DJ Kentaro, Contrast, Ninja Tune


Ten years have passed since DJ Kentaro won the DMC World DJ Championship and five have passed since he released his only other official studio album, Enter. In preparing to record Contrast, Kentaro must have listened to a lot of Skrillex. Whereas Enter was upbeat and playful and featured fun-loving rappers like the Pharcyde and Spank Rock, Kentaro’s new release is dark, aggressive, and prone to cliched exclamations via international stars like MC Zulu. Nothing’s exactly wrong with Contrast, but it often sounds like EDM by numbers: turntablism, check; brostep, check; breaks, check; drum & bass, check; reggae/dub: check. There are highlights that will set fire to a club anywhere (“Crossfader,” a short but sweet collaboration with Kid Koala, features outrageous cutting), but pervasive buzzsaw effects weigh down the record. (Ninja Tune) by Jeff Locher