Dry & Heavy
Courtesy of Beatink
Of the legions of reggae bands spawned in the wake
of Bob Marley' conquering of Japanese youth in the '80s and '90s, none are perhaps truer
to the spirit of roots reggae than Dry & Heavy. A side project of the rhythm section
from electro-dub unit Audio Active, the band is named after drummer Shigemoto Nanao (aka
"Dry") and bassist Takeshi Akimoto (aka "Heavy"). Formed in 1991,
Nanao and Akimoto waited six years before releasing their self-titled debut record, Dry
and Heavy, in 1997. Since then they have been busy fleshing out their sound with
vocalists Likkle Mai and Ao Inoue, as well as guitars, percussion and keyboards. With the
June 2 release of their third album Full Contact, Dry & Heavy assert their
mastery of rock-solid bass, head-spinning drums, and a vocabulary of studio effects that
were pioneered in the '70s by Jamaican producers like King Tubby and Lee Scratch Perry.
The album is out on specialist label Beat Records, dub torch-bearers who also focus on
reissuing vintage Jamaican sounds, such as an upcoming release of dub-innovator Augustus
Pablo entitled El Rocker's.
Dry & Heavy will hold a
record release party for Full Contact at Aoyama Cay on June 24. They are also on the bill
for the upcoming Fuji Rock Festival. See concert listings for details.