J-ROCK JAPANESE ROCK MUSIC
Japanese rock is a form of popular music, often abbreviated
to "J-Rock" in much the same way that "J-Pop" is used as an abbreviation of
Japanese Pop. J-Rock is one of the most popular forms of music in Japan.
Psychedelic rock was invented in the 1960s by American and
British counterculture figures. Arriving in Japan, psychedelic rock took on
a different flavour. Previously known for the drug intake of its performers
leaving an impact on the hazy, drugged-out music, J-Rock performers tended
to be drug-free, or even adamantly anti-drug (for example, Kosugi Takehisa,
Haino Keiji, Nanjo Asahito).
Psychedelic rock first appeared in Japan in the mid to late 1960s. A few
Group Sounds bands imitated their Anglo heros, including The Golden Cups,
The Tempters, The Mops, The Dynamites and Jacks, whose "Karappo No Sekai"
and "Marianne" were two of the first psychedelic recordings from the
Like in the UK and US, the psychedelic rock scene was linked to a political
movement involving young, spirited students. An economic boom brought many
young people to universities, where radical politics abounded. Central to
this movement, arising from the late 60s Kyoto student revolts, was the band
Les Rallizes Denud�s and the Taj Mahal Travellers, followed by Lost Aaraaff.
In the 1970s, singer-songwriters like Kazuki Tomokawa and Kan Mikami became
popular. As in the US and UK, Japanese rock spawned a folk-rock scene, there
led by Magical Power Mako. At the same time, radical progressive rock was
evolving, with distinctly Japanese bands like After Dinner and YB02, Kenso
From the late 1980s popular rock bands such as X Japan helped define the
Visual Kei aesthetic in Japanese rock and pop music. "Visual kei" is often
focused upon in the West as a uniquely Japanese part of the Rock music
scene. Strictly speaking, however, "Visual kei" is not defined by its sound
(which may or may not be "rock" music) but by the appearance of the bands.
A fringe movement from the late 1980s in Japanese alternative rock took the
form of noise rock, a sound popularised by bands such as Boredoms.
Asian Kung-Fu Generation
The Blue Hearts
The Brilliant Green
Dir en grey
Do As Infinity
The Golden Cups
Janne Da Arc
Thee Michelle Gun Elephant
The Yellow Monkey
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