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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

POLYSICS New album, North American tour


Although it was released in Japan on August 28, 「We ate the machine」 comes out today in North America. This is already their eight full-length studio album, if you can believe that. The heavily Devo-influenced electro/synthpop quartet (or "technicolor pogo punk" as they like to describe themselves) are currently celebrating their 10 years of propagating Japan as an abode of the weirdly sublime. I'm not going to waste my time writing up a short biography; Wikipedia's POLYSICS article has all the info you need.

Much like I overlooked the recent Albatrosicks release, I had completely forgotten about these guys and girls so I was surprised when I took a look at their website and found out that they are currently in full world tour mode. They toured through most of Europe (Italy, France, Spain, England) during all of September and are currently in Japan getting ready for the North American leg of their fall tour. Here is a condensed schedule, but you should check out the official website in case of last-minute cancellations.

Sat Oct-18-08 - West Hollywood, CA
Sun Oct-19-08 - San Diego, CA
Tue Oct-21-08 - Tempe, AZ
Wed Oct-22-08 - Tucson, AZ
Fri Oct-24-08 - Dallas, TX
Sat Oct-25-08 - Austin, TX
Sun Oct-26-08 - Houston, TX
Tue Oct-28-08 - Atlanta, GA
Wed Oct-29-08 - Charlotte, NC
Thu Oct-30-08 - Washington, DC
Fri Oct-31-08 - New York, NY
Sat Nov-01-08 - Danbury, CT
Sun Nov-02-08 - Cambridge, MA
Tue Nov-04-08 - Montreal, QC (CANADA)
Wed Nov-05-08 - Toronto, ON (CANADA)
Fri Nov-07-08 -London, ON (CANADA)
Sat Nov-08-08 - Detroit, MI
Sun Nov-09-08 - Chicago, IL
Tue Nov-11-08 - Denver, CO
Thu Nov-13-08 - San Francisco, CA
Fri Nov-14-08 - Pomona, CA

Are you planning on attending any of these concerts? Leave a comment if you will... or wish you could. I've already booked a day off (or two?) because there's no way in hell I'm missing out on this. Full album review coming up sooner or later. In the meantime enjoy the sounds of Rocket, my personal favorite track off of the new record.




Thursday, September 25, 2008

Two new YMCK cover albums out now


Yesterday saw the release of two new mini-albums from YMCK, a quirky Japanese Chiptune trio which has already performed outside of Japan multiple times. Though they feature intricate 8bit compositions and silky smooth female vocals, both minialbums are sort of side projects until their next full length album. The first is the appropriately titled 「-songs before 8bit-」 compilation of 9 classic Japanese pop tunes remixed using their own software plugin. I'm not gonna lie and pretend I know any of them; but a quick Youtube lookup reveals that they indeed went for rockin' picks. Essentially, this is the same deal as Momo-i gave us with her two Famison albums, except you replace anime themes with classic Japanese folk songs.

The other one is a split CD with De De Mouse, which is totally awesome. I thought splits were limited to the punk/hardcore scene, now they're invading 8bit JPop. I guess De De Mouse is pretty far from textbook denpa, but his totally weird songs and videos sure get my attention. Look at this crazy motherfucker go! This is another cover album, but given De De Mouse's style, the overall feeling should be substantially different from 「-songs before 8bit-」. Whereas Midori does all of the singing on the YMCK songs, DDM has different vocalists for all three of his contributions, including the gorgeous moumoonのYUKAさん on 「ルージュの伝言」.

Good news, everyone! You can listen to short samples from all of both album's songs on Natalie.mu's Power Push, which also features an extensive 4 page interview for your perusal. Are you hungry for more YMCK? Check out their fantastic retro music videos on their myspace account.

Friday, September 19, 2008

「迷惑メーリングGIRL」 English video, webcast, interviews!

Today marks the release of MOSAIC.WAV's 6th single! I have an abundance of information for you folks, but let's start with the exclusive stuff. As I did in celebration of their past single, I have translated the short version of their new single song and put it up on Youtube for all to enjoy!



I'd have to thank 沙織さん and 舞妓さん who gracefully helped me translate the lyrics despite some embarrassing moments (namely that last line of the chorus). I think I'll do more of these in the future, they're an incredibly fun way to hone my Japanese skills (at the expense of my engineering studies). So it's probably not the best translation out there, but it's pretty close according to them. But you know what the best part is? mi~ko loves it!! She says it's accurate and seems genuinely excited about my efforts to promote MOSAIC.WAV outside of Japan... sweet, sweet gratification.

In related news, MOSAIC.WAV are going to do a web radio event (not sure when, I'll keep you posted) where they'll answer their fan's questions. People sure came up with interesting questions, including some odd BL ones. But I'm a bit disappointed to see that they are also asking questions which were already answered on my own interview, such as Kayamori's musical influences and mi~ko's gaming habits. More than 50% of this blog's traffic comes straight from Japan, and the most popular article is by far the [original Japanese language] interview. This just goes to show that much work remains in unifying the fanbase on an international level.



Two high-profile websites (Getchu and Dengeki... both NSFW) have posted their own MOSAIC.WAV interviews, which mostly revolve around the new single and the idea behind SPAM mailing girl. They're a bit on the dry side and don't reveal anything we didn't already know. The best part is actually when Kayamori explains that this year marks SPAM's 30th anniversary; that guy sure has extensive knowledge about a bunch of useless stuff, much like myself! I did a bit of research to see if he was right (no offense Kayapi-san) and landed on this page which features said first-ever SPAM along with a stunningly insightful email from Richard Stallman in which he predicted (30 years ago!) that the internet would one day be used as a dating tool. The irony is that this guy is still single to this day! True computer nerds, I salute you...

Both of the websites are giving away autographed copies of the new single. I didn't see any Japan-only clause, so I signed up for shit and giggles... who knows? Go ahead and do the same, tell'em 電波の世界 sent ya.

Picture from getchu.com (that's their studio BTW)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

CD検討: Albatrosicks 「Planet Liberation」


C74 brought us more, much more than 2 fantastic new MOSAIC.WAV singles. A bunch of denpa/electropop/gamewave stuff came out which I've yet to report about, mostly because I was so busy dedicating all of August to the one band that really matters in the end. Regardless, much like GWAVE's last two albums previously escaped my radar, IOSYS... I mean Albatrosicks also eluded my grasp and released a follow-up to last year's self-titled debut LP. Maybe it was completely unannounced, maybe everyone was in the know but me. It is kinda hard to keep up with all of the multiple IOSYS releases and flash videos.

Now I'm pretty sure most of you readers already know about IOSYS's attempt to break away from their meme-band stigma and march into a brand new market. Truth be told, they are probably attracting the same fans as before as the overall style isn't all that different. But the fact remains that Albatrosicks' songs are much more refined and concise than the average IOSYS song. I mentioned the previous album, which I should really have reviewed a long time ago and probably will before the end of the year. It was a solid offering of versatile yet cohesive songs that worked really well as a whole, but it didn't have a major impact on its intended market i.e. people like me. In fact I'm not sure that it was really all that well received in Japan, which is why I was so surprised when I found out about this new album.

1. どう聴いてもイントロです。: This is a short, rather pointless instrumental intro that does not feature any interesting ideas There's really no point in listening to this track so I usually just skip it. Off to a bad start, eh?

2. Planet Liberation: Maybe it's just me and my overexposure to all things 中田ヤスタカ these days, but it sounds like IOSYS wore a lot of Perfume while composing this track... if you catch my really, really obvious drift. They get some points for that... but then lose them instantly as the title track is nothing but 4 minutes of the same riff. They probably should have given the name Planet Liberation to a better track that would make the album stand out even more.

3. ミコリザ4世: This is a bit more like it! It opens up with one of the guys screaming "Let's Steal It!" like his life depended on it, over some hectic noise that eventually goes into fast paced techno rythm driven by sweet snare rolls. Then about 1 minute into the song, a loud and perfectly distorted electric guitar takes this song and catapults it to the next level, complete with strong breakdowns and energetic picking. They lyrics convey a strong steampunk setting, with appropriate Engrish gems (White powder junkie people, Chaos revolver mad guardmen)... color me impressed. This is exactly the kind of song Albatrosicks should focus on. The final breakdown will have you banging your head whether you like metal or not. A+, will listen to again!



4. 暴走マンボウのテーマ: Finally moving back into the realm of denpa, this song is in line with the more popular flash tunes... Overdrive! The lyrics don't really make sense, there's some 8bit and video games sound effects, really high pitched miko vocals, yup denpa indeed. They even found a way to incorporate a car's horn + a referee's whistle into the song without making them sound obnoxious. And they use a fucking wah-wah on their guitar. Good lawd, I'm in heaven.

5. 3 Quintillion Starry Heavens: Somehow the name reminds me of all the ZUN-inspired tracks and somehow I'm not too far off either considering the tempo they used on this. Actually if you've already heard their first album, this is kind of a follow-up track to Dreamin' Trip, which was one of the LP's highlights despite being a slow tune. Oh, the lyrics are completely written in English, but you wouldn't know that just from listening to the song! Sunday Early Morning, anyone?

6. ぽたぽたユーカリプタス: This song does not need more cowbell, because it's omnipresent throughout and it kinda gets old to tell the truth. This is a happy-go-lucky kind of track that takes a turn for the weird towards the end. It's denpa, sure, but it's a little too fucked up even for myself. Really, really weird tune.

7. Determination of Singing: The first few seconds introduce the rest of the song very well. Deep and low grooves that could be seen as danceable, especially when the chorus hits. Much like the title track displayed, it seems that a huge capsule/Shibuya-kei influence took over Dr.ARM these days. Miko does a wonderful job of singing clear yet solemn vocals that adequately compliment the foreboding rhythm. Possibly one of the top 3 tracks.

8. 物欲少女: The S/T LP had some decidedly punk rock tracks (veritas and 闘いの唄) and they must have been quite successful with the live crowds because this is exactly more of the same. This one wastes no time going into a really fast tempo that hopefully drives everyone to circle pit. It wasn't until I got this this song that I realized at what point the engineering of the album rules. These guys (and girls) are completely independent and do everything on their own, crystal clear recording quality included.

9. 狂腕: Duck and cover when this song hits because if you're not careful, Quim & Dr. ARM's "mad scientist" personæ will make you their bitch as they rap their way into your mind. This is by far one of the most experimental tracks, even though it isn't too far off from the formula we've come to expect from them. I'd say the first half is unintentionally hilarious while the rest of the song is pretty solid. Much like white men can't jump, Japanese dudes can't rap. Sorry!

10. 僕はポンコツだけれど: I knew it would happen, I knew Albatrosicks wouldn't let me down. This is definitely the record's #2 track (keep reading for #1) simply because it is the ultimate mix of the new direction and the old guard. It's really cute but it'll slit your throat when you turn your back. Clocking in at just over 6 minutes, this mammoth of a track should please Dr.ARM fans the most, because it feels like walking through a museum dedicated to his compositions. Take care to listen to the multiple levels of melodies stacked on top of one another, because there's a lot of stuff going on here. It gets a couple of really epic moments as well, but unfortunately it is held back by the fact that this is an Albatrosicks song and not an IOSYS experiment in terror. If it had blast beats, grenade explosions and limbs flying all over the place, it would be their crowning achievement, but they kept things a little too straight for my liking. Still, it doesn't get much better than this!

11. 8ペタビット遊園地: Miko transforms into loli-mode for this one, with a really cute voice to accompany the very Amusement Pack-esque composition. The constant 8bit effects really do it for me, they sound so ridiculously good as well... no offense to YMCK (whom I love) but I don't think Dr. ARM is using their freeware VST plugin. Possibly Albatrosicks' best denpa composition to date, you just have to give it a try.

12. Honeymoon Period: Talk about a weird title. It can be seen as either a beautiful time in a just-married couple's life or a really unfortunate occurrence of an otherwise very natural thing. That's my sick twisted mind for ya, or this could be me skipping around the fact that this track sucks, being a ballad and all. There's some OK piano and acoustic guitar that try really hard to get my attention, but they don't save it from being a wreck in the end. The end chorus even sounds like it was ripped from a certain Avril Lavigne song... eww now I feel really dirty.



13. ホシヲコエテ: It's like Dr. ARM knew I was gonna give the previous song a shit review, so he threw an excellent punk-ish composition right after it to balance things out. This is the kind of song that accurately represents his creative capabilities, so why don't they stick to a gun that works? There's not a single poor decision here, all of the riffs were carefully designed and put together to create the ultimate Albatrosicks song. Despite being void of meaning, the main chorus "GET OVER!" is absolutely addictive. On top of the captivating flash video, ホシヲコエテ makes for a fantastic promotional tool for this relatively new band. It has the perfect length and you can tell miko went all out in order to make it one for the ages. Congrats to those involved! Each and every one of this blog's readers should make it a point to get this album for this track alone if nothing else.

14. Star Cry: As a finale, Star Cry has a lot riding on its proverbial shoulders. It's pretty clear that Planet Liberation is a better album than the S/T was, despite a rather high number of duds. Well, this isn't one of them. It opens with a psychedelic instrumental part that sets the tone for the rest of the song, along with a pounding percussion section and solid vocal patterns. Great way to go out with a bang and leave us hungry for more.

You want to see something funny? Loli Salad (great name for a blog, or greatest fucking name ever?) also wrote a review of Planet Liberation, but in a much more timely fashion. Check out how Fang-tan basically writes the same thing as I did about each of the songs! If someone has a clear case for mine being redundant, go ahead and make your plea. Or, you know, do something better with your time: find this album and enjoy it for all it's worth. As a starting point, the band put together a page with demo MP3s from the entire record.

It's a shame that there's yet to be a perfect Albatrosicks/IOSYS album, but what can ya do? Actually, what you could do is throw together a big playlist of their better songs and that would probably tally up to an impressive ten or so hours. In the unlikely event that they're reading this review: Guys! No more ballads. Yours suck. Write a whole album based around ホシヲコエテ. Your fans will then dedicate the rest of their mortal lives to building you a palace on the moon.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

「迷惑メーリングGIRL」 gets release date, bonus postcard


MOSAIC.WAV love you long time when you purchase their records, that's why they keep showering their (Japanese) customers with bonus items. While not nearly as awesome as the bonus 特典CD that came with the previous single (February 2008's 「ラストバトル! アキバトラー''μ''」) SPAM Mailing Girl will include an autographed postcard for fans to treasure. But if you're a cheap bastard like me, you can just click on the previous image for a bigger version. Besides I've yet to find any domestic online retailer that has it for preorder. The 7th single hits stores on September 19, 2008, but you can check out a preview of the title track on Sham Studio's website.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

MOSAIC.WAV + UNDER17 recent events recap


Well I do apologize for the recent downtime, but I've finally settled in... with 2 Japanese and 2 British roommates to boot! The upside is that my translated articles will now have a bit more credibility, but on the other hand I'm going to develop one hell of a weird accent in no time...

First item on the ordre du jour is of course MOSAIC.WAV's recent animelo performance. In a not-so-shocking turn of events, MOSAIC.WAV helped UNDER17 reunite for one song, namely the ridiculously awesome 「天罰! エンジェルラビィ」 which is both one of the oldest and most popular tracks the former duo ever wrote. mi~ko helped momo-i on vocals while koike-aniki played guitar wearing his famous costume and kayamori-san provided background music. The fan reports I found seem to agree that this made for one of the top 3 events of the show. The rest of us won't know for sure until Animelo 2008 gets a DVD. I wouldn't be surprised if a couple of momoists died ecstatically on the spot... For a complete play-by-play commentary I recommend heading over to seiyuu3's Saturday and Sunday reports. Here is the "denpa block" which was carefully put together by the Animelo organizers.

13 Feel so Easy! / 桃井はるこ
14 LOVE.EXE / 桃井はるこ
15 天罰!エンジェルラビィ / UNDER17+MOSAIC.WAV
16 最強○×計画 / MOSAIC.WAV
17 ガチャガチャきゅっ~と・ふぃぎゅ@メイト / MOSAIC.WAV
18 「true my heart」~「Iris」~「ラブリー☆えんじぇる!!」(メドレー) / ave;new feat.佐倉紗織
19 魔理沙は大変なものを盗んでいきました / miko(IOSYS)

On her blog, mi~ko expressed profound joy at being able to sing alongside momo-i in front of over 20,000 screaming fans. She is honoured to have taken part in such a historical event and greatly respects UNDER17 and still can't believe that she saw Koike-aniki wearing his old stage clothes! Speaking of the big guy, he wrote that for him the event was a great way to meet all of his old friends like Lia, JAM Project, Angela and of course Haruko Momoi, whom he hasn't seen much since the duo's dissolution. He says the rehearsal felt particularly nostalgic, even though at first the pair was really distant. However in his opinion, the MOSAIC.WAV performance was by far the best of the weekend. I mean look at him! Doesn't he look more cheerful and happy than usual?

I previously reported on MOSAIC.WAV writing a new うじゅ image song, now it looks as though they will participate in some event at Toei's Uzusama Movieland, most likely a live performance. The date is October 18 and the official website has all the info you need. Though this hasn't been mentioned anywhere, chances are very good that a new CD might be released along with new songs, so I'll keep an eye out for you guys.