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The Message At the Depth

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Album Review

In the world of independent hip-hop, artists either trailblaze like Quasimoto and El-P or salute their forebears like Blackalicious and Jurassic 5. Japanese breaks maestro DJ Krush is a curious exception to the rule; he seems virtually unaffected by trends yet encompasses many of them in his productions, and offers something different with virtually each release. Similar to lauded underground labels from Def Jux to Big Dada, The Message at the Depth is underground rap for the digital age, far removed from the moldy crates and dusty beats of Krush's Mo' Wax classic Strictly Turntablized. His beats are digital, heavily resampled and quantized, splintering off like drum'n'bass patterns but possessing a depth and clarity not seen since the heyday of Massive Attack. And with far fewer collaborations here than on his last record, Zen, there's more room to hear Krush at his best. A pair of instrumentals, the dark breaks symphonies "Sanity Requiem" and "The Blackhole," fare much better than the high-profile vocal features for Antipop Consortium and Anticon, which add surprisingly little to the proceedings. Anticon's collaboration, the stoner nightmare "Song for John Walker," is a sub-Cannibal Ox performance; even DJ Krush can't put together a production to make them sound relevant. The best rapping comes from Japanese MC Inden, who gets his point across on "Toki No Tabiji (Journey of Time)" without needing to resort to English. "But the World Moves On" is the only track to look back to the same grooves heard on Zen, with bassist D-Madness and alto Masato Nakamura helping Krush conjure a dark Asiatic vibe.

Customer Reviews

At the Depth of Krush

An excellent hip-hop album produced by Krush. Quirky, dark, moody, and...well...deep are all relevant and defining characteristics of this album. It is an incredible testament to Krush's ability to give both life and soul to a genre that, at first glance, appears to have so little. I would recommend listening to the previews, and accomodating your purchases to taste. As for myself, I took the whole thing, but beginners to Krush's odd world might find it a little too much to chew at once. Sanity Rain is most likely my favortie track, and while it has no rapping to it, the sheer sound force of the piece makes it a joy to listen to. A true masterpiece.

A piece of work......

This album is amazing. It's not an easy listen but if you're looking for inspired high art, buy this album. I love all of these songs as one piece. It starts out like you're being hunted by reptile assassins at 3 am. and ends with a comfy cab ride home to your bed at 7:30 am. on a beautiful, rainy, gray spring morning. And NO..... you don't need to take drugs to appreciate this.

Most underrated Krush album

KRUSH is obviously the best "artist" DJ in the world still, and i've noticed some people thinking this album was too out there but I disagree. It's the most Japanese in a way, "Toki No Tabiji" invokes visions of being chased by the Yakuza on the highway, but from a musical standpoint I don't see why people think its under par. "Song for John Walker" is the only track the obviously doesn't work, but it seems that may be the result of the featuring of Anticon, who are really all just a bunch of hacks (ala when he had Aesop Rock on Jaku). "Message from the Depth" is more of a statement by KRUSH that he can make great digital hip-hop with substance, and i'm willing to bet the people that didn't understand this album may be a bit mis-guided as to the perception of it.


Born: July 29, 1962 in Tokyo, Japan

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Japanese turntablist and producer DJ Krush is one of the few island-nation artists to be embraced by the global hip-hop world. Releasing material through Sony in Japan, Mo'Wax and Virgin in the U.K., and Axiom, Shadow, and A&M in America, Krush's heady brand of experimental, (largely) instrumental hip-hop has been praised by everyone from hardcore underground hip-hop 'zines like The Bomb to the speckless offices of Rolling Stone and Spin. Beginning as a bedroom DJ in the mid-'80s following the Japanese...
Full Bio
The Message At the Depth, DJ Krush
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Customer Ratings

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