Charisma.com – Aidoro C | ALBUM REVIEW

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Release Date: March 2nd
Format: CD
Number of Editions (2): Regular Edition, Tower Records Edition w/alternative cover


Charisma.com’s new record boasts heavy beats, but forgets about consistence and balance.

As the trend of creating new hybrids of music genres shows no sign of slowing down in Japan’s “rebellious” side of the industry, the effective life span of these projects is another matter: Many have born as much as many have died, while only few have shown concrete signs of a well calibrated career. As one of the most acclaimed and relevant emerging acts of the last years, Electronic Rap duo Charisma.com represented one of these exceptions, and have delivered nice records during their period of formation thanks to a blend of pleasant and occasionally retro Electronic beats and venomous rapping. After their entrance in the mainstream industry with a contract under Warner Music Japan, though, the duo’s solid formula apparently started to weaken, a prediction hinted in their major debut mini album OLest (released just eight months ago) that sadly finds a solid confirmation in the group’s new mini album Aidoro C.

Despite some issues here and there, their previous release somehow managed to deliver a more or less consistence experience and some very nice tracks. Instead, Aidoro C spaces from mediocre to disappointing levels with only a few peaks to claim, as DJ/producer Gonchi and MC Itsuka seem to have lost the balance that made their sound so successful and well crafted in the last few years. In the midst of several influences, the duo tries to satisfy the standards of several sonorities, but fails in fully delivering any consistence performance in the attempt: The opener Sapuriminal Diet makes the catchy and contagious vocal lines in the chorus its strong point, but also drowns them in a messy EDM bombardment that unavoidably shifts the attention away from Itsuka’s rapping, that also suffers from an overall inconsistent structure, resulting in what is a mess of track with an overly cheesy chorus. Sadly, inconsistency is the key word in Aidoro C, something noticeable as the short tracklist flows by, with Koshikake Rap (that features little to no rap, ironically) offering build ups and nasty distorted synths taken straight from dubstep and watered down in an overly repetitive execution, while Toshindai Gray shifts the focus back on Itsuka’s bars to only fail on the instrumental side with repetitiveness and uninspired sonorities. Leaving aside a few exceptions, the entirety of this record either sacrifices Itsuka’s rapping for huge and messy EDM wall of sounds, or exposes the first to minimize the latter, showing no sign of the balance that once raised interest in the japanese Electronic scene.

Luckily enough, there are some exceptions and throwbacks to the duo’s pre-Major period, as PH4, GODcostumer and Bell Sassa deliver light and well done compositions that temporarily revive the formula and set the bar back to a decent level, despite hardly reaching the quality of their earlier works. It’d be wrong to deny that these tracks are nice and refreshing, but at the same time they represent the only good thing to pick out, while uncovering the sad reality behind this record: It’s mostly an inconsistent mess that’s all over the place.

It’s hard to imagine why Charisma.com lost their touch in composing exciting and well balanced music, and wether it’s a loss of inspiration or the pressure coming from their Major status, you don’t get away with a few good numbers in an eight-tracks record. The hope is that the duo will take more time to build their next effort with more consistence and balance.

Vote: 5.5 / 10

– Alex

5 Crazy Japanese Music Videos you need to see

Last time we took a look at some of the most beautiful, innovative and stunning Music Videos from Japan, one of the best aspects of this music industry that constantly fascinates both the lovers and the newcomers of it. But now it’s time to list five of the craziest MVsthat are probably (and controversially) the most attractive for the overseas audience that’s still not into Japanese music, and the reason is simple: They can be weird, funny, crazy and unpredictable, factors that, like or not, bring a certain product to be popular and viral, even if it’s just for a short period of time. Someone may take these bizarre songs and videos as introduction to the Japanese industry, others may just laugh and forget about it claiming how Japan is “weird”, but one thing is for sure: It’s hard to ignore them.

So here it is: A list of some of the craziest Japanese Music Videos ever released, all for you. Be sure to be mentally prepared: Some of them are really insane.


5. Charisma.com – HATE

Electronic Rap duo Charisma.com leaded by MC Itsuka and DJ/producer Gonchi made themselves recognizable immediately in the industry thanks to their strong personalities, offering a masterful balance of electronic music and rap coupled by biting lyrics on society and the struggles of being part of it. Their weird, funny and unconventional charisma (!) is well displayed in their first Music Video and track HATEa mix of weird moments that perfectly describes the attitude of these two girls, eating weird living stuff, acting crazy, and killing random figures in the back in the cruelest ways, with an ending that pretty much confirms how crazy (but charismatic, indeed) these girls are. Also, the track is dope. Recommended!


4. Kyary Pamyu Pamyu – PON PON PON

Who doesn’t know Kyary Pamyu Pamyu? If you haven’t been living under a rock in the last four years, you definitely have seen or at least heard of this iconic J-pop act and Harajuku icon. Her debut track PON PON PON, produced by Yasutaka Nakata, is one of the most striking cases of viral sensation from Japan that became popular in all the world, and for good reasons: This song is a great example of J-pop done good and one of the best tunes of the genre from 2011 that shook the entire J-pop scene. Its Music Video is an outstanding cohesion of sounds and images and a showcase of “extreme” Harajuku fashion culture, coupled by a plethora of weird elements and moments, including flying brains, scaring huge eyes, candy bars coming out from ears, as well as Kyary farting a rainbow. This combination of ultra catchy sounds and the stunning visuals are still the best representation of Kyary’s identity and the great sound she once had. I just wish she could have kept it that way for longer.


3. Oomori Seiko – Kyuru Kyuru

I just love Oomori Seiko: the thing that really got me at first about this girl, other than her great songwriting skills, is the passion and all the heart she puts in the music she plays and sings, that consequentially translates into a brutally sincere behavior that sometimes reaches insane levels. It’s something noticeable in both her voice and her image, and wether if it’s by listening their heartfelt songs, or watching one of her out of control live shows where she literally screams her lyrics out to the point of tossing (or kissing a random fan in the crowd) you can’t ignore this girl’s incredibly strong charisma, and when you put this together with her skills as musician the result is just unique. Her entry in the mainstream scene with the major debut single Kyuru Kyuru certainly didn’t change a thing in her personality, and this video is something you’re gonna loop for a while, not only because the track is really enjoyable, but mainly to understand and capture every second of it, that’s just filled with Oomori’s personality, a personality that’s crazy, funny, and even lovable.


2. LADYBABY – Nippon Manju

The latest in the series of the craziest Japanese Music Videos, and generally of the “WTF Japan” phenomenon that people outside the land of the rising sun love: LADYBABY is a new Idol metal unit consisting of singer/wrestler/cross-dressing personaLadybeard and junior idols Rei Kuromiya and Rie Kaneko. While Ladybeard has been floating around the Japanese scene for quite some time gaining attention from the media for its eccentric look, it’s not quite the same for the two underage girls, unless you’re into certain stuff that’s better not to discuss here. In any case, the australian wrestler and the two idols decided to team up and release their first single Nippon Manju, promoted by a Music Video than in barely a month reached six millions of views on YouTube and represented one of the most significant viral phenomenons of the last years: Useless to say, this is mainly due to the image of Ladybeard.

The video is definitely bizarre, and you may even find it funny, just don’t expect a masterpiece of track and you’ll be fine.


1. MAXIMUM THE HORMONE – ALIEN

This is without a shade of doubt one of the craziest Music Videos ever released. Seriously.

As typical of MAXIMUM THE HORMONE, the song blasts brutal metal riffs fused with the speed of hardcore genres with a touch of funk, coupled by screams and growls that border on schizophrenia, all reasons that makes this band so loved in Japan and overseas as well. But these four guys are also known for including sudden and unpredictable influences in their tracks, and this video is the proof of it: The first part of it is pure madness, featuring the guys playing in what it looks like an underground club, destroying everything with brutal and powerful sounds in front of an insane (almost violent) crowd. Then, for some reason, heads start popping up on the guys’ bodies. Then they moltiplicate. Then they make a weird dance, show atomic explosions, and… yes, it’s really weird. But not as weird as the second part of the MV, that pretty much changes everything: I’m not gonna  unveil anything, you just have to see it for yourself.

This video shows what happens when craziness and geniality meet, and no one can do it better than MAXIMUM THE HORMONE. And it’s highly probable you’re gonna love it. But first, please stop the damn Winny upload.

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These were only five of the craziest Music Videos the Japanese music scene can offer, and more will come in my next TOP 5 articles.

What do you think about these videos? Did you like them? Did you have fun? Be sure to leave a comment down below with your impressions!
– Alex