Judgement Sound Station
Who would have believed a few years ago that Japanese
sound systems would become the forerunners in the sound
clash arena. The 'Far East Rulers' Mighty Crown toppled
Killamanjaro off the number one spot when they were the
surprise winners of the World Clash in New York in September
last year. Jamaicans had always dominated the sound system
industry and therefore many people said that Mighty Crown
won because they were a novelty.
On the other side of the world just over a week later in
London, England, people began to realise that
Mighty Crown's victory was no fluke and that Japanese sounds
were a force to be reckoned with. On the 18th
September 1999 Judgement Sound Station walked away
with the Global Clash trophy and in the process stripped
Bass Odyssey of their stripes.
Judgement consists of Tucker aka Takafumi
Tsuruki the MC, Crush aka Futoshi Iida the
selector and manager Pie aka Memphis Chisholm.
Judgement's inception began 6 years ago when Tucker was a
solo selector in his hometown of Sapporo,
Japan. Tucker was trying to recruit a MC but was
experiencing difficulty finding a Japanese MC so continued
on the solo road and then he left Sapporo for Jamaica.
Ricky Trooper who is considered by the masses to be
the number one MC in the world passed a lot of his knowledge
onto Tucker, "Ricky Trooper teach me nuff ting 'bout Reggae
in Jamaica. Then me and him link every time and him teach
me nuff ting and so me respect Trooper very much."
A few years ago the Japanese Reggae scene was on a high
Tucker recalls, "Before few years ago it very good but right
ya now a little bit boring but still some sound and DJ and
singer dem try buil' it back again. I think right ya now
these things are getting better now."
Pie hails from Kingston, Jamaica and used
to work as an engineer for Killamanjaro, Tucker and Pie
linked and for the past 3 years Pie has taken on the
management side of Judgement. Around 2 years ago Tucker
witnessed Crush's selecting skills on St Elizabeth's
Higher Faith sound system and he invited Crush to
Both Tucker and Crush's love for Reggae music got
underway when they began to frequent Japanese Reggae clubs
and they both began to not only listen to the music but play
it. Crush's opinion on this is that, "I think Japanese want
culture from overseas so we just like Reggae we just want go
near original so we go to Jamaica."
Their first clash was with VIP in Tokyo,
Crush's hometown. Unlike most soundmen they are very modest
with regards to their achievements and when we asked them if
they thought that the competition at Global Clash was fierce
Tucker replied, "I didn't believe we would win." They have
clashed with many sounds but say that Bass Odyssey
was their most difficult opponent.
Tucker even goes as far to say, "*me nah seh my sound is
No1 nobody cannot trus' we. I don't say that but you see I
glad to stan' up at start line right now, so I want to keep
our position now and put the next level again."
Although it was 4 years ago, Judgement has clashed with
Mighty Crown and both sounds insist that they were the
winners. To put the record straight we wanted to know if
they would consider a rematch to which Crush replied, "One
promoter can't keep. Dance too big!" Tucker said that
organising a clash between these two heavyweights would be
difficult although "we ready anytime but you know clash is
some different ting so something like money ting and venue
ting. If we play their country some people bias and if we
play my country some people bias, so some trouble we have
right now. So we cannot do it."
Judgement has played out all over the world in
Canada, Jamaica, New York, Japan and
when we interviewed them it was prior to their first
European tour and they cited England as the place where they
have received their best response.
Some of Judgement's favourite Japanese artists are
Papa Bon, Jambo Maatch, Skywalker and
Takaffin, NG Head and Pushim. When
asked if they play Japanese artists outside of Japan Tucker
explained, "No because people can't understand" and Crush
agreed "Pure Japanese language, but nuff a dem deh deh nuff
DJ and singer."
They all put their heads together and come up with ideas
for dubs which all get cut in Jamaica and their favourite
artists include Bounty Killer, Capleton,
Beenie Man and Sizzla.
At only 30 years old, Tucker says for the future, "My
plan is I find a new good selector and make selector doing
my sound. I'm not so young right now so I just want to cool
down. Not so much Japanese try hard, hard about sound so I
don't know. I cannot find good selector from Japan but if I
get good selector from Japan maybe I'll leave sound
Check out Judgment in a city near you, as Tucker wants to
spread the music "Our movement jus' start so just watch
Judgement gwan because some people still nah believe
Japanese get hype and Japanese gwan good. Some people
cannot believe ya understan' so we must go many place and
try show people how Japanese sound gwan. I want to do it!"
For booking details contact Pie on Jamaica
telephone/fax (876) 931 6995 or (876) 937 2314.