DJ Krush was born Hideaki Ishii in 1962 in Tokyo, Japan. Information about his early years is remarkably hard to come by, according to persistent rumors he used to be in the Yakuza and his tattoos would seem to bear this out.

At the tender age of 18 he saw the classic hip-hop film "Wild Style" and was instantly hooked; in 1987, he and a few buddies formed the Krush Posse and started mixing things up. His style is based on Grandmaster Flash, ie. lots of scratching, cutting, juggling and general turntablist wizardry. After the dissolution of the Posse in 1992 he set out on his own; his first album, the eponymous 1994 epic KRUSH, struck gold and brought him to the front of the trip hop movement. He quickly became -- and still remains -- one of Japan's best known DJs, remixers, producers and composers.

The following is a brief discography of DJ Krush's albums, omitting his numerous singles, remixes and compilation appearances. (I have to pimp Mo' Wax's "Build and Destroy" double-CD set here, it has a few excellent rare Krush tracks and generally kicks ass.) Record labels have been listed in parentheses after the date, as all Krush albums have been released both domestically in Japan and overseas, often at different times and in slightly different versions.

KRUSH, 1994 (Sinstinct, Nippon Columbia)

DJ Krush's eponymous first album, which instantly propelled him to international fame.
Strictly Turntablized, 1994 (Mo' Wax), 1995 (Avex)
More of the same, with whomping big beats and scratch wizardry. The starting point of his evolution from hip hop and trip hop; starting to sound ever-so-slightly dated, but some consider it Krush's best.
MEISO, 1995 (Mo' Wax, Sony)
From Japanese 瞑想, "meditation", although the official name of the album is the romaji version. Generally hailed as Krush's masterpiece, although those same some who like the more stripped-down Strictly Turntablized think the guest rappers are distracting and even that "the beats are too strong". The overseas edition has a killer vocal version of Final Home as a bonus track.
記憶 Ki-Oku, 1996 (Sony), 1998 (R&S)
Kioku is Japanese for "memory" or "recollection", but with a more emotional feel -- retrospectives by artists are nearly always called something no kioku. Anyway, it's a joint album with noted jazz trumpetist Toshinori Kondo, which ends up sounding like jazz with really, really big drums in the background. Quite chill-out in effect, decent enough but not Krush at his best; a few of the tracks are dissonant to the point of being making you reach for the fast forward button. Released overseas two years later than in Japan.
未来 MiLight, 1996 (Sony), 1997 (Mo' Wax)
An intentionally odd rendering of Jp. mirai, "future". Haven't got my grubby paws on this one yet, so no comment.
覚醒 Kakusei, 1998 (Sony), 1999 (Columbia, Red Ink)
Jp. "awakening". And indeed, you can already start to feel Krush shifting away from his older sound, this is already getting pretty experimental at points. Hangs together considerably better than his next album though, so if you don't mind listening to music that makes you go "what was that?" every few minutes, check this out.
Zen, 2001 (Sony)
No, that's not the 禅 of Zen Buddhism, this particular 漸 means "steadily" or "gradually". Rarely spotted outside math (漸近 means "asymptote"), Krush probably chose it to confuse us gaijin.

Anyway, the album is a rather odd grab bag featuring a wildly varying bunch of artists (only one track is 100% Krush), some songs are excellent but many are weird and some, most unusually, suck. See Zen for a track-by-track breakdown.

深層 Shinsou: The Message At The Depth, 2002 (Sony, Phantom)
Krush's latest, available only in Japanese and French pressings at time of writing.
Official DJ Krush Homepage

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