Coaltar of the Deepers

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Japanese band Coaltar of the Deepers are the main musical vehicle for Narasaki, the dynamo who collaborates with a bevy of different projects and writes music for anime series. Narasaki's many endeavors…
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Japanese band Coaltar of the Deepers are the main musical vehicle for Narasaki, the dynamo who collaborates with a bevy of different projects and writes music for anime series. Narasaki's many endeavors led to the band having a very relaxed schedule compared to other Japanese bands, but the group still managed to make a name for itself with its My Bloody Valentine-inspired shoegaze that incorporated a wide range of influences from techno to heavy metal. The band was created in 1991 by Watanabe (vocals), Kanno (drums), Yoshio (bass), and Narasaki, who initially played guitar, but became the vocalist as well after Watanabe left in 1992. Coaltar of the Deepers began releasing demo tapes, later collected on their debut EP, White (1991), followed by EPs Queen's Park All You Change and Sinking Slowly (both 1992), the first without Watanabe. The band went on a hiatus after that, but returned in 1994 with their debut full-length, The Visitors from Deepspace, out on major label Victor and featuring a well-known cover of the Cure's "Killing an Arab." Then there was another lengthy pause, which ended with a couple of new singles -- "Cat" and "Cat II" (both 1997), as well as the best-of The Breastroke (1998) and the rarities album Submerge (1998).

Narasaki continued to indulge in side projects, the most prominent being Sadesper Record, which provided the song "Torso" for the anime series Boogiepop Phantom in 1999, but Coaltar of the Deepers found time to get another proper album, Come Over to the Deepend, out by 2000, followed by the EP Robot and the third studio LP, No Thank You, in 2001. The relative swiftness may have been prompted by Narasaki's interest in experimenting: No Thank You had strong electronic elements and its follow-up, Newave, borrowed from Eastern traditional music. In 2002 the band contributed to the anime series Beck; in 2003 Coaltar of the Deepers toured the U.S. (to little consequences); and after that they got back to experimenting in the studio -- the 2004 EPs Mouse and Penguin featured a heavier sound. Narasaki dashed off to other projects in 2005-2006, doing the score for the anime series Paradise Kiss, working with Sadesper Record again, creating one more side project (Runaway Boys with Kyo from D'erlanger), and producing the shoegazers Astrobrite. However, in 2007 Coaltar of the Deepers returned with a double helping of music -- the EP Bear and fifth album Yukari Telepath. In 2007 the band also shrank to a duo after Yoshio decided to quit.