The Message at the Depth
Oh, yeah, Japan’s #1 B-Boy is back with his seventh release, The Message at the Depth. Not for the weak, the tepid, the Nelly-inspired, this is a hip-hop production that’ll bend your mind. That is, for the uninitiated. The rest of you, you know how Krush do. Bone-breaking beats and nightmarishly dark atmospherics. A bit of hip-hop, a splash of trip-hop and downtempo all mixed in an oily baptism of beats. A menacing head nod for those with viable vertebrae. It indeed takes a strong constitution to stomach what the man has to offer. It’s brilliant and feels effortless without the pretension of a Tricky, say.
“Trihedron” opens the disc with a dark, apocalyptic breakbeat and metallic distortion. If this doesn’t have you screaming down the aisles, then you’re strong enough to enjoy the good time you’re about to have. Inden appears for some Japanese hip-hop that actually flows. The now-liquidated Anti-Pop Consortium also makes an appearance. Anticon throws in some protest licks on “Song for John Walker.” “The Blackhole” is absolutely too sublime to put into words. “Alepheuo,” a blues/dubby trip-hop cut full of bone-crushing beats and the siren singing of Angelina Esparza, is a serious treat. “But the World Moves On” is a cool, hip-hop/jazz track with East-Meets-West panache and instrumentation. Krush even throws in a stunning reminder that no one scratches quite like he can with “The Last Voice” (featuring Sly & Robbie).
With only one clunker (“What About Tomorrow” — a reggae cut so corny you’d think Ziggy did it), Krush still rightfully belongs in the forefront of hip-hop’s avant-garde. While a lot of mainstream producers (the Neptunes and Timbaland, of course) do have an edge to them, no one quite cuts like DJ Krush.