METROPOLIS | CLASSIFIEDS | PERSONALS | JOBS
JAPAN BEAT
Mikidozan

Just when it appeared Japan's decades-long reggae boom had finally run its course, along comes a new generation to breathe life into the domestic scene.

Chief among the new blood is young singer Mikidozan, who will be headlining a homegrown lineup of reggae talents at next weekend's Soul Rebel 2001 outdoor festival. In a sign of the times, the festival takes the place of defunct mega-events starring overseas reggae talent-such as Reggae Japansplash-as Japan's biggest reggae concert of the year.

If you were in Japan this summer, you would have had a hard time avoiding Mikidozan's single, "Lifetime Respect." A revivalist track in the dancehall vein-powered by Jamaica's leading rhythm section of keyboardist Wycliffe "Steely" Johnson and drummer Cleveland "Clevie" Browne-the song has received enough airplay to make one think it was the answer to Japan's ills.

And in some ways it is. Written as a response to the country's declining morality, the song intends to point a way for Japan's youth out of the materialist morass they have fallen into. In a PR statement, the shaven-headed Mikidozan said, "Children who have been brought up with too little love and respect tend to have little sympathy. I think that's one of the reasons that times are so troubled right now."

The success of the song has also given a boost to the career of other young Japanese reggae artists. Dancehall diva Pushim's newest video, for example, has been in heavy rotation recently on MTV and Space Shower, as have been those by Moomin and H-Man, also on the Soul Rebel bill. All these artists adhere to Mikidozan's credo: "Music sung by Japanese, in Japanese, about Japan."

Some 20 artists in all, including many younger acts as well as veterans like Rankin Taxi, will be featured in next weekend's Soul Rebel 2001 festival. For listings: Soul Rebel 2001 Japanese reggae omnibus. Hibiya Yagai Ongakudo, 10/14, 3pm, JY4500. Info: Overheat Music 3406-8970.
Mikidozan performs as part of Soul Rebel 2001 at Hibiya Yagai Ongakudo on Oct 14.
See listings for details.

CONCERT PREVIEW:
Park Tower blues Festival
LISTINGS:
Friday November 30
Saturday December 1
Sunday December 2
Monday December 3
Tuesday December 4
Wednesday December 5
Thursday December 6
Friday December 7  
COMING UP:
Pop-Rock
Jazz-Soul-World
Classical
Dance-Hip Hop
CD REVIEWS:
BLAST HEAD/Head Music
KELIS/Wanderland
JEWEL/This Way
SLOAN/Pretty Together
GERDABLANK/Mono no aware
JAPAN BEAT:
Cornelius
ARCHIVES:
Concert Previews
CD Reviews
Japan Beat
TOP