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Friday, Oct. 6, 2006

ODAIBA GOES GREEN

Rock, dance collide at outdoor fest

Billing itself as an outdoor festival in Tokyo "under the sun," the seventh Nagisa Music Festival takes place Oct. 14-15.

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"Chicks want to play metal too," say Sugar Yoshinaga (left) and Yuka Yoshimura.

The festival features mainly live acts from Japan's fertile underground scene on Day 1, while Day 2 gives itself over to dance music, bringing well-known names from abroad such as New York's Louie Vega and DJs from closer to home, such as house DJ Kaoru Inoue and versatile dance-music producer Susumu Yokota. Over 20,000 revelers are expected to attend over both two days.

Don't be put off by the event's overbearingly "ecologically friendly" tone -- you probably won't notice the fact that the festival will be powered by biodiesel fuel created by refined, secondhand vegetable oil; nor are the themes of the nine stages, including "Moon," "Star" and "Wind," important. Like any festival, it's about the music. Some of the bigger names include hit-and-miss tribal experimentalists OOIOO, who play the "sun"-themed All Genre Stage on Oct. 14. The day promises to be a busy one for OOIOO's Yuka Yoshimura -- the vocalist/drummer will also play in her disco-metal project Metalchicks, who play on the Experimental Stage, which really isn't very experimental at all. She'll be joined by the band's other member, Buffalo Daughter's Sugar Yoshinaga. Louie Vega made a name for himself on the New York circuit DJing at clubs such as Studio 54 in the 1980s. He is also one half of the production team Masters at Work with Kenny "Dope" Gonzalez. Expect him to spin NY disco classics and hard-hitting Latin dance floor anthems when he headlines the All Genre Stage on Oct. 15.

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Louie Vega

The worlds of underground Japanese hip-hop (DJ Baku), trance (New Zealander Ray Castle), post-rock from Tokyo (Mono) and crowd-pleasing jazzy house (Fantastic Plastic Machine's Tomoyuki Tanaka) are also represented. In addition, the festival boasts a Rainbow Gay Mix stage (Oct. 15) and, on both days, an Ecostyle Chillout Lounge and an art gallery.

The festival takes place at Tokyo Odaiba Open Court (in front of the Fuji TV building), a 3-minute walk from Daiba Station on the Yurikamome Line. Tickets are 3,000 yen in advance, 4,000 yen at the door. For more information in English or Japanese, visit www.nagisamusicfestival.jp/



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