Neo Kei

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


NYE 2014 / New Year’s Day 2015 Playlist

Sure it’s a little late to listen to whilst counting down to midnight, this still sounds just as good to listen to at the start of 2015.

This is a hour’s work of great music with a selection of my favourite party tracks and songs from 2014.

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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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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).