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Author Topic: What Visual Kei truly is...  (Read 28786 times)
夜の女王様
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« on: October 11, 2007, 03:21:04 PM »

... I don't know anymore.

I used to think Visual Kei concerned only to visual: So any rock band wearing glamorous costumes were part of the movement (like MALICE MIZER), and refused to accept it could be a musical genre. But I wasn't really into bands from (just to quote the most famous) labels like Key Party and Matina, having just heard very little of these bands works: Eliphas Levi, Aliene Ma'riage, Aioria (from Loop Ash label), Fatima, La Feerie and Noir Fleurir.

And I thought I was a VK addicted, listening to bands that don't seem to fit with this tag properly, according to what I've been reading, although 90% of the texts available on the internet are... poor. Very poor.

Just fashion or a musical genre?
« Last Edit: October 11, 2007, 06:58:36 PM by 夜の女王様 » Logged

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CINEMA_BIZARRE
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2007, 03:52:19 PM »

musical genre
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lovetrick
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2007, 05:12:20 PM »

Both.
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カレン
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2007, 06:54:00 PM »

Neither, it's a live scene. Just like punk was.
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夜の女王様
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2007, 07:28:29 PM »

musical genre

Both.

Neither, it's a live scene. Just like punk was.

That's why I can't make up my mind. Please explain yours points of view.
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2007, 08:00:21 PM »

Okay this is going to be long-winded...

You can argue it's a fashion, but there are multiple types of fashion styles, not to mention the "non-visual" style is becoming more prevalent (think heavier bands like lynch. and girugamesh).

You can also argue it's a genre, but there are multiple types of sounds. It was a genre at one time, which is why the trend nowadays is to call it visual indies, because visual kei actually is considered a genre. Those would be your bands like X Japan, Luna Sea, Buck-Tick, etc. But the bands nowadays are obviously different.

So if it's neither, it's better to call it a scene. Example one: Bands like bis and The Skull Fuck Revolvers. They are punk bands, pure and simple. But they are part of the visual scene because they choose to be. Example two: Major bands like SID who have radically changed their look and sound, yet still are sold in visual CD shops and are invited to play visual event concerts.

Basically, no matter what you look or sound like, if you call yourself visual, you're a visual band. Period.
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Culo
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2007, 12:33:35 AM »

Yeah it's more like a scene.
It's not a genre because they mix musical genres. It's not a fashion style because they mix fashion styles. Although lately most new VK bands look like Barbie dolls and I don't get it, but whatever.

visual kei, especially from the 90s, obviously had a sound going on... it can't be considered a musical genre though.

ps: buck-tick, luna sea, and X sound nothing alike XD in the 80s VK was more divided between heavy metal bands and post-punk/new wave bands.
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2007, 12:40:25 AM »

its

scene (only in vkei u get haifu etc) + fashion (only in vkei everyone dresses like trannies) + music (sounds different to all other types / so various)
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Culo
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2007, 03:20:47 AM »

its

scene (only in vkei u get haifu etc) + fashion (only in vkei everyone dresses like trannies) + music (sounds different to all other types / so various)

haifu? you mean live-only CD's? if that's it, many independent bands from other countries (Argentina for instance, which is where I live) does the same thing. maybe not as regularly/systematic, but well VK is japanese after all.

looking like trannies: not everyone, look at the kurofuku bands for example.

sounds different to all other types: that depends on the band
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2007, 05:32:39 AM »

I'd say it's both fashion and genre.

During the late 90s/early 00s it seemed more of a genre though, since all the bands had a certain 'sound' to them. It's hard to explain, but I noticed many of them start out with the same kind of intro and quick, forceful melody (the songs Ash by Dir en grey, Dying Message by Gu:Laymu, and Vice&Nervous by Vice†risk come to mind right away..they all have such similar beginning melodies). At the same time, a lot of the indies bands would parade around in what looked like their moms' dresses and sisters' makeup/crazy accessories.

Now, vk bands have a wider variety of sounds (though some may argue, 'Grr! All vk sounds the same!' Just compare UnsraW, STELLA..., and hm.. Vidoll for example..they're pretty unique with style/sound. o_o So some bands sound similar but there are quite a few really unique ones. Nowadays there's waaaay more emphasis on appearance though (the press-on nails with crazy detail from Cure come to mind here). As for the bands who wear makeup and men's clothes (Sadie, etc), who knows that to call them. xD Still Visual indies? They're more part of the genre sense I guess.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2007, 05:34:55 AM by ObscureWarumono » Logged

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klavierbarrette
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2007, 05:50:13 AM »

i don't think you necessarily have to dress up very girlish (or at least just have one 'female' in the band) to be 'visual'.  i would just call that more a gothic lolita or oshare thing.  a lot of nagoya, eroguro, and angura kei bands are more 'manly'

but i agree it's more of a scene.
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Alice the Sister
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2007, 05:37:40 PM »

It's a lot of things. It seems to have a lot of potential to be what one could constitute as a "subculture" or whatever. Which includes the fashion, music, etc etc but it's NOT mutually exclusive in any sorts. Kinda like goth, punk, hip-hop subcultures can be fashion, art, music, etc etc. Visual Kei seems to be more along the lines of that. I can agree that it's a live scene as opposed to a 'musical genre' as Visual Kei bands can range widely between the way they sound. Although there is something that I can't put a finger on, that distinguishes Visual Kei music from other styles, perhaps the aesthetic or the arrangement of instruments is usually consistent for each instrument and all that.

So I guess "Scene" or "subculture" or whatever you want to say. It's kinda vast, but you can always usually pin down something thats VK or related to it.

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« Reply #12 on: October 13, 2007, 08:54:02 PM »

it's not a musical genre; too many VK bands all have such different sounds; you can't compare them.  Like how in the world could you compare alice nine. to Buck-Tick to Merry to D?  You can't.  To me visual kei is a style.  That doesn't mean just in reference of fashion; but a way the artists present their music.  I think Miyavi's definition and description of VK is best; you can read it in interviews on Jrockrevolution.com.  But he seems to view VK as a way of life; sort of like goths; it's not a fashion or music; it's a bunch of things.
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Schwarze Sonne
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2007, 08:00:10 AM »

It has the word VISUAL in it's name. I think it's pretty obvious that it's a fashion.
If it's a MUSIC genre then I need some description of this genre's sound.

Put Black Metal corpsepaint on a pop-punk band and they're still pop-punk.
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godhunters
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2007, 08:56:01 AM »

Visual Kei is a unique theme given to this type of band for it fashion craze musical scene just like norwegian black metal for black metal frm norway......

it is just a phrase......or tag line......
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