Last Night: DJ Krush at Mighty
Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2010
Better Than: Staying home to watch Blade.
DJ Krush came all the way from Japan and all he got was the caprice of San Francisco's fans.
The pioneering figure in Japanese hip-hop, Krush is now nearly 50. Last night he spun out ambient noise patterns and samples that cast a prehistoric, tribal--or even arctic--mood. Projected on the screen behind him appeared a goldfish, now a jellyfish, now many goldfish. None of the songs had a beginning or end; they made an auditory environment, unfolding like the plot of a movie. It was a fitting presentation, as Krush was among the first producers to create tracks using snatches of film audio--setting the stage for RZA and the like--and he has since composed scores for dozens of movies, including the theme from Blade and a handful of anime productions in Japan.
Now I know there are as many species of beat obsessives as there are obscene fetishes in the classified ads, but the endlessly repeating structure of some hardcore dance music loses all musical distinction. However hypnotic it may be, that aesthetic can sacrifice all melody and suspense. Krush's style is more like playing musical Tetris, handing down arrangements of the same repeated elements but composed in different combinations that form dramatic, twisting curves.