Tag Archives: japanese

Capsule – CAPS LOCK

 

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Why is Perfume or Kyary more popular than Capsule?
Because Perfume is a pop girl group, dumbass! – you might say.

Of course the point is not to be popular but to make (hopefully) good music. In anticipation for the new album many hoped that CAPS LOCK will glide on the success of LEVEL 3. Sadly, it feels like a lost potential. I really wanted to praise this album but CAPS LOCK leaves a Capsule fan disappointed.

Since their best album up to date More More More, the duo has been releasing some mildly successful records, with a few gems here and there but generally lacking coherence and strong sense of direction. However their new album, CAPS LOCK, marks a new low…

Many fans of Perfume also listen to Capsule and vice versa. After hearing the Perfume‘s fantastic last record you might have listened to Enter the Sphere and imagine that Capsule‘s latest album will evoke all that and better. That it will cumulate all the badassness, trippy club beats and take all that harder electro to the next level. Thirsty of the style we know, you reach for the new album to clench your thirst but CAPS LOCK tastes like a cold tea… no milk, no sugar, two days old tea. Yes, unfortunately it is a disappointment.

We’ve got an intro that’s less exciting than elevator music. CONTROL is promising, colourful although Toshiko’s vocals are so chopped up it ends up sounding a little annoying, like a leftover Miku Miku track (ouch…). DELETE starts underwhelming although it develops into a pleasant synth with atmosphere.

 

CONTROL, one of very few O-K moments on the album… :

 

12345678 is like a first year’s University student project in Sound Design. Some honking and creaking door layered together and inaudible vocals comes in. WHYYYY

SHIFT is almost good… almost. The cut up vocal salad remains a little annoying. It would have been fine if it was just a regular vocoder treatment but it’s not, it’s over done. Sorry Nakata.

ESC, another project of the same amateur Uni student, dripping water, ticking clock, wind. No music. Nakata is losing his mind.

SPACE sounds more like a Capsule track we know, albeit lacks a climax.

RETURN is a soothing piano number that goes into synth, like a synth lullaby. Somewhat nostalgic, pleasant.

And… that’s it. That’s all. There’s no JUMPER, there’s nothing you could bounce about to in a club, there’s nothing you’ll have on repeat on your iPod. It’s a huge dissapointment. With only 8 tracks, no strong single and style all over the place, this could easily be just an EP of 4 but instead it’s pretending to be an album. Shame.

Nakata remains a genius for sculpting the direction of Perfume and Kyary into success however… losing out on his own project. I do hope that the next material from Capsule will change our mind once again.

 

Here’s what we hoped CAPS LOCK would be but it’s not. Enter the Sphere by Perfume, Capsule‘s producer and mastermind :

 

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Perfume -「LEVEL 3」/ ALBUM REVIEW

 

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To the point: LEVEL 3 is the best Perfume album yet. The record is a perfect balance between mainstream pop/dance and sophisticated electronica.

Clockwork is amongst the best tracks on the album. It has a hypnotic, inviting melody, thread with sweet, girly voices of A-chan, Kashiyuka and Nocchi. All this wrapped in a fuzzy layer of synth will get you coming back for more.

The album opens with Enter the Sphere, which sounds like the essence of Capsule’s trippy electro sound in a kaleidoscope… and then it sounds like a battle theme from Final Fantasy 7 for a moment. Edgy and very ‘right now’.

Another bright gem is Party Maker. It’s a terrific party anthem and really deserves its name. Made up of Nakata’s staple, driving beat and tied with just a few vocal lines into an uplifting ball of energy. This really isn’t pop anymore and that’s exactly the secret of Perfume’s success – the fact that their music is pushing the edges of what we consider to be ‘pop’ or ‘mainstream’ by truly creative use of voice processing, vocoder and layering.

1mm is used as the main track promoting LEVEL 3 and has everything that a Perfume song should have, catchy chorus, dance-inducing beat and sparkling synthesiser. All this in a slightly cold setting. Through processed vocals, lyrics show a human touch as they capture the feeling of being helplessly ‘not yet ready’.

Fans will appreciate the comeback of their favourite singles in a new form or remixes. Spring of Life (Album-mix) now has an extended intro that starts with, what was previously the interlude. It’s also tweaked with beats here and there to make it more club-friendly.

Magic of Love (Album-mix), on the other hand is worse than the original and sounds a bit flat. The cheesy ‘trumpet’ and a lighter edit makes it sound like a soundtrack to OutRun. Still, it’s heaps better than Mirai no Museum / 未来のミュージアム – the only downside of this album. Stuck in the middle of the tracklist it stands out like a sore thumb, or should I say, like a toddler in Ministry of Sound and that’s because it’s the most infantile-sounding Perfume track up to date. SKIP.

Spending all my time (Album-mix) is the best remix on the record. It sounds more restrained and structured. It gradually builds up to reveal the final chorus, which now sounds more powerful and exposed. This, gentlemen, is how you make a good remix.

We’ve also got the fan favourite b-sides, stylish and oriental Handy Man, electro-on-drugs Daijobanai / だいじょばない and dreamy Point / ポイント. There’s also Sleeping Beauty, a track which resembles Butterfly, with its hypnotically looped melody and little lyrics. Simple but full of atmosphere.

LEVEL 3 ends with Dream Land, which fits nicely into an ending. Mysterious and a little sad. The album really shows many shades of Perfume and, unlike all the pop artists who jump the ‘electro’ bandwagon ‘because it’s in right now’ Perfume (or Nakata) take it to another level and show real creativity beneath the synth and vocoders. LEVEL 3 is the best electro-pop album so far this year.

 

 

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Perfume「Magic of Love」FULL VERSION + behind the scenes

 

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Last night Perfume‘s new single Magic of Love was aired in full version on Perfume Locks radio show. You can sample the full version here. To many Perfume fans this single could be an instant favourite. All the key ingredients are here: contagious chorus, elaborate synth and a healthy dose of ‘cute factor’. The b-side called Handy Man will be featured in the variety show スッキリ!! in the month of May.

 

The concept of this music video focuses on dance. Apart from their unique sound and image, Perfume is famous for its precisely synchronised, interpretative dance and in Magic of Love, the idea was to challenge those abilities by adding varying levels of difficulty. One shot features the girls dancing the sequence ‘backwards’, another was filmed from twelve different angles, all this in a vivid setting inspired by the 60s patterns. Check out the behind the scenes footage:

 


 

Tracklist:

1. Magic of Love
2. Handy Man
3. Magic of Love -Original Instrumental-
4. Handy Man -Original Instrumental-

 

Magic of Love is set for release on the 22nd of May but you can already pre-order the single in a Limited Edition on CD Japan. First Press is still available and includes a bonus poster.

What do you think about Magic of Love? Is it what you expected? Tell us your impressions in the comments below, or join the discussion on twitter with music_shell.

 

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Perfume poll – which songs do you want to hear live in Europe?

 
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Perfume is coming to Europe! Following the success of Perfume WORLD TOUR 1st, which targeted Asian countries, the Perfume WORLD TOUR 2nd will visit the following cities:

Colonge, Germany, July 3 – GLORIA
London, United Kingdom, July 5 – 02 Academy Islington
Paris, France, July 7 – Le Bataclan

The setlist is yet unknown so… what songs would YOU like Perfume to perform in Europe? Here are some of their most popular songs, which one would you like to see live?

[Please choose 3 songs, the order is random. Results will be submitted to Perfume_Staff]

 

 

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Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – INVADER INVADER / 2 minute preview

 

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Kyary is back with with a new single. After a successful Ninja ri bang bang, which peaked at #3 on Oricon chart, Kyary returns with インベーダーインベーダー / Invader Invader. The song has been used in a hilarious commercial for Gu leggins pants, which shows Kyary literally INVADING Paris and doing some sneaky leggins-magic.

 

 

A longer, two minute preview recently leaked on the net and that’s enough to say that Invader Invader might just be Kyary‘s best song so far. The intro is a trippy inter-galactic mash of chiptune and brassy instruments leading us to a bombastic, colourful chorus. Once again, Yasutaka Nakata‘s pop-formula gives ‘catchy’ a new meaning. Check out Invader Invader:

 

 

Invader Invader is due for release on 15th of May. The single will include a B-side, Point of View, and extended version of Fashion Monster.

 

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Perfume – Magic of Love

 

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Perfume is back with a new single Magic of Love. The song is featured in an advert for some Japanese Haribo… or Kanro, it really doesn’t matter. What matters is that Magic of Love is said to be released in early summer but the song will be out as a mobile phone download on the 1st of April via Recohoku and Chaku-Uta. This will only be available to those who live in Japan but lets hope it surfaces in some other way (as in, it’s just a matter of time *wink*)

CM is short and sweet, as usual, but it gives us an idea of what to expect. We’re getting this Spending all my time x MEG vibe. I think we won’t complain if the PV is kept in a similar vein with cute, smart clothes and… LEGS. Check out the add with Perfume‘s Magic of Love and making of:

 

 

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Musicshell podcast – Kyary special

 

 

In the first musicshell podcast, Lucas and Deanna talk about the Japanese pop phenomenon, Kyary Pamyu Pamyu / きゃりーぱみゅぱみゅ. Tune in and listen to some bad English accent (Lucas) as we talk about Kyary‘s background, fake eyelashes and dancing foxes. Featuring Kyary‘s latest single – Ninjari Bang Bang / にんじゃりばんばん … Rasengan!!

 

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