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Looking Through the Prism of Japanese Music: Ustream Sound Gradation Live Report

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Looking Through the Prism of Japanese Music: Ustream Sound Gradation Live Report

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Ustream Asia held its first live event “Ustream Sound Gradation” at Shin-Kiba Studio Coast on March 26, 2015. It was broadcast worldwide for all to see some of the hottest and newest groups in the Japanese music scene.

Kicking off the show was PASTEL CALLA, a group formed in April of 2014 that released their debut single “KISS” on January 28. The electronic dance music trio made their debut on their biggest stage yet as the audience included the thousands watching online in addition to those who had come to Shin-Kiba Studio Coast that night. Based on their short 3-song performance, PASTEL CALLA is a group that fans of dance idols should keep a close eye on.

PASTEL CALLA
01. Love & Hate
02. KISS
03. Calla Full Magic


The second opening act was MUSUBIZM, the group that made their debut in December at 2.5D Studio and is aiming to “tie together” (musubu) the world with the power of cute culture. Along with their self-introduction song “MUSUBIZM”, which is a fast-paced, high-energy mashup of dempa-kei and traditional Japanese music, they did a cute cover of TEMPURA KIDZ’ “ONE STEP”.

MUSUBIZM
01. MUSUBIZM
02. ONE STEP


Babyraids JAPAN started off with the piano-heavy “Nonfiction story” (coupling song from “Eikou Sunrise” Type-A), moving around like music box dancers and removing imaginary masks. The “Tora-Gaa” (Babyraids name for fans, comes from “Toranomon” where they perform at Pony Canyon headquarters and “Guardian”) jumped in head first as the set continued with “Tora Tora Tiger!” and spun themselves dizzy to “Charinko Idol”. They took a short break to teach the audience the furicopy for their other new song “Sekai wa Cha-Cha-Cha!” (coupling song from “Eikou Sunrise” Type-B), reaching their arms to the sky and jabbing the air. Mixing the old fan favorites with their newer “emotional ido-rock” songs, they performed the melodic punk rock “Atarashii Sekai” (written by Yuta Ano of Hawaiian 6) and the wild “JUMP” before ending with “Eikou Sunrise”.

Babyraids JAPAN
01. Nonfiction Story
02. Tora Tora Tiger!
03. Charinko Idol
04. Sekai wa Cha-Cha-Cha!
05. Atarashii Sekai
06. JUMP
07. Eikou Sunrise


TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE may have announced that they would be walking the path of non-idols from the start of April 2015 but, they already seemed to be making the transition. Opening with the sultry funk of “Koudou no Himitsu” and “Don’t Be Cruel”, as the hall glowed pink from all the penlights. Miyu Yamabe admitted to being nervous as she had invited one of her school teachers to come watch the show. A hush fell over the audience as TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE transitioned into their ballads, starting from the piano intro of “Stay with me” until the percussion fade out at the end of “Say long goodbye”. Riling the audience back up with a heated talk, TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE ended one of their final performances as idols with the the wah-wah guitar grooves of “existence” and fierce EDM beats of “LIFE SIZE”.

TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE
01. Koudou no Himitsu
02. Don’t Be Cruel
03. Stay with me
04. Say long goodbye
05. existence
06. LIFE SIZE


At first it might have been surprising to see that a relatively young group like Kiyoshi Ryujin 25, would be the last to perform, especially with groups like TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE and Babyraids JAPAN on the schedule but, once he and his 6 “wives” hit the stage, all doubts were erased. Attempts at incorporating a male into a female group have been mildly successful before, with Dream 5 or TEMPURA KIDZ being the most recent examples (and the most “unforgettable” being Hinoi Team with Korikki) but, the breakthrough popularity of Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 seems to defy logic!

Kicking things off with the funky retro “Love♡Boxing”, Kiyoshi Ryujin was pulled in 6 different directions during the bubblegum pop “Aitai YO~♪” before simply walking offstage as his wives introduced themselves to wild cheers and shouts from the audience. They then carried him on their shoulders and turned cartwheels during “Call♡Me♡Baby”. Afro wigs and penlights waved furiously as Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 closed out their set with “A・B・C Ja Gutto Konai!!” and “Will♡You♡Marry♡Me?”. Second wife Momoka Kiyoshi was scooped up in Ryujin’s arms and carried off stage as the audience hooted and whistled.

Kiyoshi Ryujin 25
01. Love♡Boxing
02. Aitai YO~♪
03. Call♡Me♡Baby
04. A・B・C Ja Gutto Konai!!
05. Will♡You♡Marry♡Me?


Even if you weren’t able to get out to Shin-Kiba Studio Coast, the event was broadcast worldwide via Ustream. Based on the reaction of the audience’s warm reception to all the performers, hopefully this was just the first of many more events beaming the latest and greatest of Japanese idol culture to the rest of the world!


TOKYO GIRLS’ STYLE Official site: http://tokyogirlsstyle.jp/

Babyraids JAPAN Official site: https://babyraids.lespros.co.jp/

Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 Official site: http://www.kiyoshiryujin.com/25/

MUSUBIZM Official site: http://musubizm.asobisystem.com/

PASTEL CALLA Official site: http://pastelcalla.jp/

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Related Artists : MUSUBIZM Kiyoshi Ryujin 25 Babyraids JAPAN
Author
Kai Okudara
Kai Okudara

Writer, researcher, photographer, foodie, KSDD

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