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Monday, August 3, 2009

Bout An Cafe

アンティック-珈琲店- (An Cafe) is an independent Japanese Oshare kei band formed in early June of 2003 signed to the LOOP ASH label.

The band consists of:

みく (Miku) on vocal (ex レヴェリー as 羽琉)

Takuya on guitar

カノン (Kanon) on bass and programming

ゆうき (Yuuki) on keyboard

輝喜 (Teruki) on drums (ex feathers-blue, also in V-Friends)


(Bou) on guitar

Their music tends to be up-beat and poppish with a mixture of punk and even rock while their lyrical content - typical of Oshare kei fashion - consists of topics usually pertaining to love. There is often controversy over how one should correctly display An Cafe’s name.

While アンティック-珈琲店- translates as Antikku Kouhiiten and has appeared on releases and on their official site, their name has also been written as Antic Cafe [with アンティック-珈琲店- written under it] and even as Antique Cafe. More recently though, the band itself has seemed to have taken to crediting themselves as An Cafe [with アンティック-珈琲店- still written under it] on releases.

アンティック-珈琲店- was formed when Miku, Bou and Kanon (all of whom hail from the Kantou region of Japan) met one another on an unnamed internet website while searching for other individuals with interests similar to their own. Since Miku’s previous band “Revirii” had been disbanded since April that year, Miku found Kanon and Bou through an advertisement on an Internet message board that was looking for a visual kei guitar player. The three friends came together to form a band, managing to perform drummer-less alongside other vague independent bands at obscure events and even gaining some amount of popularity amongst music fans in Japan.
They also managed to release two demo tapes OPU-NGU and Uzumaki senshokutai/Hatsukoi, both of which were limited and sold only at live events. Teruki was not yet part of the An Cafe, and was playing for a band called “Feathers Blue”. In August of 2003 he joined as the forth member of An Cafe, and became their official drummer.The rest of the year saw the touring while 2004 kick-started a serious musical career for them as they were signed to the LOOP ASH label (who hosts other artists such as MASK and SCISSOR). On March 3rd the band released their first major single Candy Holic, which managed to rank second on Oricon indie charts’ biggest sellers: an amazing feat for a band’s début. In May that year An Cafe held their first one-man show “Happy Birthday Tsuyu” at the TAKADANOBABA Area where single Hatsukoi was distributed for free.An Cafe then busied themselves the next couple of months with touring and single releases as well as appearing on six different omnibus CDs accordingly. December of 2004 ended with a small one-man tour that ended in the TAKADANOBABA Area and Yokohama aka Renga Hall.
アンティック-珈琲店- kicked off 2005 by releasing their first mini-album Amedama Rock on February 23rd, which was compiled mainly of previously released singles. This was shortly followed by the release of maxi-single Karakuri hitei a month later on the 30th of March. In the summer of that year, over a three month period, An Cafe released a trilogy of one-track singles: Tekesuta Kousen, released July 20th, ESCAPISM, released August 24th, and Merrymaking, released September 21st. The release dates of each of these singles received mixed feelings from the fans of アンティック-珈琲店-.
Some wanted to listen to the songs, but didn’t wish to (some were unable to) buy the singles separately.Luckily each of the songs were featured on Shikisai Moment, アンティック-珈琲店-’s first full-length album released on November 9th. The album revealed a new side to アンティック-珈琲店-.
While it still consisted of their typical style it seemed that they had matured as a band while they experimented with new attire and style of their respected parts.As 2006 came and went, it saw the release of five new singles from アンティック-珈琲店- as well as a second full-length album Magnya carta, that was released in November 29th. While the popularity of the four Kantou natives continued to grow, even touching ears overseas in non-Japanese speaking countries.In April of 2007, guitarist Bou made the decision to no longer continue with アンティック-珈琲店- as their guitarist. His last live was performed on April 30th at their Hibiya Yagai Ongaku Dou live. Bou stated in a press release that the decision was not a pessimistic one but an optimistic one, and that he hopes he hasn’t betrayed the band, their staff, or the Cafekkos (their fans).Bou was replaced by guitarist Takuya. Not only that, but a new keyboardist was also accepted, Yuuki.Their single, Kakusei Heroism〜THE HERO WITHOUT A “NAME”〜 is the new opening of the anime Darker than Black, replacing abingdon boys school’s HOWLING.

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