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Favorite Japanese bands and why? (any genre)

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Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 104
PostPosted: Thu Feb 11, 2010 9:19 pm Reply with quote
Since I didn't see a topic for this, I figured I'd make it.

What Japanese music bands/groups/ singers/etc. do you like?

try to name the musical genre along with them.

I myself,

For Rock; One of my big faves is BUCK-TICK.

I remember watching Nightwalker long ago on the now defunct South American anime channel, Locomotion, and loving the intro theme. (Gessaki) I searched around for it forever, and thats what brought me to Buck Tick. i like many of their songs, though I dont particularly like their recent album, "Memento Mori"

Shotaro Morikubo.

Blame the Megaman/Rockman X series for this one. Haha.
Megaman X6 had rushed localization, which resulted in both the Original Japanese opening and ending themes being left in. the opening, "Moonlight" really was probably the most awesome piece I had heard ever, so I liked his style. I have a few of his songs on my MP3 player.

Now, i do like a little bit of Metal in my diet, and for that, I really like Moi Dix Mois.

Yesssss, the infamous trap Mana and his crew. Its very amazing how he manages to incorporate classical elements with metal. It really gives their music a very unique feel and sound.

So yeah. take it away guys.
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Location: East of Eden
PostPosted: Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:31 pm Reply with quote
I got two favorite bands Dir en grey and Malice Mizer.

I really enjoy Dir en grey's music because some of their songs create disturbing picture in my head, and I really enjoy Kyo's vocals esp. the band's styles of music they play. Red Soil, Stuck Man, Grief, Hydra 666, Clever Slezoid are songs I enjoy singing along, but I can't always sing them out loud. Evil or Very Mad

Malice Mizer is just awesome how they play their songs esp. the Gackt era. I really like how they make use of the Synth Guitars like in Au Revoir, Syunikiss, and Bel Air. ILLUMINATI is just [expletive] cool in live.
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Spastic Minnow
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Joined: 02 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 03, 2010 6:27 pm Reply with quote
Polysics are by far my favorite Japanese band. Their brand of Post punk/ New Wave revival is unrivaled. A teacher of mine once said that you should never borrow the work of another artist, you have to take it, steal it and make it your own. That's what Polysics do, even when they take a tune directly from another artist they make it their own, it's a tribute and never plagiarism. I'm a huge fan of XTC (Japan loves XTC) and have discovered at least six polysics songs that take something (a riff, a vocal phrase, a stolen hook) directly from some early post-punk XTC song, but what they do with it is so unique I doubt even the original authors could be upset.

Polysics are also the perfect band to listen to at work, keeps me energized but doesn't distract me.

Other than Polysics

Melt-Banana are brilliant avante-garde noise makers. I can't listen to them for long periods but those short bursts of pure energy leave you wired like no one else. And Agata is a virtuoso guitarist who plays an effects board as much as his strings. I doubt they'll ever get an anime theme song... Unless Adult Swim's Perfect Hair Forever counts Laughing

Like most music lovers I was wowed by The PIllows FLCL soundtrack, Bought all three OST volumes eventually and one of their other albums as well, I don't listen to them as much as I used to though.

And one composer whose previous pop work I want to check out but haven't yet:
Susumu Hirasawa, go to guy for Satoshi Kon. I love his soundtracks and I really have to look up P-Model, I get the feeling it'll also help me with my appreciation of POlysics
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Joined: 25 Nov 2006
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Location: Tokyo
PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2010 5:25 pm Reply with quote
Spastic Minnow wrote:

Melt-Banana are brilliant avante-garde noise makers. I can't listen to them for long periods but those short bursts of pure energy leave you wired like no one else. And Agata is a virtuoso guitarist who plays an effects board as much as his strings.

Great choice - I'm a big fan.

I interviewed Yako here:

Also as someone mentioned, the 5 6 7 8s - along with beat/scratch freaks HIFANA, cerebral hip hop man DJ Krush, and techno DJs Warp, Ken Ishii, Wada, Robo*Brazileira and Cut Bit Motorz.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 3:19 pm Reply with quote
Polysics are very good, and if you're into the older "new wave" bands along that line, might i suggest the PLASTICS. If you do a search on Youtube, try starting off with "Top Secret Man", it is very good!

I've been getting into a lot of japanese music the past few years, oddly enough I found tons of it by checking out eroge game makers' sites. I found them by basically backtracking through the various "mirror" sites. There's tons of free downloads available, since these companies want to get their product known, and are willing to give free dl's of music, wallpapers, demovids, & game trials.

Thanks to those sites, i have come across artists like Kotoko, whom i believe is as good as singers get. She's completely random, and has such a wide range of styles-i can't even begin to start listing them here. I will say that somewhere online, someone made a comment that is very fitting, it was along the lines of "...people call Kotoko the japanese Bjork, but Bjork never had such a variety of output." Very true.

Currently, i've been trying to find as much as i can by Milktub and have had little success in finding more by the band Antistar. But the search is still new, and i'm not about to give up!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 19, 2010 12:06 pm Reply with quote
Mono, not to be confused with the UK trip-hop group of the same name. I saw them at a small little performance in Orlando a few years back and they're amazing, if you're alright with non-vocal, ambience music. They're mainly a guitar instrumental band, and their music is perfect for me in terms of getting my creative juices going when I'm working on projects.

My dad has a favorite called Versailles. He caught some of their music videos on bento-beat box on demand when I was watching them, and they amuse him to no end with their "drag queens in French costumes, ripping away with metal guitars." They're obviously visual-kei. He also likes Asian Kung-Fu Generation, who I suppose I'm a fan of as well.
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Joined: 17 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:18 pm Reply with quote
I really like listening to the Japanese indie scene and alternative hip hop scene. So I'm really into stuff like Nujabese, Shing02, Supercar, 6eyes, ext. And of course I'm into the more well known stuff like The Pillows and Maximum the Hormone. So I have allot of bands to consider for my top spot.

But I'd have to say that my current favorite indie band is Mass of the Fermenting Dregs. I have never heard any band like them (Japanese or otherwise) and I really love the sound they have. And they have so much power behind all of their songs that is rare to find. They're hands down the best shoegazing band out there.

My current favorite hip-hop artists is, and will always be, Nujabes (RIP). He was like no other hip-hop artist out there using such innovative beats and rhythms. Every time I hear his music it moves me in a way that few artists have. He was truly a visionary of his craft.

And my favorite anime discovered band (band that I found through an anime) is The Pillows. No matter how many times I hear them I never get tiered of hearing their songs. They have such great energy that it's hard not to get swept up in it.

And as for Melt Banana, they were actually my first exposure to noise rock. They are such a out there band, I just love listening to them. Some people abuse the oddness of noise rock and just do bull crap. But they mastered the genre in a way that few others have.
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Joined: 05 May 2010
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Location: Ireland
PostPosted: Wed May 05, 2010 6:54 am Reply with quote
The two bands, which I alternate between on being my favourite, would be Sex Machineguns and Galneryus.

Sex Machineguns are a, rather hilarious, speed metal group that started off as visual kei to an extent and over time dropped it in favour of a more typical heavy metal look, while at the same time getting progressively more technical in their musical approach.
Lots of what you'd expect from that description, high screeching vocals, quite fast and technically demanding guitar solos, heavy bass, the drummer abusing his double bass pedal as much as possible, synchronized head banging and stage moves (which the crowd at live shows all do in time, this being japan).
They are also quite well known for their hilarious themes and lyrics (you haven't lived until you've heard a speed metal track about a noodle delivery service or just how great oranges are).
But their stand out characteristic, in my humble opinion, is that they are catchy, not something you'd expect from a band labeled as speed metal. Their songs are not simply 7 minute long guitar solos as the genre has been come to be known for (mind you, off the top of my head, I can't think of a single song from them without a guitar solo at some point). Speed metal in japan seems more to be traditional rock taken to the extreme. The focus of their songs will almost always be the vocals, like most music, regardless of the high level of technical instrumentation and I would never consider them a band solely for the crowd that want to hear mad, over the top guitar lines (if you look at some of the clips from their live shows you'll see that a huge ammount of their fanbase seems to be girls, not intending to be prejudiced but that's not the norm at most heavy metal shows).

They have gone through a few line up changes, the only consistent member being the frontman. Normally every now and then a single member would leave and be replaced in between every few albums but in 2006 they went on a short break and they members went their separate ways and started their own side projects and such. As a result when the frontman decided to reform the band he recruited all new band members and while still fantastic they have dropped off the radar and sort of lost some of their heart so to speak, while still great it just isn't the same (mind you this is coming from someone who considers them one of their favourite bands and has been listeing to them for years so I'm probably just really picky as I was very fond of the old members with one of them being my favourite guitarist, most people won't notice much of a difference).

In the end they are simply a fun fun fun band who seem the have the time of their lives doing what they do and know not to take themselves too seriously, like far too many metal bands do these days. I think anyone who's into the japanese music scene should give them a chance regardless of their preconceptions about metal music. Mikan no Uta being a good first song to listen if you want to hear just how catchy they can be and Suspence Gekijou if you want to see what has to be one of the funniest music videos ever made.

Sex Machineguns' song Illusion City was featured as the opening track for City Hunter: Death of Evil Ryo Saeba, so you may have heard them before and just didn't know it!

Galneryus are a power metal band, possibly the best power metal band.
Now I'm going to say it and get it out of the way, these guys probably are more a band for people who have metal as their favourite genre or the muscian crowd and people who really like mad solos, be it bass, drums, guitar or keyboard (mind you the ammount of guitar solos to any other instrument has got to be something like ten to one, expect maybe with the keyboards, might be more five to one).
Now, power metal, known for it's rather silly nature due to the stuff the songs tend to be about (dragons, vikings, how great metal is, vikings fighting metal dragons, all that jazz). This band has got to be the best exception to the sterotypes that surround power metal. Early on there is a video of the singer wearing a suit of armour and swinging a sword around while the guitarist stands on a hill beside a flag wearing a red latex suit doing a mad guitar solo, but at some point they must have stopped and thought "this is just silly". From that point on the armour and latex were dropped and if you were to see them on stage today they'd be wearing a band shirt and jeans.

Their vast majority of their songs are in english and despite the lyrics still being in the power metal area the vocalist's style of singing, which is incredibly powerful and the lack of vikings and dragons being mentioned makes them from the get go a lot more enjoyable to listen to than a lot of power metal bands who make you cringe with their lyrics (I'm looking at you Rhapsody), unless of course one is a big power metal fan and loves that sort of stuff.

I originally wrote a massive section on all the instrumental stuff and how the band excel technically blah blah blah blah, but then I read it back it was just tedious and boring so I got rid of it. If you are a fan of insane guitar solos and all that, I'd say go listen and judge for yourself.

There is even something for the people who aren't power metal fans. Any of their music that is in japanese seems to veer away from the power metal sound, they still sound like Galneryus, the mad solos and guitar lines are still there but the power metal seems to drop from being the genre they are playing to being a light influence. Also over time they have in general difted away from power metal as they established their own unique sound, quite noticable if you compare their early stuff to their more recent work. It is still power metal but the difference when you listen to their first album and their most recent is blatantly obvious.

The stand out track to listen to first would be Silent Revelation, it seems to be their most popular (probably because it's bloody brilliant) and it gives a great impression of how these guys sound.
For the power metal crowd Beyond the Ground or Point of No Return are what jumps to my mind but they are a power metal band, anything from the first three albums will make you happy happy.
You're not the biggest power metal fan in the world? Like I said earlier their stuff that isn't in english veers away from power metal, Cause Disarray and My Last Farewell jump to mind.
Just want to hear crazy guitar stuff? Struggle for the Freedom Flag or United Flag.
Want to just hear the most bloody brilliant thing ever? The Awakening.

And now for another.... OBLIGATORY ANIME REFERENCE!!
Galneryus' songs Alastia and Cause Disarry were respectively
the opening and closing themes for Mnemosyne, once again, you may have already heard them, and you don't even know it! Dun dun duuuun!

I just read back over what I wrote I noticed I probably over did it a bit, but I don't really care, ho ho ho.

Anyway, whichever I'm listening to at that moment tends to win my top spot, meaning I just can't really decide.
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PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 7:40 am Reply with quote
X-Japan first and foremost. Primarily their earlier stuff though. I like the experimental stuff, but X, Kurenai, Rose of Pain, Silent Jealousy are all speed metal classics. Some people are put off by the singer's strained vocal style, but I find it emotional as hell.

Animetal- It's metal versions of anime songs. What more can be said? Their Sailormoon, Eva and St. Seiya covers are amazing.

Galneryus - I just discovered them a few days ago. They did the ED for Rainbow: Something Something Something and the OP and ED for RIN: Daughters of Mnemosyne, and without a doubt they're this generation's X Japan. They got the neoclassical metal thing going, mixed with modern metal sensabilities and amazing ballads.

Metalucifer are an amazing 80s speed metal band, corny as hell, but in a good way.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 4:41 pm Reply with quote
Ikimono-Gakari (j-rock/j-pop) is my favorite. The sound is completely unique and the lyrics are like poetry. The singer, Kiyoe Yoshioka, has a sweet and poerful voice that flows with the sound. The use of completey different instruments in the songs makes me a fan of thier music.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 11, 2010 1:29 pm Reply with quote
I had no idea the Sex Machineguns had a song in an anime. God Illusion City is such a great song too!

My friend is a big fan of Galneryus. I personally have enough power metal where I'm not sure if I want to add any more, but I just might.

Mono is AMAZING post rock. Up there with Explosions in the Sky

My favorite band overall... It's a tossup. Jurassic Jade and Midori are the big two.

Jurassic Jade first entered the Japanese Metal scene when Thrash had just finally made it's way over to Japan. They really took things to a level that back in the day not even America had (though you could find a few early demo recording of Sodom that are arguably faster). Female vocals are just the cherry on top (or whatever) for this band.

The other is Midori. They are a noise/jazz/metal band. If that combination seems odd, well that's because it really is, though it makes for some beautiful music. The band encompasses a jazz style drummer, a stand-up bass player, a keyboard player, and a female vocalist with an electric guitar. You can't really find much of their stuff on youtube because Sony is real strict with them, but it's really worth looking into. At the least, read a review of any of their albums. Those guys could explain them better than I

Here's a little excerpt if you may

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 01, 2010 1:16 am Reply with quote
In no particular order:

ZUN (composer; video game soundtrack): I like the drive of his Touhou Project pieces. In all seriousness, I consider his great music for work-outs.

angela (J-Pop): I like Atsuko Yamashita's voice-- she's versatile enough for fast songs and ballads and has a distinct tone that pleases me.

Kanon Wakeshima (visual kei): The first time I heard Still Doll sent shivers. That she can make a cello sound upbeat as well as moody is a credit to her craft.

Yuki Kajiura (composer; soundtrack): It took me years to figure out that some of my favorite anime soundtracks (Noir, MADLAX, Elemental Gelade, Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, etc, etc, etc.)--including one of the first anime soundtracks in my collection (Kimagure Orange Road)- were from the same composer. I can't get enough of her work.
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Joined: 14 Jan 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 3:17 am Reply with quote
halcali- i like their songs, the music videos are very unique and the rap parts in the song are pretty cool and their songs are quite catchy!!!

utada hikaru- i like her songs "simple and clean" and "sanctuary"
i like sanctuary best cause of the backward lyrics!!
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:08 pm Reply with quote
I like:

Asian Kung-Fu Generation

The Gazette


Abingdon Boys School
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I do Marketing for Anime Companies

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:48 pm Reply with quote
X Japan - An awesome and caring band, I love how Yoshiki isnt just a drummer but a guitarist to and has so many charity foundations to give to the less fortunate, including selling his crystal Piano but the music they created has been awesome.

B'z been around a long time themselves and the music even the newer ones are just as powerful.

Asian Kung Fu Generation - they just rock, featured on so many animes, videos and movies
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