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Nightmares On Wax Sound System: The sound of now

Nightmares On Wax Sound System seemed to be a rallying point for people headed long into the evening on the final night of Fuji Rock. I headed down to the Red Marquee with fellow FujiRockers Dom and Shawn, where I was also going to meet some friends from Tokyo. Once there, as the sound system got cranked up, I bumped into another friend of mine that I had been trying to hook up with since Friday (to no avail), and then yet another couple of friends from work who were there prior to heading off to the Palace of Wonder.

And why not? Having been a fan since the Nightmares on Wax album Carboot Soul, I was looking forward to something a little more chilled out in the Red shed. It was going to be good not to hear a whole lotta doof! doof! Reverberating off the corrugated metal construction at this time of night. Something just a little more chilled out. Something to get your head and sink your teeth into. We got just that.

The Apple logo shone brightly from the laptop amid the decks and mixers, the glow from the screen shining on the man behind NOW, George Evelyn (aka DJ EASE). Flanked on either side of the turntables by "The Sisters" (or is that, "tha sistas") who belted out soulful lyrics and worked the crowd, DJ EASE and crew laid down the grooves that people had come to hear. Almost all of the tracks and tunes came from his just released Nightmares On Wax album In A Space Outta Sound. Bouncy and flava'ful, those that weren't sleeping danced and hopped around, at one point helping out The Sisters with a chant of, "Who gives a damn...who gives..? Who gives a damn...who gives..?"

Obviously, not those off to never-never land. It was easy to see that the end of the festival was starting to take its toll on some. All around its edges, the Red Marquee was dotted with people sitting with their heads between their knees, asleep on the floor, or leaning against the barricades, oops I mean gates, dead asleep. How, with all that concentrated noise and enthusiasm, they managed to kip, I don't know. They must have needed it. The rest of the crowd, though, danced to some energetic hip-hop influenced, Philly-soul drenched, rhyme-bustin' beats.

EASE kept the beats going with a little help from friend Ricky Rankin. They had an MC with them who also helped to get the crowd going, and did all the usual *How you all doing out there/Let's make some noise" stuff. Unfortunately, I never got his name because as is usual with a sound system, the echo and reverb effects were ramped up, so all I heard was a mish mash of names running into each other as he said them. And I have to say, the treble on the vocals was ear piercing.

That was my only complaint. And even that probably wouldn't have bothered me so much, if the MC could have kept from repeating: "How we doing? Fuji Mountainnnnnnnnnnssssssssss..."

Jeez, George. Don't you have Google Earth on that Mac?