Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Visual Kei History

Hi.. this is my first post here.. yoroshiku..
I like visual kei (vkei) bands very much!! ^^

as my first post here..I want to write about history of visual kei, the genre and vkei bands.. but these are originally not mine, I just cut and paste from many sources after all.. SORRY >.< .. but I credits to them whom write about this.. thank you very much for the articles!!

The History of Visual Kei

Visual Kei (ヴィジュアル系, vijuaru kei?) refers to a movement among Japanese musicians, that is characterized by the use of eccentric, sometimes flamboyant looks. This usually involves striking make-up, unusual hair styles and elaborate costumes, often, but not always, coupled with androgynous aesthetics. Some sources state that Visual Kei refers to a music genre, or to a sub-genre of J-rock (a term referring to Japanese rock in general, with its own particular sound, related to glam-rock, punk and metal, and with strong emphasis on its unique style of dress; and some sources state that Visual Kei's unique clothing and make-up fashions, and participation in the related sub-culture, is equally as important as the sound of the music itself in the use of the term.

Generally, a Visual Kei band has too much make-up, unusual hair styles and elaborate costumes. They have some common features but since there isnt't a clear definition of what they represent, people tend to have a nagative image of them and they are viewed as "only make up band". Some bands hate to be called visual kei.

Visual Kei became popular in Japanese indies scene by the 1990s. Some fans believe that the visual kei movement was started “almost single handedly” by X Japan. Bands in the early 1990s such as Luna Sea, Kuroyume, Zi:Kill, Shazna, and Baiser along with previous bands Buck-Tick and X Japan encouraged a “boom” of this media culture.

Visual kei is closely linked with other fashion styles like Gothic Lolita and musical subgenres such as Ero guro and Angura kei, which also have their own fashion styles. Visual kei remains a diverse, ever expanding genre.

Visual Kei Genre
1. Eroguro (エログロ, ero-guro?)
Ero guro is a wasei-eigo term that describes a loose genre in Japanese art and music that merges the disgusting with the erotic. Ero guro bands (most often seen as a sub-genre within visual kei or post visual by some fans) typically use shock visuals, as well as lyrics and live imagery, but look less feminine than traditional visual kei.

The bands are : Velvet Eden, Guruguru Eigakan, Merry, MUCC, Cali≠Gari, Metronome, and more.

2. Angura Kei
Angura-kei groups generally perform in traditional Japanese dress, and the vocalists of angura-kei groups are primarily female, the members of visual-kei groups are almost always male, and they perform in whatever fashion is popular among Japanese or American youth at the time. Angura-kei bands will occasionally include traditional Japanese instrumentation such as shamisen, an ancient six-stringed instrument used by the geisha of ancient Japan, in their music. Angura-kei finds the majority of its roots in enka. Enka is best defined as traditional Japanese pop, and the lyrics usually speak of tragic love and loss.

Lyrics from bands like Inugami Circus-dan, who sit at the head of the angura-kei movement, and Onmyouza, a band similar in style to Inugami Circus-dan, usually speak of things like dismemberment, rotting corpses, rape, violent love, and the corruption of society.

3. Oshare Kei
Oshare kei genre is the happier, lighter, cuter, brighter, fluffier, and usually more colorfully eye-blinding, etc., side of VISUAL KEI. oshare kei is the more colorfully eyeblinding side of VISUAL KEI. Thus said, bands under this style live up to the meaning by dressing up in colorful costumes, or in DECORA and/or FRUiTS style. So, many of them are seen sporting massive amounts of jewelry and bags of cartoon characters and animals slung on, tons of hairclips that make you go dizzy because you'd lose count, and lighter make-up. The music is more happy sounding, the lyrics lighter and happier.

The bands are : Charlotte (しゃるろっと), Lolita23q (女-ロリヰタ-23区.), Panic☆ch., Shelly Trip Realize, AnCafé (アンティック-珈琲店-), Grimm (ぐりむ), Ichigo69 (苺69), Kra, Irokui (いろくい。), Kazoku (華族), Barby (バービ), Baroque, Panic Channel, Alice Nine (although their recent style is less oshare), Clavier, Ayabie, BIS, etc.

4. Nagoya Kei
Nagoya kei (Nagoya-kei) is a term that refers to a subdivision of the visual kei music scene centered in and around the city of Nagoya, Japan as well as other parts of the Aichi Prefecture. Compared with the music of the visual kei scene as a whole, the Nagoya kei sound is generally notably darker and defined by influence from more specific and mainly underground western sources, including British punk and goth/deathrock music of the late 1970's and early 80's including post-punk, and later, grunge and modern death metal. Nagoya kei bands bands are often noted for being influenced by styles not incorporated by visual kei bands previously, and are often seen as innovators because of this. The early Nagoya kei sound, though varied, was mainly strongly influenced by western post-punk and deathrock of the late 1970's and early 80's. The first band to gain a major following was Silver-Rose, whose sound was characterized by post-punk styled rhythms layered under more melodic lead guitar and vocals. Newer Nagoya bands have shown more influence from visual kei bands outside of Nagoya, therefore their style is at times much different than the traditional Nagoya sound.

The bands are : Berry, Kusse, Lynch, Girugamesh, Deathgaze, Deadman, Lamiel, GULLET, Blast and more.

5. Koi Kei X
Newer style of visual kei that showed up in the 2000's is Koi Kei X. Miyavi, formerly from Dué le quartz, now a solo artist, is said to be one of the few that exemplifies this style.

6. Shibuya Kei
Shibuya-kei (渋谷系, Shibuya-kei?) is a sub-genre of Japanese pop music which originated in the Shibuya district of Tokyo. It is best described as a mix between jazz, pop, and electropop. The word for Shibuya (渋谷, Shibuya?) is suffixed with the Japanese word kei (系, kei?), meaning "affiliation", to form Shibuya-kei, which roughly translates to "Shibuya style".

7. Kotevi kei
Kotevi means "heavy Visual" and this is said more mainstream. Dir en grey, Malice Mizer are considered to be kotevi.

8. Kurofuku kei
Kurofuku means "black clothes". They wear black clothes and a little bit of light make-up. LUNA SEA, ZI:KILL, Kuroyume are esamplese of bands in this category.

9. Softvisual
light make-up, light costume. GLAY and Sophia were softvisual before. In the 90s, softvisual became mainstream; however this category no longer exists ( extinct species). Actually GLAY and Sopia don't have make up anymore.

10. Iryou kei
Iryou kei means "medical services". They wear cotton gauze, eye bandage, that sort of thing. SEX-ANDROID, LuLu into this category.

Credits to :

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