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New Music This week: Kobukuro, Faky, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu

There is some good new music posted this week, starting with Faky’s Power Ballad Who We Are. They slide in and out of English with this song, most of their tunes come with both an English and Japanese version and are available on iTunes. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu has a powerful new song this week, Kimino Mikata, and while I find the fact that she is the only person allowed to have a face in her videos a little creepy, I absolutely love her music. Both Faky and Kyary have major tours coming up I will have to get into in another post. Kobukuro’s new track is One Times One, and was inspired by the Manga Becomes You by Kono Takano. As you can see it became a collaboration between the musicians and the artist and author. All three of these totally different songs were posted on line this past Tuesday, I hope you enjoy at least one of them.

BAND-MAIKO: Secret MAIKO Lips

BANDMAID‘s Best Music Ever is the only way I can describe their latest tracks, including Secret Maiko Eyes! Posted on YouTube just a week ago, it keeps their driving energy but brings traditional instruments into the mix, in a departure from their previous pure Metal style. They haven’t abandoned their previous personas, BANDMAID still exists and has their World Domination Tour ongoing, as well as an appearance on J-Melo this week (although it might be a few weeks before it airs on their NHK World broadcasts). The latest tracks from them, Domination and Dice, also show growth and improvement, as this great band becomes truly amazing. BAND-MAIKO may be a single album project, but I really hope they return to bring us more excellent music like this.

World Order: Let’s Start WWIII (NSFW-ish), Singularity, more

Japanese performance powerhouse World Order has a new song online called Let’s Start WW3, and while I usually avoid anything political here (being rather seriously apolitical myself), this video is just too good to pass up. It features as always their amazing dance routines combined with excellent music and great singing, all the things a quality music video requires. And then there is Singularity, posted on the same day earlier this month, every bit as good, and in fact it includes a group dance-off that is just amazing. To round off the set I had to include their 2014 track Informal Empire filmed in London, UK, and the 2013 song Imperialism filmed in Washington, D.C.; they are both a lot of fun to watch but also present additional food for thought.

Perfume: Reframe

Japanese art-rock band Perfume has been very busy lately, and this time around we have a few of their Perfume x Technology project videos. These are a series of live presentations using prerecorded audio tracks, combining the music with dance, stagecraft, and computer displays, to render a truly unique theater experience. They are not set to allow embedding on other pages, so you will want to go to the Perfume x Technology project page yourself to watch them. Reframe was posted just last week, with a show segment three songs long, you should start with that one and work your way through the collection; enjoy!

Perfume: Mugenmirai

Perfume started life as an electronica oriented art-rock band, and they have grown since then. Mugenmirai, in English Flash, is the theme song of CHIHAYAFURU, a movie about the card game that is at the core of so many Asian games, and of the spirit of competition it brings. I intend to see this movie, but while I am waiting I have to post the full length version of this song, which was only released on line this week. Enjoy!

Radwimp: Legend of the Demon Cat

Radwimp has done the music for another feature film, the Live Action Legend of the Demon Cat, and it looks amazing; the title of the theme song is Mountain Top. The movie was made by major Japanese film company Kadakawa, includes a substantial Japanese cast, and is based on a Japanese novel by Yoneyama Mineo. Which is a bit unusual for a film that takes place in China. I am definitely looking forward to seeing this one.

INSHOW-HA

The Art-Rock band Inshow-Ha have been making music since 2009, and I wanted to share a few of their tunes so you could get to know them. They are office workers who only do a few live shows a year, but they have still developed a fair sized audience of fans in Japan. Lemon is the first track, Kirei (Pretty) is the second, and the third is Kyujo.

Perfume: Ready for Prime Time

Perfume started life as an electronica oriented art-rock band back when they lived in Shibuya, and they have evolved wonderfully in the past decade. They have a tasty new tune to share, and although the versions available for posting online are short, they illustrate the power the full version brings to the table.

Mugenmirai, in English Flash, is the theme song of CHIHAYAFURU, a movie about the card game that is at the core of so many Asian games, and of the spirit of competition it brings. It can look a little confusing to western eyes at first, until you look at the cards and realize they are not the standard 52 card deck. Each card is actually a fragment of a poem; if you can see the poem hidden within the hand you have been dealt, you only have to remove all the cards that are not part of it from your hand before your opponent does the same with theirs. If you rethink anything, if you hesitate, if you even take a breath before acting, you have lost; only the swiftest and smartest have a chance at winning this game.

And don’t think this is a team sport. The huge crowd bent down on the gymnasium floor may be broken into two groups, each wearing their school colors, but the similarity ends there. You start out going up against members of the opposing school, but when you have thinned them out you play against your classmates, until a single person is victorious. There is no team in this sport, only a winner and a few thousand losers.

The second track is a visual variation of that same song, and since I went that far, throwing in a trailer for the movie seemed only fair. The songs were posted on February 14th, soundtrack will be released on March 14th, and the movie itself comes out on Saturday March 17th (if I am reading the information correctly).

Kitten Witch

Kitten Witch is absolutely adorable, as you are about to see. Written by James Cunningham with cinematographer Oliver Hilbert, you may feel the need to watch it again and again.

50 Kaiten Again

It has been a while since I have posted about 50 Kaiten, so here are a few tracks to remind you how fun they are. The first is Vinyl Change The World, the second is 50 Revolutions twice, the 2016 live remake and the 2006 studio version. In 2016 they put out a Best Of album covering their first decade of music, and the two versions of this song were their acoustic bookends for the collection.