DJ KENTARO: CONTRAST
DJ Kentaro is kind of like Japan’s DJ Q-Bert, and watching him mix and scratch and go nuts on the turntables is a treat. This disc could use more of the blitzkrieg turntablism he’s famous for, though track 9, “Crossfader,” with Kid Koala and D-Styles, certainly ends on an amazing note, and track 10, “Next Page” is nearly as good. Perhaps it could be argued that the lack of freneticism here is a sign of maturity, an intentional “contrast” to the youthful bombast of old–but perhaps it could also be argued that we’re all going to grow old and die soon enough, so why rush to squeeze even a week’s worth of youth and energy out of life? And maybe it could be argued that I’m putting a lot of philosophical claptrap at Kentaro’s doorstep, when all the dude wanted to do is release an album that would show some growth, a little difference, and a few surprises. And it still is a good album, and it does offer a lot of new ideas, some of them intriguing in ways his old music wasn’t. But if you’re a DJ Kentaro fan, you’ll have to admit that you’d rather watch his old YouTube clips than listen to this.
-D. M. Collins