Ten Days in Tokyo: Jazzy Sport
Following on from the head-spinning drop in to Dommune, and a day spent with noses buried in used 45″s (more on that to follow), we didn’t really believe the trip would step up yet another notch…but it happened. Bluntly, the Jazzy Sport showcase was a true highlight of the year so far – a pretty much perfect summation of what we feel Boiler Room strives for in 2014.
As I wrote here, Jazzy Sport is multifaceted by nature, encompassing a boutique imprint, a DJ collective and two stores: a smaller outpost in Morioka-shi, 6hrs north of the capital, as well as the core HQ, nestled within Tokyo’s quaint Meguro district. In every aspect of business, Jazzy Sport carries a reputation for quite simply doing things right; a flagbearer to sit alongside the Kompakts, Brownswoods and Stones Throws of the world.
Stones Throw is a particularly apt touchstone, as there is veritable shit-ton of memorabilia from the LA beat stable on display throughout Jazzy Sport – natty tour posters, rare live DVDs, giant cutouts of Quas; that sort. Plenty of similar neat curios were scattered like easter eggs around the place: a cursory glance uncovered a hi-top gifted by Philly funk journeyman Rich Medina, and a slipmat bearing a scrawled message from Theo Parrish: “Dig in the crates! Jazzy Sport will show you how!” Considering the store’s voluminous collection, wise words indeed.
We couldn’t spend too long gawping at racks on racks on racks, mind, as we had a pretty important show to get off the ground. As well as an absolute landmark broadcast for Boiler Room, it was one of only a handful that Ukawa and his Dommune team have ever undertaken outside their own namesake hub. Not that it showed in the slightest. The typical array of pre-stream obstacles were hurdled with ease, and once we were rolling it sparked an almost childlike excitement. Utilising multiple cameraman afforded the show a glorious extra dimension, manned by Ukawa’s fleet-fingered and dynamic choreography. Given the density of European shows Boiler Room program on a weekly basis (sometimes 2-3 per day in the same city), it can often feel like we have one hand tied behind our back by necessity. Not so here – on a purely aesthetic level, it was one of the slickest broadcasts we’ve ever done.
The music was a total joy, too. The three troops enlisted all delivered supremely entertaining sets: first younger Budamunk, then DJ Mitsu the Beats, arguably the man with largest international repute following 2003’s breakout LP New Awakening, before longstanding head Grooveman Spot to close out. Transitions were on-point throughout, bangers were rolled out at pace (a speedrun through Afefe Iku, Todd Terje and CyHi The Prynce had us dancing out our skin) and the broadcast as a whole served as a neat summation of the core Jazzy Sport MO, melted down and refit in a three hour mould: hardbodied hip-hop progressing into darker dance vibes. The atmosphere in the store was electric too, with extended fam spilling out onto the street and spirited dancing pretty much from the first needle drop to the last. You can see for yourself here – the reaction on and offline was tremendous. And rightly so. The first edition of Boiler Room Tokyo was killer.
– by Gabriel Szatan
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