I can’t know with just the music! What’s the fascination with Perfume & BABYMETAL, two groups gaining attention all over the world!?

24.March.2016 | FEATURES / MUSIC

Japanese girl units are going global. Whether it’s their excellent singing ability and subtleness or the freshness that reflects in their dancing full with gimmicks, their fame and popularity are rife with those overseas. With unique sounding songs, high-level performances, and their very nature which you will come to support and love without thinking, these girls are gaining immense support from many fans. Let’s dig deeper into this mystery and find out more about it by looking at J-pop trio Perfume and metal idol band BABYMETAL.

 

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Masterful Performances: The Other Side of the Story
This year marks the 11th year since Perfume, a group demarcated from other Japanese girl units, made their major debut. 85,000 people mobilised to witness the girls’ 10-day concert in 2015 which was held to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

Perfume’s choreography is certainly stand-out and unique for its inclusion of robotic and mechanic dance routines. Their lyrics are catchy, so much so that they will stay in your head, and their techno-pop melodies are high-energy. These 3 factors are so skilfully synced together that they are limited to Perfume’s capabilities only as they continue to perform. Their live concerts see cutting-edge art employed for their screen displays as well as all colours being used for their sparkling lighting, a sure-fire artistic expression that leaves audiences taken aback.

We can say without doubt that Perfume are Japan’s representative female artist group.

They have at once escalated to the apex of the Japanese music scene after just 5 years since their debut. But it wasn’t an easy task.

They began as local idols in Hiroshima prefecture. Back then, they had a very different approach to how they are now and performed very typical popular idol songs. Later down the line they met famed producer Nakata Yasutaka in Tokyo where they established the group’s new concept “a near-future techno-pop unit” and made their major debut. They released huge hits including “Polyrhythm” and “love the world” successively, and with that constructed their ubiquitous image that “Japanese techno-pop = Perfume”.

The girls always express their gratitude to their supporting fans during their concerts and make deep bows many times over. They never forget how they started out as they continue to advance and progress with each passing day. It’s this very stance that moves their fans and why they continue to gain committed support.

 

New Album「COSMIC EXPLORER」to be released
Perfume will release their brand new album “COSMIC EXPLORER” on April 6th, making this their 6th original album in total and two years since the release of their previous album Level3. The album features the song “Next Stage with YOU”, which was used in a commercial to promote a Mercedes-Benz A-Class car, the same commercial where the girls appear as 3D animated characters that were designed by legendary illustrator Sadamoto Yoshiyuki, who is well-known for illustrating for the renowned anime series Neon Genesis Evangelion. It also includes the track “STORY” which was used in their SXSW 2015 performance footage that won them the Interactive ACC Grandprix at the 55th ACC CM Festival in 2015, amongst a string of other songs. The album even contains songs written solely for this CD for a total of 14 tracks. This one disc will enable you to enjoy to your heart’s content Perfume’s world.

Release Date: April 6th, 2016
First Press Limited Edition A (CD+CD+Blu-ray) ¥4,644
First Press Limited Edition B (CD+CD+DVD) ¥4,212
Regular Edition (CD) ¥3,240

 

Tracklisting

1. Navigate
2. Cosmic Explorer
3. Miracle Worker
4. Next Stage with YOU
5. STORY
6. FLASH (Album-mix)
7. Sweet Refrain (Album-mix)
8. Baby Face
9. TOKIMEKI LIGHTS (Album-mix)
10. STAR TRAIN (Album-mix)
11. Relax In The City
12. Pick Me Up
13. Cling Cling (Album-mix)
14. Hold Your Hand
※(Album-mix) = versions of the songs arranged specifically for this album.

Tour Information
Perfume 6th Tour 2016 「COSMIC EXPLORER」

 

May 3rd-4th, 2016    Miyagi Sekisui Heim Super Arena (Miyagi)

May 21st-22nd, 2016          Fukuoka Ecopa Arena (Fukuoka)

May 22nd, 2016                Fukuoka Ecopa Arena (Fukuoka)

May 28th-29th, 2016          Sun Dome Fukui (Fukui)

June 4th-5th, 2016           Asty Tokushima (Tokushima)

June 16th, 18th-19th, 2016 Makuhari Messe (Chiba)

June 25th-26th, 2016    Wakayama Big Whale (Wakayama)

July 2nd-3rd, 2016      Hokkaido Kitayell (Hokkaido)

 

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Idols Singing a New Kind of Heavy Metal
BABYMETAL – priding themselves as “A fusion of idol and metal” and “The birth of a new kind of metal” – continue their inevitable advance. They pioneer a new style of heavy metal with their dual-wielding weapons of cuteness and vehement. More so than in Japan, reactions have mostly come from overseas, having gained a huge following in the UK, Canada and America.

Where lies the girls’ musical charm?

BABYMETAL’s lyrics are full of radical and aggressive messages about politics and society, and this is combined with a heavy sound and high-speed tempo and rhythm that reverberates throughout your body, as well as original and striking hairstyles and outfits. There are of course many artists who hold that kind of image in heavy metal.

However, BABYMETAL are a little different.

BABYMETAL fuse their style with the idol genre and not only have cute lyrics, but also dress in red and black gothic fashion. They adopt fast-paced dancing and have cute screams in their music. With a plentiful amount of new elements, the girls display an image of idols-gone-heavy-metal. What lies in their overseas fans’ eyes and what separates them from the rest might be their show of musical innovation.

I don’t think we need to mention SU-METAL’s superior singing capabilities or the incredible level of skill given by group’s support band during their live performances. With music you only have to listen to and enjoyable performances you only have to go and see in order to witness how amazing they are, the BABYMETAL frenzy continues.

 

 

Making History!! Japan Nationwide Live Broadcast of London Performance
BABYMETAL will be performing live at London THE SSE ARENA, WEMBLEY on Saturday April 2nd (Japan time: Sunday April 3rd) for their tour “BABYMETAL WORLD TOUR 2016 kicks off at THE SSE ARENA WEMBLEY!!”. The concert is to be broadcast live at the following Zepp Halls: Sapporo, Tokyo, Nagoya, Namba, and Fukuoka. Music and idol fans can now enjoy the girls’ enthusiastic performance nationwide.

Live Viewing Information
Sunday April 3rd, 2016 AM 2:00 OPEN / AM 4:30 START
¥4,200 (tax included/designated number assigned/standing)
※An additional ¥500 drink charge is required upon entering the venues.
Zepp Sapporo
Zepp Diver City(TOKYO)
Zepp Tokyo
Zepp Nagoya
Zepp Namba(OSAKA)
Zepp Fukuoka
※To be held nationwide across 6 venues.

 

Text: Yoshida Kenji (SHUTTER)

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