While comparisons aren’t always the answer, Baku’s work is reminiscent of Krush’s experimental approach to turntablism and hip hop though the young Baku comments that “I’m not trying to follow DJ Krush at all. But in my mind Krush is my master”.
Baku has garnered acclaim not only from within hip hop circles, but from a wide cross section of the music-listening community. He’s played both domestically and internationally with artists such as DJ QBert, DJ Kentaro (Ninja Tune), DJ Krush, Goldie (Metalheadz), D-Styles, DJ Quietstorm and Kid Koala (Ninja Tune). In the studio he has collaborated with international artists including Bleubird (Anticon) and Blue Foundation (Virgin) and Japanese artists such as DJ Krush (Sony), 漢(Kan) (MSC), Goth Trad (POPGROUP, Deep Medi Musik), Think Thank, ‘Heavy’ Takeshi and Saidrum & Bleeder.
Using a wah-wah pedal, hooked up to turntables, Baku gets the most out of his riffs during intense and energetic sets. “With scratching I found I could express simple melodies and even emotions just by the touch of the hand”, divulges Baku.
Baku’s MIX series, produced and released on his own Dis-Defense Disc label continues to gain popularity with releases quickly becoming collectors’ items. His remix work, scratch work and sessions have seen him team up with a wide range of people from national icons to BMX riders. Over the years this music, both on stage and in the studio, has covered a range of musical styles – from head nodding hip hop to neck breaking metal via intricate downtempo and dancefloor minded electronica.
In 2005 he released a music documentary charting his last five years interacting with such people, entitled ‘Kaikoo’. Edited and scored by Baku himself, the documentary has had an impact that has reverberated across Japan and the world – showing a previously unseen side of the Tokyo musical underground from the point of view of its protagonists.
His debut album, ‘Spinheddz’, was released in June 2006 by POPGROUP Recordings, and quickly ranked to No.1 in its first week of sales at Tower Records in Japan.
He followed this with the release of the split single ‘Ultra Cross Vol. 3’ with legendary Japanese punk group Guitar Wolf in December 2006. In addition, he also found the time to put in more remix work for international artists and release a limited edition break record containing many of the album’s instrumental and original samples.
In 2007, Baku shows no signs of stopping – he’s started work on his new project, called Noizd Phank, continues to release mix CDs (the latest of which is ‘Bboy Killa Cuts’ – a furious mix of hip hop and drum n bass bootlegs) and most importantly is hard at work on his sophomore album, scheduled for the end of the year and which will feature brand new songs and international collaborations.
Lastly, in 2008 will see the release of DJ BAKU’s second album, “Dharma Dance”. Along with his forte, sampling, BAKU has introduced the usage of guitar, bass, drums, and Chinese stringed instruments like the er hu, as well as a diverse range other natural/acoustic instruments in his new album. Also, the BPM of his new tracks are drastically higher than ever before. His second album will integrate elements of both Hip Hop and Rock to create an explosive new dance music creation. Look for “Dharma Dance” , on POPGROUP Recordings at HearJapan.