DJ Krush - Butterfly Effect (2XLP - NO EU/UK) (Vinyl)
Butterfly Effect is Japanese hip-hop pioneer DJ Krush's first full-length in over a decade, and it finds the 53-year-old DJ/producer aging gracefully. Here, his music sounds lusher and more cinematic than ever, with pianos and horns reverberating through the spacious productions. Everything sounds clean and considered; the breakbeats are sparse and precise rather than cluttered and dusty. One gets the feeling that this music is primed for large concert halls and high-definition auditoriums rather than seedy hip-hop clubs with blown-out speakers. Some of the beats seem to nod slightly to contemporary production styles such as trap, but it almost seems coincidental if there's anything trendy about what he's doing; he's far more concerned with gazing inward and pondering the future than trying to sound hip. Most of the album consists of moody downtempo instrumentals, but a few MCs up the tension a bit. The most well-known guest is left-field rap veteran Divine Styler, who adds high-speed scientific-themed raps to "Everything and Nothing." Crosby Bolani's reggae-leaning "Sbay One" discusses gun violence and apartheid, and pleads for strength and unity in order to build a nation as one. "Living in the Future" reunites Krush with longtime collaborator Boss the MC, who restlessly spits out lyrics in Japanese. Much sparser is "My Light" (which nearly shares its title with Krush's 1997 full-length), a sultry trip-hop number featuring simple lyrics about self-ownership by Lebanese singer Yasmine Hamdan. As skillful as Krush is when manning the boards behind vocalists, some of the album's best moments are his solo productions, such as the bumping piano-drift "Future Correction," the dubby "Song of the Haze," and the shimmering, resounding "Coruscation." Krush's scope is as wide as it's ever been, and Butterfly Effect's best moments are a nice reminder of why he's such a master at what he does. ~ Paul Simpson, Rovi DON'T JUST LISTEN TO MUSIC EXPERIENCE IT.
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