by Don Crispy
Rebirth JAG III
Nightlife with a conscience? Sounds like a contradiction
in terms, but this annual event devoted to raising funds for
the underprivileged is for real. Following last year's JAG,
which brought in over ¥1,000,000 for refugees in Afghanistan,
regular headliner DJ Krush will be back again to lead the
benefit at Liquid Room.
Rebirth JAG is not simply a one-off event to raise funds for
Afghan refugees. Rather, says producer Noriko Asano, the event,
now in its third year, is a "futuristic artist collective
of the 21st century." According to her vision, JAG will
develop into a range of ongoing and linked collaborative events:
working with African artists, for instance, in a "Jungle
JAG" that is slated to feature well known artists such
as Femi Kuti, or working with street kids and urban artists
and musicians in a "Street JAG." Rebirth JAG itself,
Asano says, is intended to help the children of countries
suffering from disaster and civil war.
For the upcoming Liquid Room event, Asano again called on
Japan's abstract hip-hop innovator DJ Krush to contribute
his talents and help put together the bill. Krush had worked
with Asano before, and when the veteran DJ heard about the
project he decided to take part.
Krush will be appearing with fellow member of his production
unit Ryu, DJ Hide, and will no doubt be spinning tracks off
his latest album, The Message At The Depth, which featured
guests as diverse as underground American hip-hop unit Anticon
and veteran Jamaican rhythm duo Sly & Robbie.
As a father of two teenage girls, Krush has more than a passing
interest in the state of the world's young. He worries that
Japan has become overly materialistic and forgetful of the
world's needy and has translated his views into action as
part of the non-governmental organization JAG Project.
"Honestly, I don't think people who come to these events
really give much thought to the matter," Krush says.
"But even if they get a vague sense of what we're trying
to do, it's a good thing."
Using his connections with the US hip-hop community, Krush
has lined up New York-based underground rappers Mike Ladd
and Sonic Sum as featured guests. Part of a loose collective
dubbed The Infesticons, rapper/producer Ladd is known for
lazy beats matched with witty, well-informed rhymes. Sonic
Sum, meanwhile, are a fourNpiece unit who for the last several
years have been perfecting a live set that includes bass and
keyboards in addition to the usual turntables.
Rebirth JAG@Liquid Room, 1/17, 10pm,
¥4,000 (adv), ¥4,500 (door). Tel: 3200-6831. www.liquidroom.net
Photos courtesy of Es.U.Es