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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a Krush, 28 Dec. 2005
By 
EA Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Jaku (Audio CD)
Nobody does rap/electronica quite like DJ Krush -- downtempo, hip-hop, and exquisite beats. He's done amazing works with acid-jazz, beats, and complex rhythms. But this Japanese turntable pioneer has dropped all that in his eighth album, in favor of a more.... organic sound.
Instead, "Jaku" harkens back to Krush's roots -- that is, it mixes gentler, chiller beats with traditional Japanese music. It's an unlikely combination, but unsurprisingly Krush makes it work. The resulting music is cool, dark, clear and has that timeless vibe from the traditional instrumentation.
Elusive beats and soft shakuhachi flutes set the tone of the opener, "Still Island," followed by drums and bells and gritty hip-hop cameos by Mr. Lif and Aesop. The songs that follow vary wildly: Some are delicate, breezy and even ghostly, while others are beat-heavy and tripwire taut. "Decks-athron" is one of the few exceptions, with its futuristic beats and swippy effects.
By the last third of the album, the traditional instruments have gotten even more prominent, except for another brief foray into futurism. Shin'ichi Kinoshita and Akira Sakata add their vocals to nimble koto melodies. It ends with the pretty music-box melody "Song 2," which makes use of electrobeats in a more delicate way.
It's not the sort of music that Krush became famous for, and it might take a little while for his fans to adjust to this sound. But once they are used to it, it's impossible not to appreciate the innovative way that Krush melds trippy beats and hip-hop with flutes, piano, koto and chimes. It's a departure, but a very successful one.
The one flaw of the album is that Krush keeps his foot too firmly in old territory, and so the hip-hop sound is out of sync with the more ethereal songs like "The Beginning" or "Stormy Cloud," with those windy parts. But even the ethereal songs have a sort of dark edge to them, which keeps this from sounding like (gasp) new age music.
"Jaku" explores new (or old) territory for DJ Krush, and he doesn't disappoint. A bit of unevenness is all that mars this beautiful, dark, atmospheric album.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Herald the return of King Krush, 9 July 2004
By 
L. HAMILTON-WARGENT (England, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Jaku (Audio CD)
Occasionally giving into protracted repetition and a few recycled drum breaks are the only minor flaws to this piece of work. The collaborations will traditional Japanese musicians have the desired effect, haunting traditional compositions layered with 'trip hop' and 'tribal' drum beats. 6. Stormy cloud (with Ken Shima) with discordant piano rendition works an absolute treat, one of the highlights of the album along with Still island, Beyond raging waves (with Shinichi Kinoshita, Distant voices and Song 2.
Admittedly I enjoy the vast proportion of Definitive Jux work, but both Aesop Rock and Mr Lif's lyrical efforts here are tedious and lazy.
On the whole a very good album.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dj krush has krushed it on his 8th album!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, 17 July 2004
By 
This review is from: Jaku (Audio CD)
dj krush has stepped it up once again. i feel like i'm in his homeland when i first heard this. lif & aesop just kill the krush beats!!!!!!!! this is a little pricey here in the usa but its well worth it. anyone who was a krush fan back in the day needs to get back on track with this release!!!!!!!
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Jaku
Jaku by DJ Krush (Audio CD)
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