#album selection: 2020
Album Selection of 2020 | November
Angelo - [Evolve] (11.11.2020) [★★★★★]
Already appeared with: Factor (2015), Resonance (2018)
The visual kei band Angelo has been quite prolific in the last years, releasing at least an album per year. This thing hasn’t changed with the twelfth album, which features an energetic and various sound, including catchy melodies, aggressive notes and charismatic vocals. Angelo may appear to be formulaic, but if their style works and always delivers, why not give it a chance?
REVIEWS: Rebirth of a Newborn Baby (18.04.2007), The Freak Show (21.12.2007), Design (06.10.2010), Faith (analysis), Resonance (14.11.2018)
Enter the NEOPHASE
An Endless Multiverse
Haru no kaze (Spring breeze)
All for you
Revival of the Era - Nephthys (04.11.2020) [★★★★★]
On 2017 a new band, named Revival of the Era, has quietly formed, but nobody could expect that their sound may have been so powerful and fascinating at the same time. Their first mini-album is made of energetic and virtuous metal sound, with strong orchestral shades and chilling vocals, creating suggestive and powerful tracks, which always surprise the listener. This band surely represents a new phase of the visual kei scene and we will surely follow them.
Nephthys (ft. Cazqui)
Atom -Nephthys ver.-
Tears of Tragedy - Trinity (25.11.2020) [★★★★★]
Tears of Tragedy is one of the most appreciated metal bands in Japan and it’s always good to hear something new from them. After three years of absence, the band comes back with an album, made of compelling compositions, driven by an awesome guitar work, passionate vocals and a good keyboard work, which characterizes each track.
Toki ni kagami wa uso wo tsuku (Sometimes the mirror is lying)
Blindman - Expansion (11.11.2020) [★★★★★]
In a time when old bands decide to get back into the stage with something new, Blindman definitely fits the current musical scene. Their first album in two years tries to introduce their sound to whoever doesn’t know them and the final result is definitely awesome, with strong rhythms and energetic vocals domaining over the rest, bringing an atmosphere remindful of 90′s heavy metal.
Promise of Love
Never Say Never
One Step Closer
In the Autumn Wind
I’m Falling Down
Damian Hamada’s Creatures - Kyuyaku makai seisho dai I sho [The old testament of Hell -Chapter 1-] (25.11.2020) [★★★★]
Damian Hamada has been the main guitarist of the Japanese metal band Seikima-II for about three years, but afterwards he became quite popular as musician. Recently he came up with a brand-new project led by himself and composed by quite unknown musicians and released the first of two mini-albums for introducing their music to the audience. In this first work there are many promising elements, such as the refined instrumental work, an energetic guitar work, gothic shades and flowing vocals, making this project worth of interest.
Seiei (Holy poem)
Heaven to Hell
Running like a Tiger
San-mai no shoumakyou (Three sacred mirrors)
Lady into Devil
Sacrifice of Love -Omo yo, hito no yokubou no kanashimi yo- (Sacrifice of love -Lord, the sadness of human desires-)
Rename - Instinct (04.11.2020)
Only the die-hard visual kei fans can remember the indie band Masked Rider System, which lasted about five years. Akira, the band’s singer, started a new project in the following year, whose first album came out only on 2020. The sound can be associated to many visual bands, but at the same time there’s something refreshing behind each note, accompained by a deep voice and an unpredictable approach, alternating fast themes with more romantic and jazzy ones.
Inu no uta (Dog song)
a crowd of rebellion - Zealot City (11.11.2020)
Already appeared with: Ill (2018)
The alternative metal band a crowd of rebellion is slowly becoming one of the most riveting acts of the moment. Their latest album is a confirmation of their always growing style, but also a link with the past (there are three re-recorded tracks), incorporating shocking colors, distinct vocal performances and an awesome technique, giving to each track an unique identity, going from aggressive to catchy in a single blow. This band should be kept an eye on.
Under the Split Tree
Up to me
Bless by Blue
Keep the Day
Stick VS MADDOG
The Crow (Re-recorded)
Rebellious Behavior (Re-recorded)
A Malice of Rider (Re-recorded)
Hotei - Soul to Soul (25.11.2020)
It’s impossible to not have listened a song composed by Tomoyasu Hotei at least once and his style is pretty hard to forget. The seventeenth album is a set of collaborations with several artists from Japan but also from the West, each one bringing a different touch to Hotei’s majestical work, bringing on a mix of pop, rock, dance and ballad, worth of being experienced, especially if you love to listen to music without obligation.
Soul to Soul (ft. Kobukuro)
Dangerous (ft. Kazuya Yoshii)
Find a Way (ft. Incognito All Stars)
Lotus Flower (ft. Zucchero)
BoomBoomBoom (ft. Yang Kun)
I Don’t Wanna Lie (ft. Kiyoshi Hikawa)
Battle Without Honor or Humanity -Solid Groove- (ft. Nate Smith)
Live on (ft. Marc Lavoine and Calogero)
Savage Sun (ft. Glim Spanky)
Battle Without Honor or Humanity -Battle Samba- (ft. Carlinhos Brown)
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Album Selection of 2020 | September
Dexcore - [Metempsychosis.] (30.09.2020) [★★★★★] *REVIEW*
Although they have formed only about four years ago, Dexcore have already estabilished their own status within the visual kei scene, thanks to a powerful and distinctive sound. Their first full album summarizes at best what they are able to do, with energetic themes, accompained by unique vocals and shades of experimentation, in seventeen tracks of pure metal energy.
Replace our Souls
Don’t be Afraid -2020-
Cibus (ft. Ryo from Crystal Lake)
Needle in the Dust
Buck-Tick - Abracadabra (21.09.2020) [★★★★★]
Already appeared with: Atom Miraiha no.9 (2016), No.0 (2018)
The veteran band Buck-Tick is back to shake off things after two years from their last album, heading back to their roots, such in a way. In their latest work, their sound maintains the gritty and enigmatic vibe which always characterized them, but there’s also a pleasant electronic vibe, distributed on each track according to the style, driven by Atsushi Sakurai’s sumptuous vocals and a really refined instrumental work. If you are looking for something different, but also belonging to Buck-Tick, this album is definitely your choice.
REVIEWS: Jupiter (analysis), Kurutta Taiyou (21.02.1991), Romance (analysis), 13kai wa Gekkou (06.04.2005), Atom Miraiha no.9 (28.09.2016)
Que sera sera Elegy
Tsuki no sabaku (Moon desert)
Kogoeru -Crystal Cube ver.- (Freezing)
Maimu maimu (Mime mime)
Dance Tengoku (Land of dance)
Kemonotachi no yoru -YOW-ROW ver.- (Night of the beasts)
Datenshi -YOW-ROW ver.- (Fallen angel)
Hazuki - Souen -Funeral- (16.09.2020) [★★★★★]
Everyone knows the energetic and compelling metal band named Lynch., but few people know that their singer, Hazuki, has also a solo project, which has recently seen a sparkle thanks to the first album. In this release he gives vent to his own creativity, managing from covers of known Japanese songs, including something of his band, to newer songs, all transformed into magnificient and deep ballads, each one with its own shade and well driven by Hazuki’s melting and touching vocals. Hazuki has definitely a softer side compared to what he does with Lynch. and we’d like to explore it more.
Misshitsu (Closed room) (Buck-Tick cover)
Mizukagami (Water mirror) (Cocco cover)
Tsuki no shizuku (Moon droplets) (Shibasaki Kou cover)
Ray (Luna Sea cover)
Shijou no yurikago (Supreme cradle) (Kuroyume cover)
Another day comes (Pay money to my pain cover)
Tamayura no hi (Short-time lantern)
Climbgrow - Culture (09.09.2020) [★★★★]
Climbgrow is a metal band formed on 2015, and since then they released some EP and two albums, both last year. The second one caught the attention thanks to a paced and energetic rock sound, well provided by a quite good instrumental work, along with Taisei’s piercing vocals, giving an unique spin to an already addicting sound. This band appears incredibly interesting and has all the cards for going even beyond.
Suiseimushi (Drunk life, dream death)
Bang Bang Bang
Hello Goodbye (Newrec ver.)
September (Newrec ver.)
Dress o kite (Wearing a dress)
Smany - Illuminate (26.09.2020) [★★★★]
Smany is a young Japanese electronic artist, active since 2013 and recognized more for her collaborations with other alternative projects, such as World’s End Girlfriend. In her second album since signing up with Virgin Babylon Records, she brings up an enigmatic sound, closer to dream pop, made of vibrant notes, shaded vocals and unpredictable changes of rhythm and atmosphere, leading up to an unusual and fascinating work of pop music.
Dye the darkness
Usagi -ft. Go-qualia- (Rabbits)
Himitsu -ft. World’s End Girlfriend- (Secret)
Illuminate -ft. Matryoshka-
Aldious - Evoke II 2010-2020 (30.09.2020)
The first mention is for the Japanese all-female metal band Aldious, which has released the second chapter of their “back to the roots” project, started six months earlier. In this second disc, the band decides to reprise some of their recent hits, mixing up with the genres, going from thrash metal vibes to ballads and catchy hard rock notes. If this Evoke phase is a teaser of what Aldious has become, we can’t wait to experience what they have to offer.
Kanashii otoko (Dear friend)
Meme - Kokuu wo mitasu ether [Ether filling the void] (29.09.2020)
The second mention is for the newest project led by the visual kei singer L, already know for his work in the bands Amber Bullet, The 3rd Birthday and Balalaika. This EP, exclusively in digital, shows off the band’s sound, made of creepy tones, piercing bass lines, pounding rhythms, energetic riffs and L’s compelling vocals, all filled into the seven tracks featured, bringing on an interesting variety. We can only hope that L’s latest gig will last even more than the other ones.
Yokujou Shangri-la (Lust Shangri-la)
Inoran - Libertine Dreams (30.09.2020)
Already appeared with: 2019 (2019)
Inoran, who most of you know as the guitarist of Luna Sea, came out with the eleventh album, made for celebrating his 50th birthday. The album is made of several genres, such as pop, rock and also ballad, mixing up energetic themes with more romantic ones, all of them working with a cohesive harmony. So Inoran is definitely a musician who makes well also outside the highlight of his band, ready to kick in with fresh and addicting music.
Don’t Bring Me Down
Soul Ain’t For Sale
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Album Selection of 2020 | August
Kenshi Yonezu - Stray Sheep (05.08.2020) [★★★★★] *REVIEW*
In the vastity of Japanese pop scene, Kenshi Yonezu is a incredible exception, thanks to a fascinating commistion between music and arts. With his fifth album, he confirmed to deserve his growing popularity, bringing up a nice genre variety on the plate, going from upbeat themes to more melancholic and nostalgical ones, helped by his compelling singing style. Thanks to this recent work, Kenshi’s music will definitely see a bigger audience, for a which exceeds the imposed limits of pop music.
REVIEWS: Diorama (16.05.2012), Yankee (23.04.2014), Peace Sign (analysis)
Placebo (ft. Yojiro Noda)
Uma to shika (Horse and deer)
Yasashii hito (Kind person)
Machigai sagashi (Look for a mistake)
Mayoeru hitsuji (Stray sheep)
Umi no yuurei (Spirits of the sea)
Mary’s Blood - Re>Animator (26.08.2020) [★★★★★]
Already appeared with: Revenant (2018) ,Confessions (2019)
Like many other metal bands in Japan, even Mary’s Blood decided to take a turn from their musical path, releasing a cover album which quite reflects their own skills. The band chose to bring famous anime themes into a new life, filling them with energetic notes, strong rhythms and charismatic vocals, where the tones change according to the song’s style. These four girls could definitely make an anime opening of their own and this album is a strong confirmation of this.
Pegasus Fantasy (Make-up cover)
Kouga ninpouchou (Ninja scroll of Kouga) (Onmyo-za cover)
Magia (Kalafina cover)
Syuukyoku Battler -Kouryoutaru shinsekai- (Final song battler -Desolate new world-)
Unravel (Tk from Ling Tosite Sigure cover)
Forever Love (X Japan cover)
Zankoku na tenshi no teeze (Cruel angel’s thesis) (Yoko Takahashi cover)
Invoke (TM Revolution cover)
Driver’s High (L'Arc~en~Ciel cover)
Exterminate (Nana Mizuki cover)
We Are! (Hiroshi Kitadani cover)
Nothing’s Carved in Stone - Futures (26.08.2020) [★★★★]
Already appeared with: Maze (2015), Existence (2016)
Nothing’s Carved in Stone has built a solid image in their eleven years of career, bringing on a paced and refreshing rock sound. For their latest work the band decided to cover some of their most famous themes, in an album made of two discs, where their sound is the result of their maturity, including catchy themes and great rhythmic touches. This band has grown so much since their debut and there’s a lot of interest of what the future has in store for them.
REVIEWS: Parallel Lives (06.05.2009)
Out of Control
Like a Shooting Star
Kirameki no hana (Shining flower)
Dream in the Dark
Around the Clock
Tsubame Crimson (Swallow crimson)
Crystal Lake - The Voyages (05.08.2020) [★★★★]
Staying on the subject of self-cover albums, the metal band Crystal Lake has repurposed some of their old songs, precisely the ones made with Kentaro Nishimura as singer, this time empowered and modernized by Ryo’s harsher tone, along with a more refined sound and an improved technique. Despite being a brand-new release, Crystal Lake managed to make it fresh and addicting, and we can’t wait to hear more of their music.
Open Water (ft. Daniel McWhorter and Takashi Uesugi)
The Passage (ft. Kentaro Nishimura)
Daylight (ft. Go Nakaharada)
Into the Great Beyond (ft. Kentaro Nishimura)
Arlequin - The laughing man (19.08.2020) [★★★★]
Already appeared with: Utopia (2016)
After four years made of a bunch of singles and a mini-album in the middle, the visual kei band Arlequin delivers a full album, disproving whoever thought that their sound had become boring. The album is made of distinct songs, ranging from energetic ones, which see a reinforcement of the rhythmical component which characterized them since their debut, to passionate ones, mixing cheerful and aggressive notes without any effort. If you think that visual kei has nothing to offer, maybe Arlequin’s latest work will surprise you.
REVIEWS: Near Equal (12.11.2014), Dilemma (25.02.2015), Utopia (08.06.2016), Puzzle (analysis), Exist (15.03.2018)
In the Mirror
Sora ni ochiru (Falling into the sky)
Todome wo sashite (Stop it)
Kimi to no Aida ni (Between you)
The laughing man
Seventeen Years Old and Berlin Wall - Abstract (05.08.2020)
The first mention of the month is for the not-so-known shoegaze band Seventeen Years Old and Berlin Wall, active since 2015 and become quite notable thanks to the indie music platform BandCamp. Their latest EP sees a really enigmatic sound, with shaded notes, electronic vibes and a cohesive rhythm, creating an unique atmosphere, driven by an awesome vocal work by the singers Yusei Tsuruta and Eriko Takano. Literally made for shoegaze lovers and not only.
Rakuen wanai (There’s no paradise)
Machi no tobira (Doors of the town)
Touketsu-chi (Frozen land)
Darekaga ita umi (Someone by the sea)
Tounen (Ten years)
Tatsuya Kitani - Demagog (26.08.2020)
Tatsuya Kitani might not be a familiar name for you, but maybe you know the Vocaloid band Sajou no hana, whose he is the bassist. Between a single and the other, he has found time to shape up a solo project of his own and releasing also some album. The latest one offers a catchy pop-rock sound, well driven by his good vocals, along with electronic, dance beats and funky vibes. Tatsuya Kitani may be another name which can rise within the Japanese pop scene and this album is definitely worth checking.
Hide and Seek
Spoilman - Body (05.08.2020)
The final mention is for a pretty indie rock band, Spoilman, active since 2019 but came out only last year with an album. Their sound is quite adrenalinic, with roots into noise and punk rock, empowered by quite heavy vocals, energetic riffs and bass lashes, making each track more pumping of the previous. Spoilman can definitely shake the ground of Japanese rock and they deserve more recognition.
Life is REM
Pail and Ladder
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Album Selection of 2020 | July
Boris - No (03.07.2020) [★★★★★] *REVIEW*
Already appeared with: Dear (2017), Tears EP and LφVE & EVφL (2019)
Boris has redefined each possible concept of rock music in their whole career, giving to the noise itself an own shape. Even in an unlucky year like 2020, their music is still there for our enjoyment and in their 25th album, the band went back to their most hardcore roots, in a series of energetic and compelling tracks, intertwined into aggressity and unique depth. And according to the final track’s title, we should expect to hear a sequel of this album, hoping that is as powerful as this one.
REVIEWS: Boris at Last -Feedbacker- (25.12.2003), Akuma no uta -2nd issue- (2005), Pink (analysis), Dear (14.07.2017)
Non Blood Lore
Temple of Hatred
Kagami -Zerkalo- (Mirror)
HxCxHxC -Perforation Line-
Kiki no ue (Top of crisis)
Fundamental Error (Gudon cover)
Unlucky Morpheus - Unfinished (29.07.2020) [★★★★★] *REVIEW*
If you’re into the Japanese metal scene, you have heard of the singer Fuki, whose name has accompained the audience in leading bands like Light Bringer, Doll$Boxx and Dragon Guardian. Unlucky Morpheus is her latest act, started as a touhou band and became quickly popular thanks to their riveting original works. In the fifth album of the original series, the sound is energetic and virtuous, featuring powerful guitar notes, melodious themes and Fuki’s charismatic vocals. Unlucky Morpheus is an awesome mix of charisma and mystery, ready to be experienced.
REVIEWS: Hypothetical Box Act 2 (05.05.2010), Black Pentagram (analysis)
Near the End
Kago no tori (Bird in cage)
Make your Choice
Top of the “M”
Carry on Singing to the Sky
Ryuichi Kawamura - Close to you (08.07.2020) [★★★★]
Ryuichi Kawamura, other than being the singer of the famous Japanese band Luna Sea, is also prominent with his solo project, which led him to release several albums and singles since 1997. On 2020 he released two distinct albums, whose first generates more interest thanks to the peculiar focus on ballads and romantic themes. Warm shades, various melodies and Ryuichi’s charismatic and passionate vocals make this album an enjoyable experience for who loves romantic music and not only.
Another Sky -Mou hitotsu no sora ni-
Kono kaze ni ho wo hirogete (Spread the sail in this wind)
Close to you
Beyond the starry
Sunao na mama de (Stay honest)
Hikari no wa (Ring of light)
Light my Way
Zygote - Revived Relic (15.07.2020) [★★★★]
Zygote is a Japanese metal band formed on 2013, which always stayed under the indie radar. Recently the band started coming out, releasing a short but compact EP, showing off their sound in the best way possible. Energetic riffs, lively vocals and psychedelic shades, worth of a 80′s thrash metal band, Zygote definitely deserves a chance, thanks to a style which can satisfy whoever loves some good metal.
Strange Stray Sails
Liphlich - Yorozu no yoru ni naku sharekoube 2 [Cranium Creation 2] [★★★★]
Already appeared with: Hebi de are o kurae and Hatsumei (2016), Club Fleuret (2017)
Liphlich is one of the few visual bands to have reinvented themselves in each their work, delivering extravagant and fascinating themes. Another good feature of their sound is their unique touch in acoustic arrangements, as shown in their first acoustic compilation on 2015. Five years later the band releases the second volume, reprising older songs (plus featuring a brand-new track), where the dark and enigmatic aura of the original versions leaves the place to warmer and more sensual versions, empowered by Shingo’s compelling vocals and a refined instrumental work. Liphlich never stops surprising their own audience, even if they are bringing back old tunes.
REVIEWS: Lost Icon’s Price (05.09.2012), Full Course wa sakasa kara (02.10.2013), Great Nonsense (analysis), Skam Life (24.06.2015), Vlack April (19.04.2017), Youki na noir (26.07.2017)
Yorozu no yoru (Man’s night)
Hatsumeika A (Inventor A)
Sangenshoku Dada (Three primary colors Dada)
Seizokugai (Holy town)
Daikeikaku (Great plan)
Un Deux Trois You Die
Yuki Koyanagi - Sphere -Tama uchuu- (01.07.2020)
The first mention for the month goes to the prominent pop singer Yuki Koyanagi, who released a brand-new album after thirteen years of absence. The album mixes up a series of genres, going from ballads to jazzy tunes, driven by Yuki’s clear and astonishing vocals, managing to entertain in each track. Yuki’s comeback will bring more energy within the Japanese pop scene.
It’s Show Time
Sideway -Heikou sekai- (Sideway -Parallel world-)
Sphere (ft. H.E. Demon Kakka)
Anata no kiss wo kazoemashou -You were mine- -2020 ver.- (Count your kisses -You were mine-)
Exist†Trace - The Only Garden (29.07.2020)
Another comeback worth to be mentioned is Exist†Trace’s one, returned on the stage after four years with a new mini-album. The all-female metal band didn’t lose their own style, alternating from energetic tracks to more paced ones, showing the great skills from each member and providing a contained but various choice of tracks, fulfilled with charisma and a distinct technique.
I’m still not dead
Power of “One” -vocal retake ver.-
Darrell - Brilliant Death (01.07.2020)
Already appeared with: Darxness (2018)
The visual metal band Darrell was destined to become even stronger, thanks to a notable frontman like Ai and a good musical support. But with their latest work the band decided to balance themselves between past and future. The release features two discs, where in the first one there are two new songs, made by a compelling and obscure energy, and the second one is a sort of “self-cover album”, featuring several hits of Deathgaze, Ai’s former band, revisited in a darker and more adrenalinic style, showing the unique skills of each member.
Too Late To Cry
Disc 2 -Deathgaze covers-
Evoke the world
Ring the Death Knell
Shi sakura (Dead cherry flowers)
Yami ni ame fuhai shita sekai (Rain in the darkness, corrupted world)
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Album Selection of 2020 | June
Mucc - Aku -Justice- [Evil -Justice-] (10.06.2020) [★★★★★] *REVIEW*
Already appeared with: T.R.E.N.D.Y. -Paradise from 1997- (2015), Myakuhaku and Houmura uta -Shin- (2017), Kowareta Piano to Living Dead (2019)
Mucc is one of the most prolific bands of Japan, still ready to kick in with something new and never afraid to experiment and getting beyond the conventional music limits. Their fifteenth album marks a definitive return to their roots, building up complex and emotional themes, all driven by the energy and the intensity which this band has always provided. If you need something to boost up your days, Mucc’s latest effort is definitely your choice.
REVIEWS: Antique (25.12.1999), Kuchiki no tou (01.09.2004), Libra (analysis), Yue, ni matenrou (10.09.2014), T.R.E.N.D.Y. -Paradise from 1997- (24.06.2015), Heide (15.06.2016), Classic (14.09.2016), Kowareta Piano to Living Dead (13.02.2019)
Ameria -Aku mix-
Kamikaze over Drive
Friday the 13th
Memai -ft. Hazuki from Lynch.- (Vertigo)
My World -Aku mix-
Sei to shi to kimi -Aku mix- (Life, death and you)
Koochewsen - Mysterious Flight (17.06.2020) [★★★★★]
Active since 2008, Koochewsen estabilished a remarkable role within the Japanese rock, with their psychedelic notes and dreamy atmospheres, mainly inspired by bands like Pink Floyd. Their second album brings altogether complex and articulated themes, accompained by piercing bass lines, incredible vocal performances and gritty guitar notes, giving to each track an unique identity. Wrapped under a mysterious aura, Koochewsen is one of the reasons why the Japanese musical scene is still to be discovered.
REVIEWS: Compact (13.05.2015)
Theme of Courtship
Last Train Going to the Far End of Love
Endless Summer -Chinese ver.-
Starship in the Closet
Kiss Me Like an Illusion
milet - Eyes (03.06.2020) [★★★★] *REVIEW*
The young singer milet represents another side of the current Japanese pop scene, made of unpredictable shades. Having spent most of her life in Canada, her experience grabs a bit from the West and another bit from the East, mixing up everything in a style easy to recognize. Her first full work summarizes at best her music in the latest two years, bringing catchy and quite compelling pop melodies, all well driven by her husky and fascinating vocals. Given the popularity she gained with her appearance in several anime themes, we will definitely hear more of her.
REVIEWS: Inside You (06.03.2019), Us (analysis)
Again and Again -Eyes mix-
Koukai zenya (Eve of the voyage)
You & I
Grab the Air
Unti I Die
Without your Love
The Love We’ve Made
Good on the Reel - Te o te [Hand to hand] (17.06.2020) [★★★★]
Already appeared with: Hikari ni mamirete (2018)
Good on the Reel is one of the most famous acts in Japanese indie rock scene and their sound is still fresh and strong after fourteen years of career. On their latest EP the band focuses more on bringing easy and flowing rock tracks, underlined by an articulated guitar work and simple vocals, fitting for any kind of listener, who is looking to enjoy good and simple music.
Te o te
Kindan no kajitsu eiga (Forbidden fruit)
Akai lip (Red lip)
Kimi no tomodachi (Your friend)
Sena kaawase (Back to back)
[Alexandros] - Bedroom Joule (21.06.2020) [★★★★]
Already appeared with: ALXD (2015), Sleepless in Brooklyn (2018)
After thirteen years of successful career, the alternative rock band [Alexandros] decides to step into a quite riveting direction, explained also by the departure of the drummer Shomura Satoyasu. In this release, their first conceptual work, the band brings their sound into a more acoustic and intimate side, with revisitations of some of their hits, all re-recorded from the members’ respective houses, because of the pandemic. [Alexandros] definitely knows how to overcome music limits and to reinvent their style each time and we’re ready to see what’s in store for them, now that are only in three.
REVIEWS: Kill me if you can (analysis), ALXD (17.06.2015), New Wall (20.04.2016), Swan (24.08.2016)
Starrrrrrr -Bedroom ver.-
Run Away -Bedroom ver.-
Leaving Grapefruits -Bedroom ver.-
Thunder -Bedroom ver.-
Gesshoku Horizon -Bedroom ver.- (Moon-colored horizon)
Adventure -Bedroom ver.-
City (ft. Pecori)
Mayonaka -Bedroom ver.-
Kotone - Kyousouka [Racing] (24.06.2020)
The first mention of the month is for the first full work by the young pop singer Kotone, known for being winner of several musical festivals. She debuted on 2018 and since that moment she definitely got noticed thanks to her deep and chilling voice, which drives this album, made of electronic vibes and melodious tones, empowered by her awesome interpretation. Soft and bright like few, Kotone will definitely break into Japanese pop scene.
Sakanai hana (Not blooming flowers)
Anata no you ni naru tame ni (Being like you)
Iza, saa (Come on)
Shinkaron (True value theory)
The Moon is Beautiful
Shiroku nuritsubuse (Filling in white)
Kimi wo shitta kara (I knew you)
Kitto ai da (I’m sure it’s love)
Asu e no tegami [Teshima Aoi cover] (Letter for tomorrow)
Kinou yori (From yesterday)
Bo Ningen - Sudden Fictions (26.06.2020)
The Japanese music is really famous for having seen weird combinations which bring on unexpectedly good results. Bo Ningen is a band you couldn’t expect to get into, since their genre is alternative/noise rock, but mixed up by psychedelia and, whether you believe it or not, rap, thanks to Taigen’s incredible flow. Their fourth album is incredibly hard to define with common musical terms, but it is incredibly articulated and variegated, with a sound made of piercing bass lines, resonant beats and bizarre tones, along with Taigen’s versatile and fascinating voice. This band is definitely something you will have difficulty to forget.
You Make a Mark Like a Calf Branding
Minimal (ft. Bobby Gillespie)
Kuzurenai (Not collapsing)
SRMZCEK - Ogdoad (24.06.2020)
Remaining into the experimental side, there’s another project which is becoming more and more relevant. Composed by Yu Shiromizu, member of bands like I Love You Orchestra and Kagero, and the pianist Chieko Kikuchi, SRMZCEK is an instrumental act whose roots are into the most mysterious and obscure sides of music. In the first album there’s a focus on eerie sounds and dim atmospheres, bringing chills and also a bit of musical ecstasy, draining the listener into a brand-new world.
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Album Selection of 2020 | May
Ray - Pink (23.05.2020) [★★★★]
Ray, Japanese band composed by four young girls, with pretty faces and nice clothes, typical concept of most pop acts of the scene, the only thing is that they are not a pop act, but their genre is definitely maturer. Their first album is a clear example of this; strong guitar lines and good electronic shades accompany the tracks, driven by a light and shaded voice, building up themes with an uncommon structure, closer to Western shoegaze bands. Ray is one of the bands you wouldn’t expect to get into, but when it happens, it’s easy to enjoy their sound.
Sekai no owari wa kimi to futari de (The end of the world is with you)
Toutoshi anata no subete o (Precious all of you)
Hoshi ni negai wo (Wish upon a star)
All I need is love
Mama. - Ningen shikkaku [No more human] (27.05.2020) [★★★★] *REVIEW*
Mama. is one of the most rising visual kei acts of the recent years, born from the ashes of the short-lived project Morphine. Following up a series of decent singles, the band released a mini-album showing off all the features of their sound, alternated between heavy and soft, with energetic lines and good vocals, where the songs don’t appear dull as they would seem. Mama. have a long path next to them and the time will say if they will be able to rise up within the scene.
Yubi asobi (Finger play)
Murder Red Chainsaw
Shinjuu uta (Heart song)
Urami harasade o kubebika (Envy or sickness)
Toko Miura - Asterisk (25.05.2020) [★★★★]
Toko Miura is not a name people would normally know, but if you are a fan of Radwimps, you should know that she became quite popular for having joined as guest vocal in the song Shukusai. Delicate vocals immersed in soft and touching melodies are the main ingredient of her first mini-album, a simple but passionate product of pop music, worth to be listened.
Ai ni dekiru koto wa mada aru kai? (There’s something I can love?)
Ochitsuke (Calm down)
Nami ga tatta (Only the waves)
Foad - Returner (09.05.2020) [★★★★]
The Japanese metal scene is growing more and more every day and Foad is another important name to add to the list of the most promising bands. Their first work in two years brings up an adrenalinic sound, completed by compelling rhythms, along with piercing vocals and unpredictable shades distributed in each song, showing that Foad has an own technique and energy, distinct from the other bands of the genre.
Dive to the Ground
Belong to the Sky
Wheel of Life
Leo Ieiri - Answer (13.05.2020) [★★★★]
Considered as one of the best voices of Japanese pop, Leo Ieiri always distinguished herself for her soft but really efficient tone, making her fit for any kind of sound. In her latest EP she brings her voice into a series of catchy and fresh tracks, featuring both slow and fast notes, according to the situation, and never fails in building up a solid final result in each one of them. Light and swift as few, Leo Ieiri is surely one of the faces of Japanese pop’s future.
Kosumosu (Autumn cherry flowers)
Swallowtail Butterfly -Ai no uta- (Swallowtail butterfly -Love song-)
Kanashimi no hate (The end of sadness)
Naku kamo shirenai (May cry)
Daisuke Kurosawa - Black Album 3 (06.05.2020)
The first mention of the month goes to the musician Daisuke Kurosawa, known as a composer for the GuitarFreaks & DrumMania series and also for owning a cover band. Since 2013, he started a series of albums, which this is one is the third, bringing his talent in rock and metal music within his works. The final result is a solid instrumental album, made of an interesting mix between electronic and nice rock notes.
Giga Drive -long ver.-
Dairoku tenmao (Demon king of the sixth heaven)
Tenka touitsuroku (Memoir of the unification)
Time Limit 10 PM
Muscle Soul - Freedom at Your Field EP (13.05.2020)
Muscle Soul is a not so known post-rock band based on Nagoya, whose musical style is closer to shoegaze, but including also alternative shades. In their newest EP, composed only by four tracks, their sound is shown through articulated rhythms, featuring vibrant guitar lines and electronic notes, and fascinating vocals, providing an unique aura in each song, in a really good musical product.
Behind the Light
Freedom at Your Field
Saki - The One (27.05.2020)
If you know the Japanese female metal band Cyntia, you should know that the former singer Saki has started a solo project following the band’s hiatus. Her first album summarizes at best her style, which doesn’t have lost the energy which accompained her in the past, combining energy and charisma in a single blow, all in a metal key. Saki joins some other colleagues of hers in building a promising project such as her previous band and we couldn’t be more happy of that.
Raise your Flag
Genkai lovers (Limit lovers) [Show-Ya cover]
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Album Selection of 2020 | April
Outrage - Run Riot (15.04.2020) [★★★★★]
Formed on 1982, Outrage is one the most important exponents of Japanese thrash metal, going on with an incisive sound, allowing them to become more popular even oversea. Their fourteenth album sees an energetic and refreshing sound, with compelling guitar riffs, dynamic rhythms and powerful vocals, bringing up a high rate of adrenaline in each note. Outrage is reaffirming their status of veteran band, still having a style which is appreciated even nowadays.
Edge of a Blade
Blood and Scars
Hot Rod Immunity
The Way We Are
Silver Screen Hero
Supernatural Outlaw of the Cosmic Void
Science Spirit Hits
Are You Ready
Matenrou Opera - Chronos (22.04.2020) [★★★★★]
Already appeared with: Chikyuu and Phoenix Rising (2016), Pantheon -part 1 & part 2- (2017), Human Dignity (2019)
A lot has been said about Matenrou Opera, between style changes and members departing, but their style never faded at all. The band evovled a lot, enclosing new shades without betraying their essence. In their latest EP there’s a major focus on dynamic themes and powerful rhythms, brought up by the presence of the talented guitarist JaY, and also on vocal performances, as Sono gives literally everything for each track, alternating raging and clear notes altogether. Despite everything, Matenrou Opera are still alive and kicking and we are here to taste each note of theirs.
REVIEWS: Anomie (24.06.2009), Justice (analysis), Avalon (03.09.2014), 3Jikan (analysis), Burning Soul (21.10.2015), Chikyuu (20.01.2016), Phoenix Rising (19.10.2016), Pantheon -part 1- (12.04.2017), Pantheon -part 2- (15.11.2017), Human Dignity (27.02.2019),
Suzue - Rakuen [Heaven] (29.04.2020) [★★★★★]
Would you ever thought that a Shintoist priestess might have become a full-time singer? The answer is Suzue, born in Brazil but grown up in Japan, whose spiritual world went in touch with music, bringing all the themes of Shintoism into her songs. In her latest album there’s a concentration of folk melodies, having their roots in traditional Japanese music, accompained by Suzue’s crystalline voice, touching the heart in each performance. If you truly love Japan and his ancient culture, Suzue is definitely a must.
Mizu no melody (Water melody)
Hokutoshichisei (Great Bear)
Utakata -Sign of Luna- (Foam -Sign of Luna-)
Tokowakano mori (Forest of eternal youth)
Toyoashiharano Mizuhonokuni (Japan)
Sakuramichi (Cherry road)
Prayer of the Flowers
En no kizuna (Bonds of edge)
Inaba/Salas - Maximum Huavo (15.04.2020) [★★★★]
On 2017 Hiroshi Inaba, singer of the famous Japanese band B’z, and the Native American musician Stevie Salas started a new-project, indeed named Inaba/Salas, leading to an unusual fusion between two distinctive styles. In their second album the style offered is groovy and refreshing, with good rhythms and living vocals, building up catchy tracks, really hard to forget and to not enjoy.
Mujo Parade (Ruthless parade)
Kyonetsu no ko (Mad child)
Boku no yume wa (My dream)
You Got Me So Wrong
Take on Your Love
Celebration -Kanki no shisha- (Celebration -Emissary of joy-)
Scenarioart - Ever Sick (15.04.2020) [★★★★]
Scenarioart has seen a good popularity for having some song used in anime themes and also because of a good mixture between pop-rock and electronic sound. Their third full-album, released after three years, brings up a series of catchy and animated tracks, featuring even some indie shade, well developed by the two voices of the trio, Kumiko and Hayashi, who intertwine their different tones in a pretty nice way, also in the most complex works. Scenarioart is not definitely the typical J-pop act you could expect, but it is even better.
REVIEWS: Dumping Swimmer (09.03.2016)
It’s all right
Leap suru (Doing leap)
See you Neverland
Dried Flower -dramatic ver.-
Rina Sawayama - Sawayama (17.04.2020)
The first mention of the month is for one of the most promising acts of Japanese pop scene. Rina Sawayama, born in Japan and grown in England, is definitely a phenomenon, thanks to her image, against any stereotype, and an engaging and incredibly unpredictable sound. Her first full album mixes up several shades, featuring pop, R&B and rock influences, well driven by Rina’s charismatic voice, explaining the big success of the release, especially in West. Rina Sawayama’s music shouldn’t be missed and will give you a new perspective of Japanese pop.
Comme des Garçons (Like the boys)
Love Me 4 Me
Fuck This World
Who’s Gonna Save U Now?
Tokyo Love Hotel
Tamiw - Future Exercise (22.04.2020)
Already appeared with: Flower Vases (2018)
The second mention is for Tamiw, a really peculiar alternative rock band. Active since 2018, the band released only an album, which showed their unique and experimental approach. Two years later, their second full work confirmed this style and evolved it a bit more, enclosing electronic shades and shoegaze touches, helped by Tami’s clear and enigmatic voice and a quite peculiar instrumental work. Tamiw is an act which should be followed more and their music can satisfy everybody, as shown in this album.
Intro -At the end of the world-
(Don’t) think seriously
Are we both under the same sky?
Feeling the same
KanoeRana - Toutoi tokihana tareshi nijigenkasu (22.04.2020)
The final mention is for a young Japanese pop singer, named KanoeRana, who can seem a typical pop vocalist, since her works are aimed to anime themes. But in this release, an anime cover album, she brings out all her best shades, since she is quite known for being ready to include any kind of musical influence in her songs, and the final result is above any expectation, with catchy and various melodies, driven by her brilliant and charismatic vocals, showing her incredible ability, despite being so young. We will definitely hear more of KanoeRana, who brings a new breath of fresh air into Japanese pop music.
A Cruel Angel’s Thesis [Yoko Takahashi cover]
Adabana Necromancy [Franchouchou cover] (Unfruitful necromancy)
No, Thank You! [Ho-kago Tea Time cover]
1/2 [Makoto Kawamoto cover]
Happy Jam Jam [Omi Minami and Bin Shimada cover]
Pray [Tommy Heavenly6 cover]
Pre-parade [Rie Kugimiya, Eri Kitamura and Yui Horie cover]
Sirius [Eir Aoi cover]
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Album Selection of 2020 | March
Downy - Dai nanashukin shuu “mudai” (18.03.2020) [★★★★★] *REVIEW*
Whoever is into the Japanese musical scene, can’t but have come into contact with the mysterious and complex music of Downy. The band came back for their 20th anniversary with a brand-new album, the first work since Aoki Yutaka’s death, building up a musical product which is impossible to define with the typical canon, but made of being experienced in all possible ways, thanks to a melancholic and dynamic sound, transporting the listener in a powerful and emotive journey. Few bands manage to break the limit between music and emotions and Downy with this seventh album has once again overcome such barrier.
REVIEWS: Dai nisaku kinshuu “mudai” (22.05.2002), Underground (analysis)
Shikai furyou (Scarce visibility)
Kazukatou (Sugar cube)
Sajou, moyu. Zankou (Dune, scatter. Persistent vision)
Azayagu shiten (Vivid perspective)
Yousei Teikou - The Age of Villains (25.03.2020) [★★★★★]
Already appeared with: Shadow Corps[e] (2015)
Yousei Teikou brings back their fairy and gothic concept to their audience after several years of absence, between member changes and a new musical awareness. Their latest album is composed with an unique and riveting structure, with an energetic and virtuous metal sound, empowered by Yui’s bright voice and a great work by the other musicians, providing the right energy song after song.
A Treatise of Villainy: The Seventy-Two Villainous Truths (And One Blasphemy)
Hitoya no maboroshi (Hell is not an illusion)
Ransho Aion (Overrun eternity)
Hell in Glass
Paradiso ≒ Inferno
Aru tsuioku, bouchou uchuu ni okeru shinkai sunawachi suiten (Memories, mandara and deep sea)
Sousou Friedian (Friedian funeral)
Kiyoharu - Japanese Menu/Distortion 10 (25.03.2020) [★★★★★]
Already appeared with: Soloist (2016), Elegy (2017), Yoru, Carmen no shishuu (2018), Covers (2019)
It seems that Kiyoharu’s music is a fixed presence in our radars. His will to experimentate, to surprise the listeners and to enchant with compelling and powerful performances allowed him to bring solid works each year and in 2020 he was no less. His tenth album, released for the 25th anniversary of his career, mixes up all his styles, going from energetic notes to melodious themes, featuring a bit of exotic and rebel vibe. Kiyoharu knows how to bring romanticism and potency with his sound, which is a must for true Japanese music fans.
REVIEWS: Poetry (08.03.2004), Under the Sun (07.11.2012), Yoru wo, omou/Charade (09.02.2017), Slow (analysis)
Survive of Vision
Sakkaku Refrain (Illusion refrain)
Uso to oroka (Lies and stupidity)
Yume oi (Dream chasing)
Boukyaku no sora -25th anniversary ver.- (Oblivion sky)
Mai Yaijma - Hell on Earth (25.03.2020) [★★★★★]
Already appeared with: Vampiress (2018)
Mai Yajima is a rising phenomenon within the Japanese metal scene, whose style doesn’t go unnoticed. Being active since 2014, she started a band two years later, going on with her powerful and obscure sound, which led her to release several EPs. Her first work of this year goes straight to the darkest side of her style, bringing on dynamic and powerful metal themes, driven by her charismatic voice. Mai Yajima has all the cards to shake off things in the metal world and we’re ready to experience it.
Aldious - Evoke 2010-2020 (18.03.2020) [★★★★]
Already appeared with: Radiant A (2015)
Staying in the Japanese metal scene, there’s another band ready to bring something new. Aldious was already estabilished as a cornerstone for the genre in the past years, but they recently gained a new singer, R!N, on 2019, who substituted Re:NO after five years. The new vocalist has definitely brought a Western influenced approach in the band’s sound and before going on with this new phase, they decided to going back to the past, reworking their hits in a refreshing way, with deeper riffs and more energetic vocals, as shown in this first part of the compilation.
REVIEWS: Deep Exceed (13.10.2010)
Yokazura (Cherry flowers by night)
Kochou no yume (Butterfly dream)
I Wish for You
Hana Sekitori - Kitto watashi wo matte iru [I am sure you’re waiting for me] (04.03.2020)
The first mention of the month goes to Hana Sekitori, young Japanese singer who mainly grew up in Germany. She had her debut on 2010 and released some EP, two albums and few singles. This year she brought up a mini-album, composed by six tracks exalting her simple and bright voice, accompaining melodious and enjoyable pop themes, making her sound fit for everyone.
Ao no gosenfu (Blue staff)
Hajimari no toki (At the beginning)
Machi wa usukurenaiiro (The city is light red)
Kangaeru dake (Just think)
Fake Island - Cell Division (04.03.2020)
A metal band fronted by two female vocalists is quite unusual, especially in Japan, but Fake Island has shown that they shouldn’t be underrated at all. With a rebellious concept and a gritty metalcore sound, the band started their path on 2017 with a mini-album, followed up by their first full work three years later. The sound offered in the release is adrenalinic and pumping, empowered mostly by the coupling made by Erica and YuuriBJOUX’s voices, creating a perfect contrast between aggressive and clear tones, along with a pounding instrumental work. Fake Island have a bright future next to them and we can’t wait to hear more of them.
All at Once
Who The Hell Made This?
Just Wanna Live
Hang Onto My Dream
Develop One’s Faculties - Inverse Яeverse (11.03.2020)
Already appeared with: Bukkakou na machi boku to kimi (2018)
Develop One’s Faculties is definitely one of the most remarkable visual kei bands of the recent times, thanks to an unpredictable soul, allowing them to approach each song with a unique and impressive style. Despite Detto, their historical bassist, departed on 2019, substituted by Hiromu, of Lack-Co. and Merry Badend fame, the band didn’t lose their extravagant style and in the second album their sound changes in each song, featuring electronic, deep bass lines, rhythmical changes and vocal versatility, bringing up a tune for each kind of listener and pleasing the visual kei audience.
REVIEWS: Hope (13.05.2015), I Want my Freedom (02.11.2016)
Uitenpen wa yononarai (The meaningful change is a world tradition)
Schadenfreude (Malicious joy)
Shinjitsu no kuro (True black)
Henken to shouken (Prejudice and correctness)
My Name is R&R
Ao to sora (Blue and sky)
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Album Selection of 2020 | February
IX -Nine- - Psyche (02.02.2020) [★★★★★]
Already appeared with: Vidya (2015)
In about four years of career, IX -Nine- continued to appeal and bring fascination with their ethereal and compelling music. Between side projects and an unexpected success in Europe (especially in Poland), the band brought out a new EP, composed by a pounding metal sound, made of chilling tones, a nice touch of electronic and unique vocals, whose performances go from heavy to melancholic and delivering in each note. It’s extremely hard to find a band whose identity is impossible to define and that at the same time bring on quality works, but IX -Nine- falls definitely in this category.
REVIEWS: Vidya (12.03.2015), Nirdvandva (09.01.2016)
Na zdrowie (Bless you)
Kindan no kajitsu (Forbidden fruit)
Waizatsu no hate (The end of obscene)
Anyo - Near your ear. (26.02.2020) [★★★★★]
Anyo is one of the latest rising names of the Japanese progressive rock scene. Formed on 2007, the band had few releases, but their sound is slowly getting more and more attention, especially thanks to their live videos, posted on their Youtube channel. Their latest EP shows off what they are capable off, in four different tracks, moving on genres like shoegaze and emo, helped by vibrant and shaded vocals and compelling rhythms. Thanks to their unique and fascinating sound, Anyo is definitely a band we want to hear more about.
In my Emperor
Hollowgram - Pale Blue Dot (12.02.2020) [★★★★★]
Already appeared with: Wills (2016), Fluid (2018)
After the still suffered dissolution of 9Goats Black Out, Ryo seems to have found another prolific project to work into. Hollowgram always distinguished themselves in their seven years path, thanks to a various and enigmatic sound, which doesn’t fear to go over the limits. Two years after their last work, the band came back with a new album, which exalts more their melancholic and nostalgical side, alternating melodious themes to more paced songs, driven by Ryo’s versatile and astonishing vocals and a refined instrumental work behind each track. Hollowgram is one of the few projects which still make visual kei a scene worth to be followed.
REVIEWS: Malus (20.01.2016), Indecencia (analysis)
-Pale Blue Dot-
Flood of Love
Paint in watercolor
Toonari (Distant roar)
Envy - The Fallen Crimson (07.02.2020) [★★★★]
This year has seen one of the most awaited comebacks in the whole Japanese rock scene. We’re talking about Envy, whose sound accompained their wide audience for about 14 years. On 2018 Tetsuya Fukagawa, their historical vocalist, rejoined the band, confirming their awaited return, sealed with their seventh album. The aggressivity which always characterized their style is here reinforced and brought to new levels, made of all the creative struggles experienced by the band, between heavy riffs and melancholic tones. The scene definitely missed Envy’s compelling music and this album brings so much satisfaction under any aspect.
Statement of Freedom
Swaying Leaves and Scattering Breath
A Faint New World
Eternal Memories and Reincarnation
Dawn and Gaze
Memories and the Limit
A Step in the Morning Glow
Shihori - Shihorism (07.02.2020) [★★★★]
Maybe Japanese pop fans will know Shihori as a pretty popular singer, who released some music under the pseudonym Sena, but actually she is mostly a famous songwriter, especially for anime themes. This behind-the-scenes side of her career is the basis of her latest work, released for the 10th anniversary of her songwriting career, an album which features covers of some tracks composed by herself. The chosen songs are re-arranged with an acoustic approach, driven by Shihori’s charismatic vocals and musicians from New York, the city where she lives in now. So, between anime and melodies influenced by the West, Shihori is reinventing herself in an interesting way.
Millenario [Elisa cover]
Chinmoku no kaijtsu (Fruit of silence) [Nana Mizuki cover]
Hatsukoi Cider (First love cider) [Buono! cover]
Seishunfu (Youth) [Momoiro Clover Z cover]
Tsubasa (Wings) [Sena cover]
Don’t Think. Feel!!! [Idoling!!! cover]
Catalmoa [Yoshino Nanjou cover]
Wakana - Magic Moment (26.02.2020)
Already appeared with: Wakana (2019)
If you know about the famous female trio Kalafina, you should remember Wakana Ootaki, the singer of the band, who, after the trio’s disbandment on 2019, started a solo career of her own. The first mention of the month goes to her second album, which mixes catchy and positive themes with powerful ballads, all well delivered by Wakana’s beautiful voice, bringing on impressive performances and giving a breath of fresh air to Japanese pop.
Yureru haru (Trembling spring)
Hirari hirari (Fluttering fluttering)
Aki no sakura -acoustic ver.- (Autumn cherrytree)
Kimi dake no stage (Your own stage)
Happy Hello Day
Hitsujibungaku - Zawameki [Buzz] (05.02.2020)
Formed on 2012, Hitsujibungaku is an alternative rock band composed by three girls, who, despite their so young age, managed to grow pretty quickly in musical terms, going beyond the simple lines of pop-rock. Their first release of the year sees a major orientation to shoegaze rock, made by crystalline vocals and piercing notes, which sometimes bring a touch of nostalgia. If you didn’t think that mature female rock bands couldn’t rise in Japan, Hitsujibangaku shows that it’s exactly the opposite.
Ningen datta (It was human)
Yuunagi (Calm evening)
Koi nante (Loving)
Tokyo Gegegay - Kiteretsu Mental World -Black&White- [Queer mental world] (05.02.2020)
Japanese music is full of extravagant surprises and the dance&vocal group Tokyo Gegegay is definitely one of them. After being the winners of the dance contest Dance@Hero on 2013, the band went on their career with a dark and curious concept, made in the name of glam and sexual freedom. The double compilation here featured summarizes their best works, adding something new along the road, in a series of electronic tracks all to dance, which is impossible to resist.
Heart (ft. Reol)
Tg (2020 ver.)
Yes or No
Tsumi to batsu (Crime and punishment)
Dorobou -ft. Seiya- (Thief)
Hikari -Interlude- (Light)
Nihon Agegay (Japan agegay)
Tokyo Gegegay jyogakuin no jyumon -ft. Nukuibayashihozonkai- (Tokyo Gegegay girls college spell)
Kurome (Black eyes)
Zutto suki na hito (People liking it all the time)
Gegegay no kitaro
Sense of Immorality
Egoist -Mikey remix-
Dance ga boku no koibito -long ver.- (Dance is my lover)
Kirakira 1 page (Glitter 1 page)
Tensei no hikari -Munetaka ver.- (God’s light)
Kamisama -long ver.- (God)
Byouin -Escape now- (Hospital -Escape now-)
Raichi☆Hikari Club (Litchi star light club)
Arigatou darlin’ (Thank you darlin’)
Maigo no Christmas Song (Lost child’s christmas song)
Goodbye, Snow White
Zutto suki na hito -ballad ver.-
Soredemo hana wa kitto zutto saiteku (Still, I’m sure I’ll be forever happy)
Tokyo Teddy Bear -cover ver.-
Sasagetai (I want to give)
TO BE CONTINUED...
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Album Selection of 2020 | January
Dear followers, here I am back with a selection of albums that characterized 2020 month per month. The recently passed year has been a troubling one, between pandemic, which brought delays and reductions of musical works, and a quite messy situation for myself, trying everytime and in every way to deliver a new review to read in this site. But no worries, on 2021 I count things will be a bit better, for me and also for the whole world. This selection will be the final one with the traditional structure, since, starting on 2021, it will be composed by 5 (+3) albums, as always, plus 2 singles, chosen among a bunch of other singles, since I think it will help in including more artists/bands each month. So let's not waste time and ... let's rediscover together the best of Japanese music of 2020!
Dimlim - Misc. (28.01.2020) [★★★★★]
Already appeared with: CHEDOARA (2018), Kidoaraiku (2019)
Dimlim is definitely one of the most unusual and impredictable bands within the visual kei scene. Starting with a dark and astonishing metal sound, they evolved into something different, following the departure of two historical members, the guitarist Ryuya and the bassist Taishi. In this second album the sound is definitely shocking for who was used to Dimlim’s darker notes, but it’s anyway pleasant, with interesting math and alternative rock influences, fitting with the concept of visual kei scene as one made of unexpected things. This album has brought Dimlim’s path to a really curious and intriguing direction, which we hope to hear more of.
REVIEWS: Various (03.06.2017), The Silent Song (27.12.2017), Aizou ni tsuki... (analysis)
We've changed.NOW IT'S YOUR TURN NEXT
Mayonaka ni watashi o tsuredashite (Take me out in the midnight)
+ & -
For the Future
Kizukanai monotachi e (To fool)
Before it’s too late
Out of the Darkness
The Thirteen - Enigma (29.01.2020) [★★★★★] *REVIEW*
Already appeared with: Lament and Urge (2018), Alone (2019)
Since their debut on 2016, The Thirteen brought a lot of high expectations, due to the formidable duo made by Mao and Mizuki, both members of the historical visual band Sadie. Their second full album brings on the plate all their best features, summarized in a series of already released songs, from the four EPs came out in the previous years, plus something new. So, between energetic and heavy tracks, cleaner and melancholic notes, and a notable support by the bassist Kazu (Gibkiy gibkiy gibkiy) and the drummer Ryo (Awoi), this obscure duo confirms their constant and formidable work, which shouldn’t be missed.
REVIEWS: Pandemic (25.05.2016), Gamushara (29.03.2017), White Dust (analysis)
Aiyoku no rondo (Desire rondo=
Saezuruame higeki no sanka wo tirasu (Singing rain scatters the tragedy hymn)
Bites the Black
Reol - Kinjitou [Golden tower] (22.01.2020) [★★★★]
Already appeared with: Sigma (2016), Endless EP (2017), Kyokou shuu and Jijitsujou (2018)
In the latest years, Reol has definitely made people talk about herself within the Japanese pop scene. Since her group disbanded, she brought up a distinct sound in her solo project, mainly focused on electro-pop, but also oriented to experimental styles. The second album of her “solo phase” sees a definitive return to the roots, with energetic and banging electro-pop tracks, where it is impossible not to dance. With the arrangement made by Giga, Reol’s long-time collaborator from her Vocaloid phase, the album is a unique piece within the ever wider expanse of Japanese pop.
REVIEWS: Jijitsujou (17.10.2018)
-Move no tame no shisoukyoku nr. 4- (-Tune for move nr. 4-)
Un deux trois
-Rene no shouhin nr.9- (-Rene’s piece nr.9-)
Naoluna - 27 -Two seven- (08.01.2020) [★★★★]
As often happens in the musical world, there are hidden gems, worth of being tried and followed, but at the same time never recognized as they deserve. Naoluna is definitely one of them. Being singer of an indie band known as Mitoaoto_, she kicked off her solo career with a series of songs published on her Youtube channel, followed by the release of her first full album. Her sound can be defined as pop, but it’s more than that; her chilling and touching voice is combined with dreamy and slow melodies, alternated with more paced ones, remaining enclosed in an atmosphere quite distinctive even for a pop singer. With her unique talents, Naoluna is definitely an artist to follow, hoping that in future she will become more and more popular.
The night when the moon disappeared
Back-on - Rebirth (22.01.2020) [★★★★]
Formed on 2002, Back-On is one of the most renowned Japanese bands, whose fresh and engaging style allowed them to gain much popolarity, especially for the use of their songs in some anime and drama. Their eighth mini-album brings out all the key features of their sound, in a pure mix of rock, electronic and rap, well provided by energetic vocals and a distinctive instrumental work. Back-on is definitely the band you need for a explosive charge of music.
Three two one
Shall we dance
The Brow Beat - Adam (01.01.2020)
The first mention of this month goes to a project whose name might not be familiar for you, but his members are quite famous. The Brow Beat, alternative rock duo formed on 2018, is composed by Ryuji, known as an actor who starred on musicals, and Hakuei, the famous singer of Penicillin, here as producer and back-vocalist. Their sound is a good mixture of energetic melodies and more heartfelt themes, along with some obscure and enigmatic shade. The Brow Beat is a promising project and their sound is easy and riveting at the same time, making them worth of being followed.
Yatagarasu no kagefumi (Yata-glass’s shadow tag)
MAKE MY DAY - Mind Haven (29.01.2020)
Another mention is for the notable metalcore band Make My Day. Known on 2011 as Ashley Scared The Sky, this band has become quite recognized in the scene, especially with their features in three of the “Punk Goes...” compilations. In their second album, released three years after the first one, there’s a definitely heavy and adrenalinic sound, with dynamic rhythms, raging vocals and interesting duets with other singers of the metal scene. Make My Day is another good and refreshing addition to the growing Japanese metalcore scene.
Money (ft. Flare Boy from Malissa)
I Hate Everything
Like a Dead
Searching for the Fate
Wake Up (ft. Io&Kagura from Broken by the Scream)
Kari Band - Nimaime [Second piece] (29.01.2020)
The final mention of the month is for a quite unusual musical project. Originally formed as a three-session musicans, Kari Band developed a personal and unique concept, but their intitial steps have been interrupted after the death of Mikio Fujioka, their guitarist. After three years of hiatus the band came back with the second mini-album, bringing out instrumental works made of several musical influences, such as jazz, folk and metal, all distributed in six compelling tracks, to listen to all in one breath. Kari Band is a sure confirmation of how instrumental bands shouldn’t be underrated, especially in Japan.
I See You
TO BE CONTINUED…
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Retronaut Selects: Beck - Colors (2017)
I got into this album as soon as it came out.
It’s so good. I remember the first time I ever listened to it.
It was on my 19th birthday, and it was the same day that I got to hear MASSEDUCTION by St. Vincent for the first time too!
It’s such a cool album and it’s a great listen.
I recall having a phase with basically every song on this album at one point or another, and it really shows me what a great album it is because of how you can listen to the songs individually and collectively.
Essential Tracks: Colors, I’m So Free, Up All Night
Listen Here: Colors
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KiDi Romances Salma Mumin At Rock City Hotel (VIDEO)
KiDi Romances Salma Mumin At Rock City Hotel (VIDEO)
Ghanaian musician KiDi has been spotted romancing Salma Mumin at his Album Listening with some selected media moguls, top fans & family at the Rock City Hotel, in Kwahu, on Tuesday, June 22, 2020, was seen having a great time with the queen diva Salma Mumin.
Kidi who announced his sophomore album “The Golden Boy” just two days after grabbing the “Artiste of the Year” award at the 2021 3Music…
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Lil Baby Crowned As ASCAP's 2021 Songwriter Of The Year
In the past year and a half, Lil Baby's commercial success has catapulted to new heights. Quickly becoming one of the most prominent figures in trap music, the Atlanta-bred rapper unleashed his second studio album My Turn last year, peaking at the summit of the Hot 100 and going on to be RIAA certified three times platinum.
He earned two Grammy noms for the project, bringing his total to three and establishing him as a force to reckon with. He's even close to beating out Eminem for total all-time Hot 100 entries, boasting a total of 90. Lil Baby will be honored as this year's recipient of the ASCAP Songwriter Of The Year trophy at the 2021 ASCAP Rhythm & Soul Music Awards in recognition for his skilled pen.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
The Quality Control-signed artist will be honored for the lyrical content of songs like "The Bigger Picture" and "Emotionally Scarred." Cardi B was awarded the trophy for the last two years, while Gucci Mane and Quavo tied for the award back in 2018. Paul "Nineteen85" Jefferies of dvsn and Allen Ritter tied for Songwriter of the Year in 2017.
The award will add on to a slew of other accolades Lil Baby has been honored with. In 2020, Apple Music named the 26-year-old 2020's Artist of the Year. He was featured on Forbes magazine's tenth annual 30 under 30 list, and My Turn was named the RIAA's top album for 2020.
He was also recently selected to headline Jay-Z's Made In America festival. Most recently for the trap star, he connected with fellow rapper Lil Durk to release their collaborative studio LP The Voice Of The Heroes, which debuted at No. 1. In short, Baby is heading towards world domination.
Congrats to him on receiving the Songwriter Of The Year honor!
Nipsey Hussle Gets Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame
HOLLYWOOD HILLS—On Thursday, June 17, the late Grammy Award winner, Ermias Joseph Asghedom, known to the world as rapper and businessman Nipsey Hussle, was selected along with 38 other celebrity honorees to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2022.
Additional Hollywood Walk of Fame honorees include the Black Eyed Peas, DJ Khaled, Ashanti, Black Eyed Peas, George Clinton and Motown’s Martha Reeves of Martha & the Vandellas, the late Carrie Fisher, Francis Ford Coppola, Macaulay Culkin, Ewan McGregor, Jason Momoa, Tracee Ellis Ross, Norman Reedus, Jean Smart and Ricky Gervais. Dates of the ceremonies have not been released as of print.
In 2005, Nipsey Hussle released his first mixtape “Slauson Boy Volume 1” and was later signed to Cinematic Music Group and Epic Records. In 2018, Hussle released his debut album, “Victory Lap.” The album was nominated for Best Rap Album at the 2019 Grammy Awards, and in 2019 he won a BET Award for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist. In 2020, he won Best Rap Performance for his album “Racks in the Middle He.”
Ermias Joseph Asghedom was born on August 15, 1985, in Los Angeles, at the age of 33. He was shot and killed on March 31, 2019. His funeral services commenced on April 19, 2019. Nipsey Hussle left behind his wife, actress Lauren London, their two sons and a host of family and friends.
Written By Anita Brown
Nipsey Hussle Gets Star On Hollywood Walk Of Fame was originally published on San Francisco News
All about Home Sharing- From setting it up to using it!
With Home Sharing, you can do all kinds of stuff like sharing, streaming, and importing media from up to five PCs that are connected with your home Wi-Fi network. Home Sharing is a basic method to connect content between Mac computers and Apple TV. On your Mac or PC, you can utilize Home Sharing to see shared libraries from different PCs that are associated with a similar Wi-Fi network and signed in with a similar Apple ID. You can utilize Home Sharing to get to your media library across PCs that are on a similar Wi-Fi network. What's more, you can stream music, movies, and TV shows starting with one approved PC then onto the next. Here's how you can set up and Use Home Sharing on Apple TV.
What we will see here?
Set up Home Sharing on Mac
Set up Home Sharing on macOS Catalina
On Apple TV -Set up Home Sharing!
Discover content on Apple TV with Home Sharing
Set up Home Sharing on Mac
Before you can share substance to your Apple TV, you'll initially need to turn on Home Sharing on your Mac Computer.
Open iTunes on your Mac screen.
Choose the File from the menu bar in the upper left corner of your computer's screen.
Choose Home Sharing.
Click on the Turn on Home Sharing on your file.
Enter the email address and password connected with your Apple ID.
Click on the Turn on Home Sharing.
You would now be able to share content from your Mac on whatever other Mac or Apple TV that has Home Sharing turned on and is signed in with a matching Apple ID.
Set up Home Sharing on macOS Catalina
With iTunes split into the new Music, TV, and Podcasts applications on macOS Catalina, turning on Home Sharing works in an unexpected way.
Open System Preferences on your mac.
Click on Sharing icon.
Enable Media Sharing from the left panel.
Tick the checkbox next to Home Sharing Enable.
Enter your Apple ID password if asked.
Turn on Home Sharing button.
Your Apple TV can now see the libraries of both the Music and Apple TV applications. Remember, the Apple TV will just see those things that you have downloaded directly to your Mac.
On Apple TV -Set up Home Sharing!
Ensure the Apple ID you use to log into Sharing on Apple TV is a similar one you use on your Mac.
Open the Setting app on your Apple TV.
Select kthe Accounts button.
Choose Home Sharing.
Select on the Turn on Home Sharing option.
Either enter the Apple ID that you use to turn on Home Sharing on your Mac or attest that the Apple ID related with your Apple TV .
Enter the password connected with the Apple ID.
Discover content on Apple TV with Home Sharing
When your computer is connected with your Apple TV, you can get to content directly through the Computers app.
Go to the Computers app on your Apple TV.
Select a content category, similar to Movies, Music, or Photos.
Hit the file to play or view.
In the prime of iTunes, Apple users put away their music, films, and TV shows on their Macs and imparted them to different Macs in their homes, just as their iPhones, iPads, and Apple TVs. Of late, in any case, streaming has become Apple's favoured media utilization approach, because of the ascent of Apple Music and the way the Apple TV application totals video streaming administrations like Netflix.
Home Sharing is an exemplary Apple highlight for sharing nearby music and video across your home network. It works much as it generally did, yet this article discloses how to set up Home Sharing.
How to download apps on your Apple TV?
How to enable or disable iCloud Music Library on your device?
Best Apple TV apps for 2020- Which one you should install?
iCloud Family Sharing- How to use Shared Albums?
YouTube TV: Everything you need to know!
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