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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
DJ Krush
History of DJ Krush
Red Ink/Sony Japan

Rating: 9/10 ?

October 1, 2007
You have got to love DJ Krush. I repeat: You have got to love DJ Krush. If you don't love DJ Krush, there is quite simply something wrong with you. Chances are you have never heard of him, and in that case you're forgiven - although still in the wrong, since Krush's music is not of the Top 40 kind. No, Krush's work is the kind that is referenced, alluded to, hinted at, pimped, and generally mad repped by those in the know. It's the kind of stuff that finds you more often that you find it. However, once you've heard the man's work, I'm sure you'll enjoy it a lot. Basically, you'll love DJ Krush. You've got to.

Hailing from Tokyo, Krush has been around since the late 1980s, first as creator and frontman of The Krush Posse, and later as a solo artist. Immortalized when he was the first DJ to use turntables as live instruments, Krush is known for making his live sets an experience out of the ordinary. He's also responsible for introducing the "Japanese Flavor" to underground American and European hip-hop, with his downtempo electronica and at times jazzy beats representing a massive leap for the times when they made their way out of Japan two decades ago.

Krush's latest release from is an extremely fancy DVD box set of three discs and a thick booklet brimming with pictures and an informative essay about the Tokyo creator's art. With a touch of class, it is all packed in a shiny, black, gold-leafed box.

The DVDs are filled with some of Krush's finest work. DVD 1 is named "A-Un" and features a documentary following Krush during his 1996 European tour. The footage is previously unreleased on DVD, and was previously only available on VHS in Japan.

The second DVD is called "Ko-No-Michi," and traces DJ Krush's life and work from the 1995 album Meiso, considered by many to be a masterpiece, through the 2006 tour covered in DVD 1.

"Clips," a collection of Krush's videos, is the third DVD in the set. The documentaries of DVD 1 and DVD 2 are of the more experimental, non-conformist variety, with lots of distorted footage, jump cuts, and no discernably coherent story arc. Paired with the more conventional format of the DJ's vids in DVD3, the two Krushumentaries work very well, and especially so since they're backed by his music. Watching the set together feels like watching a really long and informative video, a more enjoyable take on Behind the Music.

Musically, DJ Krush has long been established as a trailblazer and a genius. One way that he has stood out is his organic trademarks; rarely does one come across a hip hop producer that manages to fill his music with this much heart and feeling. But there's also a slightly menacing streak to DJ Krush's music, a prime example of which is the cut "Toki No Tabiji" featuring Inden. One of the most choice examples of Krush's versatility, not only is it a soulful number, but at times it is so piercing that it almost feels scary to listen to, only to seconds later warm again. Such atmospheric shifts are part of what has made Krush's music such a very interesting listen for so long, and to be able to see the man at work, follow him in different situations, and to enjoy graphics designed to go with his tunes, makes History of DJ Krush an overall great experience.

Another highlight is "Tragicomic" featuring ACO and Twigy, another warm, yet intimidating tune true to the awesome DJ Krush formula of soulfulness, down tempo beats and great collaborations.

Like I said, you have got to love DJ Krush. The man is nothing if not a genius, and the History of DJ Krush is a nice triple DVD lesson in the origins and arc of one of hip-hop's greats.

Reviewed by Daniel Svanberg
A contributing writer for LAS, Daniel Svanberg now lives in Boston, far far away from Sweden, where he once lived, although the weather is the same.

See other reviews by Daniel Svanberg



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