Neo Kei

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


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Neo Kei – 13 June 2012

Ohayo,

How’s everyone doing? After the last couple of boo-boos on the posts I’m going to make sure all the news items are properly styled before publishing. But this week hasn’t left a lot of free time so if the post looks a little thin on the ground, don’t worry, it’ll be packed with lots of news soon.

This week there seems to be a lot about both anniversaries and break-ups and of course a healthy dose of new releases, including some for Europe!

Artist News

Line Up Change News – On 29/06/2012 Moran will have 2 new members, but Sleepy.ab are losing their drummer, TRIGGAH are losing 3 members, School Food Punishment have split and Kro:nos, Matenrou Opera are going on hiatus. YELLOW FRIED CHICKEN’z are also split with their last live YELLOW FRIED CHICKENz 煌☆雄兎狐塾 -破秘婆酒日解散祭-泣くのは辞めな、笑ってサヨナラしましょうねぇ- [Happy Birthday Break-up Festival ~ Don’t cry, let’s say goodbye with a smile] and on Gackt’s birthday (04/07/2012).

  • Japanese music company avex are offering a massive opportunity by auditioning for LA performers to be represented and perform in Japan and throughout the world.
  • The Birthday frontman Chiba Yusuke has a number of projects lined up, including a solo album with album-inspired film and fronting a supergroup as well as other The Birthday projects.
  • 10,000 people came to the Flower Tribute Ceremony to say their goodbyes to Dragon Ash bassist IKUZONE.
  • MONKEY MAJIK are planning an English Best of Album, and are opening the tracklist to public vote. So if you want to hear your favourite MM tracks in English, make sure you speak up!
  • Utada Hikaru has reacted to Yahoo Japan featuring her recent tweets as headline news. I know it’s a bit comical that I’m also reporting to, but I’ve also been missing her since she started her hiatus.
  • Tackey & Tsubasa are opening up their best-of album to public vote.
  • THE YELLOW MONKEY have set up their own YouTube, Facebook and Twitter as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations.

Release News

  • The Bishi-Bishi group are giving two European album releases for seiyuu Horie Yui and Momoiro Clover Z on 04/07/2012 through their digital store and other stores like iTunes.
  • exist†trace‘s first full album VIRGIN is now available on iTunes in thirty countries, including the US and UK.
  • KinKi Kids will be releasing a DVD/Blu-ray of their 01/01/2012 live, King • KinKi Kids 2011 – 2012.
  • Seiyuu Minori Chihara (aka Yuki Nagato in Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) is releasing her 15th single ZONE//ALONE on 11/07/2012.
  • Johnny’s Entertainment group NEWS will be releasing their single Chankapana on 18/07/2012.
  • ONMYO-ZA  have a new album called Kishibojin, and through GANSHIN it will be released in Europe on 20/06/2012.
  • SPYAIR have recorded the theme for The Amazing Spider-Man 3D film. 0 GAME will have multiple releases, inclduding 28/06/2012 in Europe and 03/07/2012 in the US.
  • In time to celebrate their fifth anniversary, Versailles will release their single ROSE on 04/07/2012.
  • ZUCK will release their single Hoshi no Nai Sora online via dwango.jp on 18/06/2012 and via iTunes on 27/06/2012.

Live News

  • BUMP OF CHICKEN will be performing at the MTV VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS JAPAN on 23/06/2012.
  • Record label Crow Music are celebrating their 15th anniversary with 2 lives featuring artists such as  RavanteD, REVINE, BORN and OZ.
  • The artist line up has been announced for GIRLS’ FACTORY 12 in Zepp DiverCity TOKYO.
  • MERRY will release a DVD of their 10th anniversary lives, entitled MERRY 10th Anniversary NEW LEGEND OF HIGH COLOR -6DAYS-
  • VAMPS will be getting into the summer spirit with their own beach party live BEAST ON THE BEACH in Aichi prefectures in August.

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 – 8 Apr 2012

Artist News

  • Potentially an April Fool on 01/04/2012 but happily not, AN CAFE will resume actitives this summer with a new release and a 2-day performance at Yoyogi National Stadium in September. This band was one of my first introductions to Japanese music, so I’m very happy they’re back together.
  • Front man of BLOOD Hayato will be leaving the band for new opportunities.
  • On 08/04/2012, the duo CHEMISTRY disbanded to focus on solo activities.
  • Record label Dear Dolce will close on 05/06/2012, affecting the future of many bands.
  • Golden Bomber members have been incorporated into the Square Enix online game TorisetsuIXA. By completing quests players can view videos from the band as rewards.
  • Ikimonogakari will be arranging the theme song for NHK’s broadcasting of the London Olympics.
  • NightingeiL will disband after their final performance at Harajuku ASTRO HALL on 03/06/2012.
  • On 07/04/2012 and 08/04/2012 Perfume had a promotional music box at Shibuya 109 playing their new single Spring of Life. The 4 metre box had 40 earphone plugs to listen to the song, with 3 of those having special messages from the band members.
  • After previously being hospitalised, Plastic Tree’s drummer Sato Kenken has been discharged and will perform with the band at Nippon Budokan on 14/04/2012.
  • After the rumor shared here on Neo Kei on 04/03/2012, it has been confirmed that Raphael will be reuniting. They will host 2 lives on 31/10/2012 and 01/11/2012 to commemorate the death of their guitarist Kazuki.
  • X-JAPAN have been nominated in the “Best International Artist” catergory at GOLDEN GODS AWARD 2012, Americas biggest award for hard rock. This is the first time that a Japanese act has been nominated in this catergory.
  • There are a number of releases due from YUKI on 02/05/2012. First there’s double-A single Play Ball / Sakamichi no melody, the live DVD YUKI tour “MEGAPHONIC” 2011 featuring her Yokohama Arena performance from November, and the PV collection YUKI Video 3.

Music News

  • Even though announced on 01/04/2012, A (エース) will have their album Tales For The Abyss available on 06/06/2012.
  • AA= will be releasing his third album, creatively titled #3 will be released and available for download on 10/04/2012 through GANSHIN.
  • The only other multiple A act I know, AAA will release their yet-to-be-titled single on 09/05/2012.
  • Applicat Spectra made their major debut with their album Spectacle Orchestra on 04/04/2012.
  • Counteraction -V-Rock covered Visual Anime songs Compilation- is visual kei artists covering anime themes. Artists either covered or recorded include GACKT, X JAPAN, Golden Bomber, SID, DaizyStripper and Nightmare. Great stuff.
  • Visual kei band D will release a new single titled Dying message on May 30th.
  • The new single from Dolly will be Niji Iro no Canaria , out on 25/04/2012.
  • EAT YOU ALIVE will release their new single Lily on 25/04/2012.
  • Singer-songwriter Fukuhara Miho will be collaborating with Miura Daichi (I love his track ‘The Answer’) on the single Dream On on 16/05/2012.
  • GLAY will release their single Bible, with B-side Ano hi no shounen and chairty song Thank you for your love on 23/05/2012.
  • Kaya  has a single due on 20/06/2012 called SALOME, based on the Oscar Wilde play of the same name.
  • Kyary PamyuPamyu will have her first album PamyuPamyu Revolution, out on 23/05/2012. She will also make her acting debut as herself on the TV drama Kazoku no Uta.
  • Leda (ex-DELUHI guitarist) has announced plans for his debut solo album due in the autumn, although no title yet.
  •   mihimaru GT will release their latest best-of album THE BEST of mihimaru GT 2 on 30/05/2012.
  • As part of Mr.Children‘s 20th anniversary, they will release 2 best-of albums on 10/05/2012, entitled Mr. Children2001‐2005 [micro] and Mr. Children2005‐2010 [macro]. Before then, they’ll release a triple A-side single of Inori -Namida no Kinou- / End of the day / pieces on 18/04/2012.
  • Sadie have their new mini-album Red Line is available now (released on 04/04/2012).
  • Tokami will release best-of album on 06/06/2012, featuring songs re-recorded and re-mastered versions of songs released pre Starwave Records and tracks only available from their lives.

Concert News

  • As part of their 25th anniversary, BUCK-TICK will be holding their own open-air festival BUCK-TICK FEST 2012 ON PARADE in September.
  • Whilst DIR EN GREY are on hiatus due to injury, they’ll be releasing 2 documentaries in June/July, called TOUR2011 AGE QUOD AGIS Vol.1 (Europe&Japan) and TOUR2011 AGE QUOD AGIS Vol.2 (US&Japan).
  • Already making their Christmas plans, Princess Princess will be hosting lives at the end of the year, including 2 days at Tokyo Dome on 23/12/2012 and 24/12/2012.
  • MISIA performed on 25/03/2012 as part of the National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington. http://www.tokyohive.com/2012/04/moriyama-naotaro-sings-sakura-at-ueno-park-surrounded-by-cherry-blossoms/
  • Yesterday (06/04/2012) MIYAVI was the opening act for Lenny Kravitz during his BLACK AND WHITE JAPAN TOUR 2012.
  • On 28/03/2012 SCANDAL hosted SCANDAL JAPAN TITLE MATCH LIVE 2012 -SCANDAL vs BUDOKAN-, their first performance at Nippon Budokan.


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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.