DJ Kentaro

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The winner of the DMC's mixing championship in 2002, DJ Kentaro has a similarly frenetic style on his first production album (which followed many self-released mixtapes and the Ninja Tune retrospectacle On the Wheels of Solid Steel). It should be obvious that his mixing skills are excellent, but he gets into difficulties here -- this despite plenty of great vocal support, including Spank Rock on two tracks, New Flesh, Fat Jon, and old-school heroes the Pharcyde. Instead of programming great beats or hooks, Kentaro throws nearly everything he can into the mix -- many songs are closer to drill'n'bass than hip-hop -- and takes every opportunity to slip in a few seconds of frenzied breakbeats. His productions don't cast the rappers in a good light -- especially so, considering it takes a huge effort to drown out artists the quality of New Flesh and Spank Rock.

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