Attention please! We are looking for a new writer!

電波の世界 started in December 2007 and while our passion for the genre has only increased over the years, it's been difficult to find time for new articles and features. That's why we (denpanosekai and mandichan) are looking for an enthusiastic new writer! Here are some typical articles and tasks:

※ album previews and reviews
※ event reports (comiket, M3, live, etc.)
※ artist spotlights and interviews
※ denpa watchlist renewal
※ a new theme would be nice!

Do you want to make a difference and contribute to the original and leading source for English denpa news worldwide? Please contact denpanosekai [at] gmail [dot] com today!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

MOSAIC.WAV month is over; good luck at Animelo!


We end this month-long MOSAIC.WAV marathon with a heartfelt がんばってください! as our two favorite purveyors of high-class denpa hit the Animelo stage later today. Not much else to say other than I envy the lucky bastards (that's you, mandichan and paranda) who get to enjoy their performance as well as countless others'. As I have done in the past, I will try my best to resume their appearance once reviews, pictures and opinions start to hit the web.

Looks like I didn't get enough time to write about everything I promised when I started the undertaking on August 1st. Nevertheless, I hope you enjoyed the past flurry of news, articles, reviews and of course the first ever English-language MOSAIC.WAV interview. Posting should substantially decrease for the coming weeks as I relocate to the USA and adapt to my new environment. Rest assured that this blog isn't going anywhere, and expect more exclusive features in the future!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

If Pikachu was a hot anime chick...

... this would be the show's intro:



Actually this fan video was created as a promo for a webcomic called 『サ ト×ピ カ』 (Sato and Pika). It uses MOSAIC.WAV's 「ガチャガチャきゅ~と・ふぃぎゅ@メイト」 which originally was used as the intro to the gameふぃぎゅ@メイト」 but later remixed in 2007's "Future-Fiction: AKIBA-POP!!". The theme, along with Love Cheat!, is definitely one of their most popular creations. In the fan video, you can spot references to many games and anime series, Pokémon of course but also "Higurashi no Naku Koro ni", "Lucky Star" and "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure". But ultimately what makes this video so interesting is that the original MOSAIC.MOV creation featured the game's heroines in capsule balls; the concept is all but a shoe-in for a Pokémon caricature. For comparison's sake, here it is.



I'm not a big fan of eroge but I'd be a liar if I said these intros don't make me want to play the games!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Reader sound off! Your opinion of MOSAIC.WAV


It's pretty clear that I'm a big MOSAIC.WAV fan, but surely I'm not the only one out there? Here's what some readers from around the world had to say about the band and its music. First of all, we have 愛撫 from the 愛撫-I’ve Sound Blog-
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!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

See Micheal Jackson dance to LOVE CHEAT!



There is no doubt in anyone's mind that LOVE CHEAT! is by far MOSAIC.WAV's most popular song. NEW AKIBA have recently published an article showing some of the most popular and creative remixes of the original MOSAIC.MOV animation. Of course, Touhou, Haruhi Suzumiya and Lucky Star MAD are the first to come to mind, however many more themes and memes outside of this writer's area of expertise are also represented. But back to this video... how low have the mighty fallen? マイケル (Micheal Jackson) used to be so cool. Either way, this remix is nowhere near as creepy as Donald McDonald (Ronald's Japanese name) singing an Uju song.

Monday, August 25, 2008

List of MOSAIC.WAV blogs worth your time...


This is your typical seiyuu/JPop singer blog with lots and lots of daily entries about food and recent gadgets. However mi~ko pushes a bit past the mundane by offering some exclusive news to her readers, sometimes days before they appear on Sham Studio's or MOSAIC.WAV's own official websites. She also makes sure to reply to most of her fan's comments, which is really nice from her. You can tell she's in charge of the band's PR and public image. She also puts up really nice pictures from time to time, so it's worth adding this blog to your RSS list.



KOIKE-aniki is a man of few words, so instead he lets his pictures do the talking. His blog won't give you a very deep insight into his every day life. However, he likes to post his opinion about his new musical toys and gadgets, such as foot pedals and various effect panels. Honestly though, most of his entries make very little sense. A dark & mysterious man indeed.



Definitely, this guy has one of the best jobs in the world, but the mere fact that he's a drummer automatically means he's cool. Of course, having never witnessed a live MOSAIC.WAV performance before, I can't vouch for this guy's prowess. But I'm willing to bet that they went through many auditions before hiring him. Besides, from the comments I've read he's performed admirably so far, even on faster-than-a-bullet-train songs such as Amusement Pack. If you take the time to browse his blog, you'll find many interesting backstage pictures featuring mi~ko, Kayamori-san and Koike-aniki.



上条あきらさん is a huge MOSAIC.WAV fan, in fact his reporting stretches as far as late 2004. The rest of his blog is also very entertaining, with tons of his own artwork and splendid Japan pictures. I have this feeling _all_ Japanese folks are natively good at drawing manga-style art.

Other worthy links:

MOSAIC.WAV official website

SHAM STUDIO official website

KATAGIRIS・萌え歌

DENGEKI ONLINE

NEW-AKIBA (NSFW)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

American Chiptune feature documentary


愛撫 sends word of a new chiptune video documentary produced by 2 Player Productions, currently showing on Pitchfork TV. So far only chapter 1 is available, but the high quality values are striking and the objective coverage is refreshing. Note that the whole thing will be screened at Penny Arcade Expo (Aug 29-31) before coming out on DVD sometime this year. They are basically documenting the current American chiptune scene, complete with a couple of interviews, technical information and live footage. Definitely worth your time, if only to witness a bunch of awesome sweaty people having a blast freaking out to 8bit tracks wearing Cave shirts or cosplaying Tetris L-blocks.

Do you readers think I should cover more of these American chiptune artists? If I haven't made it clear by now, 8-bit music is one of my favorite genres. I'm also a big supporter of nerdcore in general, thanks to artists like YTcracker and MC++ among others. I do have one interview planned with an American composer, so please look forward to it. That said, there's a strong chance I'll be over in NYC for this year's BlipFest, as it's on the same weekend as my JLPT exam (Columbia) Those of you looking for more underground chiptune events in NYC should check out Pulsewave.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Listen to the 「アカネ55」 soundtrack on NicoVideo


Looks like that mi~ko-sung Pachinko theme song finally got a release, limited though it may be. I asked fellow MOSAIC.WAV blogger 上条あきら where one could get his hands on the Comiket-exclusive 「アカネ55」 soundtrack CD and so far it seems the best option is this NicoNico video which some kind soul recently uploaded. As is the case with these album leaks, make sure you save the .flv to your disk before some evil legal entity requests its removal. I suggest the excellent NetVideoHunter plugin for Firefox. But if you get there too late, don't worry so much. The song is clearly not a Kayamori composition and suffers from repetition and lack of creativity. Mi~ko's vocals definitely makes it interesting though, especially thanks to her tantrum-like childish screams. Which almost seem ill-advised for a big market Pachinko theme song, but that just makes the situation even more surreal! Here is the tracklist. Note that mi~ko only sings track 1, and the others are really nothing worth writing home about.

ロマンチック55(歌・み~こ)
2.キミのいない明日へ
3.ロックン☆いちごロール
4.アカネボーナス中(77BAR)(パチスロBGM)
5.アカネボーナス(BAR BAR BAR)(パチスロBGM)

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Confessions of a MOSAIC.WAV doujin artist

I don't recall exactly just how I landed on おやまん (Oyaman's) blog, but I definitely remember how much his art impressed me. Reading the site, I found out he was a fellow MOSAIC.WAV fan so I dropped him a line to show my appreciation and things picked up from there. Back in high school, some of his work was published by Kodansha's Afternoon magazine. At the moment, he is hard at work on his first original manga creation, which should be available at the Winter 2008 Comiket. His ultimate aim is to become a professional writer and manga artist... but in the meantime, he is simply happy with posting highly-rated adult Touhou doujin on pixiv! But his true calling is original creations, so that's where he's headed right now.

Some of his favorite and most influential artists include BLANKEY JET CITY, サガノヘルマー, Peter Gabriel, 芥川龍之介, ZUN and Henry Darger (dude knows what's up). Of course MOSAIC.WAV is up there, as he considers them the best "metafiction music" artists in Japan. He does a one-man band for fun and they are one of his major source of inspiration... be warned that the sound is completely different! Here are some more of his amazing illustrations, completely inspired by MOSAIC.WAV's own character creations. In last week's interview, I made the suggestion that they should make an Akibattler manga... perhaps they could get this guy could to work on it? Click on them for the full size!

World's Strongest Melody Droid
(also the only one)


Pseudo-Science Falsie stealing glasses from Meganekko
Don't do that! She'll trip and spill white liquid all over her face!



What are you trying to hide down there?


Super AkibattlerxShibuyoung power ACTIVATE GET!


Magical HackerKuru Kuru Risku vs Nan Tera Onna no Ko
"Your horsemace is no match for my... finger?"


I got your ramen right here...
Except it's being eaten by the two pandas on my head.


Friday, August 15, 2008

Exclusive MOSAIC.WAV Interview

オリジナルの日本語テキスト。

I have promised you readers something big; I hope this delivers! MOSAIC.WAV were gracious enough to take some time out of their extremely busy summer schedule to answer some of my pressing questions. Among other things, I asked them to give us their thoughts about the new album "Amusement Pack", how they felt after their 2nd live on May 31, where they get their seemingly limitless creativity from and how they started working with KOIKE Masaya! If that wasn't enough, I even managed to sneak in a few personal questions... you'll just have to read on! Please note that I decided to provide both English and Japanese versions considering the high volume of Japanese readers this blog gets. On a personal note, this is my way of jump starting the virtually non-existent MOSAIC.WAV fan community outside of Japan, so please help out by passing the word around. Hopefully one day we'll get Mi~ko and Kayamori-san to perform outside of Japan!

Interview was conducted in June 2008. Thanks to MOSAIC.WAV, Ino@Sham Studio for making this possible, as well as Satou-san and Yasuko-sensei for translation assistance. Please contact us for article reproduction. First picture courtesy of アキバ総研.


First of all, did the CITTA concert go well? How did you feel when it was over?

(Mi~ko) The two and a half hours just flew by! I was so happy to see the audience enjoying themselves.

(Kayamori-san) Listening to the applause from the crowd, I was really glad that we decided to do this concert. I just couldn’t believe that I had become someone who could stand there and perform in front of so many people. All throughout the concert and when it was over, I felt like someone else!


Your song-writing creativity is beyond impressive. Hearing your music is like having an energy drink. Where do you draw inspiration from? Do you have a background in musical education?

(Mi~ko) When I was a child, I only learned to play the electron [ed: electronic organ] and really didn’t dabble in anything else music-wise. My musical knowledge is far from complete, so I've had to fill in the gaps using my imagination. I definitely want to improve myself as we write more songs.

(Kayamori-san) When we are asked to perform songs for animation or games, I like to create unique situations using the story's theme. But for our own songs, I get my inspiration from things like comics, animations, computer games and also PCs and science in general.

I am influenced by a variety of music, of course I have always loved traditional Japanese anime songs of all eras since I grew up with this stuff. But more specifically, I have also been influenced by some radical artists who stepped away from the confines of what we knew or expected. Some examples would be Jun Togawa, P-MODEL and Kenji Otsuki who were active in Japan's underground music scene of the eighties. I also draw great inspiration from the game music and the progressive and fusion rock of that era.

My musical education was limited to Yamaha Electron lessons from age five to fifteen. When I was twelve years old, I learned how to compose my own songs using MIDI. I’ve always liked to entertain myself by imitating compositions and whenever people ask me to compose a song similar to how a certain person might compose them, I’ve always been able to do it. On the downside, I guess it’s because I like to imitate different styles that I’ve struggled when asked to separate my own original style from the imitations. Somehow it always seems to resemble something else. I think my irritation then shows in useless phrases and overusing the synthesizer. [ed: Japanese humility in action...]


How did you come up with the "Amusement Park" concept? Are you satisfied with the way the album came out?

(Mi~ko) We wanted to try and inject a sense of direction and flexibility into MOSAIC.WAV songs and built the album around this idea. I liked the idea of creating a set of amusement park theme songs and situations, so we set that as the theme and worked around it. Eventually, the objective was to create an album that made listeners feel like they are present at a theme park.

(Kayamori-san) I personally don’t know a lot about “Alice in Wonderland” and other similar stories, which are the origin of this amusement park idea, so this time I basically just followed Mi~ko’s lead. The idea of composing music as though it was a theme park seems to fit well with the flashy songs that we develop though. Am I satisfied? Hmm… I always want to make changes to the finished product and to be honest, this time in particular, I wanted to make a lot of changes!


You are known to use very interesting characters in your songs. For example, Falsie the Pseudo-Science girl, Akibattler, Melodroid/Tsunderoid and of course Uju, my favorite character. [ed: There is now a new うじゅ song] What disappoints me is that you don't give them enough songs! Will you revisit these characters in the future? Can we look forward to an Akibattler manga?

(Mi~ko) I think it would be good to create a sequel for each character. I would also like to compose something in the near future with several characters making an appearance together.

(Kayamori-san) I think the fact that there is just one character per song emphasizes the theme of our original songs. However, I agree that it doesn’t show much affection for the characters if we make a string of characters and just use them once and move on... it’s also probably not good if we limit each character to a same theme and same song. I do think the case of AKIBATORA is quite special though and the theme is clear. I guess that for me, the ideal way to deal with this would be for the characters to move away from the confines of the song – I think that could turn into something really interesting. We develop an attachment to the characters based on the different aspects that we see them in the story, but actually we are only seeing one part of them.


How did MOSAIC.WAV team up with KOIKE Masaya? His guitar skills are legendary throughout the world. Will he ever become a permanent member? How does he help the band on a day-to-day basis?

(Mi~ko) We first met Koike-san when we worked together on a composition, but now he supports us in many ways. We look on him as a big brother!

(Kayamori-san) He's always impressed me since the first time I met him. He can just verbally explain what kind of arrangements and patterns he wants to make as a sound mastering engineer. He also acts as a band master to arrange the songs for the live performance and offers ideas to fill the time between songs. He'll often say “this is something I came up with in a short time”. It never feels feel like that at all, it looks like a lot of hard work! That’s when I really feel the gap in our experience. He is a great support for us and very pro-active in helping us out, but I think it is unlikely that he will become a permanent member of the group.


My favourite MOSAIC.WAV songs are by far Love Cheat! and Kimi Hagu, because they are so intense. Which are yours, and why?

(Mi~ko) All of the songs have their own special memories for me. Even the ones I had a difficult time with, for example our first song 『Magical Hacker☆くるくるリスク』. That one definitely has a special place in my heart.

(Kayamori-san) If forced to choose, then in terms of lyrics, I would pick 『百合星人ナオコサン』. I think the lyrics content is very relevant today, and in my opinion it will also always be true. In general, the theme of the song is that "if humanity's actions do not adjust to the changing times, then the human race is not evolving". It blows away feelings of frustration and impatience that I get growing up as an adult.

Song wise, I think my favourite has to be “Futari no Kiss”. It’s the end song for the PC game “Kisumimi” and I think a lot of people haven’t actually had a chance to listen to it. I think the sudden and dramatic change in the song is great, but it’s actually so natural that it just blends in. My ideal song is a pop song that might perhaps seem quite uneventful at first glance, but is actually quite free flowing and natural in form – I think this song comes closest to that ideal. In particular, I love how the opening melody transitions into a fast tempo part.


The MOSAIC.MOV animations are fantastic. Who works on them?

(Sham Studio) From an animation side too, MOSAIC.WAV prefer to promote their own songs. Therefore the animations are produced in-house by MOSAIC.WAV themselves.


Is Sham Studio completely dedicated to MOSAIC.WAV or will new artists be supported in the future?

(Sham Studio) Sham Studio operates as the management office for MOSAIC.WAV, but aside from this, we are also involved in the animation side and the recording studio.


Is anyone within MOSAIC.WAV proficient with the English language? Do you read websites or watch English television?

(Mi~ko) I don’t speak English at all. I really love English picture books and have been wanting to understand them for some time, but the years have passed and I haven’t improved much...

(Kayamori-san) Most of the international news that I read have been translated into Japanese. I do read some English myself, but it is really only useful for software instruction manuals or synthesizers and various musical equipment. Sometimes I also receive e-mails from fans overseas. My English ability is limited to what I learned in high-school in Japan and I’m not very good. There’s not a lot of Japanese information for VST programming [ed: Steinberg's Virtual Studio Technology] and it’s times like this when I wish I had a better knowledge of English.


What do you like to do outside of writing music? I would assume you like to play a lot of video games given your music.

(Mi~ko) I often play video games. I’m into MONSTER HUNTER at the moment. I generally use Nintendo DS and PSP.

(Kayamori-san) I’ve always liked puzzle games and even now my favourite is “SOKOBAN” – I think it still provides an element of surprise even though 26 years have passed since it came out. Recently, I spend a lot of time on “MOJIPITTAN” – it’s a puzzle game kind of like the English Scrabble, where you have to line up Japanese hiragana characters to make words. I don’t really have a lot of time to patiently play games these days, but I do like to play quiz games on-line.


Do you all live in Akihabara? Where are the MOSAIC.WAV offices located?

(Kayamori-san) Our president said that he wanted to have the office in Akihabara, but for some reason, we ended up moving a little bit away from there…


Would you like to play a concert in North America one day? How often do you travel outside of Japan?

(Kayamori-san) I’ve never actually been overseas yet. I do take notice of animation artists performing abroad and hope that one day we will be able to do that too!


You have begun playing more live shows recently. It is nearly impossible for me to attend them. When can your international fans expect the first DVD?

(Mi~ko) I’m not a big fan of filming. Rather than just being watched on a DVD, I’d much prefer if we could meet someday at a live show...


独占MOSAIC.WAVインタビュー


English version also available.

これはMOSAIC.WAVとのインタビューです。 それはメールで達成されました。意志は国際的な聴衆にそれらを暴露することです。 しかしながら、これはオリジナルの日本語バージョンです。私の日本語が全く良くないのを理解していてくださってありがとうございます。読書してくださってありがとうございます!

2008年6月の構成日付。権限のない再現がありません。許可を求めてください。MOSAIC.WAV、猪野@ShamStudio、康子先生、佐藤さんのおかげで。最初の絵はアキバ総研から来ます。


まず、CITTA コンサートは良かったですか? コンサートが終わった後に気持ちは何でしたか?

み~こ返答
あっという間の2時間半でした。会場のみんなが一体になって楽しんでくれてうれしかったです。

柏森返答
会場のみんなの鳴り止まないコールを聞いて、コンサートをやって良かったと思いました。まさか自分がこんな大勢の前で演奏したり喋ったりするような人間になるとは思っていなかったので、コンサート中も終わった後も、別人になったような気分でした。


作詞作曲の創造性は完全に印象的です。音楽はエネルギー飲み物のような気分です。どこから、インスピレーションを引き出しますか? 音楽教育がありますか?

み~こ返答
子供の頃エレクトーンを習っていただけで、音楽活動はほとんどやっていなかったです。基礎的なことや知識的なことがわからない分、想像で埋めていますが、少しづつ理解できるようになるといいなとおもいます。

柏森返答
主題歌のようにテーマが決まっている曲でない場合は、まずテーマから作り始めます。コミック・アニメ・ゲームに関すること、さらに発展してPC、科学のこと。

影響を受けている音楽は、もちろん古今東西のアニメソング、それに、奇抜で過激でどこか枠からはみ出している感じがする部分は、日本のアンダーグラウンド 界で80年代から活躍している戸川純、P-MODEL (デビューは70年代)、大槻ケンヂなどの影響、さらにはその頃のゲームミュージックが、プログレッシ・ロックやフュージョンからの影響を受けていたこと もあり、フレーズやコードの面で、それらゲームミュージックの影響も受けています。

音楽教育は、5歳から15歳までヤマハのエレクトーンを習っていました。12歳頃に、MIDIで曲を作ることを覚えました。もともと冗談音楽のひ とつとして作風模写が好きなので、「この人が作る曲に似た曲を作れ」と言われたら抵抗なく作ることができます。作風模写が好きだったことで、逆に「オリジ ナルを生み出せ」と言われたときに、あれをやってもこれをやっても、何かに似ていることが自分で分かってしまう。その苛立ちが「無茶なフレーズ」や「シン セサイザーの無駄遣い」に表れていると思います。


どのように「Amusement Pack」概念を思いつきましたか? アルバムに満足していますか?

み~こ返答
MOSAIC.WAVの曲にある、あらゆる方向性や柔軟性を出せたらいいなあと思って出来たアルバムです。楽曲が集まった遊園地という世界観は気に入っています。

柏森返答
アイディアの元になった「アリス・イン・ワンダーランド」に関してあまり詳しくなかったので、今回のアルバムでは僕がみ~このアイディア についていく形でした。テーマパーク的な楽曲は、MOSAIC.WAVの派手な曲展開と合う部分があって良かったと思います。満足・・・う~ん、出来上 がったものを聴いて手直ししたくなることはいつものことだけど、今回は特に多いです(汗)



歌では、非常におもしろいキャラクタは使用されています。例えば、ギリギリ科学少女ふぉるしぃ, アキバトラー, メイドロイド そして、うじゅ (私のお気に入り)。それらは少数の歌で使用される、つまらない。彼らは戻るでしょうか? アキバトラーマンガの可能性?

み~こ返答
各キャラクタも、続編が出来たりシリーズ化するといいなと思います。そのうち、複数のキャラクタが一緒に出るような作品も作りたいですね。

柏森返答
1曲に1キャラクターという存在がオリジナル曲のテーマの濃さにプラスの効果を与えていると思います。けれど、次々にキャラを作って使い 捨てていくような感じでは愛がないし、かと言って、1つのキャラクターに対して同じテーマで同じような曲を作り、お茶を濁すのも良くはない。(アキバト ラーの場合は、明確なテーマがあってこその特別なケースですね)そう考えると、曲という枠を離れてキャラクターが歩き出すというのが理想だし、そうなれば 面白いことになりそうな気がします。キャラクターは、物語の中で色々な側面を見せてこそ愛着が湧くものですが、まだ各キャラクターの一面しか見えていない 状態だと思います。


どのように小池雅也に会いましたか?彼のギター技能は伝説的です。彼は常任理事国になるでしょうか? 彼に関する滑稽な話を言ってくれますか?

み~こ返答
作曲でコラボレーションという形で会いましたが、今ではいろいろサポートしていただいてます。とても懐の広いよき兄貴です。

柏森返答
(常任理事国=a permanent member=不変の(固定の)メンバー、ということですね)初めて会ったマスタリングエンジニアに口頭で自分の作りたい音を伝えているとき、バンドマス ターとして積極的にライブの演奏曲や曲間の構成にその場で手を加えるとき、そして、「限られた時間で作った」と言いながら作品にそれを感じさせないとき (笑)に、経験の差を非常に強く感じました。私たちを積極的に育ててくれている人で、MOSAIC.WAVの固定メンバーの一人になるつもりはなさそうで す。


私の好きなMOSAIC.WAV歌はLove Cheatそしてきみはぐです! あなたの好きな歌はどれです、そして、なぜですか?

み~こ返答
どの曲もいろいろ思い出があります。一番初めの曲で一番苦労したMagical Hacker☆くるくるリスクはいい思い出です。

柏森返答
しいて挙げるなら、歌詞の面では、『百合星人ナオコサン』。今、何かを訴えようとも、何かを築き上げようとも、10年20年たてば、また 同じようなものが流行り、同じような事件が起こり、同じようなことを訴えている人がいるだろう。そんなもどかしくやるせない気持ちをすべて吹き飛ばすのが 「時代が変わってもやってることが変わらないなら 大人しく進化しちゃえ人類。」という歌詞です。

曲の面では、なかなかみんなに聴いてもらえる機会が少ない曲だけどPCゲーム『きすみみ』のエンディングテーマ、『ふたりのKiss』。突然変わる転調も ドラマチックでいいですが、変わり目が分からないくらい自然に色彩が移り変わるような転調を、一見複雑そうに見えないポップな曲の中で自由に使いこなすこ とが僕の理想で、その理想に一番近い曲です。Aメロの最初のメロディが、コードを変えてサビに登場するところも好きです。


MOSAIC.MOVアニメーションはずば抜けています。だれがそれらを作りますか?

Sham Studio返答
MOSAIC.WAVの楽曲を映像面からもプロモーションを行いたいという考えの元、自社制作しております。


SHAM STUDIOはMOSAIC.WAV に完全に専用されているか。 未来の新しい芸術家?

Sham Studio返答
Sham StudioはMOSAIC.WAVをマネージメントする事務所として運営していますが、マネージメント以外にも、上記映像部門や収録スタジオ等も手がけております。


MOSAIC.WAVバンドのメンバーは英語を話しますか? 国際的なウェブサイトを見ますか、英語のテレビを見ますか?

み~こ返答
英語はまったくわかりません。英語の絵本は好きなのですが・・・・。いつか覚えたいと思いつつ年月が過ぎていきました。

柏森返答
国際的なニュースや情報などは、ほとんど日本語に翻訳されたものから得ています。自分で英文を読むのは、海外のシンセやソフトの説明書を 読むときと、海外の人からメールをいただいたときぐらい。英語の技術は日本の高校で学んだ程度のレベルで、あまりうまくありません。VSTのプログラミン グに関することなどは日本語の情報が充実しておらず、そんなときに、もっと自分に英語の技術があれば、と感じます。


多くのテレビゲームをプレーしますか? お気に入りはどれですか?

み~こ返答
ゲームはよくやっています。いまはMONSTER HUNTERとか・・・。
使用ハードはNintendoDSやPSPが多いです。

柏森返答
昔からパズルゲームが大好きで、誕生から26年経った今でも新鮮な驚きがあるという点で、『倉庫番』が一番好きです。近年のパズルで一番 時間を費やした『もじぴったん』は、英語のScrabbleのように、ひらがなを盤面に置いて単語を作り、クリア条件を満たすことが目的のゲームです。最 近のゲームを根気よくプレイすることは少なくなってしまいましたが、オンラインのクイズゲームはよくプレイしています。


秋葉原に住んでいますか?どこに、MOSAIC.WAV本部は位置していますか?

柏森返答
秋葉原に事務所を構えたい!と社長は言っていましたが、訳あって、ちょっとズレたところに位置しています。


MOSAIC.WAVは、アメリカのコンサートを演奏したがっていますか? どれくらいの頻度で日本の外に旅行しますか?

柏森返答
海外に行ったことはまだありませんが、アニメに関わる多くのアーティストが海外でコンサートをされるのを見て、自分もあのように海外でコンサートができたらいいなと思います。


最近、いくつかのライブを演じています。国際的なファンはいつ最初のDVDを予想できますか?

み~こ返答
映像はは少し苦手です。一方的に見られるより、いつか同じ場所でお互いに会える日が来ればいいなと思います。

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Two MOSAIC.WAV singles to be released at C74


Holy fuck, talk about serious business. Just two weeks ago, I was writing about how I didn't expect much out of C74 given that no MOSAIC.WAV singles had been announced. Then last week I found out about a long-announced eroge single that was finally dated for C74. It features two new tracks from DigitalCute's first game, 「むすめいく!-musumake-」 but I held up posting about it until short samples would surface. Now Sham Studio do us fans one better by announcing that the official seventh single will also be sold at the Russell Booth this weekend (C74 is August 15-17) and in stores August 29 on. This is actually a collaboration between Chambers Records (eroge single) and Russell, so those who purchase both will receive a bonus artwork item (the fantastic alternate jacket up top). Better yet? Samples for both singles are up so let's take a look.


Title: 「迷惑メーリングGIRL 」
Status: Official Seventh Single
Tracklist:
1. 迷惑メーリングGIRL 
2. あなたの隣のバンパイア
3. デジタル・ラジカル・シンドローム
4-6. Off vocal versions of tracks 1-3
Release Date: 2008年08月29日
Artwork: ひろひろき
Listen: Sample MP3, Lyrics


This is an announcement that took everyone by surprise, as no one was expecting MOSAIC.WAV to offer anything official at C74 until it was announced by Sham Studio. Well, they may have hinted at the release during their AnimeTV interview, でも私の日本語は、まだ上手じゃありません。They just speak so fast! Only the title track was offered as a downloadable sample, so far. "Trouble Mailing Girl" is a hyperactive little track that was no doubt inspired by scumbag spammers around the world. But in typical MOSAIC.WAV fashion, they turned the subject around in a dainty manner for everyone to enjoy, complete with a brand new character for the fanboys and fangirls to fawn on. There is a lot of piano in there, Kayamori-san really went all out and once again created a new sound that remains in line with previous compositions. I absolutely love the natural flow despite a large number of captivating layers playing at once. The full version must be even greater, not to mention that there are two more tracks to be enjoyed... can't wait to get my filthy hands on this!


Title: 「むすめいく!-musumake-」
Status: Eroge Single
Tracklist:
1. たべごろ☆1/2ふるーつ
2. FLY-ALONE
No information on Off Vocal versions
Single Release Date: 2008年08月29日
Game Release Date: 2008年10月24日
Artwork: DigitalCute
Listen: Direct Download
Website: DigitalCute (NSFW pedobear-style)

Like I previously said, this one has been known about for quite a while, but DigitalCute have been very slow in releasing teaser audio. Now we can judge for ourselves whether that delay was justifiable, and it's safe to say it is. The two tracks are definitely right up there with MOSAIC.WAV's best eroge theme efforts. 「たべごろ☆1/2ふるーつ」 is extremely cute and features a sweet, uplifiting melody that would work particularly well as an intro theme, though that hasn't been specified yet. 「FLY-ALONE」 on the other hand really feels like an ending theme, with its serious overtones that would also work very well for an anime series or even an RPG opener. I'm thinking Namco's Tales Of series, they have often resorted to 神田美苑 and other Japanese artists for their intros. No information has been released concerning the inclusion of Off Vocal tracks, which is a bit odd. Additionally, I'm disappointed that a drama track hasn't been included, this is after all a DigitalCute promotional item and they can put anything they want on there. They probably want to save these for later so they can gouge their game's fans even more with various vocal CDs.

So now I guess you readers know what I'm going to be writing about come September... *le sigh* the life of a MOSAIC.WAV reviewer is such a painful one!

Monday, August 11, 2008

GWAVE announces SuperFeature 10, goes for Gold


MOSAIC.WAV are not the only ones going through a hot summer of back-to-back releases, GWAVE are also celebrating their 5th anniversary in style. To commemorate the occasion, they've turned to Trustus Jones, famous record label owner who published "Sweat Of My Balls", CB4's only album. To quote the man: "Gold, gold, GOLD! If you can't trust me, you can't trust us!" Yes, their website was given a brand new paint job, but it retains all of its splendid functionality, which most Japanese game-makers should look into. Because we all know that these folks couldn't design functional websites if their life depended on it, so this is a nice change.

Much like I put up new banner art in celebration of MOSAIC.WAV month, this new paint job also accompanies the release of a new album from the GWAVE camp. As you no doubt remarked from the promotional banner, this one is called 「SuperFeture’s Vol.10 ゴールデン パロ・スペシャル」. You'd think that after years of typing it half-right, they'd get it right some day, but no they decided to make it worse and take out one of the useless vowels of "Feature". It almost reads like fetus too, gross. Sorry, sorry. Engrish is funny and all but sometimes it's really annoying. I think I'm gonna drop them a line...

So hey, about the contents of Vol. 10 itself. The secondary title is 「-May-Be SOFT Hyper Audio Fan Disc- 」 which suggests a compilation of previous theme songs for a specific game company, much like the last volume was a compilation of U's past FrontWing themes. It seems the company is celebrating 15 years of putting big anime boobs over endless scrolling text and calling it a game. So of course, GWAVE turns five, -May-Be turns 15, OMG we have to do something about this! The albums comes out September 26 2008 and so far, 5 songs out of 17 have been revealed, along with some BGM/drama tracks and the promise of a sweet not-so-secret-anymore track. The rest are, according to GWAVE, being "planned in complete secret", whatever that means. Total running length will be nearly 70 minutes.


Interestingly, ARM of IOSYS fame is listed as a guest artist. I could be wrong but this may be the first IOSYS/GWAVE partnership. I can't wait to see what song it is, I'm pretty much out of the IOSYS loop these days, but his hardcore electronic tracks never cease to amaze me, so I'm hoping for something in line with that. There is also Rita, but that is hardly a surprise considering her numerous past collaborations with GWAVE. Other producers include sumiisan (slightly known for his Prism ARK work), total punk rocker milktub (tons and tons of eroge themes, most popular for Green Green) and a couple of others whom I've never actually heard anything from, so this should be very, very interesting indeed.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Denpa, not denpa? When rabid fans collide


Here in North America, it's pretty "common" to label artists like MOSAIC.WAV, UNDER17 and IOSYS as denpa musicians. I never really thought that the denpa label could hold negative connotations, especially since み~こ likes to drop lyrics such as 「Welcome to DEMPA world!」 [sic] in 2005's "SPACE! WAVE! AKIBA-POP!" or 「みんな~~! 電波びんびーーん!?」 in 2004's "We Love AKIBA-POP!!". So it's fair game to assume that the label also holds in Japan, despite a plethora of other applicable terms such as Akiba-Pop, electropop, gamewave, etc.

But much like the term "hentai" was twisted around and appropriated by outsiders, there's always a possibility that "denpa" is perhaps not the best way to refer to MOSAIC.WAV's music. This has always been in the back of my mind, despite my decision to go ahead and name this blog in honor of the genre. My fears were confirmed recently when a Japanese fan contacted me about a number of topics, one of which being the liberal use of "denpa" on my blog.

DENPA NO SEKAI でこれを言うのは変かもしれませんが、MOSAIC.WAVは「DENPAソング」ではないと思っています。歌詞も曲も緻密に計算されていて、極めてメッセージ性が強いからです。彼らの作品は様式としてはDENPAソングそのものですが、それ自体が計算された演出であるため、表現の本質はDENPAとはまるで逆なのです。

Basically, "even though your website is named Denpa no Sekai, MOSAIC.WAV don't write denpa songs". I agree with him when he says that their style, lyrics and music is "precisely calculated and extremely complex", but then he states that such elements are the complete opposite of the essence of denpa. Basically that they're too good to be identified with the lowly denpa label. This message confused me highly, so I wrote back asking for more precisions. I told him that in North America (and anywhere outside of Japan, really) this new genre is relatively unknown and that we possibly use the label wrongfully, but with good intentions. Of course, if I'm propagating wrong information about my favorite sound unit, I want to correct the situation. Here's what he wrote back with.

わかりにくい言い方をしてすみません。日本語の「DENPA」とは「電波」のことで、これは「意味不明」「何を考えてるのかわからない」「頭がおかしい」といった意味の隠語です。しかし、巧妙にメッセージを織り込んでいるので、「意味不明」な要素は皆無なのです。

Bottom-line? It's OK to refer to MOSAIC.WAV as denpa musicians. However in Japan, the term means more than just a musical genre. While it originally was used for "radio waves", it can also be used to describe unintelligible thoughts, semantic obscurity and being plain old crazy-in-the-head. Previously, the genre could be likened to the "Outsider Art" category, especially when you consider the oldest denpa songs which had no message and purpose outside of the eroge realm. But MOSAIC.WAV stirred up a storm with their multiple fictional characters and purposely ironic throwback riffs and song structures, meaning that they can no longer be considered "just" denpa artists.

もちろん、彼らが意図的にDENPA的なサウンドを作り出している理由は、メッセージが伝わらなくても楽しんでもらう為です。だから、DENPAソングと呼んでも良いし、ただ音楽を楽しめば良い。しかし、日本人である僕が、英語圏の人々に向けてMOSAIC.WAVについての文章を書くのなら、彼らの深いメッセージ性について書いておきたかったのです。この点が、「DENPA」と呼ばれる音楽でもMOSAIC.WAVとそれ以外のグループの間にある大きな差だと思っているのです。

He urges me, as a non-Japanese purveyor of MOSAIC.WAV news, to illustrate the distinction between standard denpa music and what the band has been releasing. As you can tell, he holds them in incredibly high esteem, as can be expected by a Japanese fan who's likely seen them live multiple times and owns every single thing they put out. Overall this was a good conversation that spanned multiple emails, even though at first I was afraid we were way off with the denpa label. We both agreed on the fact that they have evolved far beyond the simple premise of the genre and are pushing the style to a whole new level, where they currently throne unchallenged.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

MOSAIC.WAV to appear on AnimeTV [updated]

[video update] I'm not sure whether or not MOSAIC.WAV performed the song, but they at least they appeared before the camera for a short interview. They discuss the game itself and the theme song, the new eroge single which I will write about next week, plus they get to plug their performance at Animelo. Funny how Mi~ko appears taller than Kayamori-san!



[original article] I wasn't kidding when I said 2008 was gonna be MOSAIC.WAV's biggest yet. This coming Friday, they will appear on AnimeTV Japan*, a well-respected and long-standing 番組 which airs on various channels and features interviews with anime and game creators, as well as voice actors and other anime-related celebrities. Most shows end with a live song performance, recently-discussed keitai game theme 「おりじにゃ〜る!」 in this case. I have no doubt that Lantis arranged the whole thing, but I'm thinking that Koike-san pulled some strings in choosing which song would be performed, seeing as how he wrote it and all. It's not a bad choice as it is highly marketable, but it doesn't show them for who they really are. Also note that 3 autographed MOSAIC.WAV albums will be given away, they don't say which one but I'm guessing Amusement Pack.

Although over 400 AnimeTV episodes were made since 2000, only about a dozen are fully available on Nicovideo. There are, however, multiple interview and performance segments available, but you really have to know what you're looking for. This doesn't bode very well for us common folks without Japanese television, so unless a kind soul uploads the performance to Nicovideo or Youtube, forget about seeing this. In the unlikely event that you've got access to Japanese channels, here is the programming schedule for this particular episode of AnimeTV. I checked, and none of the channels offer online broadcasting. It looks as though cellphone users can freely check out interviews, but I doubt that would include performances. If anyone finds out how to watch it online, please let me know.

*Make no mistake, I'm not talking about the (defunct?) American version!

tvk   
8月9日(土)24:00~24:30

シーエスGyaO
8月11日(月)24:30~25:00
8月12日(火)8:00~8:30
8月13日(水)8:30~9:00
8月14日(木)25:30~26:00
8月15日(金)24:00~24:30

AT-X    
8月15日(金)16:30~17:00
8月16日(土)20:30~21:00
8月17日(日)25:30~26:00

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

First MOSAIC.WAV keitai game theme 「おりじにゃ〜る!」


Not content with dominating the PC erotic game theme songs, MOSAIC.WAV recently expanded their area of expertise with their first cell phone game theme song. A short version MP3 is available for download. Actually I'm not sure if it's erotic, but eh, it probably is considering the title translates to "My wife is a homunculus" plus the game is designed to be played with one hand. Otherwise why would people bother buying and playing it? Well, perhaps for the theme itself, in this case, since getting the game seems like the only option for owning the full version of the song. As a bonus, it seems they are including a ring tone, so you can be slightly less obnoxious next time someone calls you while you're in class!

So how about a short review, ね?This is one of the cutest songs they have performed in a while. The game's main artist, who is really pleased with the result and MOSAIC.WAV's professionalism, seems to think it is really similar to 2006's 「ふぃぎゅ@」 and I have to agree, to some extent. It does contain the same saccharine vocals and mid-tempo pace laid on top of aggressive drum patterns. However it lacks a bit of impact and personality, factors which will probably improve once the full version is made available on their next album (as if it's not gonna happen!) An interesting fact is that Kayamori-san may have had little input in this one, explaining the apparent lack of game sound FX and experimental techniques. It so happens that 4-EVER (meaning both Koike-aniki and the very cute オカザキシュン) laid the song's foundations down, the extent of which is unspecified at the moment. Overall, it's not as over the top as I've come to expect from MOSAIC.WAV, but a little breather never hurts once in a while.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Mi~ko sings a... pachinko theme song??


After years of singing top notch eroge theme songs, mi~ko was recently asked to perform for the other end of the dubious gaming spectrum AKA the pachinko slot machine industry. The latest product from industry veteran Net Corporation is 【アカネ55】 (Akane go! go!), based on an actually good-looking new IP that's sure to turn heads. I'm not kidding, I am actually feeling the strange desire to play pachinko right now. There are currently two ways you can hear the song, one is by playing the short 30 second sample on the bonus page (1st item) or by checking out the promotional video (annoying registration required).

But of course most respectable Japanese promo videos get the NicoVideo treatment, so save some time and skip the registration. Among other things, it features classic "evil laughter" from チョイワルン at exactly 4:20, so if the prospect of my favorite anime cliché present in a mi~ko song isn't enough to get you to check out the promo, then I don't know what will. What's that you say, you don't know how to register at NicoVideo? Why don't you ask the internet for some help. Sadly (and this is according to mi~ko herself) since this is not official MOSAIC.WAV work, a single CD will not be released; so good luck getting your hands on the full version! (drop me a line if you ever find it)

Friday, August 1, 2008

August is MOSAIC.WAV month at 電波の世界


Here at Denpa no Sekai, we don't fuck around the bush; we burn it down to the ground like a Californian forest in the summertime or Canadian igloos in the face of global warming. From August 1st until August 31st, we will be providing you with more MOSAIC.WAV coverage than the entire Internets combined have to offer. Why, you may foolishly ask? Long story short, because we can, and we will. Or perhaps it's a show of respect to their first participation at Animelo Challenge, a clear sign of prosperous times to come for the Akiba Pop unit. It could also be that my birthday is around the corner and that I want to live my life to the fullest before I die (no one lives past 30). Either way, there's nothing you can do against the incoming torrent of opinion, information and (hopefully) entertainment. Here's an incomplete list of what the ominous future holds:
  • Complete 「Amusement Pack」 review
  • Complete 「Space! Akiba-Pop」 review
  • Top 5 songs you've never heard
  • Comprehensive review of ALL official singles
  • A very special article that can't be revealed just yet
  • Multiple articles and opinion pieces
  • 1. MOAR (in September)
  • 2. ...
  • 3. PROFIT!!!
Of course there may be additional, non-MOSAIC.WAV-related articles popping up here and there, given that C74 is approaching rapidly. So does the whole thing sound too good to be true? It's going to happen, and if I could just ask something in return, it's that you faithful readers spread the word about this blog, its articles and of course the best denpa band in the world : MOSAIC.WAV. And by the way, if you're a long-time lurker or first-time visitor, feel free to introduce yourself in the comments section... the more of us, the merrier!

Finally, as you can probably see, we have awesome new banner art courtesy of mandichan. I just need to come up with a better logo...

Picture used with permission from おやまん.