You Review Things: RAY | “Pink”

Once again actually by Viz Major!

When ・・・・・・・・・ (vocalized as “Dots” or “Dots Tokyo”) emerged onto the idol scene in late 2016 with their shoegaze music and unorthodox presentation, it was a surprisingly much needed breath of fresh air from the saturated market of overcolored aesthetics and systematic cheerful, yet often contrived, songs predominant in idol culture. Along with this new approach to the genres of music that idols perform, the group attached an eccentric mythos to their profile, implementing things like all members are named ・(a single dot) but have nicknames that change every so often and go by themes such as vegetables or even infrastructures (one member was nicknamed “Konbini”, the Japanese word for “convenience store”). Visors were worn over the eyes of the members to conceal their identities, which established them as both an innovative and mysterious idol group. They quickly gained fans in not only the idol spectrum, but also among fans of shoegaze and indie rock outside of the J-pop music sphere, and in 2018 released their debut album『 』(a title with no words but actually 9 half-width spaces), which proved to be one of the best albums of that year. Unfortunately, the following year the inevitable fate which many idols have succumbed to was met, and the group was dissolved after performing a final one-man live at Tokyo Kinema Club on March 24, 2019. Continue reading

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Suzuki Kokone From SAKA-SAMA Is Here To Help Ease Our FEVER…

SAKA-SAMA is most-certainly an encapsulation of what we think of when we discuss the ups-and-downs and side-to-sides of this whole idol business. This group has run a full gamut of graduations and roster configurations, all while maintaining a musical vision that alters just as much as the member incarnations. There’s only one thing about the lo-fi dream pop idols that has stayed consistent, and that’s Suzuki Kokone, the leader and sole founding member of the group…

Kokone’s perennial presence in SAKA-SAMA has now paid-off for her (And for us, too.) with her first solo release! While Kokone has dabbled with some solo lives while playing her guitar, this marks the first actual catalogued TRASH-UP!! recording by her. (There may have been some solo CDRs sold at live shows perhaps, but I can’t quite recall.) “FEVER” is a six-track mini-album now available through TRASH-UP!!’s online store.

And right along with that welcome news, we’ve also been gifted this delightful MV of the title track! The video is very much in keeping with the sort of whimsy one would expect from a TRASH-UP!! solo artist. Tell ya what, why don’t give it a watch if you haven’t already…

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You Review Things: Viz Major on MIGMA SHELTER’s

Actually by @VizMajor

One of the best things about listening to a concept album is immersing yourself into the music and simultaneously living in that moment of the sounds being produced almost as if you had astral projected directly into the experience. With MIGMA SHELTER’s newly released full album “ALICE” we get transported right into the wacky, twisted, animated world of the classic story of Alice in Wonderland. Anyone familiar with the Disney animated film adaptation can take one glance at the song titles in the tracklisting and notice words or phrases that relate to the story and even see that it is also in chronological order. One thing I will recommend here: wear headphones because you will want to hear everything on this album. Continue reading

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EMPiRE’s Early EP Release is SUPER COOL

WACK and Avex’s collaborative group (no, the other one) have decided to get a little 70’s to switch things up and boy do these EMPiRE SOUNDS feel SUPER GOOD.

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KAQRIYOTERROR gets colorfully in-your-face with B.W.G.

Amidst the pandemic, some idols companies have thrived to make the best of it. Video-making-company-turned-music-label Codomomental has not only been doing regular streamed liveshows (mostly for their idol groups), they have also done some recording and announced music releases.

The time has finally come to release B.W.G. into the world. Initially, the recording was supposed to be released as gift to fans who reserved their tickets for the oneman show Bipropaganda. It’s now the A-side of their newest offering available to all.

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And Now A Delightful Visit To SAKA-SAMA World…

I’ve been wondering if this steady stream of... um, well…streaming live shows is the beginning of another game-changing alteration in our strange and new socially distant world that’s here to stay, or just a means to get through the weirdness of the times. Ultimately I feel like it’s probably a little of both. A number of idol groups have figured out that there’s different ways to supplement their incomes through these online shows by either charging indie-pay-per-view fees, selling merchandise tied into the moment, or even just leaving up a donation link like a virtual hat laying on the sidewalk busker-style. There’s a ton of these events happening now of course, and thankfully Daemon’s been doing a capital job of trying to help keep us aware of what’s coming up.

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Cinema and Boy CQ Present “The Picture Show of Chronic Deja Vu”…

Our number-one favorite coed-experimental-theatre-art-idol duo, Cinema and Boy CQ (You may call them Densho to shorten it.) have graced us with a new release! Following up their groundbreaking album The Soundtrack of Different Dimension Travel”, the pair have digitally unveiled their second full-length. due out on a  physical disk on May 18.

For the more adventurous masses who yearn for bold, left-of-center experiences that push the edges of what one typically considers to be within the “idol” genre, this is the far and above one of the most eagerly awaited albums of 2020. However, due to the recent historical-scale health crisis, this album was actually delayed slightly, but like all great art, it just simply wasn’t right to suppress work that yearns to be heard. And so Densho and TRASH-UP!! Records have generously gifted us this release in advance  courtesy of digital streaming platforms, and you should by all means immerse yourself in this rich audio/visual journey…

The new album is called “The Picture Show of Chronic Deja Vu”, which right off the bat is a pretty cool sounding title that conjures up feelings hallucinatory projected images that match up (or even clash) with relaxed moments of solitude. It wouldn’t be the first time visual and audio art colluded to make for a serious headtrip, y’ know?

Anyway, right on cue with the new album, there’s also a couple of MVs to help get you in the Densho mood. First up is “No. 9”, directed by Yukkyun himself…

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Have You Heard The Good News Of RAY?

The glorious RAY posted on their twitter to look forward to an upcoming announcement, which sounded very promising for once, as opposed to all the downtrodden news we’ve gotten recently. “Yes please o’ etherial shoegazing idols , give us something good!! We need this!!”, we were all thinking to ourselves…

And so today, (Which is is actually now yesterday as of this publishing.) the good news was delivered! Have you heard? Listen and listen well, those who believe, and welcome to the light, those of you who are new…

https://twitter.com/_RAY_world/status/1250378525732786176

 

Yes, Sweet Hipster Moses, RAY is releasing their first album!! I swear the sun came out and bathed the Earth is a pink glow while the Corona virus cowered a little today. Everything just got a little better. And oh, guess what else? For a limited amount of time, the album in it’s entirety is uploaded on YouTube, to let you taste the rainbow a little bit early!

Maybe before I say anything more about the details, I’ll leave the embed right here and let you dive in. So go ahead, breathe in, and savor a full preview of RAY’s very first full-length album, entitled “Pink”

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The Grateful a MogAAAz Bring a Wide-Screen Masterpiece…

Yeah, I know we haven’t really dedicated as much ink to The Grateful a MogAAAz on this blog as they deserve. It’s not that we have any bias against them, we like them actually, but for me at least, they’ve never quite broken the intangible barrier that would truly win me over. I can’t even give you a good reason why except maybe to say that Melon Batake a go go’s shadow loom over them a bit too much. But I think the real truth is that it’s really my fault for not giving them enough attention and I simply need to do better.

https://twitter.com/mogaaaz/status/1239401155613974528?s=20

But there might be a change in the wind’s direction with this new tune from Melonbat’s sister group. They dropped a new MV and I casually decided to give it a click, thinking that I’d probably suggest it for the Weekender later on. And then I watched this video, and then I watched three more times…

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For Him? For Her? It’s POUR LUI

Is this the longest downtime between albums in idol history? Seriously, we’ve been waiting for 10 years!

Today the sequel to Pour Lui’s original solo album “Minna no Pour Lui” aptly titled “Minna no Pour Lui II” drops and oh boy was it worth the decade long wait.

As you can see we have a full double album here! Eight brand new songs and a second disc of re-recordings from the original Minna no Pour Lui.

The initial sound is what you’d expect from a WACK and SCRAMBLES production – it’s solid alt-rock that makes you want to slam your head back and forth, with opening track “I’m in love” featuring some guitarwork that wouldn’t go out of place on an Iron Maiden album. Pour Lui would kill Run to the Hills but could Bruce Dickinson do THIS? No, because he can’t speak Japanese.

 

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