Kaikoo Popwave Festival ’10


Eagerly anticipating the upcoming outdoor music festival season? Spread over the course of two days and boasting nearly 70 acts on four open-air stages, the Kaikoo Popwave Festival should easily tide you over until the summer months arrive.

Named after the 2005 “Kaikoo” DVD documentary created by record label and promoter Popgroup and Tokyo turntablist DJ Baku, the project’s release party became the first of 14 bashes to date to bear the Kaikoo brand. Included among the parties was their debut stab at a weekend festival with 2008’s indoor Kaikoo Meets Revolution in Yokohama.

The Kaikoo Popwave Festival features a wonderfully eclectic bill stacked with some of the country’s best underground artists. DJ Baku, who issued a new mix CD, “Black Recorder Box,” last month, will do a solo set and will play alongside musicians from multidimensional rock groups Wrench and Back Drop Bomb and hardcore act Black Ganion as the DJ Baku Hybrid Dharma Band. Acclaimed postrock group Mono, math-rockers Toe, Sapporo rappers Tha Blue Herb, punks F-ck You Heroes and Cokehead Hipsters, experimental rock act Oak, and the awesome, jazzy live spectacle Shibusashirazu Orchestra are set to appear as well.

Although the focus of the event is to highlight local talent, according to Popgroup’s Hiroki Sakaida international performers such as Tricky, Hot Chip, and Royksopp were also approached for the Kaikoo Popwave Festival. As it stands, New York’s Rival Schools are the lone overseas act in the lineup. Led by guitarist and vocalist Walter Schreifels, formerly of 1980s hardcore pioneers Gorilla Biscuits and influential 1990s posthardcore band Quicksand, Rival Schools put out only one full-length, 2001’s “United by Fate,” before breaking up in 2003. Reforming in 2008, the quartet’s sophomore effort will surface in September.

Kaikoo Popwave Festival ’10 takes place April 10-11 at Harumi Port Terminal in Chuo Ward, Tokyo, from 12 noon till 8:30 p.m. Tickets cost ¥6,000 per day. For details, visit kaikoo.pop-group.net