Neo Kei

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


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Neo Kei – 9 May 2012

Hi everyone, how you doing?

A lot of news this week relates to new releases. But I’m making the committment to weekly news updates, so it’d be better to get the latest news in small bites than have more news stories that are weeks ago. It seems to be all about the visual kei bands this week with lots of single, mini-album and full album news. But everyone can also be happy about more US and European releases, less importing required! As always it’d be great to hear your feedback.

Artist News

  • On 07/05/2012 it was announced that idol group Nogizaka46 will be the first ’sightseeing envoy’ of Oita City, joining AKB48’s Sashihara Rino in promoting the city.
  • Sowelu will be going on hiatus after her latest album 29 Tonight is released on 30/05/2012.

Concert News

  • Girl unit 9nine hosted their first hall one-man live at Nippon Seinenkan on 06/05/2012. As well as singing they also completed their first live band performance. Miura Daichi also held a first, his first live at Nippon Budoukan on 03/05/2012.
  • Seiyuu Miyano Mamoru (acted in Death Note and Mobile Suit Gundam oo) hosted a special live called ‘MAMORU MIYANO SPECIAL LIVE 2012 ~FIGHTING!~‘ at Pacifico Yokohama on 06/05/2012. The concert will be released on DVD and Blu-ray along with his summer tour from last year on 22/08/2012.
  • On 07/05/2012 YUKI celebrated her 10th anniversary with a live at Tokyo Dome. YUKI LIVE ‘SOUNDS OF TEN’ was her first solo concert at the Dome. Also celebrating a 10 year anniversary was Nakagawa Shoko, who held her  10gen Toppa! SHOKO NAKAGAWA LV UP LIVE Cho☆Yaonsai live for her birthday on 05/05/2012.

Music News

  • Visual kei group ALSDEAD will release their FLASH BACK single on 11/07/2012.
  • BONNIE PINK is making her single Machi no Namae available on 04/07/2012. The track was produced by by her current tour bandleader Suzuki Masato from LITTLE CREATURES.
  • Punk-rockers CLEAVE‘s mini-album The Circele EP is getting it’s European release on 16/06/2012 through Street Machine Records and the exclusive track In Our Times.
  • Post-hardcore group coldrain will release mini-album Through Clarity on 04/07/2012, which features the track No Escape that featured in the video game BIOHAZARD Operation Raccoon City.
  • Even before their single Dying Message on 30/05/2012, D have another single Danzai no gunner in 3 different versions out on 18/07/2012.
  • flumpool will release their single Because… I am, on 04/07/2012. This is also the name of their national tour which started on 31/03/2012.
  • May’n is getting US iTune releases of her albums HEAT, If you… and her single Chase the World on 16/05/2012.
  • Too old to be called a boy band really, pop man collective EXILE will release a new single on June 20th.
  • Visual kei band Mix Speaker’s,Inc. have their mini-album SEAPARADISE no Hiho due on 23/05/2012, with an untitled single in September and full album in November. Clearly for them Halloween is for life, not just October.
  • Momoiro Clover Z announced on 05/05/2012 (on Children’s Day) that their track MiteMite☆KoCchiCchi will be the ending theme for anime Pokémon: Best Wishes! and movie Meloetta no kirakira recital(Meloetta’s Sparkling Recital). Pika Pika!
  • Sakamoto Maaya will release the theme song More Than Words for anime film Code Geass: Boukoku no Akito on 25/07/2012. She worked with the same writer and arranger who composed her debut single.
  • Girl-punk-rockers Shonen Knife‘s new album Pop Tune is out on 06/06/2012, with a North American release through labl Good Charamel Records and European release through damnably.
  • Rock group STRAIGHTENER have announced details about their acoustic album. The tracks will be new arrangements of 14 previously released songs and 2 new songs, although no release date yet.
  • More visual kei news, THE SOUND BEE HD have their mini-album SOU available from 11/07/2012, which apparently is a return to their origins.
  • Visual kei-ers vistlip have their new single, simply called B, out on 04/07/2012, with the B-side PERFECT CRIME.
  • ViViD have completed their first full-album, due on 27/06/2012, which will include the latest single REAL out on 16/05/2012.

Be Genki (^o^)y


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Neo Kei – 2 May 2012

Artist News

  • I shared this on my Facebook page, but An Cafe have reformed and will be touring Europe at the end of the year. They start in Russia on 03/11/2012 and coming to London on 07/11/2012. An Cafe was one of my early introductions to Japanese music, so I hope I can find a live buddy to go with!
  • Dolly will go on hiatus at the end of this year to work on their solo careers.
  • Dragon Ash bassist Ikuzo “IKÜZÖNE” Baba passed away on 21/04/2012.
  • LAZYgunsBRISKY will disband after their final live at Shimokitazawa GARDEN in Tokyo on 12/05/2012.

Music News

  • There will be a third volume of CRUSH! V-Rock cover albums covering tracks from 90’s visual kei artists. CRUSH!3-90’s V-Rock best hit cover LOVE songs- is available from 27/06/2012. Amongst many brilliant tracks/artists, I love the thought of Inugami Circus-dan covering X JAPAN‘s Rusty Nail, and the session band including members from Guild, -OZ- and D. They’d be great tracks to play in a Neo Kei DJ set.
  • BOOM BOOM SATELLITES will be releasing BROKEN MIRROR, the theme song for Mobile Suits Gundam UC episode 5,  on 06/06/2012.
  • BUCK-TICK have another tribute album due for release, this time fo their 25th anniversary. PARADE II -RESPECTIVE TRACKS OF BUCK -TICK is available from 04/07/2012 and will feature artists such as Acid Black Cherry, MUCC and MERRY.
  • New wave group The Flickers will release their second mini-album WAVEMENT on 09/05/2012. Japanese New Wave? I like the sound of that!
  • Golden Bomber will release their best of album The Golden Best internationally on 18/06/2012.
  • LUNA SEA’s guitarist INORAN has his new album Dive youth, Sonik dive out on 27/06/2012.
  • LM.C‘s newest album STRONG POP will be released in Europe on 04/05/2012.
  • MIYAVI will release his new single on 11/07/2012. It’s tentative title is SAMURAI SESSION WORLD SERIES vol.2 – MIYAVI vs YUKSEK “DAY ONE” .
  • Having toured the UK last year, jazz group mouse on the keys will release an unnamed mini-album on 18/07/2012.
  • Amuro Namie has a new untitled album due on 27/06/2012.
  • Johnny’s Entertainment band NEWS let their fans vote on the tracklisting for their best-of album, which closed on 30/04/2012. Further details about album title or release yet.
  • Another anniversary now, as part of Plastic Tree‘s fifteenth anniversary they will release the single Kuchizuke will be out on 20/06/2012.
  • Even with the news about Raphael’s revival, ex-members Yuki and Kazuhiro will release their new single Acacia under their duo name rice on 06/06/2012.
  • The latest single from SCANDAL has been produced by ORANGE RANGE’s NAOTO.  Taiyou Scandalous” is available from 11/07/2012.
  • On 02/05/2012, SiM released their newest mini-album LiFE and DEATH. The special edition CD features artwork from manga artist Kaneko Atsushi.
  • The first album from ViViD will be released on 27/06/2012. No news on the title yet, but it will feature all the singles since their major debut.

 Live News

  • Jazz singer Jazz singer JUJU performed on MTV Unplugged in New York’s Time Square, the first Japanese woman to have the honour (Ken Hirai was the first singer).


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Neo Kei – 25 Mar 2012

Artist News

  • Visual kei band Ap(r)il will be disbanding after their live on 03/06/2012 at Takadanobaba AREA.
  • The vocalist Hayato will be leaving BLOOD after their anniversary concerts on 7-8/07/2012.
  • STEREOPONY will be the Guest of Honor at Sakura-Con, the biggest Anime convention in NW US, to be hosted in Washington between 6th and 8th April. In addition Moi dix Mois & Kanon Wakeshima will also be at Sakura-Con, conducting perfornances, autograph sessions and artist panels.
  • The guitarist Hyuga and Hagiri will be leaving VelBet after their performance today (24/03/2012), having just celebrated their 3rd anniversary.

Music News

  • AI‘s track Happiness, chosen as Coca-Cola’s Christmas Campaign track, has reached 1 million downloads.
  • Released late 2011 in Japan, the mini-album Kerguelen Vortex Aural Vampire is available from Bishi-Bishi’s online store.
  • BOOM BOOM SATELLITES‘s song BROKEN MIRROR will be part of GUNDAM anime “episode 5 ‘Kuroi Unicorn'”. This marks 15 years since the band’s debut and first song contribution for the ‘Unicorn’ series of GUNDAM.
  • On 04/07/2012 BORN will be releasing their new single BLASTED ANIMALS. In July they will also start their one man tour.
  • BUCK-TICK‘s first single from their new label “Lingua Sounda” will be Elise no Tame ni on 23/05/2012.
  • On 13/03/2012 FLOW released their new album BLACK&WHITE online through iTunes and Amazon, just in time for their 10th anniversary. They will also be appearing at Anime Matsuri 2012 at Houston, Texas in April and France’s largest anime convention in the summer.
  • Singer/seiyuu Hirano Aya is a collection albumFRAGMENTS due on 23/05/2012, featuring artists such as kz (livetune), Maeyamada Kenichi, Fu_mou and Miss Modular.
  • After the physical release of AKATSUKI last year, HOME MADE KAZOKU is now available digitally. I’m looking forward to listening through the tracks and downloading my favourites, or buying the physical if I love them all!
  • LUNA SEA bassist J has released his new album ON FIRE and will be going on tour in Japan for the first time in 4 years.
  • The fashion magazine KERA will be celebrating their 13th anniversary, and on 25/04/2012 will be releasing a compilation titled KERA SONGS 13th Anniversary Collection. A number of artists will be featured such as SCANDAL, SuG and HIGH and MIGHTY COLOR, as well as the track Fashion Doll composed by AN CAFÉ’s Kanon and lyrics by AN CAFÉ’S miku.
  • On 14/03/2012 Kitano Kie released her mini-album Can you hear me?, which includes her thoughts on the Tohoku disaster.
  • The vocalist from Every Little Thing, Mochida Kaori, will release her double A-single Megumi/Kanashii toki mo ureshii toki mo on 09/05/2012.
  • Nakagawa Shouko will be releasing her best of album Shokotan☆Best――(°∀°) ――!! on 02/05/2012, celebrating 10 years.
  • Piko‘s new single Emiiro Refrain, written by L’Arc~en~Ciel’s bassist TETSUYA, is due on 25/04/2012.
  • Visual kei band UNiTE will be releasing their new single AIVIE on 28/03/2012 , just before their first AKASAKA BLITZ performance on 29/03/2012.l be held to celebrate their 1st Anniversary since their formation.
  • ViViD will be releasing their single REAL in May, just before their first hall tour in May.

Concert News

  • Alice Nine will be releasing their latest PV collection, alice in pictures III on 06/06/2012. No tracklisting is confirmed, but is expected to feature from RAINBOWS to their recent single Niji no yuki.
  • When Do As Infinity start their Do As Infinity LIVE TOUR 2012~TIME MACHINE~, the tour t-shirt will feature Kumamon, the mascot of Kumamoto prefecture where vocalist Ban Tomiko is from.
  • girugamesh have just completed 13 consecutive sold out performances at Shibuya WWW.  But not content with that, they’ll now be doing a tour throughout Japan in July/August.
  • HITT will have 2 new singles, For Myself and For My Lover available during his European tour.
  • Already on their world tour, L’Arc~en~Ciel have added 2 additional dates at the National Stadium in Tokyo in May.
  • LM.C. are starting their world tour on 30/04/2012 and as part of this, the members Maya and Aiji will appear on MJPTV with their live program LM.C TV, airing 25/03/2012 at 21:00 (JST) on the MJP website.
  • Plastic Tree have had to take on a support drummer whilst Satou Kenken is hospitalised for acute hepatitis. After discussion the band have taken this decision especially as the band had to be inactive last year due to Ryuutaro (Vocalist)’s throat issues.
  • In May SuG will start their first Asian tour, visiting South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
  • UVERworld have their Christmas concert DVD due on 04/04/2012. UVERworld 2011 Premium LIVE on Xmas will also be available on Blu-ray on 02/05/2012.
  • VAMPS will be back on tour with 10 cities and 13 shows at ZEPP TOKYO alone.