In the world of independent Hip Hop, artists either trailblaze like Quasimoto and El-P or salute their forebears like Blackalicious and Jurassic 5.
Japanese breaks maestro DJ Krush is a curious exception to the rule; he seems virtually unaffected by trends yet encompasses many of them in his productions, and offers something different with virtually each release.
Similar to lauded underground labels from Def Jux to Big Dada, The Message At The Depth is underground rap for the digital age, far removed from the moldy crates and dusty beats of Krush's Mo' Wax classic Strictly Turntablized.
His beats are digital, heavily resampled and quantized, splintering off like drum'n'bass patterns but possessing a depth and clarity not seen since the heyday of Massive Attack.
And with far fewer collaborations here than on his last record, Zen, there's more room to hear Krush at his best.
A pair of instrumentals, the dark breaks symphonies "Sanity Requiem" and "The Blackhole" are added by high-profile vocal features of Antipop Consortium and Anticon, in the stoner nightmare "Song for John Walker".
Ace rapping comes from Japanese MC Inden, who gets his point across on "Toki No Tabiji (Journey of Time)" without needing to resort to English.