Best Sound That's Big in Japan

Juke and footwork

Critics' Picks

During an April interview on WNUR's Streetbeat, local producer DJ Earl described the juke and footwork scenes in Japan as "blowing up." Those strange, hectic-­sounding subgenres of ghetto house were born in Chicago in the late 90s, and despite considerable interest from Internet tastemakers they remain largely underground phenomena at home. It's a different story internationally: London's Planet Mu has been releasing LPs by Chicago heavy hitters such as Traxman and RP Boo, and in Japan the scene has been slowly growing for years. Osaka's Furutono Koichi, aka DJ Fulltono, is a particularly notable player; in 2008 he founded a label called Booty Tune, which specializes in juke, footwork, and ghettotech. It's released tracks by a slew of Japanese producers, plus some music from Chicago, including DJ Avery76's recent Inside the Tribe EP. Koichi is something of an ambassador for the juke and footwork scene in Japan, having written about its demographically fluid audience for Huck magazine in January.