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Posts Tagged ‘DJ Krush’

Ice Age III: Ice Age III is the Leprechaun III and IV of its generation. Unnecessary, irritating and damming proof that kicking a dead horse is funny only when it is not used as a metaphor. I can think of only two genuinely funny moments…a prehistoric ostrich chick getting knocked out trying to bury its head on ice, and a deer making fun of the Sabretooth tiger (Diego) for being old and wounded. Hmmm…maybe they should have had a couple of velociraptors beat the crap out of a prehistoric horse. Nah, even that couldn’t save this film. P.S: I loved Ice Age I.

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Nowhere: Gregg Araki’s cult status could conquer a small Polynesian Island if it wanted to. Such is his intensity for stirring up emotions through films. There is myriad of expectations (mostly underground, I hear) that greet his efforts. Many assume that an Araki film is more or less doomed to to cross cinematic taboos and explode in the face of every art movie critic while others thump their bibles (or any religious souvenir of choice) and plot devious schemes to keep his films away from their sons and daughters. Maybe I am overhyping the fellow a bit too much, but for what it’s worth his 1997 film – Nowhere – is 88 minutes of nauseating brilliance.

In fact even Araki’s description of it as “a Beverly Hills 90210 episode on acid” seems to fall short of capturing its vivid concoction of sex, drugs, teenage confusion and the devastating aftermath of its collective tryst with romance and violence. James Duval (Dark) and Rachel True (Mel) who plays his girlfriend deserve special mention. The colour of death in their eyes is scary and it almost blinds me to the fact that Shannen Doherty and Heather Graham share the same space with these largely unknown actors. Watch it as you would a Harmony Korine film…with hesitation and with someone at an arm’s length to tell you to persist with it.

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Mysterious Skin: While Nowhere was raw and intense, Mysterious Skin is far more cautious in its approach to let its characters toy with the audience’s perception of their lives. Having said that, I must warn you that there is absolutely no redemption in Mysterious Skin, so do not expect Neil (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) to get together with Brian (Brady Corbet) and sell surfboards near the warm Atlantic Ocean by the end of the film. Neither is it a heart-warming story about kids dealing with sexual abuse. Gregg Araki has taken a very weird path in this one. It starts off by giving us parallel stories of Neil and Brian – two kids whose slices of Americana have been distasteful and crippling; both seemingly victims of various stages of child abuse. One of them goes on a downward spiral while the other represses the memory and instead gives it enough leeway to screw with his head .

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A few of the graphic scenes and the urgency of their appearance almost hinder what is otherwise a decent film. Tthankfully, the actors spare us the loose dramatization of pain and violence, which could have made for tedious viewing. I expect better things from Gordon Lewitt in the future. First Brick, now this. Good boy. As for Bill Sage who plays Coach with such dedication to all things Eighties porn-y and ultra-fucking sleazy, good for him too. I bet his wife never looked at him the same way again. Yes, that’s a compliment.

Scratch: See, this is why I lug my ass all the way to Old Parsons Complex and sit there in front of scornful air-conditioning to purchase DVDs instead of downloading them. With the sheer amount of strangely moving art out there, I sometimes feel that only actual physical and accidental glances might bring me closer to the more obscure ones (…cue American Beauty theme song). During one such visit, I came across Scratch – a documentary by Doug Pray on the fascinating culture of turntablism.

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Since I have not ventured too far into the nuances of this art form (apart from DJ Shadow, DJ Krush and Danger Mouse), I had a great time discovering how deep the roots of scratching sink into popular and underground culture. Even if your musical tastes exist beyond the boundaries of hip-hop, give Scratch a try…it can never be inconsequential to watch and listen to artists wax poetic/lyrical/egomaniacal about their music. Of course, I was not a big fan of the DJ Jazzy Jeff’s presence; any man who thinks Will Smith can rap is an idiot in my book.

Thankfully, there is enough lyricism in the way the others have expressed their thoughts on turntablism; so much that I am almost tempted to write letters emails to DJ Qbert or DJ Shadow and to tell them that they are A-Ok in my book. They, of course, would laugh uproariously at the magnificent pointlessness of my imaginary book and then we would get together, listen to some Afrika Bambaataa and make prank calls to Lil John. Hmmm…silly fantasies aside, seriously people, give Scratch a spin.

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Transformers II: I thought I’d just post a link to Srikanth’s hilarious review in Seventh Art (brevity is an art), but the prospect of trashing this shit is too much fun to pass. Here we go…take everything you could hate about the 1980s sitcom Small Wonder and throw in all the moments during which you were 80% sure that Robocop was going to cry. Wait, wait…not crappy enough. Matter of fact, why don’t you – the good reader – eat some Mexican food and think about how bad Rajnikanth’s Robo is going to be when it eventually gets released. Now, with that sadness in your heart and steamy bile in your abdomen, take a dump. Yes. That’s how bad Transformers II stinks.

P.S: I hated Transformers I, as well.

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It’s not often that Americans are given a chance to get off their arses and set in motion a series of events that could quite possibly have a positive impact…period. Once again and not without vindictive irony, Americans have that opportunity during the elections.

With their previous election proving to be a dubious farce between a redneck ignorant prick (John Kerry) and well, George Bush Jr. and the one before that – a feeble battle between a redneck ignorant prick (George Bush Jr) and something that had no place outside the Matrix (Al Gore), they can only hope that at least this year’s election has a happy ending.

Vote Obama

…because Sarah “I-Jane-You-Tarzan-Want-Some-Moose-Piss” Palin doesn’t want you to.

…because voting for the other candidate (John McCain) would immediately set United States about 40 years back into it’s sordid past.

…because he is pro-change.

…because even Mos Def wants y’all to see the light.

Watch

DJ Krush & Mos Def – Can You See The Light?

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The prefix “DJ” in aliases turns a lot of people off away from a whole lot of good music. It’s not all about techno/house/jungle nonsense for these new age instrumentalists. Artists like DJ Krush, DJ Muggs and DJ Shadow are out there, tearing it up with their brand of turntabilsm. Some atmospheric, others groovy, and most of them indelibly captivating in their orchestrated brilliance.

DJ Shadow is a personal favourite of mine. Born as Josh Davis, he began “his music career as a disc jockey for UC Davis radio station KDVS”. Pretty soon, he locked himself inside the studio, hoping to find his muse. The results were breathtaking as the adventures in sound he created with hip-hop, jazz, funk, and psychedelic rock made for compulsive hearing. His first album – Endtroducing – was insanely good. Hell, it got featured in the Guinness World Records book for “First Completely Sampled Album”.

His later albums paled a bit in comparison but were leaps and bounds better than anything produced by The Neptunes or any of their ilk, who wear “bling bling” and feature R&B musicians who really can’t sing.

The soundscapes in “Midnight In A Perfect World” paints a laidback, almost eerily disconnected picture. One, which reminds you of quiet, melancholic nights in worlds untouched by anything unsavory. The harmonies will float inside your head, and the beats will keep your toes alert.

This is the closest to perfection that you can expect from any person who prefixes “DJ” to his alias.

Download

DJ Shadow – Midnight In A Perfect World

Buy

DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing

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