Few musical genres these days are blessed with having that one group you can point to and say "yeah, this is what [genre] is all about". Fusion groups, endlessly splintered subgenres, band members changing their minds about things and deciding sitars are the new guitars... there's any number of things that screw up genre-specific perfection 99 cases out of 100. But for denpa, that brilliant hyperactive orgasm of Akiba-centric musical joy, you can say MOSAIC.WAV is "that band" without any reservation. How they've kept it up this long is beyond me, but god dammit if I'm not glad that they have. A new MOSAIC release is always a rare treat in the overcrowded realm of Japanese pop music, and the fact that this hasn't changed at all in the 4 years they've been active is worth no small amount of commendation. Also, they wrote "Megane de Ne", the best denpa song ever in this writer's opinion: even if everything else they did sucked, that song alone would make it all worth it. Gracias, gracias, MOSAIC.WAV.
Japanese fan あいこ wrote in with some of his deep observations.
MOSAIC.WAVの音楽は、オタクを聴衆にしてはいますが、メッセージはもっと普遍的です。彼らは「科学と想像力」を肯定することで人間を肯定しています。オタクの立場から「想像力によって人間同士の断絶は埋められる」という事を説いているのです。暗い時代だからこそ誰かが歌わなければならない、力強い人間肯定のメッセージソングです。彼らのやり方はJohn Lennonに近いとすら思います。Musically, MOSAIC.WAV use maniacal arrangements and various sound effects to cater to the otaku fanbase among others. But their message is universal and should reach more than the target audience. Some of their lyrics explain that the rupture of mankind will be caused by the disappearance of imagination. In this respect, you could compare them to John Lennon.あえて1つ挙げるなら「AKIBA-POP the Future」です。人、想像力、未来、そして希望の歌です。最高のメタフィクションソングの一つだと思います。僕がMOSAIC.WAVを聴いた時、Venice Biennaleで行われた展示を思い出しました。MOSAIC.WAVの表現はとても理性的で奥が深いものです。If I had to choose one favorite song, it would be 「AKIBA-POP the Future」. It embodies themes of humanity and hope of a better future. When I listen to MOSAIC.WAV, I am reminded of the Venice Biennale exposition that was held in honor of the otaku lifestyle, with its complex themes and deep rationale.
Not everyone is a long-time fan. Naddie explains how she recently fell in love with the band.
I first learned about MOSAIC.WAV (and denpa, really) after C73, where I was introduced to several artists whom I've come to love. It was pretty much an acquired taste for me, since it was hard to get into their stuff initially with all the "plays" within their music - my Japanese is basic, to say the least, so I didn't understand much of it, and I still don't sadly. So yes, my appreciation for their music may not stem from understanding it, but rather from just pure listening pleasure. As for favorites, I'd have to go with "AKIBA-POP The Future", "Saikyou OX Keikaku" (oh how I'm glad I don't understand Japanese sometimes, or I would never have listened to this since I've a natural aversion to weird, suggestive lyrics - though I've Sound & denpa in general have killed that natural aversion), "Mitsudomoe-motion ~ triangular fight", "Setsujou! Hyakka Ryouran", "Kyun Kyun Panic"... To me, their brand of music is best listened to when I'm in the mood for something to cheer me up after a long, hard day I had to go through. I mean, how can you not help but smile whenever you listen to their music?
Blog contributor mandi-chan serves up her own feelings about the Akiba-pop sound unit.
I love MOSAIC.WAV! I first heard them about 4 years ago, just a bit after they started. I downloaded the short versions off their site and was instantly addicted! My favorite songs are probably Katamichi Catchball and Love Cheat. The anime Potemayo is one of my favorites, and I thought Katamichi Catchball was so perfect for the cute, funny, and off-kilter tone of the series. Love Cheat on the other hand is just wild and addicting! I can listen to it again and again without getting tired of it. Of course I have a lot of other favorites, but if I had to say top 2, those would be it. A lot of their songs have really funny lyrics, and though I can't understand everything, I love their sense of humor. I just wish they would put out live DVDs for those who can't make it to their concerts!
Finally, eccentric chiptune composer chibi-tech proudly states that MOSAIC.WAV is a major source of inspiration.
As for myself, I first encountered MOSAIC.WAV when I was organizing a mega collection of mp3s from moe/bishoujo game music to show to a western audience. At that time, they only publicly started out with their first short version of "Magical Hacker KuruKuru Risk". Back then, I immediately knew that they were a group to look out for in the future. Even today I'm still continually impressed by both the sheer detailed musicianship & the subliminal nerdiness that are inserted in their tunes. Kayamori's sense of melody is PURE AWESOMENESS -- so much that his unique style has heavily influenced my own recent professional music work.
What about you? What is it about MOSAIC.WAV that you just can't get enough of? Feel free to leave your opinion in the comments section!