DJ Krush Joins Forces with Traditional Japanese Musicians for ‘The Garden Beyond’

dj krush

DJ Krush — read our 2011 interview with Krush here — has always been known as the premier Japanese turntablist. He’s a pioneer of Japanese hip-hop, and is well known for his zen-style of mixing, often incorporating nature sounds among his jazz and soul breakbeats. Now, Krush has embarked on a project that digs further into his roots then he’s ever dug before.

The traditional Japanese court music known as gagaku is the basis for The Garden Beyond,  Krush’s recent performance at the Red Bull Music Academy where he played alongside Kodo, a group of traditional Japaense musicians, at the Tokyo National Museum’s Gallery of Horyuji Treasures. Holding ground with his usual mixture of electronics and scratches, Krush was joined by the sounds of the taiko, shakuhachi, and several other gagaku instruments.

DJ Krush has not always been into gagaku, which is surprising if you hear anything from the performance, as the sound perfectly melds with his DJ chops.

“To tell you the truth, we didn’t grow up listening to Japanese traditional music,” says Krush. “But now, as an adult, I realized how great these instruments are and want to pass this beautiful sound to younger generations.”

The combination was not only an exciting new venture for Krush, but also a feeing new horizon for the musicians involved, as gagaku is a genre built mostly on restrictive patterns. If you listen to the tracks the group produces with Krush, the chilly sounds coming from his turntable twisting along with the jangling, pounding, and whistle blowing of the gagaku group is an extremely unique experience.

There’s no news yet of an official release of The Garden Beyond, but check out a video of the recent collaboration below, as well as a stream of the full Horuji Treasures set from last month. [via Rocket News 24]

Douglas Bleggi

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