Poised halfway between a late-night downbeat record and a nearly anonymous beats-and-breaks volume, Strictly Turntablized
was one of the first trip-hop records out of the gate, but the subtitle says it better than any review could: "Excursions into the hip-hop avant-garde." DJ Krush
's productions were deeper than Cam
's and darker than Shadow
's, and if they seldom averaged more than one or two ideas per track, most of them made up for it with a heavy dose of atmospheric menace. "Kemuri" paved the way with a break to make Premier
himself proud, and just enough scratching to preserve the vibes. "Fucked-Up Pendulum" was interesting as well, earning its title with an offbeat (literally) sample that was more musique concrète than hip-hop. A few other tracks were solid examples of instrumental hip-hop, but several others sounded in dire need of vocals to break them up. Krush
would later learn how to give his productions voice, but with Strictly Turntablized
he built the foundation for trip-hop to come.