Neo Kei

For fans of Japanese Popular Music. From para para to visual kei and every genre inbetween!


Yasuda Rei’s First Album Distributed Digitally Worldwide

21 year old Yasuda Rei has released her first album Will. And it has now been made available outside of Japan on iTunes to 44 countries, including Brazil, Canada, USA, Sweden, UK, the Netherlands, Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines, Brunei, Macau, Fiji, Egypt and Qatar.

This feels like a news worthy item and yet shouldn’t be. I’ve seen the gap between the music available on the Japanese iTunes and UK iTunes, so it’s great that there’s more music available from new artists and their first albums. But on the other hand, why should it be so shocking? In this 21st century where international news travels so much quicker than before and the access to information and culture has increased, why should it not be natural to have this level of access to Japanese music?

But for now I guess it’s importance to celebrate this level of global music distribution. Also my guess is that the more Japanese music is bought in the UK, the amount of Japanese music available will increase. Albums from artists such as Dir En Grey is already available in UK stores like HMV. Wouldn’t it be great if there was Japanese acts scattered across the different music sections? There must be a point where the origin of the music stops being the definition of the music and songs can be recognised as pop, folk or rock regardless of whether it came from the US, Japan, Fiji or Sweden.

Have a listen to Mirror, one of the songs from the album

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New Album from GLAY

Yesterday (5th November) GLAY released their latest album MUSIC LIFE

Keeping true to the Japanese way of not just having one regular version, there will be three versions of this album with two of these featuring a bonus CDs of the band’s best of ballads. BALLADE BEST – MELODIES has fourteen songs voted for by the fans, whereas BALLADE BEST – MEMORIES, has thirteen songs chosen by the band members themselves based on their own personal and emotional attachments. It’d be very interesting to see how similar the choices are.

It’s really interesting that the album’s artwork was designed by Klaus Voormann, who amongst other legendary things won a Grammy for his cover of The BeatlesRevolver. This is the first time he has designed for a Japanese artist, which I love. Klaus has a very distinct style that’s instantly recognisable.

If for some reason you’re still on the fence, listen to these two tracks from the album.


Wearable “kotatsu parka” is here to keep your whole body warm this winter

This looks amazing! I love being warm in winter so this would be perfect for those cold English nights.

SoraNews24

Winter in Japan can be pretty brutal. It gets cold, very cold, and most buildings in Japan are only lightly insulated. It’s no wonder, then, that people (and cats!) tend to want to hibernate in one cosy, warm spot during winter. One option is the kotatsu, a table with a thick padded blanket and heater underneath, which you use to toast your legs and feet during those cold winter months. The only problem is that they don’t really do anything to keep your upper body warm. Some people compensate by also wearing a thick padded housecoat inside during the winter, but wouldn’t it be great if you could use the kotatsu’s warmth to heat your entire body? Well, now you can, thanks to this new “wearable kotatsu” designed by Hatra!

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