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Shiki music: BUCK TICK

Thursday 3rd January 2013

Tom Smith on the forefathers of visual kei: BUCK-TICK

BUCK TICKFrom forming in 1983 with no prior music experience (or skill!), to filling the massive Tokyo Dome with 50,000 people in 1989, BUCK-TICK’s journey through the Japanese music system is amongst the country’s most exciting stories. They refused to let any record label dictate their sound, their image or their line-up, and the risk paid off, and in doing so, they led a whole new musical movement in the country. And they’re still making music today.

The second box set of Shiki is lucky enough to contain not one, but two new songs from the band. The first half continues the opening theme set out in opening DVD collection; ‘Kuchizuke – SERIAL THRILL KISSER’. The song was specifically crafted for use in the series, with the band being force-fed the anime and the manga until they had a good enough taste of what it was all about. The only direction they had from the production team was ‘make it up-tempo’. See if you think it fits in with the supernatural nature of Shiki below;

Kuchizuke – BUCK-TICK


The latter half of this box set also introduces Shiki’s second ending theme, ‘Gekka Reijin’ from the same group (which can be translated as ‘the beauty under the moon’ or ‘the moonlit lady’, or something of that ilk – oh the ambiguity of kanji). This BUCK-TICK track wasn’t released as a single like the opener, leading to fans creating their own music videos for it online. The one I’ve linked you to at the start of this paragraph captures the band’s image styles, using a number of clips through the decades, though mostly choosing those when the visual kei movement was all about big hair, shoulder pads and plenty more clichés from what we’d come to call the new romantic era in the west.

Similarly, the above song also demonstrates that the ‘unique’ Japanese genre of visual kei actually has a lot more in common with British new wave, punk and rock of the 70s and 80s than that of Japanese music. Listen closely; those moody, haunting guitars licks sound awfully similar to those found in tracks by The Cure and Siouxsie and the Banshees, and the electrifying and aggressive guitar solos and harder parts fall somewhere between the grittiness of the Sex Pistols and the craftsmanship of Led Zeppelin, if you ask me.

The comparisons aren’t unwarranted. BUCK-TICK were, and still are, open about their love for the UK and its music scene. Their fourth album Taboo is particularly influenced from the darker side of British music, something the band found lacking in Japan’s often optimistic and positive music scene. Coincidently, the album was also recorded in London and the band made sure to fit in a sneaky live show whilst over here.

Fitting in with the dark and melancholic theme, BUCK-TICK also found a place in Manga Entertainment’s spooky XXXHOLiC: Part Two, where their track ‘Kagerou’ was used as the ending theme.

Shiki: Part 2, featuring themes by BUCK-TICK, is out 31 December on UK DVD from Manga Entertainment.

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Shiki music: BUCK TICK

MANGA UK GOSSIP

One Piece Movie Collection 1 (contains Films 1-3)

£22.50
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For the first time ever! Never before available in the UK! Collect One Piece The Movie 1, 2 and 3 before anyone else in the English speaking world.

- One Piece - The Movie:
Years after his disappearance, The legend of the Great Gold Pirate Woonan and his hidden treasure map remain. Many pirates search for his mountain of hidden gold on a remote island. Among them are Captain El Drago and his men who have taken possession of a map to that hidden island. On their way there, they meet and decide to rob the Straw Hat Pirates, who, still lacking a cook, are close to starvation. Our heroes, Luffy, Zoro, and Tobio survive and go on the hunt, hoping to beat Captain El Drago and his crew to the treasure horde. Will Luffy and his crew find the treasure in time? And will they find a cook for their ship before they all starve death. And what is oden and what does it smell like?

- One Piece - The Movie 2: The Adventure Island Clock :
While the Straw Hats enjoy a warm day at the beach, their ship with all their equipment and weapons is stolen. As Luffy and his fearless crew mates go in search of their beloved ship they will encounter the mysterious Thief Brothers and embark on a whole new treasure hunting adventure. The quest for the fabled Diaomond Clock from Clockwork Island.

- One Piece - The Movie 3: Chopper Kingdom - Strange Animal Island :
With Chopper as their newest member, the Straw Hats arrive at the Island of Strange Animals. Before they can land, a geyser-like fountain sends their ship flying. Chopper falls off and lands in the middle of a gathering of strange animals who conducting a mystical ritual! According to local legend, a king will fall from the heavens and become the ruler of the island! Unbeknownst to Chopper the evil hunter, Count Butler and his team of despicable henchmen, led by General Hot Dog and President Snake are searching this very island for the magical horn of the fabled King of the Animals! Oh oh! Will Luffy and his motley crew of Straw Hats find their new crew mate in time or is Chopper about to become more extinct than a giant rhino?

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