Avex Trax point of view in the early days

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Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by Crockett » Jul 9th, '17, 15:42

This is a translated text from the Avex Trax staff published on August 1992, where they tried to express and describe what is happening on the dance music market and how the future might be. And looks like the youngest publisher at that time has been too sceptic... :)

The Future Role of Eurobeat.

"You can see the signs of disco's revival in Tokyo. One of the elements of its resurrection is the emergence of Techno music. At once, Techno quickly brought about a new fashion and dance, accompanying that extreme music. In other words, Techno is the budding star that won the leading role, and now Eurobeat, which previously held title as the leading role, has turned into a supporting role now. However in the CD sales market, Eurobeat is more favourable in sales than Techno, realistically speaking. Eurobeat has crossed a range of dance music and has been suppported as pop music or as a brand by a wide range of music fans.

However, we can't say that "Eurobeat is immortal forever". You could say that the possibility of reaching Vol. 50 is a more tangible and familiar goal, but what are the chances that it reaches the Vol. 100 mark? However, if ever the name of Eurobeat disappears in the future, the original European hit songs for Japan will not dissapear. In fact, most of the popular songs in Japan's discos are European Techno.

Regardless of chart action in the United States or in Great Britain, the music choice is always "pleasant" and "fun"! We want to cherish such precious music with an honest sensibility, and Eurobeat plays an important role as being an example that fosters that honest sensibility."

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by magiblot » Jul 9th, '17, 21:05

Crockett wrote:
Jul 9th, '17, 15:42
Regardless of chart action in the United States or in Great Britain, the music choice is always "pleasant" and "fun"! We want to cherish such precious music with an honest sensibility, and Eurobeat plays an important role as being an example that fosters that honest sensibility."
Do you think the Avex Trax staff would have described Eurobeat in this way at the time of releasing the 100th volume?
I feel like Eurobeat changed a lot in that period, specially when comparing to the very first volumes of the series.
I would expect the Japanese Eurobeat audience to have changed as well, but I just don't know. The only time I heard about the way the Japanese have been related to Eurobeat was in the recent Sinclaire interview with Robert Stark, because I probably missed other valuable explanations by Eurobeat artists or fans.

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by Crockett » Jul 9th, '17, 21:34

magiblot wrote:
Jul 9th, '17, 21:05
Do you think the Avex Trax staff would have described Eurobeat in this way at the time of releasing the 100th volume?
I think the most recognizable in their thinking was:

25 years ago they believed there is no genre, which could exist more than several years.

In case of Eurobeat, when this text has written, in 1992, it's been 4 years since Eurobeat made hype in Japan and they have noticed Techno is already more popular as the next disco style, but Eurobeat is just still fantastic product for sale in CD format.

The conclusion:

They were wrong. That's true, the audience must have changed as well and it turned out that following the newer, next generations of audience, keeping Eurobeat constantly in some kind of evolution, Eurobeat has right to survive...

Until 2017...

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by magiblot » Jul 9th, '17, 21:57

Crockett wrote:
Jul 9th, '17, 21:34
They were wrong. That's true, the audience must have changed as well and it turned out that following the newer, next generations of audience, keeping Eurobeat constantly in some kind of evolution, Eurobeat has right to survive...
I might not have the proper knowledge to say this, but I don't think Eurobeat has evolved more than other music genres that eventually splitted into subgenres. The only difference is that, because of the very special conditions in which Eurobeat subsists on, it hasn't changed its name. Had these conditions been a bit different, the same songs could have been released during the last 25 years, but under the name of 'sub-genres' of the original Eurobeat.

If that had happened, the story of Eurobeat would seem different to many, I guess. I prefer much more the actual way Eurobeat has "survived" during all these years, though. :)

PS.: After reconsidering this, I have realised I should not consider the relationship between a music genre and a name so strictly. For example, if we compare "Mark Farina - Gunfire" and "Ace - Adrenaline", I think it's nonsense to say they are the same music genre: they just share a name ("Eurobeat") and a history (SEB and its artists). Just because they have these two common facts we shouldn't conclude the music genre is still the same. There should be no need to think so, either!
Last edited by magiblot on Jul 10th, '17, 10:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by Bonkers » Jul 10th, '17, 03:51

So which one would not be eurobeat: Gunfire or Adrenaline? If you could really pick one over the other, than somewhere in your logic there has to be a cut-off time of when eurobeat stopped being "eurobeat" and turned into "not eurobeat", which would put many tracks in that "not eurobeat" realm.

Sure, sounds have changed, but its still eurobeat.

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by jeurobeat » Jul 10th, '17, 08:24

The change came gradually, there is not one single cut-off time, but I think traditional eurobeat started to cease in 1993. If I remember correctly, they wanted to introduce a name for the new style: Hyperbeat (hence the NRG Boys song Hyperbeat Tonight). Had they done that, Super Eurobeat Vol. 29 may have been the last volume :) I consider that the last of traditional eurobeat.

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by magiblot » Jul 10th, '17, 10:47

Bonkers wrote:
Jul 10th, '17, 03:51
So which one would not be eurobeat: Gunfire or Adrenaline? If you could really pick one over the other, than somewhere in your logic there has to be a cut-off time of when eurobeat stopped being "eurobeat" and turned into "not eurobeat", which would put many tracks in that "not eurobeat" realm.

Sure, sounds have changed, but its still eurobeat.
If the name change had taken place, "Adrenaline" would no longer be tagged as Eurobeat, since "Gunfire" was the one originally called Eurobeat (if not Hi-NRG).

It's not only the sound what changed. I'm not the most appropiate person to make a musical analysis, but I can tell one enjoys these two songs in a different way, and it happens the same with the songs that are close in time to both of them. I'm not saying they don't have common elements either, since they have very notable ones. But the difference isn't smaller than with well-known western music genres that have been splitting over the years.

As jeurobeat said, the change has never been sudden, but progressive. I think, however, that there have been periods where this progression was faster or slower. It's when you take some songs and compare them that you can evaluate the differences. In my case, I picked two songs that could hardly be more distant in time.

Still, we call them both Eurobeat just because the name didn't change, but I don't think this is necesarily unappropiate. That's why I made a reconsideration in the PS. of my previous message (there, by "music genre" I am only refering to the musical characteristics). I think this reflexion could be necessary to explain to a new person why "Gunfire" and "Adrenaline" are both Eurobeat.

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by Crockett » Jul 10th, '17, 15:15

I painted a little satirical image to express half serious, half jokingly how Eurobeat is judged as the genre, and as more should be treated. The point is the primary role and all real history happened in Japan and no one will change the past and today, writing a new story in other countries, basing on own sympathies and standpoint.

See for example Italo Disco. Nobody tries to deny that this genre existed from 1983 to 1987. We might try to ascribe Eurobeat influenced Italo Disco as the next years of modern Italo Disco, couldn't we ? And it would be artificial... The proper moment to do something with at least Super Eurobeat series name has been when A.Beat-C. and Time Records lost the leadership. Avex Trax should create "Super Eurobeat New Generation", simple and obvious, identically like with Italo Disco produced since 2000's. ZYX Germany, the publisher has done it. And neither of these artists don't identify themselves with previous era and original name.

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by Akira » Jul 12th, '17, 17:16

jeurobeat wrote:
Jul 10th, '17, 08:24
The change came gradually, there is not one single cut-off time, but I think traditional eurobeat started to cease in 1993. If I remember correctly, they wanted to introduce a name for the new style: Hyperbeat (hence the NRG Boys song Hyperbeat Tonight). Had they done that, Super Eurobeat Vol. 29 may have been the last volume :) I consider that the last of traditional eurobeat.
All music genres evolve until some songs acquire elements that differ from the rest of the songs in that genre. Then, a new label is needed to distinguish i.e. acid house from Chicago house: two sub-genres have arised. This happens because, when a music genre is popular and its audience is big enough, part of the audience prefers some characteristics (i.e. more melodic vocals and softer sounds) and the other part prefers some other characteristics (i.e. more aggressiveness and danceable tunes). Producers focus on different sub-types of the music according to the audience preferences until these subtypes are different enough to be claimed as "different sub-genres" or "different genres".

In the case of eurobeat, the audience was never wide enough as for this. We can distinguish different eurobeat styles according to the producer or the feeling of the song (more non-sensical like HRG, more powerful, more aishu, etc.). The audience is not big enough as to make the genre split in different subgenres. On the other hand, Avex's management has always been pretty conservative on that sense. Smaller labels were not included on SEB compilations and some of today's leading labels (SCP, HRG, etc.) took a long time to enter SEB as well. And I talk about SEB because it has always been THE compilation, while the rest were just accessory. This is nice because it gives SEB part of its epicness and relevancy, but on the other side it's too rigid a way to manage a whole music genre.

However, eurobeat has managed not only to survive but also to evolve according to the audience preferences and yes, in part also looking at the mainstream scene. During the early nineties, eurobeat tried to mimick some techno and ravey sounds, and the result was pure gold (I love "My Name Is Virginelle", for the record). During the late nineties and early nineties, eurodance and bubblegum dance infused eurobeat with the most funny and non-sensical lyrics and melodies. During the mid 00s, the club and trance scenes also influenced some eurobeat songs (Pamsy <3 <3 ). Changes since then are less and less evident, but I see some similarities between the late 00s-early 10s synthpop and electrohouse with some songs (especially Jager's). Nowadays, eurobeat is not looking at the mainstream, which in part is good. Eurobeat should NOT blend into Top40s music, but it's okay (in my opinion) if it mirrors some of its sounds (again; SOME of its sounds) to try make something fresh and new.

I'm really not conservative in these sense. I look forward to the presence of doujin producers and the Toho / My Little Pony scenes. I also expect a lot from younger producers like Kaioh and Manuel, which bring a lot of new ideas into the genres. Eurobeat will not die. It will evolve and survive as it has always done.
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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by Crockett » Jul 12th, '17, 19:15

Akira, I agree with most of thoughts.

Back to my first post, the task of Avex Trax since 1992 when Techno gained the dominant role in clubs, was to release Eurobeat in these various moods - as the remained and now leading publisher.

Your second paragraph of text matches in fact to Eurobeat, when Avex Trax was just the one of many record companies which took any style, because the audience was enough big, flexible and open to foreign dance music.

Since late 90's Eurobeat is based on the local japanese trends, not british or italian, not foreign music, what has made it already forever unattractive for wider international community.

I feel reading the article below that all english language material about Eurobeat is like a chewed piece of meat, surely builded by european or american fan without informations from the japanese market.

All weird pressure what is Eurobeat series by Avex Trax never born in Japan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eurobeat

Neither among japanese fans really follows the genre and who is willing return to years he missed, wouldn't focus on early 90' at the start of popularity and Super Eurobeat as the beginning, what is simply untrue... Only private opinion from outside of the target market accepted as "real".

I can suggest ask Mauro Farina, Laurent Gelmetti what has been Eurobeat, not as overall term, but as the real genre and since when, and don't be confused their works years later, how different such guys treat this genre as the forerunners, today in the XXI century. ;)
Last edited by Crockett on Aug 11th, '17, 18:33, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by drnrg » Jul 13th, '17, 03:44

In short. They didn''t count on the fans. Another thing to take into consideration . Eurobeat never crosses over to the Western world. It never became a big top 40 market genre. It stayed underground and that why it lives on. Like all music genres, once they hit the top, the only way from there, is down.

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by Bonkers » Jul 13th, '17, 10:47

Spot on, Akira. When I think of Happy Hardcore, it drastically changed in sound & structure in the 2000s to become "UK Hardcore". And you're right, the audience was big enough for such a genre change (even with Chicago house & Acid House). Eurobeat has definitely taken influences throughout the years, but it's always remained true to it's identity. There are so many EDM genres out there today that if eurobeat was to change, it would probably fall under trance or hard dance. I think Avex and the artists have a done a great job at maintaining a single genre for as long as they have.

drnrg, you're right about it staying underground. As you know, UK Hardcore was my initial love, but it's taken so much influence from mainstream sounds that it's lost its essence. I have to weed through so much crap on trackitdown before finding a song I like to buy.

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by Akira » Jul 13th, '17, 20:42

Crockett wrote:
Jul 12th, '17, 19:15
I can suggest ask Mauro Farina, Laurent Gelmetti what has been Eurobeat, not as overall term, but as the real genre and since when, and don't be confused their works years later, how different such guys treat this genre as the forerunners, today in the XXI century. ;)
I believe eurobeat as a genre emerged when italo disco started to be marketed exclusively in Japan (remember early eurobeat was just a subgenre of italo disco). Even though many changes have happened since then, it's what made the genre oblivious to Western music and only focused on pleasing the Japanese audience. However, this turns out interesting since over the last years the eurobeat fanbase has been moving outside of Japan (USA, Brazil, The Netherlands, etc.). Will this impose new changes in eurobeat music?
drnrg wrote:
Jul 13th, '17, 03:44
It stayed underground and that why it lives on. Like all music genres, once they hit the top, the only way from there, is down.
So true it almost hurts...
Bonkers wrote:
Jul 13th, '17, 10:47
There are so many EDM genres out there today that if eurobeat was to change, it would probably fall under trance or hard dance. I think Avex and the artists have a done a great job at maintaining a single genre for as long as they have.
Completely agreed. While I say I don't mind eurobeat taking influences from Western music, I'd never want eurobeat to blend into other -more mainstream- genres. Eurobeat is what it is. It can change its shape (or "evolve"), but should never lose its identity.
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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by Crockett » Jul 13th, '17, 22:11

Akira wrote:
Jul 13th, '17, 20:42
I believe eurobeat as a genre emerged when italo disco started to be marketed exclusively in Japan (remember early eurobeat was just a subgenre of italo disco). Even though many changes have happened since then, it's what made the genre oblivious to Western music and only focused on pleasing the Japanese audience. However, this turns out interesting since over the last years the eurobeat fanbase has been moving outside of Japan (USA, Brazil, The Netherlands, etc.). Will this impose new changes in eurobeat music?
I'm just a single person who went own way to Eurobeat, trying only avoid imposed tastes, trying meet Eurobeat exactly how Japanese did it, chronologically, plus as long as italian local fans had contact with this genre.

Currently most of people enjoy the longest running series, which supplies regularly news, but we can't forget it's been 30 years and influences were so different. Eurobeat name might be considered again as loosing, more overall term, if we're looking for similiarities with previous hype periods...

For me it's too weak excuse though, to be excited, that something is released many years. I strongly care what is released and what exactly happened with this music during 30 years.

Japanese feel naturally on their own market, they know Eurobeat as an true experience around them, we can't put ourselves on their place.

International fans are curious in turn the japanese club life and life style, connecting modern japanese culture and music provided there, and called by me pressure is focused on Avex Trax publisher, which gave international fans the opportunity to getting know the genre with huge delay, in opposite to japanese as the main community.

And I take good music because this is italian music and so perfect released thanks to Japan, nothing more.

These 30 years of extensive, frantic history have the primary importance for personal or mass interest, what, how long and since when we prefer in Eurobeat.

Mexico, Italy, Croatia, Netherlands in fact as well, and Japan have independent look at Eurobeat.

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Re: Avex Trax point of view in the early days

Post by Crockett » Aug 11th, '17, 19:51

para_rigby wrote:
Jul 18th, '17, 23:46
Regardless of how someone gets into eurobeat, it doesn't make one less dedicated as a fan.
xiao wrote:
Jul 19th, '17, 07:54
Avex to stop being so closed & egotistic, market-wise at least.

This goes beyond xenophobia
Bore wrote:
Jul 19th, '17, 17:33
What I am having trouble understanding with Crockett's speech is how some fans seem to be above others. Better fans.
These quotes from other topic are good to responde once more:
Akira wrote:
Jul 13th, '17, 20:42
However, this turns out interesting since over the last years the eurobeat fanbase has been moving outside of Japan (USA, Brazil, The Netherlands, etc.). Will this impose new changes in eurobeat music?
Let's clarify that before most of us were born, Italo Disco, Hi-NRG and Eurobeat had the last chance to develop and stay alive only in Japan, the country with different culture, values, outlook, worldview.

I'm not sure why artists, publishers should finish the current policy, being allegedly selfish to persons who grown up 15-20 years later in other part of the world and then discovered Eurobeat too late ?

Forum, Facebook posts might have impact ?

The more, Eurobeat is interpreted outside of Japan if not grotesquely, then colored, limited, wrongly judged, exaggerated or unknown, some fans won't pay for music, everything due to various reasons.

As far as I've met some japanese friends I'm able to understand that also nowadays these people, Avex Trax would prefer avoid any unacceptable attitudes of stranger fans, their different look at Eurobeat, requirements, pretensions, which is all resulted comparisons with european, american market, culture, and so on. The sale on domestic area is stable.

I don't have problem with catching up lost years, importing records, shortly I personally don't blame japanese to make me harder the way to get Eurobeat, and it's nothing offending, this is not division into better and worse fans, when they are always my primary example as the Eurobeat witnesses and suppliers of reliable informations and materials.

First of all Eurobeat sound is enjoyed worldwide, so summarizing what I wrote above I think there is no more what japanese can do for us.

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