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Friday, April 25, 2008
Kaikoo Meets Revolution
Some of Japan's more potent strains of hip-hop, dub, rock and taiko (Japanese drum) punk will be on show in Yokohama this weekend for the two-day Kaikoo Meets Revolution festival. The event is the brainchild of DJ Baku, scenester and turntablist extraordinaire, whose Kaikoo parties (the word translates as "chance meeting") have become a byword for wonky eclecticism.
This weekend's is the biggest and most diverse party to date. Hip-hop, naturally, is well represented, with local underground veterans Tha Blue Herb and Mic Jack Production rubbing shoulders with Germany's Al Haca. Baku himself will be there showcasing tracks from his recent "Dharma Dance" LP, while DJ sets come courtesy of Kaikoo regulars Goth-Trad and Shiro the Goodman, Boredoms frontman Eye and various others.
Some of the performers, though, wouldn't be out of place in a mid-afternoon slot on the main stage at Fuji Rock Festival. 8otto's indie rock — imagine The Strokes with a singing drummer — has been generating a good rumble recently, and Your Song is Good, Kicell and The Zoot 16 are dependable crowd-pleasers. But be sure not to miss Kazumi Nikaidoh — perhaps the most vocally gifted of Japan's legion of acoustic-guitar songstresses.
At the harsher end of the musical scale, Black Ganion and the brilliantly unhinged Nice View will be serving up some punishing slabs of hardcore, and disco-metal girl-duo Metalchicks will be treading a fine line between the inspired and the downright grating. Bass-heads, meanwhile, can get their fix from the ever-intriguing fusion act Oki Dub Ainu Band and Rebel Familia, featuring former Dry & Heavy bassist Takeshi "Heavy" Akimoto.
Perhaps the most intriguing proposition, though, is Turtle Island, a sprawling collective who peddle an absurd and utterly addictive blend of punk and taiko drumming that should provide a fitting close to two days of wayward musical mayhem.
Kaikoo Meets Revolution is on April 26 and 27 at Yokohama Zaim. The nearest stations are Kannai (JR Keihin-Tohoku Negishi Line) and Nihon-odori (Minato Mirai Line). Tickets are ¥3,500 per day in advance, ¥4,500 at the venue. See www.myspace.com/kaikoomeetsrevolution for details.