New Disquietude podcast episode: music by Lesley Flanigan, Dave Seidel, KMRU, Celia Hollander, and John Hooper; interview with Flanigan; commentary; short essay on reading waveforms. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #field-recording, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art. Playing with audio. Sounding out technology. Composing in code. Rewinding the soundscape.

DJ Krush, In Situ

Belatedly, a quick mention of the DJ Krush show a month back in San Francisco. It was Japanese turntablist Krush’s second time through town (at the same venue, no less) in just over half a year, but those two shows couldn’t have been more different. On September 29, 2004, at Club Mezzanine, just south of Market Street, he’d brought with him performers who’d graced his most recent album, Jaku, doing a brief set each with a pianist, saxophonist, shakuhachi player and rapper. He’d mentioned in interviews in the past that his shows in Japan were much more involved than his U.S. shows, which tended to be DJ sets. The September performance finally brought that Japan format to the U.S., but the end result seemed a bit tentative; perhaps a nearby hall like Yoshi’s or Great American would have better served the music than did the cavernous Mezzanine. There were great moments, especially when saxophonist Akira Sakata chanted with deep concentration at the opening of their duet, but given the silences between each pairing and the low volume level, it was lacking.

On April 29, 2005, on his way to the Coachella Festival in Southern California, Krush returned to San Francisco for a solo gig, with the spotlight entirely on him, and the volume raised to earplugs-only extremes. He was directly preceded on stage by Relm (Mike Wong), a nimble DJ with the set list of a bar mitzvah (Jay-Z, the Peanuts theme, Michael Jackson) and an interest in mixing video live. Relm concluded his appearance with a light reworking of John Lennon’s “Imagine,” accompanied by a video in which he flashed the lyrics on cue cards, a la Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues.” Then Krush, a slight man in a wide-brim hat, appeared, continuing the theme by operating heavily on a jazz-fusion cover of Lennon’s “Imagine.” The contrast emphasized the two men’s differing concerns. Relm takes familiar music, often remixed to begin with, and sews it into a continuous, party-oriented routine. Krush on the other hand plays largely his own music, and when he’s playing someone else’s, such as the Lennon cover, he cuts and filters it until he’s taken full possession of it. He played for an hour, working in music from Jaku and focusing almost entirely on the album’s vocal-less material. Only in his encore did he pull out the rap songs, like “Nosferatu” (featuring Mr. Lif). Working almost entirely from one turntable and a mixer, he emphasized the lush, underlying rhythms of his music. The April show hit a promising balance, not as envelope-pushing as his live duets with non-electronic performers, but not as pop as his song-form material. He was very much in his element.

Now, a brief aside: I visited Japan for a week last year, in late December. It my first time, and I was on a business trip, which left no opportunity for a concert, just a little record shopping and sightseeing. I haven’t traveled without a copy of Krush’s album Kakusei since it was released, in 1998, though of course the arrival of personal MP3 players has made it possible to carry far more music with ease, so that essential record has since been supplemented with his Jaku, Strictly Turntablized and Code4109, plus some live recordings. I was listening to Krush when I had my third view of Mt. Fuji. The first two had been highly stylized photographs on advertisements for beverages whose contents and brands I didn’t recognize, but on the train from, if I remember correctly, Chiba into Tokyo, Mt. Fuji came into view for real, with the spare beats of Kakusei rumbling in my skull. (More on DJ Krush at his homepage,

By Marc Weidenbaum

Tags: , , / Leave a comment ]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


Subscribe without commenting

  • about

  • Marc Weidenbaum founded the website in 1996 at the intersection of sound, art, and technology, and since 2012 has moderated the Disquiet Junto, an active online community of weekly music/sonic projects. He has written for Nature, Boing Boing, The Wire, Pitchfork, and NewMusicBox, among other periodicals. He is the author of the 33 1⁄3 book on Aphex Twin’s classic album Selected Ambient Works Volume II. Read more about his sonic consultancy, teaching, sound art, and work in film, comics, and other media

  • Field Notes

    News, essays, surveillance

  • Interviews

    Conversations with musicians/artists/coders

  • Studio Journal

    Video, audio, patch notes

  • Projects

    Select collaborations and commissions

  • Subscribe

  • Current Activities

  • Upcoming
    • December 13, 2022: This day marks the 26th anniversary of the founding of
    • January 6, 2023: This day marked the 11th anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.

  • Recent
    • April 16, 2022: I participated in an online "talk show" by The Big Conversation Space (Niki Korth and Clémence de Montgolfier).
    • March 11, 2022: I hosted a panel discussion between Mark Fell, Rian Treanor and James Bradbury in San Francisco as part of the Algorithmic Art Assembly ( at Gray Area (
    • December 28, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the Instagr/am/bient compilation.
    • January 6, 2021: This day marked the 10th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • December 13, 2021: This day marked the 25th (!) anniversary of the start of the Disquiet Junto music community.
    • There are entries on the Disquiet Junto in the book The Music Production Cookbook: Ready-made Recipes for the Classroom (Oxford University Press), edited by Adam Patrick Bell. Ethan Hein wrote one, and I did, too.
    • A chapter on the Disquiet Junto ("The Disquiet Junto as an Online Community of Practice," by Ethan Hein) appears in the book The Oxford Handbook of Social Media and Music Learning (Oxford University Press), edited by Stephanie Horsley, Janice Waldron, and Kari Veblen. (Details at

  • My book on Aphex Twin's landmark 1994 album, Selected Ambient Works Vol. II, was published as part of the 33 1/3 series, an imprint of Bloomsbury. It has been translated into Japanese (2019) and Spanish (2018).

  • disquiet junto

  • Background
    Since January 2012, the Disquiet Junto has been an ongoing weekly collaborative music-making community that employs creative constraints as a springboard for creativity. Subscribe to the announcement list (each Thursday), listen to tracks by participants from around the world, read the FAQ, and join in.

    Recent Projects

  • 0549 / Sidelines / The Assignment: Get intentional with stereo.
    0548 / Drone Vox / The Assignment: Make a drone using just your voice.
    0547 / Genre Melee / Combine two seemingly different genres.
    0546 / Code Notes / The Assignment: Make music that includes a secret message.
    0545 / Unself-Awareness / The Assignment: Learn from feedback intended for others.

  • Full Index
    And there is a complete list of past projects, 549 consecutive weeks to date.

  • Archives

    By month and by topic

  • [email protected]

    [email protected]

  • Downstream

    Recommended listening each weekday

  • Recent Posts