Album Review: DJ Kentaro / ‘Contrast’ (Ninja Tune)

★★★☆☆

A turntablist turned dubstep detontator, seduced by gigantic wobbles being able to hit the big time, DJ Kentaro’s kitchen sink mentality is a mere half-hour long, the development of stylus wrecker to Japanese exocet having him breathe fire and running the city into a fever. The cut and dice never leaves him, intelligently worked into “Crossfader” and electro-funk ease-up “Next Page,” and there’s more than enough hip-hop firepower — DJ Krush, D-Styles, Kid Koala, C2C — to bill Contrast as a purely multi-deck throwdown. “Kikkake” and “Higher” however immediately state his intentions to push the plunger down on billowing, chaos-in-Metropolis, midrange dubstep/drumstep, made for snapping stadiums into a state of smithereens. State of the art for sure, even if it’s following a fast becoming long tradition – massive sounding, but in reality engineered spotlessly.

UK mega-mouths Foreign Beggars are the perfect power boosters for “Step In”, and the same goes for ragga runners of de dance MC Zulu on “Big Timer” and Fire Ball on “Fire Is On”, turning what was already a demolition job into a game of wrecking balls playing dodgeball. You’re actually getting your money’s worth out of 30 minutes – too much more would’ve been overload, such is Kenatro’s unflinching bass/synth bloodlust that will estrange those wanting an exhibition of crabs and juggles, but will get a helluva lot more of the market onside.
File under: Drumsound &amp Bassline Smith, Pendulum, Sub Focus

Buy Kid Koala’s ’12 Bit Blues,” Get A Cardboard, Hand Powered Turntable Kit

Known for his sublime beatscapes, graphic novels and comics, Canadaian turntablist Kid Koala takes his creativity to the next level with his upcoming album, 12 Bit Blues. Now get this: the album’s limited edition first run will come with a cardboard, hand powered turntable kit. Are you reading this, Gizmodo?

Equally as interesting is that Koala (a.k.a Eric San) forged all of the album’s tracks on an old school E-mu SP-1200 sampler, a production unit he fantasized about owning when he was a kid. According to Ninja Tune, “over three days he cut up and reassembled the bed tracks for 12 Bit Blues. No sequencing software was used. Using the pads on the machine and a multitrack, Eric played each part of the tracks in real time, before finally returning and adding cuts over the top.”

So it’s no surprise 12 Bit Blues apparently sounds raw and beautiful. Look for the album dropping on September 18.