumentals such as the album’s closing track, "Song 2,” which has a simple formula of Japanese instrumentation following a smooth break with very little change-up. It’s when Krush gets more complex and adds numerous layers that Jaku becomes unsettling, such as the piano overdose courtesy of Ken Shimo on "Stormy Cloud” or Akira Sakata’s incredibly cheesy and unbearable Miami Vice saxophone on "Slit of Cloud.” Krush seems to do his best work when providing a rhythm for Def Juxies Aesop Rock and Mr. Lif, on some straight-ahead hip-hop jams, sadly making you wish for a little more American soil for once in your life. Krush continues to create relevant and interesting music well into his 40s, but it simply can’t touch the powerful beats he was pumping out ten years ago. (Mo' Wax)