PassCode’s Special Western Album Has Arrived

Well this trailer officially has me geeked:

This week’s Idol in Focus was going to be PassCode, because I really want to highlight their first gaijin release (featuring a re-recording of “NINJA BOMBER”!), but they went ahead and dumped out everything relevant about it over the last couple of days, so a full post it is! By the way, the record is now available for purchase:

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Sweet Holy Hell, PassCode

The only bad thing about this newer Day Job of mine is that I’m almost always in a subterranean rail system at the times of day for Peak Idol Announcements. And still, coming off of last week’s MV for PassCode’s all-out double A-side single, I knew that I’d still want to dash to a computer and check it out.

Apologies to the intern who sits outside of my office, because it only took the preview herein to convince me to play this sucker loud:

Region-blocked? Ever-helpful manager-san put it up on Facebook! Continue reading

This Is Peak PassCode

I have nothing to add from yesterday, except to say that it’s really good to have PassCode back at tippy-top form. This is an uppercut to the jaw.

If PassCode has ever done a better song, I’d like to hear it so that we can fight about it. If they ever do a better one, heavens help us all, for an impossible thing will have been accomplished and literal pigs will be literally flying.

Here’s Our First Look at the New PassCode Single

Man, few things can get me as revved back up and into an idol mood as something new from PassCode; I’ve been watching their Twitter like a hawk for the typical preview of the double A-side to drop (the art got me particularly hype) just so that I could bask in the thermonuclear glow of PassCode doing PassCode things. It’s just a shortened clip from the MV that we got this morning, but that’s a lot more PassCode than we had just yesterday, and that’s fine. Take it away, screaming vocoder digicore idols:

Some of you can probably the see the whole thing via that link in the tweet, but many of us can’t! I even went chasing after PassCode on Facebook to see if they’d added an upload for us there yet, but alas: Continue reading

These Are the Details on the New PassCode Single

Remember a few weeks back and I was like “oh wow okay good” about the news of a fourth major single coming up any day now from digital idolcore masters PassCode? It wasn’t that it wasn’t good news, just mundane news, of the type that makes you want to find another thing to go more excited about, because this is (/checks notes) PassCode’s fourth single since joining Universal, for whom they’ve also released (/checks notes again), well, I guess it depends on how you count “new,” but a lot. The point is a lot. That’s cool. What they haven’t done before is a double A-side, until now:

Like, it’s not the most exciting update, either, and I wouldn’t blame you for feeling a little shorted and wanting to go do something else instead. Goodness knows that I do! However, the aforementioned double-A, plus cover art (representing the same, I assume) that’s one part cyber Rubix cube and one part ephemeral angel of death. For some reason, I find it completely appropriate. Now give us the full MV releases outside of Japan at the very beginning, please and thanks.

PassCode’s Making Them International Moves

A good while back, I speculated that PassCode would not just join the Idol Invasion, but might be a prominent player in it. After all, between VIRTUAL and the “MISS UNLIMITED” single (and the signing with Universal), they were riding as high as anybody through 2016, including on gaijin shores. The ever-necessary English-language videos followed. It wasn’t a leap to expect them to arrive, maybe even in 2017, and possibly even put together a mini-tour.

The next year wasn’t so kind. “bite the bullet” didn’t seem to excite people the way that previous materials had, and ZENITH, despite being pretty good, seemed to be missing something. The shine had worn off, maybe, or PassCode’s fairly narrow musical range was catching up to them. Regardless, just when momentum seemed to be at its lowest ebb since 2014’s epic re-launch, it was announced that Yuna was going on hiatus for real-deal health issues.

Was PassCode going to recover? I questioned it, I’ll admit. Human beings are natural front-runners — maybe because we understand mortality in an abstract way, or maybe because we just suck, we follow the brightest and shiniest of things even if we don’t like them simply because they’re bright and shining, and that bright shininess can rub off on us one way or another. To lose shine, though, is to basically forfeit it, because we definitely do suck and will simply, as a species, move on to the next shiny bright thing.

You can be surprised that 2018 has been a pretty nice rebound for ol’ PassCode, then, especially since it seems like they’re finally getting to test those international waters. Continue reading

Here’s the Full Digest Version of PassCode’s ‘Ray’

It’s a slower day in idol, folks, and I neglected to work the Soundcloud clips into the Weekender, so let’s all gawk at PassCode’s splice of the tracks available on “Ray”:

I previously called the title track itself maybe my favorite piece of new music of theirs since the release of “MISS UNLIMITED”, and this frankly backs that up well. It’s even structured a lot like that (pretty legendary-like, honestly) release, with the catchy Radio PassCode lead, and the Heavy PassCode and Heavy Dance PassCode B-sides. “TRICKSTER”, just in short form, is menacingly shaking its fist at many of my past favorite Heavy PassCode tracks, and I can’t wait to hear it in full. Continue reading

Hey, How’s That New PassCode Single?

So I was saying the other day that, despite being aware of things being out there online, I didn’t want to try to soak up “Ray” at all until there was an official release by official PassCode, which finally happened this morning whee!

Oh man! Those outfits remain pretty dang boss! And the song sounds pretty good in preview form! And it looks like they’re going for their own version of “Orchestra” on that set! Let’s do the whole thing! Continue reading

This Is Kolokol. You Might Want to Say Hi.

One of the very best things about being a fancy idol blogger is that hooking yourself into different networks to find new material is cool, but being hit up by other folks who want to share is even better. And when subsets of people collectively mark the hell out at once, you know that what you’re about to experience is going to be worth it.

For instance, let’s all take a moment to welcome Kolokol (Twitter) to the world:

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If I Could Give a Cool Fist-bump to PassCode Right Now, I’d Do It

I had hoped that PassCode would continue to do a very smart thing and have a fresh release ready for their series of shows with rock bands, and it looks like smart things continue to be decided, as a new single, “Ray”, will be hitting stores on May 23:

I like this. I like the cover art that reminds me of crossing up Massive Attack with Matthew Barney’s The Cremaster Cycle (enjoy). I like that it’s being timely without trying to be exclusive about it. I even like how they were apparently so pressed to make a press deadline that they couldn’t even decide on the titles of the B-sides for each version! Continue reading