Who are Amasia Landscape?

Akico, vocalist for Amasia Landscape

Available Sections:
1. A Brief History
2. The Meaning of "Eurasia" & "Amasia"
3. Why You Should Give Them a Chance

1. A Brief History
     Isn't it funny how the smallest sites and least known artists have the most information? (^^) I guess that old adage "great things come in small packages" could be more true here. Be prepared for a LOT of reading...and I hope you read it all! Amasia Landscape is a really great group, and I'll tell you why.

     First, let's start from the beginning...

     In late 2003, Do As Infinity went on a very long hiatus. They wouldn't release an album or single for nearly a year (but they would do a few live concerts here and there). During this break, Ryo Owatari and Dai Nagao formed their own groups: Missile Innovation, and Eurasia 404 (which would later be called "Amasia Landscape")

     Eurasia 404 had a very small, obscure start. They only released two known songs:
    1. "Natsu no Shiori -epilogue-" (featured on "a-nation '04: BEST SUMMER HITS" album)

    2. "Eurasia404" (featured on "Amemasu no Kawa" OST. Notice that the song title has no spaces, but the group's name DOES)
     Eurasia 404 NEVER released their own album or CD single. And no one knows how many people were actually in the group. The only group members I do know about are:
  • Akico (lead vocalist)
  • Dai Nagao (composer and executive producer)
  • Mio Aoyama (lyricist)
  • CMJK (one-time arranger; he worked on the song "Natsu no Shiori -epilogue")
     The first three people also went on to form "Amasia Landscape"...but I'm not really sure if they were the only people in Eurasia 404. And I might never know. xD

     Anyway!! About a year later, they changed their name to "Amasia Landscape". And that was when they started making their presence known. First, they tried to win people over by singing "classic" songs -- songs they already knew people liked -- songs by Dai Nagao's old group, Do As Infinity. That plan backfired SEVERELY, and I'll explain the mistakes in Part 3.

     After the failure of that CD (which was called "NEUTRAL Type"), they started developing their own very unique style. Another "unique" aspect is that they NEVER release singles, or full size albums. Instead, they reach a middle ground by releasing "mini-albums". These mini-albums are 6 tracks long (so it's longer than a single, but shorter than an album), and they come with a PV/music video DVD.

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2. Explaining The Names
     You might be wondering, " Why Are They Called 'Eurasia 404' / 'Amasia Landscape'?" I'll admit, those are some REALLY unusual names. Though not as strange as "Porno Graffiti". (side note: Turns out, "Porno Graffiti" was actually named after a famous rock album! Look it up on Wikipedia!! Now where that album got its name from, I have no clue. Wikipedia couldn't even tell me that. x_X)

     Now let's get back on track!! First, I'll start with the name "Eurasia 404". I'm not sure where the "404" comes from, but apparently, it has a LOT of value to Dai Nagao since his official site is called "Area404". Luckily though, I can tell you about the word "Eurasia".

What "Eurasia" Means
     The word "Eurasia" is actually a combination of Europe and Asia (so says its Wikipedia page). In fact, the actual landmass of Europe and Asia is sometimes referred to as "Eurasia", which is considered a super-continent.

     So...what does ANY of that have to do with the group? Well, I have a couple of theories:
  1. According to a section on jOhN.C o_0!'s Amasia Landscape Page, Eurasia 404/Amasia Landscape have a "unique" purpose. That purpose is to sing about things which are rarely sung about...

         Instead of dealing with modernized beats and topics, they deal with tranquil sounds and tranquil lyrics. Their lyrics and themes represent nature. Amasia Landscape is supposed to represent one of the last "pure" forms of music around, without the gimmicks and high profile images.

  2. Their music, aside from representing tranquility, also represents unity...a unity among nature. And in turn, a unity among the people of the world. That's why they were called "Eurasia" -- the actual super-continent of Eurasia is a unique union of different people, different cultures, and different languages. As such, the group deals with different subjects, such as love, and even motherhood. And their music takes place in different locations (one song takes place in a meadow, another song takes place in the sea..). And, they even sing in different languages, usually Japanese and English (Akico's English is REALLY bad right now, but that's not the point).

What "Amasia" Means
     When the group was renamed as "Amasia Landscape", it symbolized a bigger, brighter future. Their overall theme is still the same (nature & unity), but unlike "Eurasia", "Amasia" is not a supercontinent. Not yet, anyway. (you can get a bit more info on its Wikipedia page.)

     In the future, it is speculated that America and Asia will combine into a super-continent, and that's what "Amasia" is -- a cross between "America" and "Asia". If those 2 continents were to join forces, they'd be the largest landmass EVER. So...the fact that the group was renamed "Amasia Landscape" proves several things:
  • The group has finally gained some semblance of an identity. The name "Eurasia 404"  sounded generic somehow...but "Amasia Landscape" is a fresh, new name for a fresh, new-sounding group.

  • Like the landmass "Amasia", the group has a very big future ahead of them, a future that they can shape to their liking and success.

         And thankfully, Amasia Landscape does seem to have a bright future ahead of them...FINALLY. Because a LOT of their earlier works were......abysmal. Their early works were quickly forgotten, or became infamous.
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3. Why You Should Give Them a Chance
     Based on all the info I gave...you might have noticed that I really like Amasia Landscape (but more than anything, I respect them). But did I always like them? NO.

     You know the expression "3 strikes -- you're out?" Well, Amasia Landscape (and especially Akico) was VERY close to getting 3 strikes with me...

Strike 1) They did "remakes" to classic Do As Infinity songs. These "remakes" are on the infamous "Neutral TYPE" CD. The songs were mostly in English...and they were pure garbage. The lyrics were actually pretty good...but Akico's English was HORRIBLE, so you couldn't hear how good the lyrics were. It almost sounded like she was singing another language, like French.

     And since Akico can barely sing English...a lot of people (myself included) assumed that ALL of her singing sucks. But actually, her Japanese voice is GORGEOUS. And it gets better overtime.

     Anyway, if you heard anything from "NEUTRAL Type", you probably felt like hurting her. (xD) But the person you should *really* hurt is Dai Nagao. I'm SURE he had to give permission for this album to be made. Plus, he's Akico's producer! Why on earth did he butcher his own songs?!!!!

     He was apparently on medication (or using "other" drugs) when this album was made...but whatever. Let's move on!! ^_^

Strike 2) Amasia Landscape's first mini-album, "Goldenvine". Again, Akico tries to sing in English. Again, the English songs suck, mostly due to her mispronunciation of words. BUT...there were a few decent tracks, like "Yuugure no Sakamichi". For starters, that song is 100% Japanese. And it tells us that Akico sounds really good in Japanese. And, the overall album tells us that her singing has gotten better. (in fact, "Goldenvine" has a bit of odd charm to it. I like most of the tracks now, including "Ark" -- which is sung entirely in English!!)

     However, Goldenvine (and especially "'NEUTRAL' Type") is far from "excellent"...but it did seem like she was getting better. Still, I wondered about her 3rd release. Would it truly be better than the first two? Or would it be so abysmal that she'd get 3 strikes? Which means I wouldn't build a site for her & Amasia Landscape AT ALL. I refuse to build sites for crappy artists. T__T

     Bearing that in mind, I bravely sat down and listened to "Flower Crown"...

Was "Flower Crown" Strike #3?
     ...I am happy to report that their second album, "Flower Crown", is a million times better than their other albums. In fact, "Flower Crown" is one of my all-time favorite albums. My only complaint is that I wish it were longer! I fell in love with every track -- it's seriously that good (and the lyrics...so different and PRETTY!!). They've improved so much -- especially Akico -- that I actually feel proud of them.

     The fact that they improved so drastically made me realize several things:
  • This group could be HUGE in the future, so "Amasia Landscape" might be a very appropriate name. I can't wait for their next album. <3 <3 <3

  • Dai Nagao FINALLY stopped using his drugs, whatever they were. (DISCLAIMER: I doubt Dai Naago uses/ever used drugs. But the amount of crap he made with Amasia Landscape...it kinda makes you wonder. o_O)
     And with that, I hope you have a clearer understanding of the band. Now go forth, and experience the beauty, wonder, and tranquility that is "Amasia Landscape". Enjoy the site!! ^^

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