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Hello everyone, are we back in business after New Years Eve? At least I am, and I hope you all are! I wish you all a happy 2012 filled with good music and lots of new discoveries.

I’m pretty sure the party has actually stopped by now, but I’d like you all to listen to the song that was looping over and over at my place. It’s a solo song by Yamashita Tomohisa, featuring DJ DASK, and it has a really really nice beat. I assume all his fans have already heard it, but I’m making this post for those that haven’t!

As with most music released by Johnny’s Entertainment it’s hard to find the song online – you can listen to it here.

Quite addictive, isn’t it? It’s part of his solo album, “SUPERGOOD,SUPERBAD”, which in fact happens to be a quite brilliant album in itself. I’m sure I’ll have to talk more about it at some point.

Such a party song, haha. I love it. Be my LOVER while the champagne POPS! Be my BOOGIE, Be my BEAUTY, ‘Till THE PARTY DON’T STOP!

It makes me want to dance.

And drink champagne.

There are many Christmas themed songs out there, even among the visual kei bands. But my favourite is probably a song by B’z, which is a rock duo that has been around for quite a while. Itsuka no Merry Christmas (いつかのメリークリスマス) is such a lovely song. It successfully captures that Christmas feeling that I’d only get while watching the snow fall outside. Watching that, while listening to this song, heightens it all to another level as well. I guess in short it’s a song all of you should listen to.

I know that there are people out there that don’t celebrate Christmas at all. I’m not very religious myself, but the Christmas is for me a tradition that just is there, and it comes along with snow and winter. And then there’s those that don’t ever get snow for Christmas. Actually we didn’t get any this year, haha, but I like to remember the years when we did. And this song, Itsuka no Merry Christmas, helps me remember somehow, although I didn’t listen to it back when we did have snow and loads of it.

A Christmas song, winter song, and a very, very good song. Don’t ignore this one, people. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of you!

It’s been a while. I’m sorry! The past weeks have been quite stressful, but now we’re all ready to finish this semester and celebrate Christmas instead! I’ll try to make a special post with a Christmas/winter theme, but for now we’ll be satisfied with a band introduction, I think.

The band I want to tell you about this time is called AND (アンド). Their popularity has grown a lot lately, but for those of you that have yet to experience them, I’ll give you this post.

AND is a five-member visual kei band. Their music is hard and raw, with the few exceptions of more easy-listened songs. They formed in 2007 and have since them lost one member, their drummer Suzune, in 2010, who a month after that was replaced by KAJI. Not so long ago they signed with a major label! Being a long term fan, I was happy when their first major single was released and showed that they could only get better. “BLAZE” is quite amazing, and the PV is their best since my favourite song of theirs, Blackout (ブラックアウト). Here’s the preview of BLAZE, make sure to check it out!

The other song I mentioned is my favourite, Blackout. Probably still their best song.

The song I first fell for was actually one called Jack the ripper (ジャック・ザ・リッパー), but that was before Blackout was released. Since their debut they’ve had time to release quite a lot of music, but only one full album this far. It’s called “&” (yes, only that), and I’d highly recommend it to everyone that are interested after those previews. It contains single tracks, Blackout being one of them, and  then there’s one called “Gi” (犠) which definitely is the best song among the new that were released on the album. The PV track is the song “CODE「B」” another lovely song! In all, the album is a great mix of hard songs and emotional rock ballads. The band write their music together while the lyrics are written by the vocalist, Ikuma.

I hope I’ve inspired you to listen to them with this post, if not – keep your eyes up for new posts, I hope I’ll be able to get you at least one new band that you’ll like a lot!

This is one of my favourite songs lately. It’s one of RENTRER EN SOI’s older songs, and it’s called Aqua. A PV track, and released on the mini album Yurikago (ゆりかご) from 2004. And it’s horribly beautiful.

An older image of the band, from when Yurikago was released.

Satsuki is a great singer and lyricist, which definitely shows in Aqua. I wish I could quote the whole lyrics, but I won’t. No, I’ll give you a few of my favourite lines in it instead. And of course, the song itself. I’ll advise you to listen to it without watching the PV because quite frankly, the PV is very low on budget and kind of might ruin the song for you, eheh.

It translates badly, I know, but the part where he sings the following just makes me so sad.

shizunderu boku wa tada miageteita
oboreteru kuuhaku no film wo
(沈んでる僕はただ見上げていた
溺れてる空色のフィルムを )

It kind of translates to “I was looking up while sinking down, drowning in the sky-colored film”, which in itself sounds kind of stupid, right? It looks like a play on words to me though, because “kuuhaku” is in fact written with different kanji, which would translate to “vacuum/blank space” so, emptiness basically. I think it’s the emotion in his voice that does it for me, though. Just like another part of the song, that doesn’t translate just as badly, but definitely sounds better if you understand Japanese.

kono mama umi ni tokete 
eien wo inotteru kara
(このまま海に溶けて
永遠を祈ってるから)

This translates to something along the lines of “Melting away into the ocean, praying everlasting “, and again I think it’s the voice that makes it feel so much more than it sounds like. Just like every time he sings “Yuremeku aurora” (ゆらめくオーロラ), “wavering aurora”, it kind of… hurts, doesn’t it? But maybe it’s just me.

Anyhow, I wanted to share this beautiful song with you. And by all means, check up RENTRER EN SOI’s older music. It’s all pretty amazing.

I’ll have to apologize for the lack of activity! There was a lot to do last week, and we’ve also had several problems involving a storm and power outages. It’s getting better though, and now I’m here to introduce you to a very talented young musician!

Kanon Wakeshima (分島花音, Wakeshima Kanon) is a female singer and cellist. She’s a solo artist, produced by the famous Mana (Malice Mizer, Moi dix Mois) and has been active as one since 2008. Since then she has also been in a project called Kanon x Kanon, where she worked with the bassist Kanon, known from An Cafe. Her solo music is what I want to focus on, so let’s start!

Personally, I’m no big fan of female vocals. It’s not that I don’t think girls can’t do it, absolutely not – there are lots of very very talented singers out there. I don’t put much weight on gender when it comes to playing or singing in itself, it’s just that I find it much harder to click with female voices. They tend to be so high, but there are always exceptions. I listen to other bands or artists with female vocals as well, but now we’re just talking about Kanon.

Sure, her voice is quite high. When she wants it to be. But it’s not, what’s the word, squeaky? Some pop artists tend to sound a little squeaky to me, at least. But Kanon sings great, it sounds so natural, and she deserves more attention than she gets. Now, she isn’t unknown to those that are interested in Japanese music, but she is very talented.

Her songs are written by either Mana or herself, and she of course plays the cello in the songs. To be quite honest I think that the cello might be a big reason as to why I adore her music – I’m very very weak for stringed instruments such as cellos, violins etc. And there’s something special to her music, something that I can’t say I’ve ever found in anything else. You would probably have to listen to get a better idea of it, because I can’t quite describe it. Here’s Shoujo jikake no libretto ~Storytelling by solita~ (少女仕掛けのリブレット ~Storytelling by solita~), the PV track for her latest album. The French that’s in it is spoken by the singer Solita.

Ah, such a great song. The album it’s on is actually called the same thing, Shoujo jikake no libretto (少女仕掛けのリブレット ~LOLITAWORK LIBRETTO~), and was released in 2010. I love that album, it’s really just amazing. There’s been a lot of discussion between fans when it comes to if they like her 2009 album, Shinshoku Dolce (侵食ドルチェ), better than the latest, but I won’t go into that, it’s all about personal preferences. I like both albums, but if I was to choose, I’d go for Shoujo jikake no libretto. There’s one really special song on that album, actually. A tango. And I love it. So much. Kuroneko to pianist no tango (黒猫とピアニストのタンゴ).

I think it’s a song that you either love, or don’t like at all. At least that’s the impression I got when I showed it to people. That song alone would be enough for me to buy the CD, to be honest. Which I of course did, because apart from the two songs that I’ve shown here, pretty much all of the rest of the songs are great. Absolutely lovely.

So to all of you out there, don’t be afraid to listen to Kanon! I hope you’re planning on checking that album out (or the other, whatever you feel like doing), because if you do, I’m sure you won’t regret it.