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DJ Krush - conducted by Bill "Low Key" Heinzelman  

DJ Krush


Born in 1962 in Tokyo. Gifted producer & DJ with a superb sense in Mixing and composing his sound who's been well-received in the international club scene.

It was the movie "Wild Style" that got him into hip-hop in the early 80's, and in 1987, he formed Krush Posse which made numerous appearances in various media as the best hip-hop act in Japan. Krush began pursuing his solo career after the break-up of the group in late 1992, and soon grabbed people's attention as the first DJ to use turntables as live instruments, doing free sessions with live musicians on stage.

Released his 1st album "KRUSH" in January 1994, and since then released countless records in Japan, Europe, US and around the globe. All his solo releases have ranked high in various charts in & out of Japan, and his 6th album "Zen" had been highly acclaimed and awarded the Best Electronica Album in 2002 AIFM Awards (US). Aside from his outer national activities as producer, remixer and DJ, he constantly expands his field from soundtracks for films, TV dramas & commercials to live sessions with various musicians that transcends music genre. In 2004, he produced soundtrack for a documentary film featuring Japanese photographer Araki titled "Arakimentari" which made huge buzz amongst US film festivals & won Audience Award at Brooklyn International Film Festival. His latest & 8th album "Jaku" has topped the RPM chart of CMJ for 3 weeks in the US.

In '98 spring, he formed a production unit with DJ Hide & DJ Sak, collaborating with Nigerian percussionists and releasing a single & album from Polydor Japan. From the end of the year 2000, he also got involved in his Jag project which evolves around a group of musicians including DJ Spooky That Subliminal Kid, PhonosycographDISK, DJ Hide, DJ Sak And Jun Sawada, which will be launching various projects to question worldwide issues in the 21st Century.

How did you first get into DJ/producing?

DJ Krush: It was a hip hop documentary called “Wild Style” that got me into hip hop in the early eighties. Things I had never seen like break-dancing, DJ-ing, graffiti, were appearing one after another, leaving imprints in my mind. I was blown away completely but somewhere inside myself, I thought, I want to do this, too! It was a moment I will never forget.

Who are some of the artists and groups you grew up listening to?

DJ Krush: Rock, punk, Japanese pop...I was listening to many kinds of music in my boyhood.

Tell us about Krush Posse.

DJ Krush: It was formed around '87. It was a team of 1MC+2DJ comprised of me, a rapper called MURO and DJ called GO. The rap is all in Japanese and I remembered that the lyric is satirical and had strong statements. Sound wise, since rap was a main body of our tracks, I think the sound was a bit heavy for a rap team overall. When we started out, since hip hop scene wasn't established, there weren’t many places for us to perform, unlike today. We would perform at hip-hop events or parties that were organized by people we knew or do opening for US hip hop acts, etc. Since we had management, we got chances to be on TV, radio or magazines but record companies didn't really understand rap music then and we ended up disbanding after being on a couple of compilation albums.

Let's talk about your latest release "Jaku". Can you tell us the meaning behind the title?

DJ Krush: The theme of this album is “Wa”, which is a Japanese concept with many meanings such as Harmony, Peace, Circle, “things Japanese”. I think this concept is missing in the world today. Being on tour around the world and traveling a lot, I wanted to do an album with Japanese philosophy and instruments.

What instruments and equipment do you use when producing?


Personally, when I listen to your album I feel like I am listening to a soundtrack of a movie. Is that something you see as well?

DJ Krush: Yes. I am very visual in my sound making. It’s almost like creating a soundtrack to a vision that I have in my head.

How would you describe the overall vibe of "Jaku"?

DJ Krush: Infinite soul that rein habits in the silence.

What do you want to accomplish with this album?

DJ Krush: Harmony of Japanese traditional instruments and the sound that I feel is Japanese.

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