Someone on Monochrome Heaven asked for some information about Soleil, so I thought I'd type something up! Since it became a little long, I decided to post it here. Hope it's helpful!
In the early '90s, the “visual kei scene” was only just starting to coalesce, but Nagoya-based bands were already differentiating themselves enough to be lumped together as a sub-scene called “Nagoya kei.” The two biggest in that scene were KUROYUME (who you already know) and
By 1994, both bands had become popular nationwide--but while KUROYUME capitalized on that momentum and went major, Silver~Rose disbanded.
ex-Silver~Rose leader KAIKI immediately joined fellow Nagoya band
In a surprise to fans, KAIKI seceded from the band just before their major debut. Soon after, noir closed its doors.
Later in '96, KAIKI joined former-noir band
➡️ Side note: I know Wikipedia says otherwise, but Soleil wasn't a sublabel of Free-Will. Beginning in the later '90s, Free-Will acted as a for-hire marketer/distributor for several labels, but those were partnerships rather than parent-child relationships, if that makes sense. Same thing goes for Matina and UNDER CODE PRODUCTION.
Some time in 1997, Soleil moved its headquarters from Nagoya to Toyota, Aichi. The label become less “Nagoya kei”-ish, with bands like
➡️ Side note: The only sublabel that really amounted to anything was Osaka-based Soleil Matina, which was founded by
Unfortunately, Soleil was also known for what some lovingly call “Soleil quality.” This refers to extremely cheaply-made releases sold for full price; releases that were delayed over and over and over; flyers that were photocopies of photocopies, densely packed with barely-legible information for several bands; freely distributed items released guerrilla-style with no prior notice or future mention; and so on.
After 2000, Soleil and its bands seem to have run out of steam. Maybe it was due to that “Soleil quality,” or maybe it was the loss of Soleil Matina as a sublabel, or maybe it was just the decline of visual kei's popularity in general... Whatever the reason, Soleil closed its doors in 2002.
A few ex-Soleil bands followed KAIKI to a new label, inner dream group, but it seems to have had the same management issues, and dissolved later in the year. All three bands (
KAIKI's final foray into management was a label called beast beat, which formed in 2008(?), and whose most “famous” band would be JACK+MW or MILKY EMILY.
To sum it up, KAIKI is essentially the Nagoya version of KISAKI. Both fucked up their chances to go major twice, and both had unique, mega popular indie labels, but mismanaged them into the ground. But both also have a charismatic fighting indie spirit that makes visual kei so endearing--at least in my opinion.
If you'd like to get more familiar with Soleil, please check the artist page and read up on any of the bands in the Soleil section. Information about the label and its bands is often really hard to find, so I promise that you'll find some stuff that's not written anywhere else. As for music, I'd suggest the aforementioned
✨ And if you have any well-sourced corrections or additional information about any of the above-mentioned topics, please send it my way! 💕 (Much of jp Wikipedia's information is incorrect, but sources like first-hand-accounts, flyers, release scans or magazine articles are all helpful.)
Thanks for reading m( )m