DJ Kentaro Enter Review

Album. Released 2007.  

BBC Review

Ignore the occasional rattles of spray-paint cans which can be heard in the background...

Robert Jackman 2007

A vinyl platter wiggles into motion. A dormant speaker crackles. And off the back of this patter crawl the glitchy rhythms of DJ Kentaro, former DMC World turntable champion. But seconds into opening track ‘'Enter The Newground'’ and Kentaro has lost dominion over his music, and he’s left fumbling beats like a cack-handed Aphex Twin.

Picture Kentaro as the timid steward – struggling to control the beats and sequences which dart around him. Throughout Enter the Japanese turntablist tries desperately to direct and divert them – but it never seems to go right.

His collaboration with Pharcyde on '‘Keep On'’ is a prime example of this. It was meant to be a nostalgic nod to the reign of the ghetto blaster – an invitation for the ex-pats of nineties’ hip hop to strut and pop down memory lane. But on delivery it’s nasal, limp and instantly forgettable.

Signature track ‘'Free'’ also falls flat on its face. A shotgun marriage of blunt Baltimore beats and the debauched blurts of rent-a-rap MC Spank Rock. It’s a horrible affair which is more likely to have hip hop fans shaking their heads than any other body parts which Kentaro and Spank may have had in mind.

‘'Rainyday'’ is the album’s voyage into drum ‘n' bass – the coy chatter of tinny drum loops gives way to a commonplace ragga narrative. Meanwhile ambient number, ''Handmade Gift'', is left decrepit and parched, wilting under the weight of soggy and clumsy mixing.

This is an album lacking originality and imagination. For a DJ with such a broad palette, there’s no excuse for this dreary assembly of token and template tracks. Ignore the occasional rattles of spray-paint cans which can be heard in the background – from the sound of Enter, Kentaro is more of a paint-by-numbers man.

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