Monday, June 8, 2015

DJ Krush

I know it's been a long time since I wrote on this blog.  But given that I kind of doubt anyone reads it anyway, I don't feel that bad about it.  My post was going to be titled "End".  Guess what it would've been about.  No, not the electronic band from New York.  Guess again.

I realize that I kind of took on a task I was not ready for in the writing of this blog.  Since I am always searching for bizarre music, and sometimes finding it, I thought it would be interesting to read about the outskirts of music.  The border, where things get all blended and weird.  And I'd like to think, in a way, that I did.  In the beginning.  But the draw to write about artists I just like was too much.  I mean, even a band like Skullflower.  It's not Strange Music.  It's just sort of noise rock that's a bit under the radar.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't know if I'm "qualified" to write a blog about Strange Music because I don't really know much of it, and I'm always going to be swayed by my own personal opinions.  I love nothing more that hearing a bizarre band for the first time that I really like.  I'd like to think there are others out there who don't care what language their music is delivered in, and that actively wonder "I wonder what Canadian death metal is like?"  Cause I do!  I got into Russian, Japanese, European, Chinese, African, Canadian, and all sorts of other music because of my endless search for other ideas of music.

Music to me is an experience.  More than a way to have fun, it's a way to experience creativity, humanity, and existence.  My own existence has been fucked up enough to make me feel like I need to look for others who have the same artistic pain that I do.  Nothing is worse than being born artistic in my opinion.  I'd trade my stupid drawing skill or my knack for color and font for solid technical skills any day.

What does this all have to do with DJ Krush?  Well, tons, can't you tell?

DJ Krush was introduced to me via Japan For Sale, Volume 4.  Yes, it was 2004 or so and I was at the height of my anime interest, having just watched FLCL.  I purchased this CD somewhere in Japantown, and I put it on ASAP.  It had some awesome musicians on it, including the amazing Tommy Heavenly, Guitar Wolf, and Polysics.  But the track I had the most interest in was DJ Krush's Still Island.  Off the album Jaku, this was cool Japanese music.  It sounded like traditional Japanese music (think the music made with wooden instruments) put through a modern filter to make it an IDM type of track.

It was something I'd always wanted to get into:  traditional Japanese music, and it was in a form I already liked:  almost IDM, heavy on the drums, calm in parts and crazy and others, and just the right length.  Turned out a lot of Jaku was like this song.  Still Island, The Beginning, Univearth, and Song 2 became my quick favorites.  But the trip hop feel of other tracks like Road to Nowhere, Distant Clouds, Transition, etc, also were cool because I was someone who really liked (still like) Massive Attack.

If you know DJ Krush at all, you'll know he is always making rap songs, trip hop, jazz, and downtempo music.  Several tracks on Jaku represent that, and while I hated them at first they slowly grew on me, to where I was actually listening to the rap songs even, and the bizarre lyrics in them.

So then I listened to and enjoyed his album Zen, then I liked The Message at the Depths, and then I bought his all jazz album Ki-Oku.  Ki-Oku is the only one where I'll still skip some tracks, as it's just a little bit too much jazz for me.  But most of the tracks are very nice, kind of a mix of drums and trumpets, and they're accessible.

DJ Krush aside, is my blog over?  I really don't know.  You can check out my other blog, Grindhouse Review, where I talk about my love of bad and weird movies.  And I won't say this is the end.  I think if I find something interesting I'll bring it on here.  I still want to write the blog entry about Christian Fennesz also.  But, I must say, my posts are going to keep being slow.  Sorry 'bout dat.