LIVE REPORTBLUE GALAXY7/28 SUN
Dub Store Records present Prince NAOKI
Prince of dub reggae and everything else!
Naoki Ienaga: Prince of Vinyl
Naoki Ienaga crushes vinyl, literally. One day before his 1-hour long set at Blue Galaxy, Naoki showed me a photo of truckload of Japanese vinyl pressings being dumped into a municipal incinerator. He knows what he is talking about when it comes to records as the proprietor of Japan’s biggest ska and reggae imprint, Dub Store Records. While there’s a good chance he wasn’t smashing any cool rhythms in the compactor, he definitely flipped through his collection quickly, with an overhead crane arm more probably.
To start his late Sunday afternoon set, Iengaga was resplendent in an open collared shirt, a shell necklace, and a sombrero sized straw hat. It was pure Carribean style and we might as well have been on a white sand beach as some good vibrations were surely set to be unleashed. The island vibe was appreciated giving the gloom of rain which washed over the festival the previous day, and festivalgoers were definitely eager to loosen their rain gear and cut up some more underfoot turf.
At the start it was the bracing shot “Tequila” by the Champs circa 1958. This band never had another hit, but they probably didn’t need to either considering the decades this track has ben played at parties and frat houses around the world.
Ienega concluded the track by saying “No more rain, sunshine and tequila. Let’s move on to more music now as he cued the godfather of soul, James Brown. It was definitely “Make it Funky” as the godfather has been a godsend all mashup djs who never fail to drop one of hi signature riffs every 5th song. James Brown is an artist to love and become familiar with as his reputation being the hardest working man in show business has led him to put out, or say 50 dynamic records.
And from there Ienega was just grabbing at tracks an rhythms, like a forklift operator moving cartons of vinyl around the warehouse. He utterly surprised many by going with Beastie Boy jam “Intergalactic” which got the crowd mashing the well worn sod in front of the Dj booth.
For the second half of his set, a luxury that few Djs are afforded at the Blue Galaxy, he went to his comfort zone, hitting the audience with some groovy reggae such as the tune “Stop that Train” by Clint Eastwood and General Saint”. And then it was some hard, hard dub reggae slapping ya right int he face, something he clearly relishes and reinforced with some powerful hand movements. And for Naoki’s final number, confirmed via Facebook Messenger, it was, “Who Knows” by Chronixx and Protojie. It was an island vibe for real, leaving everyone in the crowd thoroughly entertained and ready for the final night of Fuji Rock.