Neo Kei

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


Christmas Playlist 2014

Well ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, it’s not long to go until it’s Christmas Day.

So to help you get into the spirit, as musical fuel to get those last errands done, or as background to your festive activities on 25th December, here are the a collection of Christmas songs all the way from Japan.

Have a Merry Christmas and a genki time xx

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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.


Neo Kei – 18 Jul 2012

Hi Minna,

How’s it going? More varied slices of news this week, including varied activities from artists and big news from Koda Kumi.

Artist News

  • In the lead up to the release of their Pachinko Game, members from the AKB, SKE, and HKT teams will form the new unit Team Surprise.
  • AKB48 member Kashiwagi Yuki has been appointed as the Satsuma ambassador, promoting her hometown Kagoshima.
  • Chemical Pictures will resume activities with a new mini-album.
  • Since CHEMISTRY has gone on hiatus, Kawabata Kaname will be going solo.
  • GRAPEVINE will celebrate their 15th anniversary with their 1st best of album, and their opening track list suggestions to fan voting.
  • On 18/07/2012 Koda Kumi has given birth to her first child, a baby boy.
  • HiGE member Suto Hisashi has launched his solo project, using the live name Suto Hisashi GATALI ACOUSTIC SET.
  • Tohoshinki have become the best selling international artist in Japan.

Live News

  • After the success of their live broadcast and their limited DVD release, exist†trace will be re-broadcasting their Just Like a Virgin live on 20/07/2012.
  • On 15/07/2012 GLAY members TERU and TAKURO hosted an impromptu live for disaster victims in Minamisanriku, Miyagi.
  • Goto Mariko will host her one-man live ‘299792458 TOUR  in Osaka and Tokyo in November.
  • Miyavi will be streaming his Day 1 “Premium Live” on 21/07/2012 through his YouTube channel.
  • On 17/07/2012 Momoiro Clover Z performed at an all-boys school to motivate the students.

Release News

  • 25/07/2012 B’z B’z (first English album)
  • 01/08/2012, 24/09/2012 THE MICRO HEAD 4N’SA BEGINNING FROM THE END (first album’s Japanese release, European release through Bishi-Bishi).
  • 08/08/2012 NMB48 – Virginity (single)
  • 08/08/2012 SMAP – GIFT of SMAP (album)
  • 08/08/2012 Ayumi HamasakiA Summer Best (compliation album)
  • 15/08/2012 AKB481830m. (album)
  • 22/08/2012 TOKIO – 17 (first new album in 6 years)
  • 29/08/2012, 11/09/2012 Tackey & Tsubasato-be-titled (single), to-be-titled (album)
  • 29/08/2012 YUKI – Watashi no negai goto (single)
  • 29/08/2012 Kiyokiba Shunsuke – Fighting Man (single)
  • 29/08/2012 GOTCHAROCKAHydrag (first single)
  • 05/09/2012 FLOWBraBlue (single)
  • 05/09/2012 Blitz – Wish World Rainbow (first single)
  • 05/09/2012 Plastic Tree – Shion (single)
  • 12/09/2012 ASIAN KUNG-FU GENERATIONLandmark (album)
  • 12/09/2012 SUGIZO – STAIRWAY to The FLOWER OF LIFE (live DVD)
  • 12/09/2012 BUMP OF CHICKENfirefly (single)
  • 19/09/2012 MERRY – MERRY VERY BEST – Shiroi Hitsuji / Kuroi Hitsuji – (best of album)
  • 19/09/2012 Porno Graffitti – KAGEBOUSHI (single)
  • 19/09/2012 BUCK-TICKyumemiru uchuu (first album release through their label Lingua Sounda)
  • 26/09/2012 Girugamesh(to-be-titled) (single)
  • 26/09/2012 BLACK LINELEGNA (single)

Be Genki (^o^)y


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Neo Kei – 23 May 2012

Artist News

  • Ayabie’s vocalist Aoi has his new solo project 168 -one sixty eight.
  • In time for their single release Lady Luck / Dilly Dally on 13/06/2012, K-Pop group AFTERSCHOOL will hose their own Japanese radio program, starting on 26/05/2012. AFTERSCHOOL PLAYGIRLZ RADIO is a 90 minute show including songs from the latest album and discussions such as about their troubles in Japan. If you want to share your thoughts on Korean artists in Japan then let me know in the poll.
  • Although there’s no new details about Amuro Namie‘s latest album on 27/06/2012 , but it has been announced it will also be released as a PLAYBUTTON, a new tin badge sized media/music player with pre-recorded content.
  • Anna Tsuchiya will be appearing on the track no options! on INORAN‘s new album Dive youth, Sonik dive.
  • ART-SCHOOL have changed labels to Ki/oon Music and have a new album planned for the summer.
  • The memorial service for Dragon Ash bassist IKUZONE at SHIBUYA-AX on 06/06/2012.
  • King Records has started a new record labelSukuIku for releases aimed at kindergarten children, parents and teachers.
  • As two members of MORNING MUSUME. graduated on 18/05/2012, it was announced that auditions for the 11th generation would be held for new members, with particular focus on real beauties.
  • Although NightingeiL will disband on 03/06/2012, vocalist Kon will start his new project CELL.
  • rhythmic will disband on 31/05/2012 and will continue in the industry as individuals.
  • Jokes were made on 19/05/2012 when SID posed together with Sadako at the Sadako 3D stage greeting and the director suggested that she tours with the band. They have recorded the film’s theme song S.

Releases News

  • amazarashi has their new album love song out on 13/06/2012.
  • Creature Creature have announced details on their next set of musical releases. The fifth single Rakuen e / Ataraxia is out on 20/06/2012, followed by Kurumeki / Sexus on 08/08/2012, with their third album in October.
  • Fukuhara Miho is releasing her third original album The Best of Soul Extreme, including collaborations with Miura Daichi, AI and AKIKO WADA, on 13/06/2012.
  • GALNERYUS have their new single HUNTING FOR YOUR DREAM out on 18/07/2012.
  • girugamesh will be releasing their new single Zecchou BANG!! with producer TAKUYA on 04/07/2012. Be warned, it’s only available for a limited time and all sales will be stopped on 31/12/2012.
  • Ex punk Midori member Goto Mariko will release her pop debut album 299792458 (read as Goto Mariko) on 25/07/2012.
  • Seiyuu Horie Yui will release the single Natsu no Yakusoku on 25/07/2012. I still hold a soft spot for her as she was the lead character in the first anime I ever watched, Fruits Basket.
  • Enka singer Jero has his fifth cover album, appropriately titled Covers 5, available on 04/07/2012, with new versions of period drama songs. He certainly doesn’t look like the traditional enka image, yea for breaking stereotypes!

  • The theme for the NHK’s kid’s music program Minna no uta will be Kalafina‘s latest single moonfesta, out on 18/07/2012.
  • KAT-TUN‘s next single will be TO THE LIMIT on J27/06/2012.
  • Mizuki Nana has her single TIME SPACE EP due out on 06/06/2012. This will be followed by an untitled single on 01/08/2012 that will be the theme for the anime film Mahou Shoujo Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 2nd A’s.
  • Morning Musume will be One Two Three / The Matenrou Show on 04/07/2012.
  • MUCC are celebrating their 15 th anniversary by releasing the album Aishuu no antique, featuring re-recorded tracks from their oldest two old albums on their anniversary, 09/06/2012.
  • Idol group PASSPO have their fourth single Next Flight available from 13/06/2012.
  • The tribute album PUFFY COVERS will be released on 07/07/2012, featuring new versions of PUFFY tracks from artists such as Fujifabric, Guitar Wolf and the pillows.
  • Gothic siblings Rose Noire will release their second mini album, Neo Renaissance -1st movement-, on 25/07/2012.
  • The sixth single from UNISON SQUARE GARDEN will be Ryuusei no Squall on 25/07/2012.

Live News

  • More Namie Amuro news now. Artists who will be performing at her 20th anniversary live on 16/09/2012 include VERBAL (m-flo), AI, ZEEBRA, Mummy-D (RHYMESTER), Kaname Kawabata, and Anna Tsuchiya.
  • As reported earlier, DIR EN GREY will share their UROBOROS via USTREAM, and now the times have been announced. In the London time zones the screenings here will be at 06:00, 14:00 and 22:00 on 27/05/2012 (there will be charges involved).
  • As GLAY release their 45th single Bible today (23/05/2012), they have announced they will have 2 lives, Super Welcome Party and Big Surprise Party at Osaka. In partnership with the sweet brand Glico, they will have their band logo changed to match Glico’s signature font.
  • Nightmare will be joining forces with baroque and hosting three joint performances at the end of July.
  • The final Discover Japan Tour date will be available on DVD from TOKYO SKA PARADISE ORCHESTRA on 04/07/2012, entitled Discover Japan Tour ~LIVE IN HACHIOJI 2011.12.27~.

Be Genki (^o^)y


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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.