Fri, Jan 28, 2005 - Page 15 News List

The Vinyl Word

By Jules Quartly  /  STAFF REPORTER

DJ Krush is lost in translation.

PHOTO: JULES QUARTLY, TAIPEI TIMES

A vaguely experimental session from the enigmatic trip-hop DJ Krush at Luxy last weekend felt a bit like a masterclass, though 15 minutes into the set at least two people had already written him off by saying,"It's not as good as when he played at Room 18" a couple of years ago. Give us a break.

Krush was as good as ever but possibly pandered less, meaning he can afford to please himself these days. He played his records like a musician. His decks were his instrument. He cut and pasted, layered and faded to create new sounds and textures.

Needless to say, it made a refreshing change from the cheese-spread approach of many DJs, who are paid to lay down hit records manufactured by others.

The audience duly paid homage. It felt like a jazz concert, with earnest guys in black intently studying his every move. Around the 45-minute mark our ears were attuned and we were enjoying the unusual beats and getting into a groove, helped along by a little feller.

Then, 20 minutes later, it was all over.

Krush bowed out and DJ Reason was introduced. He put on a Michael Jackson record and the room cleared. Admittedly, Krush is a hard act to follow, but what was he thinking?

We went up to the second floor to continue the party, where a solid Saucey set in the cigar room kept the vibe bubbling along.

We were later told Krush never plays much longer than an hour, which was just enough time to cover his latest album, released in November and called Jaku. It was a jagged re-interpretation of the record, but Krush did not disappoint. He just left you feeling teased and wanting more.

Earlier, The Vinyl Word had got up close with Japan's turntable master for a group interview with the local media, tortuously converted from Japanese to Chinese and back again. We were all lost in translation.

Krush chain-smoked Marlboros and chugged Asahi beer as he admitted that DJing had taken its toll on his health. When asked how much longer he could carry on like this, the 42-year-old said this was his life and if he needed a nurse to look after him on stage, then he would hire one. The press pack suggested she should have a great figure and enormous breasts, but Krush answered, he didn't want the audience to be diverted from his music.

A journalist asked him whether he had any hobbies other than playing computer games. Krush said he was bored of them these days and preferred getting his rod and tackle out by the side of a big lake and fishing. "So, do you play fishing games on computers?" the journalist interjected. Krush neatly sidestepped. "When I was a kid I used to play with worms, now they are part of the challenge of finding fish."

The Vinyl Word thought this was probably a good time to get a question in, so we asked about the tattoo on his hand. He said he scratched it in himself, age 16, after a love affair. He also revealed that he has a dragon and a fish on his upper body.

Just as The Vinyl Word was going to ask him to strip, the journalist with a computer fixation asked him whether he used the machines to make his music. Fortunately, everybody had enough at this point and the interview ended on an appropriately zen-like note, with a question hanging in the air.

Luxy is cooking at the moment with its uplifting mix of local and overseas talent. Ferry Corsten is on the decks of steel tomorrow. MoS has snagged nu-break, rock 'n' roll supremo Adam Freeland for the last Saturday of every month, beginning tomorrow and for the next three months.

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