Published Nov 01, 2004Now entering his 40s, and a veteran in his genre, Japan's greatest hip-hop export continues to make the trip across the Pacific in order to mesmerise North American audiences. As the years roll on and Krush matures, his sound has become more complex and diverse than his haunting hip-hop days ten years ago, with this Toronto stop demonstrating that his performance has taken on the more electronic-based tones that his recent releases have contained. Armed with a laptop, turntables and various other musical gadgets, Krush began with customary ambient noodling that lasted a few minutes while the packed crowd eagerly anticipated the first break beat, and when the snares dropped the people responded with a cheer and began to shuffle their feet and snap their necks while blinded by the seizure-inducing light show. The first great highlight of the new morning came within several minutes when Krush teased the crowd with a familiar tone that gave life to "Kemuri," which to this day is still one of the producer's most remarkable and chilling numbers, and the audience's roar let Krush know that they recognised the classic. Unlike his last TO appearance, Krush favoured programming beats and spinning instrumentals, opposed to cutting up classic hip-hop tracks with raps within. Apart from an unexpected Madvillain joint, Krush ploughed through sans vocals, which allowed him to work his way into maniacal Amon Tobin moments of high-energy dance music with thousands of BPMs within. The encore rejuvenated the crowd, as Krush spun an incredible hip-hop-soaked instrumental version of John Lennon's "Imagine" as the crowd filled in the words in a rather beautiful moment before the DJ cued up the "last call for alcohol" slow jam "Song 1." His inability to speak English and complete dedication to his work makes for a mysterious side to DJ Krush, but it's this same lack of interaction that sometimes hinders his performance. Still, the man always knows how to serve an explosive beat while cats get tossed from the premises for merely wanting to herbally enhance their night.