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Emerging in March of this year promising to “challenge the limits of ‘independent,’ ” Kiwa Kiwa — a music website and promoter (and cafe, curiously) — launched in a flurry of activity including disc and live reviews as well as columns from a quartet of local Tokyo indie musicians. It was a bold move with the end of Snoozer magazine a year ago still hanging over a music scene in which indie-music journalism tends not to do a great job convincing fans of its value.

It was therefore a disappointment that the content on the website dried up to a trickle within little more than a month of launch, suggesting that it’s in the organizing and promotion side of the site’s operations that the team have been investing their best efforts. With their 12-hour-long music festival now imminent, it’s clear that in this at least they have been keeping themselves busy, and it is here that we must look to see our first real glimpse of Kiwa Kiwa’s vision for Japanese independent music’s direction.

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