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secret_no_03

The sparsity of albums and the transition to more singular content.

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So, I harp on this all of the time, so I thought I'd make a topic to dig into this. I come from the era of VK i.e. the mid 2000s where releases were every few months, if not every month and albums came at least once a year, at the bare minimum every 9 months. Today, I look at all of these new bands, sarigia, DEXCORE, TRNTY D:CODE, DIMLIM, so many I can name that have been around going on two years and their releases are few and far between and no album yet. Hell, SARIGIA have fallen off the face of the planet unless you go to their shows. 

 

Anyway, I'm just wondering what you think it may be the reason for the lack of releases, especially albums from these and many other new bands? Is it lack of making new songs, a new marketing gimmick that's predicated on live only releases and stretching out time between releases or is it something else? I mean NAZARE are pretty much brand new and for better or worse they've released a wealth of stuff. I think it might be something to do with these coupling shows being more prevalent so they only have to play five songs or so a show, so they don't have to worry about stretching out a set list. Anyway, I'm suspecting that the true reason will be blatantly obvious.

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dexcore practically launched their career with a full album uploaded on youtube for free, and dimlim literally just released chedoara last year, less than two years after their line-up settled down.

 

I don't know what you're talking about since the tendency to release stuff as live-limited has always been in vk, and it was 2002 and onwards when everyone practically stopped releasing albums in favor of mini-albums and singles in 7 types with very rare exceptions to this rule (i.e. lynch.)

Edited by nekkichi

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2 minutes ago, Zeus said:

There's also the reality that the pace is unsustainable. Putting out singles and albums that quickly leads to burn out.

Good point. The same could be said for those massive tours.

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1 hour ago, nullmoon said:

I'd take quality over quantity. We don't need another Mejibray. 

I'll always love MEJIBRAY, but I have to agree, there's plenty that's just not good. Most singles aren't worth listening to, but I've enjoyed every album.

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I feel like there are more albums being released in the past 5 years than there have been in the 5 years prior to that? Could just be a memory bias, but vkei albums aren't super infrequent. 

 

I think the scene in general has wisened up a bit and realized that releasing stuff c o n s t a n t l y may not be financially viable, especially with historically smaller crowds buying physical releases.  A Matina-styled "demo tapes every 3 months, plus omnibus exclusive songs, plus video tapes, plus cross-cover singles, plus interviews, plus..." doesn't really work today, as cool as it would be. With the internet, oversaturation and over-promotion is a very real thing and there's less of a need to be constantly bombarding people with new products when your old ones are more widely accessible.  

 

Unless of course, you're signed to -AINS-. Then you get a 101 stop tour and are forced to release two albums a year that are 80% new content, plus some live distros to keep the children occupied in the "off months." 

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It's a worldwide trend. Albums became less frequent, singles in the way japan do (before full albums) are much more common, sometimes not even being featured in albums. You can blame it on stream if you want, there are several studies noticing how spotify dictates even how songs are being produced nowadays (not that I see this happening in japan soon, as they are always stubbornly behind some trends).

 

In a way it's good, it extends songs longevity, which lets artists focus more on delivering good content instead of always putting stuff out.

 

And TBH, in the whole world music releases are a supplemental income to live concerts. Artists must survive with their lives, that's just the way it is after the internet. The sooner japanese bands understand that and adopt stream the way they should, the better for everyone.

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Within Visual Kei, this has been a thing since the 90's, and it's a thing mostly within Indies bands. For example, the GazettE went from 2002 to 2005 without releasing a full length, and mostly did singles and EPs.

I'd argue that because recording is much easier nowadays, more full-lengths are getting made. Of course, within the larger scope of the music industry, the standard has always been, and still is, full length albums.

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3 minutes ago, Himeaimichu said:

Within Visual Kei, this has been a thing since the 90's, and it's a thing mostly within Indies bands. For example, the GazettE went from 2002 to 2005 without releasing a full length, and mostly did singles and EPs.

they released disorder in 2004, which only had ザクロ型の憂鬱 released as a single ahead of the album, and were slaving away with 3 type singles for most of 2005 with an EP same year.

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1 hour ago, chemicalpictures said:

It's a worldwide trend. Albums became less frequent, singles in the way japan do (before full albums) are much more common, sometimes not even being featured in albums. You can blame it on stream if you want, there are several studies noticing how spotify dictates even how songs are being produced nowadays (not that I see this happening in japan soon, as they are always stubbornly behind some trends).

 

In a way it's good, it extends songs longevity, which lets artists focus more on delivering good content instead of always putting stuff out.

 

And TBH, in the whole world music releases are a supplemental income to live concerts. Artists must survive with their lives, that's just the way it is after the internet. The sooner japanese bands understand that and adopt stream the way they should, the better for everyone.

Yeah, I can't think of any band in the west that tries to actually make money on music sales. Like you said, they supplement it with merch and the percentage from shows. I mean I guess if Japan does ever move to digital; I mean they still have CD rental stores and most computers don't have a disc drive these days lol, Japan will probably be pushed into the future by force at some point.

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51 minutes ago, nekkichi said:

they released disorder in 2004, which only had ザクロ型の憂鬱 released as a single ahead of the album, and were slaving away with 3 type singles for most of 2005 with an EP same year.

That predatory multi-type release thing would never fly in the west, but it's been a staple of VK, more than likely the labels rather than the bands coming up with the idea. This is another reason the industry doesn't want to move to streaming because you can't do that when you can just purchase individual songs from the other types.

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I'm firmly of the belief that the reason TRNTY D:CODE have had so much trouble since forming, whether it be delaying releases or just having issues with the mixing, etc is because they're managed by YOHIO who has no business managing a label when he lives on another continent.

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Many of these bandomen, unless they’re quite well established, or have enough mitsu patronage...can’t get by on music alone. Most of them have day jobs that they need to keep affording outfits and recording sessions. This will effect their availability to write new music, record and tour.

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15 minutes ago, GreatNorthernVK said:

Many of these bandomen, unless they’re quite well established, or have enough mitsu patronage...can’t get by on music alone. Most of them have day jobs that they need to keep affording outfits and recording sessions. This will effect their availability to write new music, record and tour.

Very good point. It's easy to forget that majority of these guys have day jobs and are the modern day equivalent of the starving artist, just in this case they're working at a gas station during the day and performing at night. I suppose there's those who make it as a host as well, but majority are surviving on the minimum.

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4 hours ago, nekkichi said:

they released disorder in 2004, which only had ザクロ型の憂鬱 released as a single ahead of the album, and were slaving away with 3 type singles for most of 2005 with an EP same year.

Oh, it was earlier? I coulda swore it was 2005 lol. Thanks for correcting me

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4 hours ago, chemicalpictures said:

The sooner japanese bands understand that and adopt stream the way they should, the better for everyone.

I hope they don't. I hate music streaming and I love the concept of buying physical releases, with all the bonuses included, and attending instores. I don't  want to have to pay three or four times what I'm paying for my cellphone plan just because listening to music now is sucking up my data too.

Besides all that was mentioned, recording and studio time expensive and I guess smaller bands can afford more easily to start off with singles and EPs and grow from there. Newbie bands like Nazare can afford to release full albums because they record them in their drummer's bedroom.

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14 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

I hope they don't. I hate music streaming and I love the concept of buying physical releases, with all the bonuses included, and attending instores. I don't  want to have to pay three or four times what I'm paying for my cellphone plan just because listening to music now is sucking up my data too.

Besides all that was mentioned, recording and studio time expensive and I guess smaller bands can afford more easily to start off with singles and EPs and grow from there. Newbie bands like Nazare can afford to release full albums because they record them in their drummer's bedroom.

I wouldn't like everything to be on Spotify (although you could save stuff offline), but I would like for everything to be available on iTunes globally. It will never happen for plenty of reasons, but it would make stuff more accessible and cheaper and they could charge whatever they want in theory (not sure if iTunes has guidelines for pricing.).

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47 minutes ago, Komorebi said:

I hope they don't. I hate music streaming and I love the concept of buying physical releases, with all the bonuses included, and attending instores. I don't  want to have to pay three or four times what I'm paying for my cellphone plan just because listening to music now is sucking up my data too.

Besides all that was mentioned, recording and studio time expensive and I guess smaller bands can afford more easily to start off with singles and EPs and grow from there. Newbie bands like Nazare can afford to release full albums because they record them in their drummer's bedroom.

 

If you do understand how elitist and entitled that sounds, okay, to each their own I guess

 

You do realize that they do instores to try to improve sales and bring more people to their concerts, and bonuses are there just because a regular release isn't appealing enough, right? Fighting modernity has never worked before and never will

 

I for one am really happy bands like dimlim and dexcore are putting their releases on spotify and I can somehow support them, instead of giving them exactly 0 cents, which would be the case if I had to download their stuff.

 

31 minutes ago, secret_no_03 said:

I wouldn't like everything to be on Spotify (although you could save stuff offline), but I would like for everything to be available on iTunes globally. It will never happen for plenty of reasons, but it would make stuff more accessible and cheaper and they could charge whatever they want in theory (not sure if iTunes has guidelines for pricing.).

 

This is a weird thought. You wouldn't like everything to be on spotify, but would like for it to be readily available on itunes? So people who can't afford the asked price wouldn't be able to have the same access? If you wish to support them harder, there are a lot of ways of doing that with merch, physical copies, instead of limiting access to music. If xTRiPx released their stuff on spotify I would love it and still buy every release I could, because I want to support regardless of access, so stream would just be another form of revenue...

Edited by chemicalpictures

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48 minutes ago, chemicalpictures said:

 

If you do understand how elitist and entitled that sounds, okay, to each their own I guess

 

You do realize that they do instores to try to improve sales and bring more people to their concerts, and bonuses are there just because a regular release isn't appealing enough, right? Fighting modernity has never worked before and never will

 

I for one am really happy bands like dimlim and dexcore are putting their releases on spotify and I can somehow support them, instead of giving them exactly 0 cents, which would be the case if I had to download their stuff.

 

 

This is a weird thought. You wouldn't like everything to be on spotify, but would like for it to be readily available on itunes? So people who can't afford the asked price wouldn't be able to have the same access? If you wish to support them harder, there are a lot of ways of doing that with merch, physical copies, instead of limiting access to music. If xTRiPx released their stuff on spotify I would love it and still buy every release I could, because I want to support regardless of access, so stream would just be another form of revenue...

The prices would be nowhere near as much as buying a physical CD and having it shipped to you. It would only affect anyone who for whatever reason doesn't have access to iTunes or Google music or Amazon etc, some form of digital distribution. The market would dictate prices just like it does with everything else and iTunes and the others could have a war to see who makes stuff cheaper. I guess my way of thinking is strictly from a gaijin standpoint.

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10 hours ago, nullmoon said:

I'd take quality over quantity. We don't need another Mejibray. 

i think i got what you meant here,if no,i'm sorry.But MEJIBRAY was quite impressive with their releases

i admit we had a few filler and pointless tracks here and there but their minis and albums,title track singles,even many b-side tracks were amazing.

always wondered how could those guys keep that level of quality on so many releases in such a short period of time, insane. 

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Euronymous said:

i think i got what you meant here,if no,i'm sorry.But MEJIBRAY was quite impressive with their releases

i admit we had a few filler and pointless tracks here and there but their minis and albums,title track singles,even many b-side tracks were amazing.

always wondered how could those guys keep that level of quality on so many releases in such a short period of time, insane. 

Don't get me wrong, they had LOADS of good songs but they also had a ton of crap. I think my issue with them is a lack of consistency. 

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There are tonnes of things that could be said about this though. I personally prefer the physical releases and agree quality over quantity is better but it's when bands "do a mamireta" and releases a load of singles or whatever at the same time or pretty shortly after one another, that could easily have been compiled into one full length or a mini album that it gets annoying. I went into more detail about this elsewhere so not going to go fully into it again, but just feel like some bands could produce more quality stuff if they weren't so focused on trying to get a release out every few months and spent maybe a year to just write one really solid full length album. I know that's not how the vkei scene generally works, but among the amount of bands out there who are boring and generic it would be nice to see some bands take more time to try and produce higher quality stuff.

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