Fantastic news from the five fab females of exist†trace! Starting this month, the band and their label, Tokuma Japan, will release some of their music internationally through leading digital music distributor iTunes!
exist†trace are making several of their popular releases – including their recent limited summer single, DIAMOND – available worldwide through iTunes. Previously, DIAMOND, in both digital and disc format, was only officially available through Tower Records Japan (although CDJapan has listed it as a special request through their shopping service and JRockShop is also offering to ship worldwide).
The digital releases will be staggered depending on region but will ultimately include singles DIAMOND (2013) and KNIFE (2010); full album TWIN GATE (2010); and mini-albums Ambivalent Symphony (2009) and VANGUARD -of the muses- (2009). For Americans, at least, these releases will join their July 2006 single, Riot, and their May 2012 album, VIRGIN, which are already on iTunes. For the curious and uninitiated, samples of the tracks from these (and other) releases are available for streaming on exist†trace’s official home page.
Fans on tight budgets who feel guilty about illegal downloading may see this as a blessing: assuming they follow pricing tradition as set by VIRGIN and Riot, you’ll be able to download individual songs for the equivalent of 99 cents a pop (or 79p in the UK, or €0.99 in the Eurozone, etc.) and complete albums for possibly less. At the very least, no matter where on the iTunes map you are, and even if the songs are priced at the highest tier iTunes currently allows, you’ll still save over buying a physical album and importing it from Japan. And the convenience of immediate delivery to your computer and your ears is simply incomparable.
In addition to iTunes, the releases will also be sold through Amazon MP3, Google Play, Spotify, and CD Baby, so if you’ve got yourself a Droid, if you can’t access iTunes Music in your region but can access another service, or you and iTunes simply don’t mesh, don’t worry! There are still options for you.
Though many Japanese artists and labels still seem reluctant to hop on the global train, exist†trace has been outwardly focused since 2008, when they made their European debut with now-disbanded BLACK:LIST. The glam goth gal group has continued to make appearances in the Western hemisphere in the years since, bouncing between the US and various countries in Europe, determined to reach out beyond Japanese borders. Their most recent international performance brought them to A-Kon in Dallas, Texas this past June, and the August 18 NicoNico Douga stream of their June 23, 2012 oneman performance, “Just Like a Virgin,” hooked over 30,000 unique viewers worldwide.
Without a doubt, this expansion into the digital sphere follows what exist†trace has established as pattern of world domination.
For a list of iTunes availability by country, check out this very helpful Wikipedia page, which includes color-coded maps for easy recognition. If your country is grey (or red, suggesting restricted availability), you may have better luck with another distributor or you (hopefully) still have the option to import physical copies. Otherwise…