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
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!