Review: Code4109 – DJ Krush

Style: Fusion of jazz, hiphop, and triphop

So this album isn’t exactly the latest thing on the market, but hey, that doesn’t mean it should fade away right? Seeing as we’ve never actually reviewed it, and the fact that it still remains as one of our favourite albums thus far, we decided to take action and give credit where its due.

Essentially, this album is arranged like a mix. The songs flow from one to another, without an actual start and end to each song. Some like it (we love it!), some loathe it, its subjective. The album’s songs are remixed in some way, or are collaborations with other artistes. Hence, you can find old songs by DJ Krush presented in a different manner, somewhat of a re-hashing of old songs.

The album kicks off in typical DJ Krush fashion, jazz-laden influence over hiphop beats, vocal samples peppered evenly across each track. The first few tracks, Jingle Jangle, Back To The Essence, No Competition, Four Elements, Yes To Life, Just Be Good To Me, and Flipshot, Love Is Life, Life Is Love carry this pattern in such a consistent, flowing manner that, after listening to them one after another, almost seems as if its just been one long track. The really lovely part about this portion is that its not intrusive or upfront. It doesn’t occupy your attention obsessively, craving every bit of your attention like some manic stalker. No. All it does is play on nonchalantly in the background, and you can choose to tune in, or let it fade into the background. They’re laidback, they’re cool, and they love hanging out with you.

Another thing I noticed about this album is that there seems to be a lot of oriental influence in some of the tracks. Sounds that conjure up images of hazy, incense-filled room, with an almost zen-like quality to them. Moving on through, things start to turn slightly darker, and bizarre, to put it simply. Not that its anything bad, here at Eclectica, we like sounds that surprise us, but when we first heard it, all we could think of was “How bizarre!”. What It Is… and Taiyou Ga Arukagiri, Polegnala E Pschenitza both contain bizarre elements, such as the vocal sample “Suicide its a suicide” repeating throughout What It Is.. with somewhat strange siren-like sounds panning throughout the track, while Taiyou lets us know how a temple in the cloudy, mountaintops is described through sounds. The album’s midway mark features the better known Final Home, a collaboration with Esthero, a jazzy triphop number that leads us back to more familiar, mainstream grounds.

Or so we thought. We got completely fooled, and blasted away by the next track. Ryu Tou is, by far, the most outlandish track on the album, and our favourite track as well. It starts off rather comically (it sounds like a bungling drunkard trying to find his way around), but moves to a slower, sedated form midway through, with a solo wind instrument-like sound leading the jazzy melody. Then, BAM! Everything that you thought you knew about the track just blows up in your face. Things turn sinister, you feel like you’ve been abducted by crazy computer space aliens, transported to another world, and something nasty is about to happen. Ilektrik seems to follow on the story, seemingly describing this new alien world that you’ve landed on, and nothing seems to make sense. It must be said that these 2 tracks have a dream, trance-like quality to them, almost as if you’re heavily sedated or massively drugged up.

As the album comes to a close, the last song, Kemuri, El Condora Pasa, returns us to normality and is a great song to end the album. Ambient female vocals layered over heavily-effected scratching samples, perfect. This album can be seen as a reminder of how music can make us feel, and the power of imagination.

Who said travelling had to be expensive?


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