Friday, January 26, 2007

DJ Honda

Japanese dance innovator DJ Honda has been crafting his funkadelic hip-hop slicing and dicing since his late teens, yearning to play up to American stylings of rock music. Such motivation led him to play guitar with the band Clique, but they didn't achieve the sort of stardom that DJ Honda was looking for. Instead, DJ Honda headed to the mixing booth, which lead him to make friends with Afrika Bambaata and Universal Zulu Nation and earn major airplay on Tokyo radio stations. In the mid-'90s, he released a slew of singles while making international headway in the club/dance circuit, and made his debut with Out for the Cash in 1995. Hll followed three years later, showcasing collaborations with De La Soul and KRS-1. That same year brought a split between he and Sony Music, leaving DJ Honda to create his own label DJ Honda Recordings.



DJ Honda - DJ Honda (Jul 2, 1996: Relativity)
DJ Honda's eponymous album is a mix CD featuring the DJ's seamless remixes of cuts by Tha Alkaholiks, Grand Puba and Sadat X, Al Tariq, Redman, and Biz Markie, among several others. It's an excellent album — not only are the beats and grooves continually danceable, it's possible to hear how inventive and talented DJ Honda is.





DJ Honda - H2 (Mar 24, 1998: Relativity)

DJ Honda's second album HII is a quantum leap over his debut, largely because he's given himself freedom to cut-and-paste his own backgrounds and he's enlisted a number of collaborators (X-ecutioners, KRS-One, Mos Def) to spice up the mix. He's not a post-modernist like DJ Shadow — he's a modern hip-hop DJ, reviving the musical adventure of early hip-hop. Occasionally, the tracks collapse under their own ambitions, but much of HII simply tears along, pushing acid-jazz and street-level beats together. It's a fascinating, invigorating listen that more than makes the case that in the late '90s international hip-hop can be more exciting than the homegrown kind.


DJ Honda - H3 (Apr 3, 2001: Import)











3 comments:

asdf said...

I only just bought #2 the other week, its a great album. excellent producer. good post.

santoscrew said...

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