"I always feel really comfortable there because audiences there have always been willing to embrace different sounds."
DJ Krush aka Hideaki Ishii may have to speak through an interpreter but the veteran makes his views known in crystal clear terms. Take for example his answer to why Butterfly Effect is his first LP since 2004's Jaku.
"I've actually been making a lot of music between those two albums," he explains. "Butterfly Effect contains songs that I've worked on over many, many years. Also in 2011 and 2012 I released a lot of singles and before that I contributed to many compilations. Of course I never stopped playing live and to me doing this is just as important as recording new music."
"I never stopped playing live and to me doing this is just as important as recording new music."
Although his talents were conceived out of his love of hip hop (Ishii remains at pains to point out his respect for broader hip hop culture including graffiti and breakdancing) he himself does not like to be constrained by genre boundaries. He jokes that if he was ever stuck on a desert island he wouldn't bring any music with him, let alone a treasured East Coast classic like Paid In Full or It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, and would instead takes his cues from nature. While said in jest this attitude is apparent in all of Ishii's work. His minimalist sonic offerings are environmentally inspired and evoke landscapes as diverse as anonymous urban jungles and tranquil Japanese forests. What's more his genre bending approach (nowhere more evident than on Butterfly Effect) somehow seamlessly melds jazz, soul, pop, traditional Japanese music and of course straight out boom bap hip hop style, into a unique signature style.
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Ishii cites his new LP Butterfly Effect as some of his strongest work to date. "I'm particularly proud of some of the artists I worked with on the album," he says. "In particular, Boss The MC, who was on Living In The Future. He is one of the most talented MCs in Japan today and I would like everyone to listen to his work."
Although he hasn't been dropping LPs with great regularity Ishii has never stopped touring. And as it turns out Australia is a favoured destination, and he even cites the likes of local artists including Hermitude as people he admires for pushing hip hop forward.
"I've played in Australia a number of times and I always feel really comfortable there because audiences there have always been willing to embrace different sounds and different approaches to music," says Ishii, who is quick to add that our fair shores would be his first destination to live should he ever leave Japan. "I'm really glad that this time around I'll be getting the chance to do both festivals and my own shows. Both are really important — at festivals you can reach a whole new audience, because there's always a wide range of people there. But in club shows I have a freedom to really express myself. For these shows I want to really give people a good taste of Butterfly Effect as well as some older material that really highlights the entirety of my career."