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Baal — thefashionatetraveller.com

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Tokyo Decadance White Party. King of Evil 13 – Baal.

It’s about time I wrote about the trip, eh?

I’ll leave the fashion and shopping til another post; this one is all about the partying, baby!

Specifically, last night at Tokyo Decadance and the King of Evil 13 gig.

TD had a white theme, so out came the drag queen wig, the tutu from Harajuku, the Louise Black corset, stripy tights from Banana Fish, boots from Sex Pot Revenge, ruffled/shredded top from Bodyline, lashes from Takuya Angel…and eyeball hair ornament from Hellcat Punks in La Foret. Of course, there had to be a BIT of black 🙂

There were some amazing looking people there, at the Christon Cafe
including the wonderful Yukiro
I love how they go all out on their make-up – even the guys (Kenzo-B here)
This is Ryo, who manages the Sex Pot Revenge store in Harajuku. (SPR is one of my fave punk brands and I review some latest Sex Pot Revenge gear here). He made his mask – that’s an eyeball hanging out of the socket – euww! Can you tell he likes Slipknot?
Fashion designer Kenzo A, who used to design for gothic brand Stigmata, now has his own label Cabal / Rituals, as well as fronting the band Gabriels Stiletto. This photo doesn’t do him justice – the man is gorgeous. I’ll be doing a profile on him and his enterprises soon.

And do you recognise this camp dancer from my Halloween Decadance post?
A green and blue haired person appeared at the side of the stage and it took me a few moments to clock that it was Sisen! It’s a look I haven’t seen him do before. Alas, I didn’t get a good photo, or get the chance to chat with him this time around, athough I got a little wave from the stage.
I had to leave at 2.30 to get to the Baal gig, so I missed Sisen’s set 🙁  Next stop was Shinjuku Motion for King of Evil 13. Baal gave a
powerful performance and I was blown away. If you haven’t heard of them before, see my Baal post here, or head to the official Baal website.
It was great to catch up with Miki and Utarou again, as well as other peeps I met last year. Here is Emery, Utarou and me.
I got to hang out with Akie again too – she showed me around a few cool suburbs like Koenji and Kichijoji last year. She sells alternative fashion like Lip Service over there, sometimes in the clubs themselves. You might recognise her from the Gothic Lolita book, where she sits in her bedroom stuffed with gothic dolls, posters and other dark stuff.
DJing between bands was the inimitable Nao12Xu (of 13th Moon) – read more about him in my earlier post on 13th Moon, or read Nao’s blog, where he details the setlist for the night. 13th Moon are playing at the Drop Dead Festival later this year, and Nao has also been busy producing a compilation for Zorch Factory Records. Plan-X from The Eastern Dark, a Japanese Punk/Post Punk/Deathrock/Psychobilly compilation is available online now. I’ve heard it – you want to!
I have to confess I was feeling seedy today, but I managed to head off to Theatic Alamode in Ikebukuro, albeit a few hours late. More on that night later.
Can I just mention how scared I was during the eathquake today? Yesterday’s tremor was weird enough, and even that had me nervous. But todays effort, at 6.6 on the Richter scale had me sweaty and trembling. I’m on the 5th floor, and felt terribly powerless when the building began shaking a bit from side to side. There was nothing I could do except ride it out, and it went for over a minute. The fear is that the tremor will get more powerful, and your building will topple and collapse and you’ll be crushed in the rubble.
But I survived. Obviously. More blog reports from japan soon…

BAAL. Japanese Industrial Cyberpunk band.

How to describe the awesomeness that is Baal? Think hard rock/metal/industrial  – or as they describe themselves “Cybernetic Heavy Industrial Rock,” transcending industrial, electro and modern heavy rock styles.

Baal is
  • U-tarou: Vocals
  • MIKITO: Guitars, programming, synth, concepts
  • Chihiro: Drums
  
I’ll let the Gauntlet  describe the band’s beginnings:

BAAL came into being in June 2005 as the next step for CHRONOTRIGGER, the band’s former name. In both guises, the band has been at the forefront of spreading the Digital Heavy Industrial sound concept throughout Japan’s underground scene.

As CHRONOTRIGGER, the band played many shows across Japan’s industrial and dark music scenes including Android 666, the Kobe Underground Festival and Auto-Mod’s Tokyo Dark Castle. During this period, the band also released its demo CD featuring the tracks “On the Surface” and “Judgment.”

In 2005, the industrial event “JUNK CHILDREN#1” was held in Japan, headlined by BAAL and Despair. In the same year, BAAL released their debut single CD “Bloody_Logic_Communication” to rave reviews.

2006 saw BAAL hitting the overseas market and gaining good exposure. In November they toured Germany for the first time.

U-Tarou appeared on the cover of Astan Magazine in Germany, and a 4 page interview appeared in The Dose, (download it here). This issue focused largely on the Tokyo scene and also featured Sisen, Aural Vampire, Psydoll, Blood, D’espairs Ray and Australia’s own (and very awesome) Angelspit!

In November 2006 their first mini-album was released: “TERRITORY OF B.A.A.L”.

June 2008 saw BAAL touring Australia for the first time (performing gigs in Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne and Sydney) with ANGELSPIT on their “Splatterball” tour. They released their new album “RELIGION 616”, in conjunction with the tour.

BAAL’s second Germany tour (Berlin, Chemnitz,Koln) took place in March 2007, and was even more successful than their first. They also did a fantastically dark and moody photoshoot with brilliant alternative scene photographer Viona, which you can see more of here.

In July 2009 BAAL organized their own event, “King of Evil 13” – and the second one will be held next month in Shinjuku (which I’ll be attending!)

The band continues to play at clubs such as Tokyo Dark Castle and are well known on the Tokyo and Osaka scenes. BAAL has also remixed tracks for several well-known artists including ANGELSPIT, LEFT SPINE DOWN and Spectrum-X to name a few.

For more, see the official BAAL website, or go to their MySpace to hear the raw power of BAAL.

I’d like to also talk about the other side of the equation – the great people that U-tarou and Miki are personally.  Baal had met Angelspit on a European tour, where they hung out and bonded, and planned to one day tour together. I then met Baal when they came to Australia for the Splatterb
all tour.

As I was mates with Amelia and Karl, I got introduced to Miki and U-tarou. Another friend Briony was the merch girl for Angelspit, as well as interpreter, so she got to know the gang really well.
When Briony and I hit Tokyo last year, we hung out a lot with U-tarou and Miki, and I soon came to love them as well. They are really funny people, ridiculously generous, and humble, with no rockstar pretensions whatsoever.
Here are a bunch of pics from my visit last March/April.
Having arvo tea in Shinjuku, U-tarou had iced coffee and got BRAIN FREEZE!!

Then on Saturday, we descended on Harajuku, visited Takuya Angel and hung out with Sisen (here’s the video of the day).

They even came out to Alamode with us – and knowing everyone in the goth scene there, got us backstage to the green room! You’ll see quite a few familiar faces below. We took lots of pics (and drank lots of beer!)

GPK was there (Briony is to the right with the gorgeous make-up and lashes)
And then after the club, drunk and silly, we took MORE photos…

That’s more than enough for one post. I can’t WAIT to get back there, see these guys live at King of Evil 13, and just have more fun. Check Baal’s music out – if you like hardcore, I think you’ll be impressed!

More upcoming Tokyo punk & goth gigs. My great big Tokyo itinerary – clubs and bands galore.

So I’m off to Tokyo again in a month – woohoo!

Last year I went for 3 weeks and had the BEST time (see my post on the Wild Rover punk festival here and Tokyo clubs here).   But onto this upcoming trip.  As usual music and clubs form the skeleton of my itinerary, with fashion, friends and sightseeing all fleshing it out, as it were. This time it’s just over 2 weeks, from ~12th to 28th March.

 So this is how my dancecard is looking (actually it looks like a lot of club posters).

13/3  King of Evil 13 gig (and possibly Decadance?)

Starring:
 Baal (I’ll be doing a post shortly on this band, who are great people to boot), Auto-Mod – of Tokyo Dark Castle fame, P.I.M.P and Destruct System, as well as DJ’s Raveman (from Aural Vampire, also here), and nAo12xu (from 13th Moon –  on whom I did a post earlier)

Unfortunately I won’t be there for March 6th, but for those who are, remember the next Tokyo Dark Castle:

14/3 Theatic Alamode Sunday 4.30 – 10pm

With the usual  array of bands, performers, dancers, DJ’s, it is also the Alamode Magazine Vol.06 Release Party.

So I’ll be picking up the new Alamode Magazine. The previous one looks like this (with friends GPKism on the cover):

20/3 Club Walpurgis

This isn’t a Visual Kei type gothic club in the way the others are, but is definitely one that plays alternative music, probably much closer to what I hear in clubs at home. It began in Shinjuku in 1983! So it’s pretty bleeding authentic.

Every Saturday was UK Alternative Positive Punk Nite.
Every Sunday was UK Alternative Hyper Kitsch Nite.
Every Wednesday was Psychedelic Nite.

 

The resident DJ’s and what they play: 
  • Zinny Aerodinamica (GOTHIC/UK/US/GERMAN PUNK, THROBBIING ELECTRO, DARK FRENCH WAVE, BATCAVE & More/a.k.a.ZIN:Vocalist of ZEUS MACHINA, ROMEO MIRROR, Madame Edwarda)
    (Mixture of Gothic & 80’s Dark Pop & Underground Negative/Positive Punk, GLAM)
  • Sato M. (WAVE, POSTPUNK & More/Ex: UK Edison, Paranoia Night)
  • Naoto (BATCAVE, DEATHROCK, INDUSTRIAL, GLAM & More)
  • TAIZO (GOTHIC/GOTH, COLDWAVE, FOLKLORE & More)
  • NARIKI (POST PUNK, 80’s Goth ) Ex: Phaidia, Coma, Mephisto Walz: a Christian Death side project

This will be a first for me, and I can’t wait!

22/3  Wild Rover Monday from 3pm

Paddy Punk, here I come! See my earlier post on the Wild Rover festival.

26/3  Gothic Bar Heaven – Friday night midnight til 5am.

I don’t think I’ve been to this club before either, but it’s run by D’s Valentine, who also runs Alamode.

27/3 Midnight Mess – Saturday night midnight til 5am.

Maya and the MM crew are fantastic, and I know I’ll have a fab time.

On top of that, Japan Fashion Week is 22-28 (not that I can attend – could I crash something?), and Hanami should happen around then as well.

The last Sunday I was there last year saw a HUGE number of Hanami parties/picnics happening all over, and especially in Yoyogi Park.  Sisen invited me to the Decadance Hanami party last year, but when I arrived I was too late, and he and Takuya were going back to the shop, and Adrien was filming his big dolls for the next event. Next time, gadget!

I’ll fly out Sunday night the 28th, very tired from all the clubbing, probably hungover, and definitely with too many clothes and boots stuffed in my bag!

Do you know of anything on in that time that I should get myself to? Anything you’d particularly like to see pictures of ? Let me know, and I’ll pencil it in 🙂