Interview with X!DEN† (XIDENT)

X!DEN† (XIDENT)

Let’s get to know X!DEN†, a gothic-themed trio trying to bring some darkness into the South Korean idol scene! Their first album is also coming soon!

Remember when last year I started wondering if there could be an alternative idol scene in South Korea and ended up finding nothing really interesting? Well, it looks like my prayers have been answered just a few months later. On the first day of this year, dark idol trio X!DEN† (X!DEN†) unveiled their members and now they are getting ready to release their first album. We had a chat with these girls who are bringing some darkness into the polished South Korean idol scene.
XIDENT

X!DEN† (XIDENT)


Please introduce yourselves.

S3ARU: My name is S3ARU, a producer of X!DEN†. My official color is red.

HUYU: I’m HUYU (후유), my official color is white.

Xii: My name is Xii (시이, she-e), and I’m a purple cursed doll in X!DEN†.

Please tell us how X!DEN† was formed.

S3ARU: I wanted to make some unique idol group. Since there was no such idol concept that I like in Korea, I decided to make it on my own.

What is the meaning of your group’s name?

S3ARU: I was a former member of XidenX, so I modified it a bit. Like an idol who makes lots of trouble, like an accident in your heart kind of [laughs].

What is the concept behind X!DEN†?

S3ARU: Right now, we are trying some gothic/metal concept. But it can be changed anytime.

How did you decide to join X!DEN†?

HUYU: I noticed there is an underground idol scene in Korea as well, so I got interested in it. And that moment,

S3ARU contacted me so I decided to join X!DEN†.

Xii: Truth to be told, I didn’t have a plan to join an idol group. But S3ARU once told me “why don’t you join our group? It will be fun” and I thought “Okay, why not” [laughs]. It indeed seemed fun and it IS FUN.

How would you describe the music of X!DEN†?

X!DEN†: We tried to integrate metal and idolish music, which is quite unusual in Korea. We do love metal music so we were so excited when we first listened to our song.

Which are the main themes of your lyrics?

S3ARU: Main themes would be ‘gothic novel’ I would say. I wrote them in the middle of the night, they just popped up to my mind. It was the first time I wrote lyrics. Since I love classic gothic novels, I tried to put it in the lyrics. But it was not easy to match with the melody.

How would you describe the live shows of X!DEN†?

S3ARU: No matter how talented you are, if you are having fun and the audience also enjoys it, then that’s it. I would like to impress them with the breathtaking atmosphere but don’t know how our fans will take it [laughs].

HUYU & Xii: The shows that both us and the audiences can enjoy. Sounds typical but this is the truth.

Did you have the chance to play live? If so, how was the response of the audience to your performance?

S3ARU: To be honest, I was so nervous so I don’t quite remember 😂 but in our next show, I would like to deliver my true emotion to the audience.

HUYU & Xii: On our first show, they seemed quite shocked because of our look. Most of the idols in Korea are more like cute and girly, but we were quite the opposite. We growl in our show, and the make-up as well is different I would say. But when we started our show, the audience really liked it. I feel so grateful for that until now. And felt more confident in our group.

The South Korean idols most people know are the mainstream ones, with their extremely polished looks and music. On the other hand, X!DEN†‘s approach is darker, and doesn’t seem to fit the South Korean mainstream style, but it’s the living proof that a different kind of idols can exist in your country. How is the underground idol scene in South Korea?

X!DEN†: We are trying to make the scene. “This kind of idol DOES exist in South Korea!” Kind of. Our scene is quite small but there are some fans that are really into this underground culture. There are several live shows every month and most of them are sold out all the time. So I would say it is going pretty well.

How are you dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, as an underground idol group?

X!DEN†: There are some regulations of course, so we do the online live stream. And even at the live show, everyone strictly sticks to the rules so it is really safe. Yes, we are doing alright.

If you had the chance to organize a live show around the world, in which countries would you love to hold it?

S3ARU: ANYWHERE.

HUYU & Xii: I would say Japan of course, because the culture itself is rooted there. I would like to experience the atmosphere.

Xii: Otherwise it would be the US. It is a big country so more diversity.

Is there any idol or artist that inspires you?

S3ARU: NECRONOMIDOL, CINEMA AND BOY CQ, 椎名ぴかりん, じゅじゅ, Black Nazarene, QUEENBEE, Melanie Martinez, IC3PEAK, arai tasuku, BABYMETAL, Pale dusk, Poppy.

HUYU: Candye Syrup. I didn’t know them before I start the group but now I’m a big fan of them. They are so cute but their songs and shows are really powerful and enjoyable.

Xii: Candye Syrup and Burst girl are my biggest inspirations as an idol. But I’m a huge fan of Infant Annihilator 😉

What is your favorite memory of being in X!DEN† so far?

S3ARU: Most of all, when we do our live show.

HUYU: All of the memories are so precious to me. I love all our members, fans, and other peers.

Xii: Again, might be so typical, but ALL OF IT. Our members are such a sweetheart and our fans are really supportive and sweet. (I LOVE YOU GUYS 3).

Are you planning to release some music soon?

X!DEN†: In June, we will release our first album, so stay tuned! 🙂

What is your dream as an idol?

S3ARU: Might be typical but I want to hold a show in Budokan someday.

HUYU: I want to do it till my limit. I’m working hard for it so I want to show the audience a perfect show.

Xii: I want to burst all my soul. This experience is so special to me so I want to make it right.

What do you hope for the future of X!DEN†?

S3ARU: I hope X!DEN† itself to be my future.

HUYU: I want to make more of our original songs so that we could do our show with our songs only. We will do our best.

Xii: I want to make it just as it is. We are doing good and will be better. A little hope I want to say is we would like to put more Korean traditional taste on our group. We are working on it. 😉

Please leave a message to fans and readers.

S3ARU: Thank you for viewing our interview! Our song will be released soon so please listen to it.

HUYU: Thank you always for everything. I will try to make a better show!

Xii: Thank you for your support or interests. You have just cursed with full of happiness. So scary huh? 😉

DESURABBITS – JUMP (Type A)

DESURABBITS

Listen to JUMP, the latest album of the death pop group DESURABBITS which brings old and new together, possibly for the final time.

DESURABBITS is quite an interesting group. Comprising of four members — Karin, Yuzu, Emi, and their producer Buchou (Akira Kanzaki) — come together to create a genre known as death pop by mixing heavy metal, digital hardcore and electronica. After spending almost 8 years together, in November of 2020 they announced that they’ll be disbanding come June due to the pandemic heavily affecting their roles as a performance based unit. However, before they go, they’ve left not one but two albums in their wake: JUMP Type A and Type B.

Upon looking through their discography, it appears that both versions of the JUMP albums contain singles from throughout their long career alongside original songs. Type A contains 17 tracks and clocks in at an hour and fifteen minutes, their longest release to date. It opens with an instrumental track titled “Op.Track” that has a nu-metal style, mixing a raging band with record scratches of a turntable. “Isshunde” (“In The Blink of an Eye”), which was promoted as a single last year, comes next with a blossoming opening of string instruments. The chorus exudes a fun and energetic beat, and the girls take turns in the verses with Buchou’s screams and growls. “Mushi suru na, kimi no iro wa kimi de kimereba ii” (“Don’t ignore it, you can choose your own color”) teeters on the edge of being a ballad, but the rock instrumentation comes through much stronger, and there’s a bit of electro pop in the bridge before closing out with Buchou’s screams.

“Rayword” rips right into some heavy metal, while “Don’t Think, Feel!” has more of a thrash metal attitude to it. Buchou’s verses contain the more hardcore elements, where as sections with Karin, Emi and Yuzu are a complete switch up with the introduction of piano. “Demo, Nigenna” utilizes more of an electronic pop/rock sound. With an extremely catchy chorus, and a rap verse from Buchou around the 2:30 mark, it makes for a great song to dance to. “Sotsugyou shoujo -Mirai e-” (“Graduation Girl -Future Picture-”) is one of my favorite tracks on the album, with digital hardcore being the dominant genre at play, neat vocal effects and sweet hints of piano throughout. “Tokyo no Sukima” is a rock ballad with a more melancholic feeling, which immediately separates it from the other songs. The feeling of the song makes you want to raise your lighters (or phone flashlights) and sway to the heartfelt singing of the girls. Towards the end, there’s a key change with English lyrics!

“I’m On My Way” is another song with a heartfelt emotion in vocal delivery while still retaining a hard edge with elements of hard rock. Buchou’s verses have a sick glitch effect to them and Karin, Yuzu, and Emi’s parts all showcase gorgeous harmonization. “Magic of Butterfly -Seichou-” opens with piano, then kicks up the energy with a power metal flair. “Aikotoba” follows in the same vein but introduces traditional Japanese instruments as well, and employs quite the fun chorus.

“IdolSTAR Wars (Re-Singing Version)” is a redone version of their single from 2013, and is one of the shorter tracks on the album. Buchou’s growls take center stage in this track before the girls come in with a cuter vibe in the pre chorus and chorus. Alongside “Anger”, which features some jazz elements in the mix, and “Desuma supuringu ~Sorosoro keigo o tsukatte mimasenka~” (“It’s Spring ~Let’s try using honorifics properly~”), they make up the oldest tracks on the album. “Chaban Chaban Ban”, another favorite of mine, is a track that makes use of DESURABBITS‘ digital hardcore sound with spoken verses. The track is so much fun, especially in the way it suddenly switches up at 1:20 into dance pop. The guitar solo towards the end is absolutely killer as well.

The final two songs almost feel like a fond farewell. “I Love Desurabbits” is another heavy metal banger that has Karin, Yuzu and Emi taking center stage, with Buchou employing his screams briefly throughout (and some sick gutturals at 2:45). The lyrics feel happy, and there is a very sweet part in the beginning of the bridge expressing thanks and love. The final song, aptly titled “Last Song”, has a magical feeling with softer vocals and a dance beat, before ending with the girls saying “goodbye” and Buchou joining in for one final “We are Desurabbits”.

JUMP is quite the long journey, with almost every track coming in at four or five minutes, but it’s one worth making and a familiar road to travel for longtime DESURABBITS fans. Though the death pop unit will be leaving us in the summer, this album will serve as a fond reminder of all the memories they’ve made and the impact they’ve left on the idol scene.


TOP 10 IDOL MV – April 2021

TOP 10 IDOL MV - April 2021

After all this time, you should know what happens on this site at the beginning of a new month: yes, a new top 10 of the best MV. As it often happens, April gave us a lot of incredible idol music and videos, so let’s check them out.


10) どーぷちゃん (Dope-chan) – stargaze

The starry MV for the aptly titled “stargaze” gives a chance to get more of that electronic hip-hop sound by Dope-chan. Even if the song seems a quiet and a bit dark-sounding one, it finally explodes in a party-like tune towards the end, while also keeping that nocturnal atmosphere. Once again, nice job from this trio.


9) あまりりす (Amaryllis) – 群青シンセシス (Gunsei Synthesis)

The intensity of “群青シンセシス” (Gunsei Synthesis) by Amaryllis is something you can’t really ignore; really, how would you forget about the fast and powerful beat accompanied by a trance-like bass? And how about the some cute and catchy vocals on top of them? Fans of EDM-oriented idols will surely enjoy this one.


8) THE ORCHESTRA TOKYO – 東京パレード (Tokyo Parade)

You’d expect “東京パレード” (Tokyo Parade) to be a parade-like song… and that’s exactly waht it sounds like. The first MV by THE ORCHESTRA TOKYO brings us the five girls in suites singing over a marching band sound. It almost feels like some sort of Christmas commercial, except Santa is on holiday and sent his favorite idols in his place.


7) ミズシラズ (mzsrz) – ノイズキャンセリング (Noise Canceling)

In case you needed some more electro-pop idol music, mzsrz brought us their latest MV. Created with the help of Vocaloid producer DECO*27 “ノイズキャンセリング” (Noise Canceling) is a very high quality EDM-inspired song with a memorable hook and a really nice synth melody.


6) SAKA-SAMA – 抱えきれないわ (Kakae Kirenai Wa)

Introduced by some calming piano notes and quiet vocals, SAKA-SAMA‘s “抱えきれないわ” (Kakae Kirenai Wa) quickly turns into an experimental art pop song. Despite being a bit short, it contains a lot of interesting elements such as glitched noises, background reverberated vocals and a childish/playful tone throughouy the song. The video also features some nice shots, enhancing the artistic feel of the song.


5) 神使轟く、激情の如く。 (Shingeki) – BAD CAKE

Once again, Shingeki went mad with their genre-bending music. Besides the very colorful video which is already impressive by itself, “BAD CAKE” blends alternative metal intensity, hardcore elements, hip-hop beats and rapped vocals, a jazzy piano and a bit of catchiness in the chorus. Yes, the usual Shingeki.


4) デビタント (DEVITANT) – Drink out

The night atmosphere of “Drink out” made me fall in love with DEVITANT. Featuring some very nice bass lines and many hip-hop and R&B elements, the song is the perfect musical representation of going out at night in a big city; and the MV, of course, helps recreating that feel.


3) 誰もシラナイ。 (Daremo Shiranai.) – エンダー (Ender)

Although apparently they can’t stick to one genre, Daremo Shiranai. keep releasing very enjoyable songs and “エンダー” (Ender) may be one of their best ones. Made by a refined and yet intense form of post-rock, the music feels very emotional and follows the classic highs & lows formula of the genre, with calming piano notes suddenly leaving room to a powerful rock chorus.


2) TOKYOてふてふ (Tokyo Tefutefu) – cry more again

Considering how I wasn’t that much impressed by their previous videos, I wasn’t really expecting to put Tokyo Tefutefu among the top three MV’s of April. But “cry more again” immediately blew my preconceptions away, with a progressive-oriented and aggressive metal/rock sound featuring some twisted and a bit gloomy keyboard melodies, which also go totally nuts at some point.


1) KOTO – BACK TO THE UNIVERSE

The last MV from the legendary KOTO absolutely deserved to be at the top of this list. Through the synth/electro-pop sound of “BACK TO THE UNIVERSE”, she managed to turn a sci-fi Z-movie into a masterpiece and the bizarreness of both the song and the video are an awesome way to say goodbye to this incredible idol. We are definitely going to miss her, that’s for sure.


Honorable Mentions

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