Schwarz Stein are a Darkwave Visual Kei/Digital Kei duo formed by musician Hora and singer Kaya, active from 2001 to 2004, with a brief reunion in 2011. Visual Kei's answer to the Pet Shop Boys, they were one of few acts in the movement not to play rock or metal, specializing exclusively in electronica.
Formed as Rudolf Steiner in 2001, they were signed to Mana's Midi:nette label in 2002. Re-christened as Schwarz Stein, two albums followed, both produced by Mana. Despite their quick success, the duo split due to (genuine) Creative Differences in 2004. The divorce was an amicable one, and they've continued to collaborate since, primarily on several of Kaya's solo releases.
They've reunited as a duo thrice: as another cell in 2006; as Schwarz Stein in 2011 for a one-off concert to celebrate their tenth anniversary and a new EP; and again as Schwarz Stein from 2014 onward, with several singles and two greatest hits albums released since then.
- Hora: Keyboards, programming
- Kaya: Vocals, lyrics
- New vogue children (2003)
- Artificial Hallucination (2004)
- another cell (EP as another cell, 2006)
- Recurrence of Hallucination (EP, 2011)
- THE BEST -LIGHT- (greatest hits, 2017)
- THE BEST -DUNKELHEIT- (greatest hits, 2017)
- Immortal Verses (EP, 2018)
Tropes applying to Schwarz Stein and their music:
- Blank White Eye: Hora.
- Breakup Breakout: Both Kaya and Hora have had good careers after Schwarz Stein disbanded, but it's hard to contest that Kaya's become much more well-known.
- Dude Looks Like a Lady: Most people are able to figure out that Hora is a guy at first glance. Kaya? Not so much.
- Facial Markings: Hora's complex forehead markings.
- Gratuitous English: Par for the course with the genre.
- Gratuitous German: The band's name is "black stone" written in broken German.
- Harsh Vocals: Hora employs a death metal growl in "BIO GENESIS", "Succubus", "Beautiful the Virgin" and "Sleeping Madness".
- Impractically Fancy Outfit: Hora's outfits, especially.
- Improbable Hairstyle: Especially Kaya.
- Miniscule Rocking: "Schism" (1:18) from Artificial Hallucination and "the alternation of generations -conception-" (0:46) and "the alternation of generations -increase-" (1:03), the intro and outro songs from New vogue children.
- Multicolored Hair: Hora, with his half-black half-white hair.
- Of Corsets Sexy: Kaya.
- Only One Name
- Pimped-Out Dress: Worn by Kaya.
- Rearrange the Song:
- There are three versions of "Perfect Garden"—the demo version (released while they were still Rudolf Steiner), the single version, and "Perfect Garden -SK0520MIX-" from Artificial Hallucination.
- The Rudolf Steiner demo "腐った果実" (Kusatta kajitsu, "Rotten fruit") returned on New vogue children as "fester love."
- "Queen of Decadence" was re-recorded in a different key than its Rudolf Steiner demo for its inclusion on New vogue children.
- "Rise of Heaven" and "Succubus" were re-recorded for two 2014 singles.
- Red Eye, Take Warning: Hora.
- Self-Backing Vocalist
- Spiky Hair: Hora.
- Stage Names
- Title Track: "New vogue children".
- Wholesome Crossdresser: Kaya, for a certain definition of "wholesome", anyway...