DJ Krush

Meiso

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

Having won a deserved underground reputation, DJ Krush was able to take things to a higher plane with his excellent Meiso album, featuring another range of strong collaborations to help him carry out his mission of creativity with the turntables. Kicking off with the excellent "Only the Strong Survive," featuring C.L. Smooth, Meiso resembles Krush in that shorter bridge tracks crop up between longer songs, all flowing together just so. His overall approach remains unchanged: low, mid- to slow-tempo grooves and breaks, with varying low bass tones, touching on everything from jazz and funk to experimental ambient production. The album's mood is at once reflective and edgy, always threatening to get vicious just around the corner. Highlights of his strictly solo tracks include "What's Behind Darkness?" and the deceptively gentle "Blank." Most of Krush's collaborators this time around are on the vocal tip; musically, the real winner comes with the astonishing "Duality." This track is a full partnership with the equally well-ranked DJ Shadow; one can easily tell when the latter takes over the drum programming for the tune, with a shimmering darkness cascading down. Vocally, both Black Thought and Malik B. of the Roots take a spin with the tight grooving title track, getting in some wonderfully playful rhymes playing off Krush's Japanese background while the man himself shows some smart scratching flash. Deflon Sallahr of Hedrush kicks down with a confrontational effort on "Ground," while a more than logical fellow traveler in jazz and hip-hop, the legendary Guru, works out the music with Krush as Big Shug delivers a bold gangsta rap on "Most Wanted Man."

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