It's juke night at Club Noon in Osaka on a Monday. The event, called Hobo, has drawn about 50 people — not many, but alright for a genre of dance music that is making its debut on the city's club scene. As with most debuts, the reaction is mixed. The men nod their heads and the women shift their weight slowly to the music, but if they're going to become true fans, they'll have to pick up their pace.
Juke is a subgenre of dance music (in particular, a type of Chicago house music) that is grabbing the attention of DJs and producers in North America and Europe. It's fast, the beats get up to 160 per minute (imagine dancing to a woodpecker) and it often features a single word or phrase that gets repeated just as quickly. The Hobo event is meant to showcase two of the West's juke prodigies — but both Big Dope P, from France, and Chicago's DJ Rashad, have canceled (illness and radiation fears, respectively). So it's up to Osaka's DJ Fulltono to impress the crowd this Monday night.
DJ Fulltono, whose real name is Kouichi Furutono, says the tracks he's playing tonight are easier to get into, kind of like "juke for beginners."