Thursday, 30 June 2011

..of Kangaroos and Kickin' Tunes 1 - Dazzle Vision ダズルヴィジョン (J-Rock)

Welcome to "...of Kangaroos and Kicking Tunes." For this series I will be exploring various genres of music from all over the globe, but in fitting with the theme of this website, I will obviously be narrowing my focus on the Australian and Japanese music scene mostly. Being an Aussie, I of course have grown up listening to many excellent home-grown bands and artists and I am very excited to share them all with my readers.

On the other 手, I have NOT been especially savvy with the Japanese music scene for most of my music appreciating years, however, I have been putting in a fair amount of 'listening research' and 'performing research' (read: karaoke) over the past two or so years. For Japanese music, my tastes so far lie mostly within the alternative and indie scene which happens to work to this blog's advantage because in a sea of otaku freak-outs over your AKB48s and Morning Musumes, it may be somewhat refreshing to read articles about the artists that exist on the fringe of Japan's underground scene.

So without further ado, let me introduce this edition's band!!
Name: Dazzle Vision
Country: Japan 
Style: Rock 
Famous-ness/Prominence: Not particularly well known (yet)

Through all my Japanese band prospecting work, Dazzle Vision stand out as one of my most treasured unearthings. The band was formed in 2003 and is composed of your standard vocalist, bassist, guitarist, and drummer setup. Well, I say standard in reference to the setup, but when it comes to the vocalist, Maiko, she is anything but standard. One of Maiko's and the band's major draw cards is her excellent Operatic-Death Metal voice switching ability. I guess you could call her the Japanese woman version of Serj Tankian (of System of a Down fame), lol. Rather than a gimmick, the use of both her singing voices is done in a way to complement the momentum and emotion of the music driving it. The song VISION (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oy3tJAQ2Rrw) would be a shining example of this style.

The band has released a steady stream of EPs and albums from 2003, with their earlier efforts being slightly marred by their initial green-ness. What has been enjoyable to witness, is how their sound has evolved over time, with the last 3 or so years seeing a marked sophistication in their production methods and artistic direction. It is obvious to me that they have always held the goal of producing both rocking-out-hard type songs as well as those epic, lovely songs that pull a little at the heart-strings. Their albums have indeed been getting stronger and stronger, but for me, the breakthrough has been with their latest album 'Kirari.' Again we see the band playing to their strengths as well as mixing in a bit of jazzy rock with 'Miss Cinderella 2' which is enjoyable as a bit of a stand-alone offering. 
In playing with their strengths, the songs "Juunigatsu" (December) and "One for all, All for one" are particularly memorable 'rocking-out-hard' songs and "Tsuki to Taiyou" (Moon and Sun) and "Sakura" are two 'epic-lovely' finishers to a great album. With the exception of "Miss Cinderella 2," the songs slot in together very nicely and definitely produce a consistent and very big sounding album. Can't wait to see what they can do next!!

If you are interested in hearing their music, check out the website, JapanFiles (http://www.japanfiles.com/dazzlevision

If you like what you hear, consider supporting this band by buying a few of their songs.

So that'll do it for now! Thanks for reading! If you've got any recommendations, I would love to hear about them in the comments section below!

Rock on!

Learn Japanese with JapanesePod101.com

3 comments:

  1. I was into Jpop when I was younger, mostly influenced by my addiction to anime. But over the years, time and well... life has slowly detached me from it and now, I am at a loss with the J-music scene. Currently into the K-pop phenomena which is pretty new to my country.

    I'm following your blog now to keep me updated with the J-music scene.

    cheers!

    Wi
    chichismusings.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks very much for your support! As I slowly get used to life in Japan, I hope to be researching J-music a bit more thoroughly. I especially want to get in there and experience the J-Rock scene. I will be going to see Dazzle Vision and X-Japan in the coming week, so that should be the inspiration for another blog soon I would say!

    K-Pop is an interesting little phenomena isn't it? The manufactured pop star has rarely been done so well. Well, they are getting excellent results, so manufacture away I say!!

    I look forward to reading your blog!

    Cheers,
    Daniel

    ReplyDelete
  3. No problem, always enjoy a good post to read, especially if it's all about the stuff I enjoy, like music and culture. J-Rock is quite the unknown to me, honestly. I guess pop music, in my case, J-pop, is much easier and more profitable to introduce overseas that's why there's an influx pop music globally.

    K-pop... I dunno where to start but yeah, they're an enormous success particularly in Asia and they're going viral over at Europe and South America, thanks to Youtube, (which is how they got me hooked haha).


    Best of luck with your exploration of the J-Rock scene, pretty sure you're gonna have an awesome time! And yep, that's going to be quite an inspiration for another blog post ;)


    Cheers!

    Wi
    chichismusings.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete