Just over a week ago I talked myself into making a trip to Shibuya at rush hour on a Saturday, but it was for a good cause – the first NRG-only event in Tokyo since the last CODEX. Shijou Saikou no NRG 3 (‘The Best NRG Ever 3’, it’s no less clunky a title in Japanese) was a gathering of some of the real pioneers of the Tokyo NRG scene for a little celebration of the sound. Little’s the word, as Dimension’s dimensions are about the same as a medium-sized Tokyo apartment, but even this club’s tiny speakers were a much better way to hear NRG than I’ve had for a long time.
Cochame gave the event some much needed younger (and female) representation, but sadly I wasn’t in time to catch her set. Those I did hear weren’t really up to the standard you might have expected, aside from GULD and Hashimoto. Hashimoto in particular has to win the award of ‘most instantly likeable’ harder DJ – he really looks like he’s still having the time of his life up in the booth and it was hard not to smile through the whole set. Fabulous track selection as well, which helped.
GULD’s set was the one I was really there for of course, and he didn’t disappoint. There was plenty of Hase and Lab4 before things went very melodic for the second half. Either side of the set we were catching up on things together, in between GULD pointing out the artist/name of every important track he heard.
Overall it was of course fantastic to hear some NRG again, but it was also a sobering little window into the state of the scene. The veterans are still supporting the sound as strongly as ever, but the tiny venue was only just full and the lack of younger DJs was pretty glaring. Who knows though, this could be the start of a revival in 2020. How soon it’s followed up by another event is probably key.
In the meantime, here’s GULD’s tracklist from the event. Oh and apologies for the terrible quality on the video by the way, but by the time another event rolls around I should be better fixed for recordings.
01. Hase – Attacker
02. Hase – Meditation
03. Yoji biomehanika – Rain
04. Lab4 – Falling Down
05. Lab4 – Resurrection (Hase remix)
06. Betwixt & Between – Zusammengehörigkeit
07. GULD – Spirits of Saiyan
08. Hatsune Miku – Senbonzakura (GULD boot remix)
09. Aryx – Aurora (GULD remix)
10. RR-ThermalForce – Al megiddo