Sep 7, 2010

Japanese Afrobeat Remix: DJ Muro - Super Afro Funky Breaks


DJ MURO is an active Japanese hip hop producer and DJ. His real name is Takayoshi Murota. In 1987 DJ Krush, Microphone Pager, , TWIGY and others formed the "KRUSH POSSE", a crew of rappers and Dj's.During this time he excelled at DJing hip-hop and began producing hip-hop beats. His solo debut appeared 1993. In the late 1990s he worked extensively with Nitro Microphone Underground, one of Japan's most successful hip-hop crews. In addition to producing he also was active as a designer.

Biography at his myspace page:

For over ten years, including in the now legendary groups Krush Posse and Microphone Pager, Muro has been constantly reinventing the shape of Japanese hip hop.

Krush Posse was formed in the late '80s by Muro, Go and Krush. Though they split in 1992, they managed several years of energetic activity before their split, featuring on major label compilations such as "Various Artists: Dance 2 Noize 002" (Victor) and "Various Artists: Real Time Compact Vol. 1" (Columbia) on top of course of all their live performances.

In 1992 Muro and Go were then joined in Microphone Pager by Twigy (at that time busy with "Beatkicks" in Nagoya), P.H. Fron (also from Nagoya) and dancer Masao. Besides their regular live events such as "Slam Dunk Disco", they also fronted foreign artists' Japan tour shows and appeared in the New Music Seminar "New Music Night Festival" held in New York in July 1993. With the release of "Planet Rap" (Tommy Boy, USA) in November of that year, they became the first Japanese rap group to debut internationally and with this came recognition of their talent both at home in Japan and abroad. Although the group then half disintegrated with the departure of P.H. Fron in June 1994, followed mid-way through recording by Masao and Go in December, their first album "Don't Turn Off Your Light" was released the following July. Japan's B-boys loved it. The most recent release under the Microphone Pager name goes back to February 1997 and the 12-inch single "Kikoku Shushu" (tr. "Ghostly Wailing").

Muro carried on working solo. In 1996 he featured on a Maki & Taiki mini-album, released "Basudora Hatsu Sunea Yuki" (tr. "From the Bass Drum to the Snare") and also released "Sansha Bontai" (tr. "Pitched Straight Out") on the "Still Diggin'" label. He was at the classic "Sanpin Camp" event held on July 7th that year which saw his ten-year hip hop journey reach new, greater heights and Muro establish himself as a real figure of weight. His DJ-ing was greeted with high acclaim both at home and abroad and his appearances on New York radio station programs remain fresh in the memory.

In 1997 he opened his shop "Savage", which he both owned and ran, and set up a brand of self-designed clothing. It became clear that his talents ran to many fields. February then saw the realization, finally, of a long-overdue collaboration between two of the longest-staying lynchpins of the Japanese hip hop scene - the release of "Daisan Danraku 97 Page" (tr. "Page 97 Paragraph 3") on Ben The Ace's label "Spellbound". Muro's lyrics told the autobiographical story of his hip hop life. In May "Concrete Jungle" was released, the second single on the "Spellbound" label and a gritty depiction of life in the city. It also drew attention for parallels which were pointed to with a Krush Posse-era track. July saw the release of a 6-track CD. There was strong interest around "Q From A", an unavailable-in-analog performance with his sister (Lil' Muro).

In 1998 he featured in the remixing of Misia's "Tsutsumikomu Yo Ni" and remixed Attica Blues' "Oh La La La". He fulfilled his dream of setting up his own label with the establishment of "Incredible Records" in March, a label whose direction is all up to him. He has said he wants it to become a label of incredible wonders, crossing a varied spectrum which can give air to his own broad tastes in hip hop and R&B.

He finally made his major debut with Toys Factory in 1999, simultaneously releasing the "K.M.W. (King Most Wanted)" mini-album and video on April 21st. In October there was the release of Muro Featuring Lord Finess and A.G.'s "The Vinyl Athletes" and the realization of a collaboration between fellow record diggers King of Diggin' Productions and Diggin' In The Crates. On July 5th, 2000 the first single "El Carnaval" was released off the album. On August 23rd, his first solo album, "Pan Rhythm Flight: No. 11154" was released. The concept behind the album is the theme of a rhythm journey, as he absorbs music from around the world and then replays it in his own musical style: hip hop. It shows him constantly pressing forward, as rapper, as DJ and as songsmith. At the same time he set off on his first domestic tour, visiting five major cities, and released the video "Globe-Trotters" showing footage from the tour.

After having left Toy's Factory, in the year of 2005 that he saw his 20th anniversary since his first "mix tape", he had another contract with Avex and put out the album "20 Steet Years", in which he collaborated with TWIGY, DABO, PUSHIM etc. This album has an innovative approaches to Hip Hop music, and filled with lots of passion to Hip Hop. He also continues produce works for the names who represent a new hip hop scene in Japan, like SUIKEN/S-WORD, Tina, MIKRIS, KAMINARI-KAZOUKU, NITRO MICROPHONE UNDERGROUND, Tina etc.
He's also worked on various mix CDs including "Incredible 2 ~ Hot Dog Breaks" which he mixed the tracks on Blue Note, and "Super Disco Friends" which he collaborated with a French DJ "Dimitri From Paris" etc, which were all highly acclaimed and let the world know his name widely.

He has released a wide variety of material through the years, as rapper, DJ, remixer and producer. He continues to create a hip-hop-based sound which is colored with his own brand of musical originality. He DJs regularly, for example at "Harlem", "Nuts", " and "Studio Coast ageHa" club events. He is featured heavily on the club scene.

Muro is at once a rapper forever pushing the boundaries in Japanese rap and a constant influence on the Japanese hip hop scene, a sell-out DJ with his own distinctive line in track selection, the owner of the hip Udagawacho shop "Savage", the founder of his own "Incredible Records" label and a mentor and producer of new talent.

His latest release is the soundtrack of Japanese hip hop animation called “Tokyo Tribe 2”. In this soundtrack Muro featured the names like Ghostface Killah & Raekwon (WU-TANG CLAN), De La Soul, Kool G Rap etc and more Japanese rappers. Muro produced all the tracks for this soundtrack, and also co-produced some tracks with Just Blaze and the Alchemist. This album is very highly acclaimed both in the street scene and the main stream scene of Japanese hip hop, and also became a big talk in the US and European scene.

And MURO's going to put out the brand-new album which is the collaboration with the legendary graffiti artist in NY, Lee Quinones, who was starred in the Hip Hop bible film "WILD STYLE" - MURO makes beats and Lee does the artworks for the album.

His wide-ranging activities as rapper, DJ, producer, A&R figure and designer have caught the attention not just of Japan's B-boys but of music fans all round the world.


1) The Qualitons - Mellbimbo
2) The Boo Goos - Bubbles (Pt.2)
3) Shimba - Movin' On
4) Lantei Lamptey - I’m Suffering (Noko Nfeemi)
5) (komi Ke Kenam) - Fish & Funjee
6) Pierre Didy Tchakounte - Ma Fou Fou
7) Lizandro Mezay Suconjunto - Shacalao
8) Fela, The Africa 70’ - Sakara Oloje
9) Akira Ishikawa, His Frends - Let's Start
10) Manu Dibango - O Boso
11) Manu Dibango - Wilder Riders
12) Body Music - Obanya Special
13) Assagai - Barazinbar
14) Peter King - Ko Dara
15) Guehi Jean Et Son Ensemble - Essemon Moupoh
16) Docteur Nico, L’orchestre African Fiesta - Save Me
17) Buari - Karam Bani
18) Buari - Ko Ko Si
19) Manu Dibango - The Panther
20) Manu Dibango - Ponda Maloko
21) Rim Arrives - Gas Line
22) Rim Kwaku Obeng And Kasa - Love Me For Real

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