Jump to content

fitear1590

Senior Official Reviewers
  • Content count

    2812
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    7

fitear1590 last won the day on January 28 2015

fitear1590 had the most liked content!

About fitear1590

  • Rank
    Hizaki's Weave
  • Birthday 01/05/90

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://last.fm/user/fitear1590

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    USA

Recent Profile Visitors

9296 profile views
  1. Have your upload speeds ever dropped to like .08 kbps? It took forever to upload just a few megabytes of e-mail attachments yesterday X_x

    1. doombox

      doombox

      I feel your pain. I recently changed providers and now mine does that all the time. :| 

    2. fitear1590

      fitear1590

      I was wondering why I couldn't even upload pics yesterday! Is there any way to fix or 'alleviate' this problem that you're aware of or is it just a waiting game?

    3. doombox

      doombox

      With my provider it's just a waiting game. I try not to do too much upload/streaming during peak hours. But if yours is more often then that sometimes the can install a "booster" to help you get a stronger signal?

  2. Awesome idea, Cat! Like indigo, I'm gonna opt out of album selection sign-up for now, but I'm hoping to join the discussions!
  3. Postmodern Jukebox covers BABYMETAL's "Gimme Chocolate" in a jazzy/kinda klezmer style. Not one of their best, but still a super fun and unexpected mash-up.

     

    1. IGM_Oficial

      IGM_Oficial

      OMFG I LOVE THEM

  4. Greetings, MH! June felt a little slow for some of us, but nonetheless, here is our latest batch of recommended tracks! Check them out and let us know what you think! (We apologize if some videos aren't available due to region restrictions!) @helcchi's Picks "vainglory" by MEIDARA In February, a mysterious masked band released a disruptive trailer, raising speculation on whether at least the vocalist was an established member of the scene. The speculation was soon dispelled when it was revealed that the band were relative newcomers having regrouped from previously disbanded Galumia, however their music has left a lasting impression on me. "vainglory" might be the most overlooked of the three songs on MEIDARA’s debut single, with its softer sound and slower pace yet this ambitious little number doesn’t scrimp on expressiveness. With Yagami’s powerful voice, an anthemic chorus and a half-minute guitar solo, this song is fitting for an ending track as "vainglory" closes out an excellent debut on a high note. "蜉蝣の夢" by FIXER "Kagerou no Yume" by FIXER An atmospheric ballad that is pretty in its simplicity and not often synonymous with FIXER. The 4-minute emotion-filled song features a beautiful chorus that is punctuated by discordant guitars, distorted vocals and distant screaming, emanating a sense of unrest and culminating in a soaring climax. This song would also work well unplugged, and whilst many will find it mediocre, I think it’s got enough charm earn itself a spot in a playlist for rainy days. Besides, one of the last ballads that Jey sang was the remarkable but off-tune "Dears" by RevieЯ so I’ll take it. "Omelas" by JILUKA JILUKA have upped the ante with their release of the explosive “Omelas" - faster, louder and are you kidding me. The premise of the song is possibly a nod to Ursula K. Leguin’s short fiction "The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”, with the cave and caged scenery of the PV illustrating the hidden atrocity that lies beneath the utopian city of Omelas wherein a single child must be locked away in the darkness and kept in a state of perpetual filth and misery as a social contract to maintain the city’s peace and happiness. The production quality of the PV is a feast for the eyes with outstanding cinematography while the gripping powerplay between the guitar and drums weaves an intricate auditory story that is diabolically mesmerising. @emmny's Pick "ドラマチックな恋心" by SAVAGE "Dramatic na koigokoro" by SAVAGE If you're ever curious as to what a dry month (some of us) had for June and for all of 2017...this sums it up. SAVAGE are that friend with benefits that you have known for a bit too long to give up on so you text occasionally and meet up once in a blue moon for mediocre sex but somehow it's all kind of fun and cute? That's a lie, SAVAGE are actually the herpes you get after the fact but it's kind of cool because you knew you were gonna end up with something so you might as well consider it a parting gift. In fact, SAVAGE as a strand of herpes would be like...antibiotic-resistant or something because these guys actually won't die and keep rehashing the same shit over and over. Luckily for some of us with questionable taste, it's all in good fun. I've been on a SAVAGE kick since they've been coming through with their six city oneman tour digest footage on their YT channel, quelling my curiosity for live audio from them. They sound sharp live, at least in comparison to their studio output, and threw a surprisingly solid show by the looks of it. "Dramatic..." was the track that looked especially engaging; I always heard it in the snippets and was like "hey, I should probably listen to the full track" but didn't get around to it until now. Their weirdly psychedelic take on visualcore that has taken off in the past year is in full effect here and oddly intoxicating. June was dry, but SAVAGE made it somehow worthwhile...and that's one thing I don't regret from our affair! @fitear1590's Picks "セクシーホモサピエンス" by クウチュウ戦 "Sexy Homosapiens" by Koochewsen These days, Koochewsen is one band that I can truly count on. Accompanying the release of their '1st love album,' whatever that means, they released the PV for "Sexy Homosapiens." The song title should be apparent enough, but this band always keeps it entertaining and their PVs never disappoint. If I had to sum up this particular video in one phrase, I'd go with: 'bathtub guitar solos.' "Sexy Homosapiens" is a fine and prog-alicious introduction to Koochewsen's wacky world, so do yourself a favor and try them out. "ラビリンス" by MONDO GROSSO featuring 満島ひかり "Labyrinth" by MONDO GROSSO featuring Hikari Mitsushima Clicking around the related and recommended videos on YouTube can be a surprisingly rewarding experience. My favorite Japanese find this month comes from DJ/producer MONDO GROSSO featuring J-pop vocalist Hikari Mitsushima. The dreamy house-style beats mesh perfectly with her delicate voice. But what brings it all together for me is the gorgeous PV. Filmed in a single shot (I'm a sucker for ambitious one-takes) in Hong Kong at night, the video brilliantly captures all the vibrant lights and colors while the camera glides through an urban market and residential area. The splendid visuals all mask the fact that Hikari isn't exactly the most graceful dancer! "ガブリエル" by Yeti "Gabriel" by Yeti Yeti may have built a following with their sprightly indie rock, but PV track "Gabriel" from their sixth mini album ハウル (Howl) sees the band broaching a ballad-oriented style. Call me a sap, but I'm loving it. They don't lose all their energy though, as the choruses pulse with power pop momentum. Also, since the subject of Yeti's VK status is a hot topic around these parts, let's consider a few things. With the video's church setting and the random white kid (classic VK PV tropes), as well as the song's general composition and Satoshi's quivery whispered delivery at the beginning of the third chorus, is this song a step (or at least a nod) towards their VK roots? In any case, this song is just one facet of their sonic palette (see plastic's review of "Mujuuryoku"). @plastic_rainbow's Picks "See Inside" by PASSing truth DRIVE PASSing truth DRIVE was a random find when I browsed through the youtube channel of a J-indie record label called 'KiliKili Villa'. The song "See Inside" comes off of their new album Ha and opens with a dizzying echo of the voice, signaling the strangeness that comes ahead. What we have here are some peculiar acoustic guitars, a funky digitized voice, an eerie saxophone and basically a mix of nujazz/trip hop and folk into one. There is also an avant-garde side to it as the video for the song showcases the aesthetics from old black and white films like 'A Trip to the Moon'. Watching the video while listening to the song is a must in order to fully experience the uncanny storytelling. The repetitive whispering of 'see inside' and the monotonous rap section generates a sense of dark horror as you watch the robotic men march without purpose. PASSing truth DRIVE have been around for years, forming in 1992 and to my surprise used to perform with the well-known punk band Eastern Youth. Despite an apparently punkier sound in their earlier years, they have decided to break away from those roots this time around into something more experimental and jazzy, which may not be for everyone but can be pleasing to the ears if you have an open mind. "雨中遊泳" by Plastic Tree "Uchuu Yuuei" by Plastic Tree Sure enough, Plastic Tree always stay rooted to their signature sound and "Uchuu Yuuei" is like any other fruit that flourishes from that tree. In celebration of their 20th anniversary since their major debut it's not a negative thing to say that the track recycles all of their previous material because it pays homage to their pre-2010 works. Particularly, "Uchuu Yuuei" is reminiscent of "Tsumetai Hikari" and "Yuki Hotaru" as it creates a similar kind of solitude and coldness emanated from Ryutaro's mournful singing. On top of that, the emotive guitar riffs and skip of the piano immerse you into the shivering rain of loneliness, which is essentially what the ballad strives to express. Even though Plastic Tree have not done anything totally impressive in a while, the beauty and sadness of "Uchuu Yuuei" is still worth a listen. And seeing how they continue to stand vigorously even after over twenty years, Plastic Tree will surely not wither away just yet. "無重力" by Yeti "Mujuuryoku" by Yeti If you thought Yeti were going to put out another mini album entirely composed of soft alternative rock, think again. Howl blesses us with two tracks that characterize a heavier sound, one of them being "Mujuuryoku". If you listen to the first few seconds you would have never thought that it was written by Yeti, who claim to be no longer involved with the VK scene. Yet, the slow and metal infused opening practically sounds like something you'd hear from a heavier VK ballad, until Satoshi's delicate vocals come in and you remember that oh wait, this is Yeti that I'm listening to. Satoshi's vocals work well against the heavy backdrop, but in a matter of 'un duex trios' the track reverts back to Yeti's soft sound and lays out a serene ballad. It was honestly a tough pick between the two heavier tracks and I recommend VK listeners, as well as all listeners, to check out "Aun" also, which unlike "Mujuuryoku" does not transition to a ballad and is more edgy. It would be great if Yeti experiment more with this heavier sound and I look forward to what they'll be putting out next. @The Reverend's Pick "最近じゃデパートのオリジナルソングにすら 幸せを感じるんだ" by The Mirraz "Even the songs in the department store, can make me happy these days." by The Mirraz The Mirraz have decided to dip their toes in the post-hardcore wading pool with their new single "Even the songs in the department store, can make me happy these days." The new track still features Shouhei's highly-caffeinated rapid-fire vocal delivery but tempers the energy a bit with a backdrop of slower, fuzzy melodies and purposeful yet dreamy drums and backup vocals. There are still a lot of just *words* being yelped and sung every which way, but on this track they take on a twinge of emo-ness (see: the title) and appropriate urgency. If you're intrigued by the possibility of a punk love song filtered through the lens of At The Drive-In and The Novembers be sure to check the newest by The Mirraz. @Disposable's Pick "あましずくとマクガフィン" by グリモア "Ama shizuku to McGuffin" by GRIMOIRE How long has Grimoire been around, a year or two? Either way, you couldn't tell that by looking or listening to them. Their aesthetic concept, both musically and visually, is so sharp and defined that nobody sounds nor looks like they do and the production values are just unparalleled — and now in a very un-visual kei fashion we have an album for once. A crude description would be for you to imagine Pentagon at their most primordial, mixed in with a little bit of Mejibray (don't take that wrong, okay ) and Moran in a way that their style at its bare essence consists of brooding, stylised core riffs and RyNK's cute mischievous boy voice in a netherworld dark pastel carnival. Their signature is not being exactly lighthearted or jovial, but certainly an aversion to the heartrending blackness some of their contemporaries that might dabble in similar soundscapes and riffs in particular; it's a playful darkness that defines them. "あましずくとマクガフィン" stands out from the rest of their discography for a couple of reasons. It's slower paced, more inclined to rely on the atmosphere than their tracks have tended to in the past; a clear album opener within the visual kei tradition in this regard. It vaguely reminds me of similar tracks Mejibray has done, but fuck if their own style is beyond reproach at this point. What I think achieves this effect in particular is that RyNK's tone is always almost conversational, but especially in here to me he sounds like a child singing in his room next to scattered toys and posters, a visual effect further emphasised by the jingling riffs and their trademark samples of bells and the rest of it — flourishes so consistent with their aesthetic that one often doesn't even consciously catch them, because it's so comfortably ingrained into Grimoire's character. It's the music box variety of new visual kei that has once again transformed its imported riffing style seamlessly into its purposes and aesthetic vision. Guest Recommendations: @Ada Suilen's Picks "Bad Blood" by Acid Black Cherry I started to know Yasu with this project and I was literally hooked by his suggestive vocals and his unexpected versatility, making him one of the best singers around in the scene. This year for him marked an interesting achievement, as the project arrived at the tenth anniversary, and for the occasion came Acid Blood Cherry; considered a spin-off release, it can be defined in its entirety by this track, where the stronger point is the contrast between Yasu's bright vocals and screamo vocals by Tenji Nagano from Crack6, one of the many illustrious guests of the release, for a raging and unique rock track, suitable for each to hear. "Sans Toi Mamie" by Ataru Nakamura This song marks my own regret for not having listened to this singer before. Following up a blasting solo career and a brief but engaging phase with the visual kei band Decays, Ataru Nakamura releases her first mini-album, which is surely a worthy one, made of melting tones and of a gloomy depth, where this track is the peak; the powerful guitar in the background reinforces the struggling melody of this ballad, accompanied by a moving vocal interpretation, meaning that this singer will be one of my replays, and I hope even yours. - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Thanks for checking out our recommendations this month! And another big thanks to our guest contributor Ada Suilen! If you have any thoughts on the list, or if you have any recommendations of your own, we look forward to seeing your comments below!
  5. Anyone know what band Rikito might be from? Or did he just arrive via time machine?
  6. Makes me wonder about Chobi and Satoshi though. Didn't they leave DIV (which ultimately resulted in total disbandment), because of 'creative differences' over the EDR Tokyo-direction the band's sound was going? And now, ACME is closer in style to earlier DIV.
  7. Looks like the vocalist and guitarist from DIV, Chisa and Shogo, are back with a new band, アクメ/ACME! Their social media handles (Instagram, etc.) appear to have been updated to reflect the new band name. http://acme-official.com/ Members Vo. Chisa Gt. Shogo Ba. Rikito Dr. Hal (Swastika-kei tho?) Also, they've got a mini-album, SENKOU, coming out in August. 2017/08/02(Wednesday) 01.SENKOU 02.Trick×Trap 03.MONSTER 04.EDGY 05.MELODY 06.テバナシライダー 07.KAMIKAZE DCCNM-503 ¥2500(+tax) 2000枚限定
  8. rf_zpsrqmpzhks.jpg
    Art kei cheki or white hipster chick polaroid?

    1. Seimeisen

      Seimeisen

      art-kei hipster

    2. Peace Heavy mk II

      Peace Heavy mk II

      tbh that's what checki look like anyway, so 

    3. emmny
  9. https://thesmartset.com/why-music-ownership-matters/ A band I follow recently shared the article "Why Music Ownership Matters" and I thought it was an interesting read. Here are a few exemplary quotes, in case you can't read the entire thing: So, what do you think, does this article have a point? I must admit, the power streaming companies have over individual pieces of media can be scary and it's something I've thought about before. There was this one older German movie I really liked on Netflix streaming a while back. In physical form, the movie only exists on VHS in the US and region 2 DVDs in crappy quality. Netflix, for whatever reason, had some remastered version in pristine HD quality. But now that the film is no longer available in their online library (to quote the article: this particular movie likely didn't 'justify upkeep anymore'), it's like this HD version never existed. I would gladly pay for a Blu-ray version, but it's simply not offered. Maybe I'll never get to watch it again and that sucks. Sure, that's just one movie, but think about the bigger implications of streaming's role in archiving. I will say, one aspect that seemed downplayed in the article is the material difference between downloading and streaming. Both are digital, rather than physical, but remember, this article is making the argument that the shift from 'ownership' to 'streaming' is the more significant one. So, I would think downloading technically falls under the category of 'ownership' (you have file ON your computer hard drive), rather than 'streaming.' These days, I would say about 80-90% of my non-Japanese music listening is done via streaming, like Spotify. Is there some difference in that culture of listening via streaming versus listening by downloading? And since this is a Japanese music forum, what can we make of this article? Do you think the general 'Japanese music industry' or particular Japanese music scenes are still promoting music ownership over streaming? Discuss!
  10. Keep the posts coming, everyone! I am loving these Thanks for the feedback. I was just trying something a tad more sensational this time, since we've gotten word that some list titles in the past weren't snazzy enough. But I do stand by the transformations I chose. Part of the fun in this list for me was removing the factor of development over time and just showing radical changes, side-by-side, from point A to point C, D, or even Z. Sleeping salaryman is one of my faves in this thread!
  11. If you want to make a guest contribution to the June Recommended Tracks list, you have until Monday, June 26 to send your short submission to me. More details here:

     

  12. This featured list is dedicated to some of the most head-turning transformations in Japanese music. Whether from budget VK drag goth to plastered pop boi or trading in a watermelon dye-job for lightly tousled locks spilling out from under an ill-advised fedora, we've got examples of, let's say, aesthetic 'evolution' in every which direction. And, surely, this list is just a taste, so be sure to let us know in the comments what are some other unbelievable transformations in Japanese music that we didn't get to cover. @fitear1590's Picks 麗羽 (ErecSia, ALPHONSTEIN) → いっち (みるふぃね, キャンゼル, ★NOハウス) Reiha (ErecSia, Alphonstein) → Icchi (Milphinne, Canzel, hoshi NO house) Right around the turn of the century, Reiha, as he was known back then, made his first foray into the world of VK. Talk about jumping into the deep end first! Who knows what he looked like as a teen, but Reiha's aesthetic in his first bands ErecSia and presumably ALPHONSTEIN (there are no available photos of this band to my knowledge) was very much 90s VK 'goth' trash -- I mean that in the nicest way possible. Pictured above with red hair and a frilly lolita aesthetic, it's indisputable he was influenced by 90s queen Kei, vocalist of Key Party Records' legendary Eliphas Levi who came just a few years earlier. Rounding out the aesthetic are cassette tape releases of seance chants, banshee screams, and low-budget atmospheric Lockheart Castle-kei. By late 2002, Icchi, his new moniker, pulled a night-to-day transformation and was releasing full-blown oshare kei in a group called Milphinne. Future bands Canzel (2007-2010) and hoshi NO house (2012-2016) continued to deliver upbeat pop-rock, twinkling synths, and sparkly looks. It's all a far cry from how he started off visually, but every once in a while, you can hear remnants of his ErecSia/ALPHONSTEIN vocal freak-outs, especially live. Interestingly, Eliphas Levi's vocalist made a similar change, moving on to oshare band Vinett in the early to mid 2000s. PIECE → 超時空アンドロイド-PIECE- → グリモア PIECE → Choujiku Android - PIECE → GRIMOIRE Around 2009, Kasumi Shinjou (ex-SMILE, Gekijou Tenor) opened Dear Dolce, home to the likes of リロード (Reload) and メメント・モリ (Memento Mori), the proto-bands of グリーヴァ (GRIEVA) and 黒百合と影 (Kuroyuri to kage). As a super indies label, fans were often required to turn a blind eye to budgetary constraints, but unfortunately, PIECE suffered more than their labelmates. How else do you explain this PV? Pro-tip, do not waste all your funds on the cheesy lens flare effect. Even after Dear Dolce's shutdown in 2012, the band continued as 超時空アンドロイド-PIECE- (Choujiku Android -PIECE-). Their revamped aesthetic was kinda cool, I must admit. In 2015, the band's musicians reemerged in GRIMOIRE, kicking their singer of 5 years to the curb, instead being joined by the former embarrassing lip-sync rawr vocalist of Dear Dolce's Diement. Thankfully, he keeps his mouth shut now, lol. With new stage names, a gloomy and imaginative zodiac theme, and a dark graveyard carnival sound with chugalicious riffs, GRIMOIRE represent an unlikely phoenix, risen from Dear Dolce's ashes. Now, this is a transformation I fully support! えみる (愛狂います。) → 涼木 聡 (Yeti) Emiru (Aicle) → Satoshi Suzuki (Yeti) Who would have thought one of the most visually flamboyant members of the mid-2000s VK scene would one day forego hair dye and settle for totally casual outfits? Let's start with Emiru, back when he was the love-him-or-hate-him lead singer of Aicle. Admittedly, he started off quite rough. He legitimately sounds like Cartman in "シドロモドロ (shidoro modoro)". Because of his helium tone and straining to hit notes in earlier releases, it would be easy to write Emiru off as a 'bad' singer, but that would mean ignoring how commendably he 'compensates' in all the other things he does with his voice. What really contributes to Emiru’s success as a vocalist is his variety. In any given song, you might hear any combo of the following: growling, oldschool Madeth Gray’ll-esque 'fast talking,' shrieking, maniacal cackling, whispering, and more. Some absolute highlights include Emiru chanting off the number sequence of pi in the punky "球形無限連鎖~ミズタマ~ (kyuukei mugen rensa ~mizutama~)", or the demonically adorable alter-ego he takes on in "まみむめモンスター君 (mamimume monster-kun)." After Aicle's sputtering out, Emiru resurfaced in Yeti, which started off quite strong, arguably leading the VK/indie rock movement with bands like Chanty and SRASH NOTES GARDEN. I was willing to accept them despite Aicle's disbandment, but the more six-song mini albums Yeti release, the less remarkable they become (though previews for their sixth mini, HOWL, are quite promising!). By now, they've apparently cut all ties to the VK scene, performing exclusively with other J-indie artists. The 'Emiru' persona must be in there somewhere and I hope he'll grace us again one day. 小山田圭吾 (フリッパーズ・ギター) → CORNELIUS Keigo Oyamada (Flipper's Guitar) → CORNELIUS This one is still a puzzle to me. Flipper's Guitar started in the late 80s as a proto-Shibuya kei/Britpop-worship extravaganza. Citing Western twee legends like The Pastels and Aztec Camera as influences, their infectious guitar pop was unmatched in Japan. Guitarist and vocalist Keigo Oyamada even performed their first album three cheers for our side〜海へ行くつもりじゃなかった (umi e iku tsumori janakatta)〜 in what I still consider to this day to be the most endearing use of Engrish in Japanese music. They went on to release two more albums, in Japanese, while still sticking to their indie pop guns. Only occasionally did they introduce more diverse influences like jazz and house music, with the third album Doctor Head's World Tower particularly showing a move in the direction of sampling. Flipper's Guitar disbanded in the early 90s, but Oyamada returned a few years later as an experimental/electronic solo artist under the moniker CORNELIUS. Tunes like "MUSIC" show little relation whatsoever to the work of his former band. While I do enjoy me some CORNELIUS, a part of me wishes he would go back to composing sunshine-y guitar pop. 分島花音 Kanon Wakeshima Back in the late 2000s, MALICE MIZER's (in)famous Mana took a protégé under his wing. Kanon Wakeshima's initial music took after what we've come to expect from Mana's projects, implementing twinkly music box arrangements and dark orchestration befitting of the OG gothic aristocrat. What really set Kanon apart, however, was her cello work. While so many arrangements in this strand of the VK scene are riddled with canned strings, Kanon proved she has the chops to actually play. After her first album, however, her production relationship with Mana came to an end. Ever since, she has distanced herself from her darker orchestral beginnings. Although she still plays cello from time to time, it's no longer the center of attention, with her music generally assuming a more pop-oriented nature. Plus, she deviated from her gothic lolita aesthetic. While I don't particularly care for Kanon's work in this second era, one undeniable hit has been "ツキナミ (tsukinami)." Despite the goofy nurse and deliverywoman outfits, the song is a masterful pop tune with surprisingly noisy flourishes, though you wouldn't even believe it's the same artist as something like her debut single, "still doll." 女王蜂 Ziyoou-Vachi / QUEEN BEE Ziyoou-Vachi started making waves in 2011 with the release of their mini-album, 魔女狩り (majo kari). The band stuck out in so many ways: having the backing of a major label while churning out raucous punk, featuring two multiracial siblings as band members (vocalist Avu-chan and drummer Ruri-chan), and always coming prepared with vibrant, drag-alicious outfits. Furthermore, Avu-chan (who, I believe, identifies as trans) would often switch between a gruff ‘male’ voice and a squeakier ‘female’ register, keeping the vocal work dynamic. Even in PV tracks like “デスコ (disco)” or "フランス人形の呪い (France ningyou no noroi)", it was common for the band musicians to keep the distortion and zaniness set at 11, while Avu-chan did her thing. This flamboyant sound and aesthetic more or less continued for the next two mini-albums. It was the dry spell from 2012-2015 that seems to have had the biggest impact on the band’s sound. Since their return, it's not uncommon to see the band members with natural hair colors and sporting simple outfits, like suits. The sound also became uncharacteristically polished with songs like “スリラ (Thriller)“ or "金星 (kinsei)" ironing out the band’s signature fuzzy edge. Although Avu-chan now exhibits commendably more vocal control, the unpredictable melodies are all but gone. While I can see why the second wave of Ziyoou-Vachi has garnered more popularity (working alongside the likes of NEGOTO, Tokyo Jihen’s Ukigumo and the dresscodes’ Ryohei Shima; well-attended festival appearances; TV interviews and commercial work for Avu-chan; etc.), I think many of us here at MH miss the band’s former noisy glory. @doombox's Pick 狼哦 (ハートレス) →TSUYOSHI (Unveil Raze) Rouga (Heartless) → TSUYOSHI (Unveil Raze) Maybe since I'm still not finished emotionally digesting the ハートレス (Heartless) reunion I was able to attend last year (which also happened to be my very first visual kei concert experience in Japan, ayeeeeee) and witnessing the departure from what Heartless used to be to what the members are currently involved in really stayed with me. Especially guitarist Rouga's transformation to his current evolution in the band Unveil Raze where he performs under the name Tsuyoshi Ikeda. While his playing sounds like a natural progression from Heartless' more metal aspects, Tsuyoshi has fully dropped the flowery, melodic aspects that make visual kei what it is and has moved straight into hard rock and metal full-time. His physical changes are the most notable now that he's just about covered himself with tattoos, shaved off his hair (up until very recently started growing it back out again), put on some muscle mass, and dropped all of the heavy make up. It's always interesting to me to see how certain visual musicians would be when they aren't in full costume and if the reception of them would be more or less favorable. Tsuyoshi is a strong case in point that music will speak for itself in the end no matter how it's dressed up. Though, I remain a strong believer that a little eyeliner never hurt anyone. @Zeus's Pick XecsNoin → XECSNOIN Let me recount to you a story of a band who was always behind the curve, and why only following trends will get you nowhere. XECSNOIN, originally stylized XecsNoin, formed in 1998 as yet another melodic rock visual kei band inspired by the Finnish and Scandinavian death metal scenes. A few things were working against this band from the very start, as their activities coincided with an overall shift in the sound and style of visual kei. The goth style was losing popularity and this left XecsNoin out in the cold. A rotating cast of members did them no favors as well; originally the group was LOKI (vocals), JIN (guitar), K (guitar), JUN (bass) and Yuzuki (drums) which is pictured left. Constant member changes plagued the band - they replaced five members in three years - and while the band was stable long enough to record their first album, vocalist LOKI quit and then drummer HiЯo was fired not long after. K, JUN, and ZAKURO persevered, changed their name to XECSNOIN and their sound to death metal - because that was all the rage in 2005 - and found K.K. and ZEN for drummer and vocalist respectively. At some point around 2010 after releasing a single and EP with a more melodeath sound, both K.K. and ZEN left and were replaced by vocalist U (ex. THE EIGHT) and guitarist HIROKI (ex. EXCEPTION). Unlike THE EIGHT, XECSNOIN managed to put U to work and released their second album Corridor to the Sky. Even though they've changed radically, you can still hear the visual kei influence in "DISILLUSION", linked below. Unfortunately, troubles were never far and the Reaper of 2016 took XECSNOIN in his grip of disbandment along with other fan favorites. Perhaps this one was more merciful than most, but I believe XECSNOIN wallowed in obscurity precisely because all they did was follow trends. "DISILLUSION" is their most recent sound. "Spiritual Road" is as early as YouTube allows, but there's even older than this! Also the picture is very misleading but whatever. @togz's Picks てんてん (餞ハナむケ。→KuRt→朱ィ。→ケミカルピクチャーズ→kiss my way→My BACTERIA HEAT IsLAND→ラッコ) Tenten (Hanamuke→KuRt→Benii→Chemical Pictures→kiss my way→My BACTERIA HEAT IsLAND→LACK-CO.) Tenten (Taira Kazuhiro) debuted in the visual kei scene in the year 2000 with a little band called Hanamuke. That means our little (not so little anymore) buddy here has been at it for SIXTEEN YEARS! While his tendency to bounce from band to band may be an annoyance to some, it's a godsend to others. Generally the groups he partakes in only last a few years or are ideas that never fully surface, but his fans are left with the feeling he will always be back. Musically he's dipped his toes in a variety of styles. Hanamuke and KuRt have a similar sound and style while Chemical Pictures had a lighter look and less harsh vocals. He's always had a raspy feeling to his vocal technique and proved his skill to growl or scream, but over the past 16 years he has grown not only as a vocalist but as a person as well. His most recent project is LACK-CO. which includes other well-known faces in the scene such as IVY (ex. DIO, Remming), SAN (ex. NEGA/BFN), and Milk (fka Satoshi ex. para:noir) There is no telling for sure how long this act will last, but it's good to see him still active in the scene after all these years and bands. @plastic_rainbow's Picks 怜 (Clarity → kannivalism → バロック → baroque → kannivalism → BAROQUE) Ryo (Clarity → kannivalism → barokku → baroque → kannivalism → BAROQUE) Where do I even begin with this guy? Ryo has gone through so many different transformations throughout his music career, both aesthetically and musically. If you've never bothered looking at his band history, you may not realize that he wasn't always that orange/brown haired punk with lip piercings or the simpler blonde-haired man that he now is. Believe it or not, Ryo used to dress-up in an old school visual kei style with his brighter orange/red hair in messy pigtails, wearing crazy colored contacts that is evident from his early days of Clarity (1998-2000), old kannivalism (2001), and very early baroque (2001-2004). Later, Ryo leaned on a more mature and manly appearance, growing a goatee in the late years of old baroque, and then gradually grew his hair out in second era kannivalism (2006-2011). All of that is now in the past though. Musically, his singing style follows the same trend as his appearance. Ryo began singing in quirks and cackles that are quintessential to older visual kei, which you can hear in "トリップショートケーキ (Trip Short Cake)". During some experimentation over the years, his vocals went from a deep to a rap-singing style, that is sometimes raspy, gentle, and whispery as he does in "Ila.", or just something completely fun and wacky like in "カスタリーンナ (Castarina)". Ryo is probably one of the most versatile Japanese vocalists that I know of and it's quite unfortunate that he now lazily employs autotune in the new BAROQUE (2012-present). It's true that he has used autotune before, but only to a lesser extent. The amplified autotune in a song like "DREAMSCAPE" for instance, camouflages all his singing talent in the years before. Who knows, maybe he'll make another abrupt change in the coming years. Whatever he does, I sure hope it'll be good. 悠希 (Crystallium(gt) → SUBDUAL → De stijllia → 人格ラヂオ → Solo) Yuuki (Crystallium(gt) → SUBDUAL → De stijllia → Jinkaku Radio → Solo) Although Yuuki performed in several bands before, he is most well-known as the vocalist, guitarist, and main composer of Jinkaku Radio (2001-2012). Jinkaku Radio was an indie duo which, at a glance, seemed to follow the string of dark and heavy suit-kei bands. However, what made them stand out musically from the rest was the softer, yet nasally vocals of Yuuki's. Their musical style was also less aggressive as Yuuki rarely screamed or growled, and mostly sang in anguish or grief along with heart-rending guitars and sad melodies, which in turn labeled them heavily as gloomy and depressing. Despite showing their brighter side during lives -- Yuuki manically flinging a cloth doll at the audience and fooling around with balloons -- the forlorn image from their music left such a strong impression that it became quite a shock to most fans when the duo started putting out happy-go-lucky music out of nowhere. It was as if they were injected with some happy oshare kei fluids and had magically recovered from all their misery. Although it's true that they released something cheerful before, which was basically a tongue-in-cheek song about bangyarus, it wasn't until the release of their second album Ichibyou in 2010 that they started writing upbeat music as part of their actual serious music. Currently, Yuuki continues writing music as a solo artist, and as he basically wrote all of Jinkaku Radio's songs he can still pull off some of the same sounds in his solo works. However, it's highly unlikely that we'll hear any more of those heart-wrenching and depressing songs like "姥捨て山(Ubasuteyama)" or "午後の落下(Gogo no rakka)" again, which essentially encompassed the melancholy and wistfulness of Jinkaku Radio. 悠璃 (9ミリ。) → ゆーり (イロクイ。) → おかゆさん (秘密結社パンピー) Yuuri (9MIRI.) → Yuuri (Irokui.) → Okayusan (Himitsu Kessha Hanpii) In the visual kei scene it's nothing unusual to see a male dress-up all feminine and girly. Yet, even though so many visual kei musicians wear dresses, frills, thick eyelashes, and lipstick as part of their getup, very few go as far as undergoing a sex change. Okayusan (or Okayu), formerly known as Yuuri from the oshare kei band Irokui. (2005-2011), was one of the few who did. It happened not too long after Irokui.'s disbandment in 2011 that Yuuri underwent surgery and even went into prostitution under the name of Yuu Takizawa for a while. Seeing that she gradually became less of a colorful punk and more of a gorgeous looking woman during the late years of Irokui., especially in their last look for Aimai Stripe before the disbandment, the sudden sex change did not come off as a huge shock to me. Still, the rumors of her being involved in prostitution shook fans in many ways. Even though Okayusan now lives her daily life as a woman and as a youtuber, it does not change the fact that she still holds the same passion for singing as she made a short return to the music scene in 2012 along with ex.Irokui. guitarist Hazuki to form Himitsu Kessha Panpii. Two years later, she also sang for one song in contribution with a producer named TACOS NAOMI, but as far as singing again full time goes, the idea seems to be nothing but a thing of the past. ----------------------------------- We hope you enjoyed the list! Maybe we'll do another installment in the future! Which of these transformations is most surprising to you?
  13. Yes! So glad they took a shot at rerecording these. Looking forward to the full versions.
  14. Koochewsen never ceases to fuck. me. up! And iconic bathtub scene, haha.
  15. Since both of those track 6s are two of their oldest songs, I wonder if they'll be rerecorded? (Actually, I wonder about all of the old tracks being included.) "Boku to tulpa" had passable production, but if they don't rerecord the "Gensou" track, it will really stick out like a sore thumb, production-wise.
×