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PassCode formed in Osaka in 2014, an act combining idols with hard rock and electronic music into one. The line-up consist of (from left to right): Takashima Kaede (高嶋 楓), Minami Nao (南 菜生), Imada Yuna (今田 夢菜), and Ogami Hinako (大上 陽奈子). In 4 years, the group are quickly rising to the top and are currently signed to major label Universal Music. At the time of writing they have released 4 albums (one being their early works re-recorded), and via JPU Records have just released an extra overseas compilation album. PassCode have heavily toured Japan, and parts of Asia but are yet to make their way to the West but with the release of the compilation album it may only be a matter of time!
PassCode bring together elements of hard rock/metalcore, electronic and idols into one. Compared to other acts, it isn’t a case of combing the genres (like one part of rock, another electronic), it is about getting the features and smashing them together into an awesome combo. The electronic parts act as the catchy hooks, being the parts that stick in your head. There is a few ways this appears, from a straight forward synth playing a riff, vocal effects and general track effects. The synth is particularly interesting as it sometimes appears as 8-bit which is cool as it works really well with the rock elements. The group tends to sing with a more J-Pop style when the electronic music drives the song, bringing the idol element to the front. This is added to with instrumental being more dance orientated and allowing the idols to dance traditional routines.
The group are advertised as combing this with hard rock, but I’d also say it has a clear metalcore influence as well. Like with the electronic elements, the rock elements also have an incredible range. From the drums playing a more standard rock beat, to a heavy metal pattern, and the vocals having either a rock edge to them or being aggressive screams, and so on. Despite this vast range, the songs nail whatever vibe they are going for. Particularly when you consider these are melded with the electronic side, you can have a heavy rock instrumental with electronic effects on the vocals which doesn’t sound out-of-place. The production is put together amazingly well considering all of this! Each track has high energy, I can imagine it is a real unique experience when it all comes together, particularly with the idol performance. Let’s hope we can experience it for ourselves sometime soon!
My Top 5 Hits
- Bite The Bullet
- Ninja Bomber
- Miss Unlimited
- Taking You Out
- From Here
As mentioned, JPU Records are distributing a compilation album that is available physically and digitally here in the UK. Past that their major releases are digitally avaliable but physical copies have to be imported.