My introduction to Japanese Music (Music Finds #15)
Music Finds (or My first Japanese Music Finds)
You might remember my post, Nostalgia for no reason, where I emotionally put words after another about songs which I felt should have a connections to nostalgia, but didn’t? Yeah, great post, check it out~
Today however, I’ll write about some semi-nostalgia, maybe even real this time, as I’ll be taking a trip down memory lane to the songs that I remember were my biggest introduction to the Japanese music scene, as well as some extra memorable ones. I will focus on when my interest really took off in my early teens, so no Kyu Sakamoto this time (sorry), as well as some honorable mentions.
If you’re curious, want to get a grip of how unreasonably much of a (to be) list-post this is, or just stumbled upon this post via Google looking for my genius advice’s on Japanese rock / Visual Kei, below is a table of content of the artists in this posts;
Janne De Arc
Alice Nine (or Alice 9)
It was back in my early teens, and I was looking for some interesting new metal bands. Western music was good, but somehow it lacked that little extra. In a moment of (in hindsight) genius, I deiced to check out what the other side of the globe had to offer. And what I found was to hook me directly and inspires me in some way until this day, as the Japanese Rock and Metal scene really opened my eyes for another world, especially Visual Kei.
Let’s start with the more obvious one – X(-JAPAN)
This was the seconds band I found, and how it struck me! The stage presence, the music, the attitude, it was something so refreshing and new.
If I remember correctly, this was something like the first clip I found:
It was speed metal and sleeze, but with another attitude. I couldn’t get over this and started browsing, to slowly find out what was later to become one of my favorite bands. Below is two other songs that really made me listen to their discography, end to end.
(Just to realize for the first time that I was of hipster-nature, and preferring “the earlier stuff)
But the biggest thing to come from X for me personally, was Endless Rain. As mentioned in my 8 years with the Mockingbird, THIS solo (3:44 in the video below) was the one that made me truthfully want to learn guitar:
I first thought I’ll write something about hide here, while on the topic of X, but I’ll save that for another day..
Okey, enough of that. Let’s get another big inspiration of the board before we’ll get to the minor artists.
So, the first band I “””found“”” in my hunt was MUCC. May be how impressed I were with X for the first months, but these guys played in another field. It was something about my angsty teen-being that draw me closer to this band at first. So here’s the grim songs that made me the 15 year old teen I once were:
So Angura Kei somehow brought me into VK.
This band offered me so much before they lost heir angst, making them one of my favorites of the time.
It may come as little to no surprise that 朽木の灯 was the first Japanese record I bought. This was the defining soundtrack to my year as an 14-15 year old, and they stayed an influence for years to come.
Today I have little knowledge of their doings, but I try to keep up once a year or so. And despite how much I admire their will to constantly change, I’me happy to see that they somewhat been doing more of their older, heavier, stuff again.
Onto, random influences! This will be a great portion of this post for the ones who are just looking for new music (that isn’t X or MUCC..) in no particular order:
Theatrical music for theatrical people (also known as “that band Gackt were in at some point in time”).
I’ll make this into three sections based on their three eras – I’ll save which one is my favorite for a future post, but feel free to place your bets in the comments..
1st era – Tetsu
Malice Mizer – SADNESS ~I know the reason for her sadness~
2’nd era – GACKT
Malice Mizer - Le Ciel
Malice Mizer – Regret (Gackt x Kami)
3’rd era – Klaha
For the 90’s nostalgic in you!
This first song does make me nostalgic for no reason..
La’Cryma Christi – Mirai
La’cryma Christi - Forest
Japanese pop/rock in English with a strong feel-good vibe.
Because I have him to blame for nostalgic moments and my hipswings~
GACKT – Blue Lagoon
(Hipswings at 1:35)
Feel like I couldn’t miss out on some Luna Sea. I was never, and will never become anywhere near as much as a fan as K, but they had some great tunes, like:
Janne da Arc
Just a bit synth to your rock
Janne Da Arc – 救世主 メシア
Because what would this now obvious list-post be without some heartfelt music? One of the better vocals around.
L’arc~en~ciel – My Hearts Draws a Dream
Alice Nine (or Alice 9)
Not a heavy listener, but they had quite a few strong ones!
Alice Nine – Mirror Ball
Ah, the soundtrack to open windows, friends neighbors staring and headbanging~
D’espairsRay – Mirros + D’espairsRay – TRICKSTeR
Because NIL was one of the first album I bought.
the GazettE – DISCHARGE
A band I thought were hardcore, but turned out to be tone of the most sentimental and nostalgic band I have ever encountered.
Plastic Tree – GHOST
Plastic Tree – Spica
Want some ol’ school? No? Okey.. But here they are nonetheless.
Stella Maria – Out of Blue
If you’re still hungry for more music after this giant post, check out my previous Music Finds below where I weekly present music tips from all different kinds of genres!
#14 – Fragile Voices
#13 – Pop and Black-Metal
#12 – Nostalgia for no reason
#11 – Some J to your Rock
#10 – Lynch. the devil
#9 – Oldies but Goldies
#8 – Gotta have that ‘oumpf’
#7 – “The Visualist from OZ”
#6 – A French Danse
#5 – Post-rock
#4 – Japanese Anti-Hero
#3 – Reggae meets metal
#2 – Korean Idols?
#1 – Steampunk Sing-along