Archive for March, 2006

In one of those bitter twists of irony, the wife of the architect who is at the center of the recent building structure data scandal has leapt to her own death from a housing complex.

Forging quake resistance data for several years the architect, Aneha Hidetsugu, has been embroiled in a controversy that has seen a number of buildings he designed or did the quake data calculations to be declared unsafe and some pulled down. A poor economy and alleged pressure from construction contractors forced him to compromise his designs on apartments and other buildings and forge the strength data results. When they came to light in several apartments buildings and hotels his career was destroyed. Now the choice of suicide of his wife was another apartment complex.

No suicide note was left.

[Electro Rock] Psydoll are the product of the latest advances in robotics, and play some sweet scrapped electronics sounds. Some folks may remember these cyber-Goths from their invasion of the UK in the middle of 2005. Custom Mummy is more a general mixed-up thumping electronics act and is hot enough to intersperse his act with impromptu (not to mention successful) crowd surfs. I am not sure about the other acts, but it looks like a pretty solid offering for electronicka lovers – especially for the price (1,500 yen advance!).

The place, Urga Shinjuku (or is it Shinjuku Urga?) has been consistently putting out a lot of good, edgier events and worth putting on the list of places to go when you don’t have plans and want some interesting live sounds.

bOOth @ Urga
When: Friday, 7th April
Open: 18:00 :: Start 18:55
Where: Urga (7 minutes from JR Shinjuku East exit)
Address: B1, 2-42-16, Kabuki-cho, Shinjuku, Tokyo :: Map
Tel: 03-5287-3390
Price 1,500 yen adv. :: 1,800 yen @ door

Germany was assaulted by Japanese Goth earlier this month when six bands (plus Igor and his ferret, Truffle), got inside the country’s third largest Goth magazine. Pictures, interviews and song samples all made their way into Astan Magazine. One band had already forged ahead with the magazine – Aural Vampire. The other five and Igor (and yes, Truffle too) worked with the magazine to give it exactly what it wanted… a taste Japan’s true underground! 2 Bullet, Baal, Despair, Satanyanko, Sins of the Flesh all feature heavily in the magazine and represent a major step forward in taking Japanese Goth to the world!

Too often overseas magazines rely upon the easier-to-access Gothic Lolita fashions and Visual Kei music scene to characterize Japan’s underground. I know there are a lot of people who like the VK sounds and there are some pretty cool VK acts. However, what about the GOTHS?! While other magazines are still satisfied by following the Mana-quins, this magazine took a big roll of the dice to give international coverage to a scene little known and rarely talked about in the media (well except here).

The result? Pages and pages dedicated to some of the hottest bands lurking in the dark corners of Tokyo and Osaka. Words from the artists. Pictures of the artists. A PICTURE OF TRUFFLE! Plus gob-loads of true Japanese underground mixed into the magazine’s CD. This is truly a HOLY SHIT! moment. These awesome bands are OUT THERE!!

To the people who supported this – Thank you.

A special thank you to Blood’s Kiwamu who answered a lot of questions I had.

* Special bonus *
Somewhere between zero and three of these bands will be hitting Germany in October.

Igor’s SkunkWerx#1 :: October 2005 ~ March 2006 :: 100% complete… NEXT!

Tokyo Dark Castle #17 PicturesJapan’s biggest live Goth event is now located at its new home at Shinjuku’s Marz club (see TDC #17 report). Every Tokyo Dark Castle is crafted to ensure consistancy and enjoyment throughout the night. Bands who play at TDC are always worth tracking down at other events. The event is not dress coded, but many eventers will be done up to legendary levels.

* Last, last manual update: TDC has one more act! Kokusyoku Sumire. So 7 live acts *

TDC #18 Line-up

Auto-Mod: The master’s of the scene have been experimenting with eastern sounds to add a new flavor to their hard rock numbers and the sounds came off very well at last month’s TDC.
Jubilee: Skilled veterens from Osaka with a dark glam-rock set.
Calmando Qual: Originating from the visual scene, these guys have a raucous sound and are quite at home with the darker Goth scene.
Vexation: The Sisters Grimm with classic music overtones and the macabre narration from FoolFool.
Selia: Siren of the night, Selia has the sweetest voice. His solos with the harp are simply haunting.
Agent Murder: The dark princes have stepped up the metal, the speed and the screech to produce a great new album, and are looking to rip a wild soundscape in their live sets. The new sound is pearl and if you liked the harder stuff from earlier AM events, you are going to love the new arrangements. You can here a couple of new samples at MySpace.

Tokyo Dark Castle #18
When: Saturday, 1st April
Open: 24:00
Where: Marz Shinjuku (near Shinjuku)
Address: B1F Dai-ichi Tokiwa Bldg., Kabukicho 2-45-1, Shinjuku :: Map
Tel: 03-3202-8248
Price 3,000 yen adv. :: 3,500 yen @ door (plus 500 1D)
Live: Auto-Mod, Jubilee, Agent Murder, Vexation, Selia, Calmando Qual.
DJs: Chihiro & Violet.
VJ: Kihito
Note: Must be 18+ (ID checks) – 20+ to drink.

Alamode[Gothic Lolita/Goth Live & DJ] Alamode Night is an interesting event more oriented towards the Gothic Lolita set. To be honest I have not ventured there, but tonight’s event has Violet, Wakana, Raveman and Selia all putting in an appearance – that is an appealing mix. They also have an abundance of booths/exhibition space so you can do some shopping while there – including Wakana’s & Violet’s recommended CDs from CD Gold.

Dress-coding and rules for men are a little unclear. My understanding is that most people who go are dressed in various shades of Lolita or related styles. For the boys, you may need to be dressed up and may need an escort (ie. female, not other guys) – I’m just not sure. It pays to contact organizers to confirm this… And if you do contact them, please let me know what they say for future Alamode announcements.

Alamode Night 23 @ Club Hoop
When: Saturday, 8th April 2006
Open: 24:30
Where: Club Hoop (nr Shinjuku Gyouen station)
Address: B1, 1-34-13 Shinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo :: Map
Tel: 03-5369-4818
Price: 2,000 yen adv. :: 2,500 yen @ door (2 drinks seperate – 1,000 yen)
DJs: Violet, Cyborg (v.721), Wakana
Guest DJ: Raveman (Aural Vampire)
Dancer: Malie/Jully
Live: Seirenes (Violet and Selia), Murasaki Hime, Himawari, 家出公社
Show: Walker Pantomime Company
Exhibitions/Booths: Project Maria (Gothic-Lolita Art), Aberrant Corpses (fashion/accessories), Tribal of Chaos (extensions, piercing, tattoos), CD Gold (with Violet & Wakana recommended CDs on sale), Kiba-Ya/Fang Shop (custom-made fangs), and many more.

Club WalpurgisClub Walpurgis began as a Goth/Punk club in the 1980s. 18 years after the original club closed down Walpurgis returned as a club event in 2005 with a heavy emphasis on 80s alternative, glam, gothic, industrial and electroclash. In 2006 Club Walpurgis will play each month (on the third Saturday of every month from May).

Tonight’s entertainment features the horned grocker, Pineal. Pineal’s got some early 20th century continental tempo layered into his moody style of music. The lead (TAQV?) knows how to lay on heavy growler vocals and has one awesome ax-femme to back the sets. The band doesn’t come out to play that often, but they are worth seeing – a good quality act with some unique twists to their sounds.

Club Walpurgis Ancient Dreams
When: Saturday, 8th March 2006
Open: 24:00
Where: Aoi Heya (7 min. walk from Shibuya station)
Address: B1F, Yachiyo Bldg., 2-12-13 Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo :: Map
Tel: 03-3407-3564
Price: 2,000 yen (+500 yen drink)
Live: Pineal
DJs: Zinny Aerodinamica (Zeus Machina), Sato.M, Nariki, Nero
Guest DJ: Satsuki

Agent Murder :: Gizenrou/Earth of HypocrisyGizenrou/Earth of Hypocrisy is a hot dark metal album (ha, I got my copy at Murder TV last weekend!). It plays hard and fast with instrumentals loud and crisp and Awi’s eerie vocals coming on nice and strong. This release takes you to the core of Agent Murder and is one of the most satisfying recordings I’ve picked up in the Goth/underground scene – no joke. If you like your metal fast and dark, or your Goth hard and fierce, or just something that freaking rocks then give this album a try. Seven tracks plus four remixes gives you a good balance of the true Agent Murder sound and the more electronic versions of the band’s songs.

Sure, they are friends, but this does not sway my mind (okay, maybe a little, but I’m being honest here). I liked their first album a lot too, but the new release is a quantum leap – the sounds are more mature, more balanced and more focused on the essence of the band. It is just a fantastic piece of work.

Production quality is high with everything coming through crisply and having Awi’s voice right up the front of the songs gives the songs a lot more power. The drums, guitar and bass are played with fury and to perfection. The members know where to let rip and when to lay off the rage holding all the songs together well. The move towards Japanese vocals seems to have freed Awi to focus on impaling the lyrics the way they were intended and it just powers up the tracks.

There has been no skimping on the recording, the disc production or the printed matter and case. It looks and feels like a bought CD should be. For 2,000 yen/US$23.49 on import Gizenrou is very good value with production and creative quality both very high and a sound that has popular appeal.

Igor’s final call: Agent Murder have been the dark princes of the Goth scene for a long time, but this time they have thrown down the gauntlet and emerged as one of the true lords of the realm. Whether you buy the album or not, keep an eye on this band, because with the new sound and focus Agent Murder is looking hot.

But don’t take my word for it. I wouldn’t trust gaijin as far as I could throw them! Have a listen to a couple of tracks yourself on the Agent Murder Myspace site (Agent of Murder and Lucy’s Blue Birdcage are from the new album).

Agent Murder :: Gizenrou/Earth of Hypocrisy偽善楼/Gizenrou ~ Earth of Hypocrisy (March 23, 2006, 2,000 yen/US$23.49)
Agent Murder :: Myspace

Track list
1. nと云う虚数 ~ imaginary number “n”
2. 姦淫 ~ adultery
3. Lucyの青い籠 ~ Lucy’s blue birdcage (Hear on Myspace)
4. 卵の殻をつけた愚者の踊り ~ ballet of the unhatched fools
5. 身代 ~ Agent of Murder (Hear on Myspace)
6. 無言の石 ~ at the edge of your death
7. 幻想即興罪 ~ my Fantasie Impromptu
= Bonus Remix Trax:
8. 偽善楼 ~ earth of hypocrisy original remix
9. 姦淫 ~ adultery 2 Bullet remix
10. nと云う虚数 ~imaginary number “n” original remix
11. 幻想即興罪 ~ my Fantasie Impromptu original remix

Where to buy:
This is another reason for the review. Unlike most releases from Japan’s underground, Agent Murder has got local and overseas mainstream distribution through AMAZON.COM, AMAZON.CO.JP, HMV.CO.JP (Global distribution for a fee).

1. Pick up at an event (2,000 yen)
Agent Murder is expected to play a few events around the place so locals can pick up a CD at an event. The next event at the time of writing is Tokyo Dark Castle #18 @ Marz Shinjuku on April 1st.

2. Buy through
Gizenrou :: Agent Murder

3. Buy through
Gizenrou :: Agent Murder

4. Buy through (2,000 yen)
Gizenrou :: Agent Murder

Agent MurderAgent Murder’s new album is now on sale in the United States through! Gizenrou/Earth of Hypocrisy is also due for release on on March 23.

The preview releases sold out at the band’s Murder TV gig showing the new sounds are hot and what the people want.

Playing hard and fast with Awi’s unique screeching vocals powering throughout, Gizenrou shows what this dark metal band is capable of and is set to take them to the next level.

Check out a couple of the new tracks on

Album on
Album on

Full review coming soon…

Police found three bodies in a van in Hyogo on Tuesday. This followed an earlier group suicide that left two women dead and a man seriously injured on Monday. In both cases charcoal was burnt to cause death by asphyxia.

According to reports, at least 21 people have died during March in group suicides. It is still unclear whether the latest two groups met on the internet or not.

Internet suicides comment
While Internet-linked suicides rose around 80% (guesstimate) in 2005, the number of cases is very small: 91 people in 2005. This is a tiny fraction of total suicides in Japan which has well in excess of 30,000 deaths annually. In fact the total suicides by Internet reflect about one day’s worth of total suicides…

Vampture Records – The latest music video from Anders Manga for the song “Gypsy” is now online at This video is the forth video released from the album, “Left of an All-Time Low” which was released worldwide January 13th, 2006 on Vampture Records.

“We were lucky to find this old abandoned Bible College here in Charlotte to shoot in” says Anders. “I’m definitely happy with the outcome.

See the Video on