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!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

C77: Witness the best of the rest (IOSYS is everywhere)

Comiket 77 ends today and so will our coverage with this final entry (unless we've missed anything glaring). Interestingly, most of the remaining entries are linked together in ways other than they feature denpa music to some degree... all of them can be traced back to IOSYS.



When you think of IOSYS, does the ARM/miko duo come to mind first? That may change soon, since they have another denpa unit in the works (and let's not forget the underrated Dear Chocolat series). Enter VOID/ayu and their first "solo" album 「*antipasto*」, which features 4 new tracks and remixed versions of the two Princess Party opening themes. Check out the crossfade sampler to get a good idea of what the pair is capable of.



東方ラブストリーム」 (MP3) is C77's flagship touhou release for IOSYS, but it is also Countess Younomi's second entry in her own series (follow-up to 「東方ヘクトパスカル」 (MP3)). The four-track mini-album offers an interesting mix of gothic metal, flower-pop and hyper-moe-denpa, for serious. Calling all Albatrosicks fans: quim sings on the third track. If you're aching for more material from IOSYS's lyrical powerhouse, you can also check out 「定概テクトニクス」, (MP3) which offers straight up JPop tinged with just enough moe goodness to make it worth your time.



Date Course is linked to IOSYS too, because Countess Younomi wrote a few of their lyrics. The hypersexual trio (blame it on MILK) is currently the star of the most recent Dance Mixer DLC, but what we're mostly interested in today is their C77 mini-album-slash-eroge-single 「いちゃいちゃプリンセス!」, which compiles all FOUR of the songs they've done so far. Yeah I know, not a lot, but still good stuff. Let's just hope they'll focus on new material in 2010, now that the whole handshaking business is out of the way. The trio is also proud to announce that they've won the 2009 Moe-GameAward for best... topic (話題??) thanks to the game Marginal Skip, out of which the sound unit came from in the first place. No MP3 samplers here but you can always refer to our Under The Scope feature for all the info you need.



2-dimension is a circle from circa 2006 with quite a few earlier releases, but based on their slick new website, their C77 release 「parade」 (MP3) seems to be their "reboot" effort... and what an album this will be. The composer behind all songs is this guy "task", who seems to be the 2-dimension head honcho as well. A quick look at the album cover and the assembled talent will show you just how much flair this dude has. The miko/ARM duo leaves its mark here, although on two separate songs. More interestingly, you have cosMo@暴走P on arrangement duties, better known 'round this blog as one half of cosMoDRIVER. Then yet another veteran shows up on vocal duties... talking about 茶太 (chata) who's been out and about since 1998 and is still kicking with tons of stuff for C77. Most will agree that she is mostly famous for her Growlanser VI OP, but the couple of denpa songs she did with her own circle ウサギキノコ sure turned me on to her music. Anyway, this looks like yet another winner even though it will probably fall into obscurity as soon as C77 is over.



Now for something even more under the radar, yet still totally IOSYS-related: a new moe-denpa duo 天然ジェミニ (shortened to tenjemi) featuring the lovely 愛原佑季 & 愛原千尋 are releasing their first CD 「東方香辛甘味」 (Touhou Spice and Sugar) (MP3) at C77. This is more or less completely denpa (or at least totally cute stuff) so it comes highly recommended from your friendly neighborhood 電波の世界 overlord. No seriously, check that shit out. The first sign of quality is that the two ladies have been featured on a number of IOSYS albums in the past, mostly on the really good ones too. Their about page has all the stalker info you need. The second sign is that さつき が てんこもり (Satuki Studio) composed the very first track of that album, with his signature deep bass groove prominently featured. 未来派 (iDOLM@STER lover) and 24 bit lolitas (likely another IOSYS byproduct) have a couple of marked contributions as well. Yes, this is another Touhou remix album, but one totally worth going out of your way to obtain (wonder how I'll be able to get my hands on this one...)



Aaaaand we're gonna end today's fun-tastic update with our good buddies at Studio Satuki. Yes I know, this isn't quite IOSYS-related, but bear in mind the previous paragraph and BEHOLD, a vague connection appears! Their C77 release 「ファミマ秋葉原店に入ったらテンションがあがった」 (When you enter the Family-Mart in Akihabara, tension goes up!!!) has a really long title, but is a little short on contents. All it basically does is collect their two most recent NicoNico hits (minus their splendid Hatsune Miku song) as well as the instrumental versions, a glitch remix of "ファミマ" and a bonus track from LOLI.COM. Hardcore Satuki fans will snap this up, but let's hope a real full-length album is on the way! A cross-fade sampler MP3 is available, but full-length versions of both songs can be checked out on our Under The Scope feature.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

C77: From fripSide to DystopiaGround, nao's "graduation" complete


We all expected nao to bounce back after her separation but other than a lone (though brilliant) eroge OP, nothing concrete came out of that fateful day. Well worry no more, nao fans, as she is definitely back, but not in the way you'd expect. Spearheaded by 志倉千代丸 (of 5pb. fame, yes the Ketsui publisher), DystopiaGround is a new doujin circle that focuses on nao and her songs, much like what fripSide used to be. They will release two mini-albums called 「Euclidean」 and 「Fermion」 at Comiket 77, with 4 tracks on each. Click "Play Music" on the flash-only website for demos of each song.

The main difference so far is that DG is not limited to a single composer but rather a ton of them, including superstars 桃井はるこ and motherfucking 伊藤賢治 of SquareEnix fame. Yes, the one and only Kenji Ito, how the hell did they get this guy? But according to his blog, it's not the first time he works with Momoi (they were teamed up on this effort). One of the "fripSide NAO project!" composers is back too, and you can tell from the samples that they won't shy away from denpa stuff. Either way, their mantra is "No A-Pop, No Life!" which greatly pleases this writer. There is a lengthy interview with nao about this new project up on Famitsu. Exciting stuff! Let's hope for more DystopiaGround stuff in 2010.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

C77: More Sexy Touhou Denpa from Holic Service


School has been out for a couple weeks now, but the extra cute characters in Holic Service's "Energy Reimen" have to study year-round. 「お受験せんそ→☆」 is the fourth entry in their Touhou-inspired denpa series and the theme seems to revolve around preparing for really tough exams... while wearing a cute school swimsuit, of course. Make sure you visit the official website for a convincing eight-and-a-half minutes sampler (or just download it directly). This time around, KuKuDoDo enlisted new blood with t+pazolite/[C.H.S.], tio/emroots and iDOLM@STER remixer superstar 未来派, but past collaborator o.k.o.G4 is back for another wild ride.

What, you've never heard of KuKuDoDo and crew? Holic Service were the subject of an Under The Scope feature earlier this year, which even drew praise from KuKuDoDo him-fucking-self. All things told, their C76 album 「エネルギー冷麺 もうこはんっ!」 was probably my favourite denpa album of 2009, simply because it is PERFECT from start to finish. Never a dull moment, packed with ingenious features and full of lovely/dreamy voice talent. The bar is high, but I believe this fourth entry will push it even further. Only a couple more days to go!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

C77: Ta Chi Tsu Te Toromi has a new CD v1.7+


とろ美 has a new album coming out at C77! What a year for the secretive young lady. She first gained notoriety with とろでん, a song for a Suzumiya Haruhi Wii dance game. It still spawns a ton of fan renditions to this day, including some very impressive stuff. Then she had a great summer comiket release with 「SECRETORO×MEROCONCERT」, a collaboration album with めろこ and Lisa Records. The songs were pretty good, but some of the MC between each track is just downright hilarious.

This winter comiket CD is actually a bit of a compilation. Most notably, it features 「とろみかん 果汁0%」, a short-lived single that came out at M3-24. Then, from what I can gather out of the posted album cover, it also includes some (hopefully remixed versions of) songs from her 2006 mini-album 「たちつてとろ美ちゃん Ver1.2」. The rest are probably new. Of note, track number 3 "plus one" has English lyrics, though you couldn't tell from listening to the song (no offense torobaby).

Remember the estrogen-fueled denpa compilation "【電波系】作業用A - POP【痛サウンド】"? Toromi had a track on there and uploaded a nice promotional video for all to see.



She also appears in two of the most recent CRAZY OTAKU WORLD of GENKAN MATT videos.



For more super otaku party time antics, check out part two.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

C77: Birdtune and Satuki team up for Sweets Palette


Is there such a thing as a 電波萌え萌え overdose? If "Sweets Palette" was some sort of food instead of a record, would if get featured on This Is Why You're Fat?!? No doubt in my mind, but I'll take the risk. Birdtune enlisted the aid of blog favourite Studio Satuki (along with quite a few others) to compose a song for their upcoming C77 album 「すいーつぱれっと」. All involved staff can be found on the official website.

This is actually the second in a series of Touhou Arrange CDs for Birdtune. The first one, 「東方ちゅんちゅん郷」, came out mere months ago at M3-24, so odds are it is still available for sale. As of this post, samples for the second album weren't available, but you can check out the first to get a pretty good idea. IOSYS take note: this is how you do a GREAT Touhou comp! No more filler bullshit, plzkthxbai.

UPDATE: Due to manufacturing problems, release of this album has been postponed to Reitaisei 7 (March 2010).

Sunday, December 20, 2009

C77: Upcoming MOSAIC.WAV "trap single" now has samples


Sham Studio just put up two new sample MP3s from the upcoming 「おとこの娘のトビラ」 single, confirming that it will be an official single after all. I could have just updated the previous post, but I believe these samples warrant a post of their own. If "Love Cheat!" is one of your favourite MOSAIC.WAV songs, take heed: the title track goes to great length to dethrone it as their most striking composition to date. Yes, the lyrics are all about traps and the "brand new emotions" they can trigger... we'll just leave it at that. But I applaud them for taking such a daring direction, although not completely unexpected.

Track number 2 is equally glorious, though in a different manner. It is certainly one of their "sweet" songs, but it packs serious heat and will grab your attention from start to finish. I believe this Soshie-chan is another one of their new characters, although her presence should be limited to this one song. She doesn't have a drawing yet, but I can picture this cute amazon-tan type of girl recommending other items based on what's in your cart, and nerds totally breaking down because UWAAA SOSHIE-CHANNNN~~~~
  1. おとこの娘のトビラ (sample MP3) (lyrics)
  2. 商品おすすめソシエちゃん (sample MP3) (lyrics)
  3. unpleasant melody~戸惑いの仔羊たち~
  4. おとこの娘のトビラ(Off Vocal)
  5. 商品おすすめソシエちゃん(Off Vocal)
  6. unpleasant melody~戸惑いの仔羊たち~(Off Vocal)

Friday, December 18, 2009

C77: ARM to unleash denpandemonium with first best album


ARM? I FUCKING LOVE THIS GUY? LIKE YEAH, TOTALLY? ANYHOW!

Well the official IOSYS website was recently updated to reflect their C77 goods, including one of the biggest bombs to drop in the '09. Now you too can nuke a small country of your choice with 「ワァオ!ハイパー電波チャン - ARM商業作品集 -」, ARM's first 100% denpa "best album". Woah! Hyper denpa-chan compiles some of his most memorable eroge/manga/anime theme songs, the majority of which were not available for purchase. They even managed to include ARM's fantastic contribution to last year's anime cover album by 桃井はるこ!

I find it satisfying on many levels that I've been dying for an ARM compilation album and then WHOOMP there it is. Proof that he does read this blog on a daily basis. Too bad he was too shy to proceed with the interview I had in mind for him. Give this 3-minute long sampler a listen and prepare to be blown away. Complete details and credits available at the official website. Here's the absolutely mind-numbingly incredible tracklist for what is sure to become an instant classic. Like your own private little bitch, I've gone ahead and provided links to full versions, except for one of them...

01. ヒステリックソーダ
02. 聖夜のスペシャルシューティングスター
03. エンドレスヘブン
04. ちゃっかり+ちょっくり+ななななー feat.ayumikos
05. 揺れてはじけてあふれちゃう☆魅惑のペンギン娘 1.55倍速electroclash
06. ものがたりを探して
07. あわだっちゃ☆パニクリバニラ
08. ゆっくり揉んでね☆ぱいタッチ!
09. ウッーウッーウマウマ(゚∀゚) (IOSYS REMIX)
10. 乙女ゴコロ×局中法度 ~だんだら shooting MIX~
11. ハッピー☆マテリアル

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

C77: Well duh, of course there's a new MOSAIC.WAV single

From the like-so-totally-captain-obvious department: MOSAIC.WAV will have a new single for sale at Comiket 77. Nope, your eyes are working just fine, that is a rather plump bulge on this young lady man. Well, traps are the new loli but benefit of the doubt shall be given, as the best MOSAIC.WAV songs usually come out of such twisted situations. Gotta love the cherry hair brooch and banana bag charm, just to make sure the point hits you like a fucking Blackbird.

「おとこの娘のトビラ」 is billed as an exclusive C77 item, but it will be distributed over iTunes in the near future. Just like with their previous mini-album, VIEWS CORPORATION will handle the Comiket distribution. Sadly no samples yet, but they should pop up any day now. There doesn't appear to be any game tied-up to this release, nor is it being promoted as a formal MOSAIC.WAV single... it just appears to be one of those spur of the moment things.

By the way, mi~ko (as サテラ) and her BFF 新堂真弓 (as ヒカリ, clearly the dominant one) have teamed up for a new web radio show titled アキバニュースサテライト (Akiba News Satellite). Fun times to be had by all, not much in terms of news as far as I can tell however. Although this is episode #1, they're not saying when or if the second episode will go up.

Friday, December 11, 2009

作業用A-POP explores the multiple possibilities of Denpa


A new denpa compilation CD (the first of a series?) was officially released on December 4th 2009, with a requisite Ishimaru launch event coming up December 13th. The full title is actually: "【電波系】作業用A - POP【痛サウンド】", square brackets and all. This is the first album produced by 上田紗奈衣 (UEDA Sanae), with the new label PELVIS MUSIC backing her project. Oh, hey, notice anything? She's a she, one of the rare female denpa composers along with Toromi, U and very select few others. Could we eventually witness denpa's answer to Clamp?

So what sets this one apart from the rest? First of all, there exists very little of this so-called rest, so that makes it stand out immediately. But there are a number of other factors. For one, it features completely original songs, no touhou / anime theme covers here. Hearken the two samples below and you'll quickly notice that this isn't your typical eroge-OP-theme type of denpa, nor is it fist-pumping DENPA madness (although it's possible the other tracks are very energetic). There's a distinctly soft feeling to both tracks, no rough edges. Oh and check out that jacket art: it's a loli sitting on two pancakes on top of a record player. Well, that's... creative?

The other major draw to this compilation is the interesting talent that Ueda-san was able to put together for this debut effort. There are three "stand-alone" artists: とろ美 (that's our Toromi!), 木ノ下ゆり and 天宮ゆめか, as well as the five girls from ふたば☆ (えい, 小麦, ミナミ, 夢眠ねむ and 霧島若歌). The latter are staff of the DearStage club in Akihabara, a store / live club / bar which opened about a year ago and spawned a few in-house units such as the highly energetic and wotagei-friendly ピヨラビ. Either way it's a solid combination of guerrilla live smarts and debutante innocence that should make every song unique.

As far as I can tell, this is more or less completely out of the blue, so I hope unprepared denpa fans won't be caught too off-guard by this sudden release. Perhaps they wanted to beat the C77 rush, but a little more internet promotion elbow grease wouldn't have hurt getting the word out. Filthy gaijin pro-tip: YesAsia has it on the cheap. Here's the track listing, notice how they classified each song into a denpa category such as Vocaloid, Nostalgic, ElectroFuture and so on.

★収録曲
・イントロダクション
・君だけのもの(ボーカロイド電波)
・狂気でしょでしょ?(ノスタルジィ電波)
・魔法少女プリンセス・ファンシードOP(アイドル電波)
・蒼き少女隊(戦隊ポップ電波)
・-ぶれいくたいむ-(毒電波)
・あんみちゅ(エレクトロフューチャー電波)
・逃げて!レアリア(毒電波)
・密会(クラシカル毒電波)
・ディスプレイの向こうから(アイドル電波)

逃げて!レアリア -short ver.- (毒電波)


君だけのもの-game tone mix-short ver. (ボーカロイド電波)


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Blip Festival 2009 reminder, full schedule


Friendly reminder for you folks: the final countdown to BlipFest 2009 is on, with mere days to go until 32 artists from around the globe hit the Bell House stage in Brooklyn on Dec 17-19 2009. Of course we have the fantastic regs such as Nullsleep, Bit Shifter and Bubblyfish, but I'd highly recommend newcomers Rainbowdragoneyes (a.k.a Eric, who gave me my first LittleSound DJ lessons a couple years ago) and The Hunters (a trippy trio straight out of Tokyo, highly active in the LoBit Playground scene). Here is the complete schedule:

// 12 17 • THURSDAY /////////////////////
8:00 pm · Silent Requiem · Jean Y. Kim
8:40 pm · failotron · Paris
9:20 pm · Leeni · VBLANK
10:00 pm · minusbaby · Enso
10:40 pm · Chromix · The C-Men
11:20 pm · Je Deviens DJ en 3 Jours · NO CARRIER
12:00 md · Albino Ghost Monkey · outpt
12:40 am · Eat Rabbit · Rosa Menkman

// 12 18 • FRIDAY ///////////////////////
1:00 pm · screening: _Reformat The Planet_
2:00 pm · workshop: SID chip synthesis workshop with VBLANK
--
8:00 pm · Disasterpeace · Enso
8:40 pm · Starscream · Jean Y. Kim
9:20 pm · Fighter X · outpt
10:00 pm · little-scale · Rosa Menkman
10:40 pm · I, Cactus · VBLANK
11:20 pm · Nullsleep · Rosa Menkman & Paris
12:00 md · Rainbowdragoneyes · The C-Men
12:40 am · Patric C · NO CARRIER

// 12 19 • SATURDAY /////////////////////
2:00 pm · screening: _Reformat The Planet 1.5_ + selected videos
2:00 pm · presentation: Classic Sound Chips to Virtual Instruments
3:00 pm · workshop: Open Source Solutions for Live Visuals
--
8:00 pm · The J. Arthur Keenes Band · Rosa Menkman & Enso
8:40 pm · tRasH cAn maN · Jean Y. Kim & Paris
9:20 pm · Bubblyfish · NO CARRIER & outpt
10:00 pm · The Hunters (music & visuals)
10:40 pm · glomag · The C-Men & VBLANK
11:20 pm · Bit Shifter · outpt & Enso
12:00 md · David Sugar · NO CARRIER & VBLANK
12:40 am · Psilodump · Paris & The C-Men

For full details, descriptions, & admission information, visit:
http://blipfestival.org/2009/schedule

I would love to attend the Open Source Visuals workshop, but I've decided to spend my vacation over in Death Valley this year. Yeah, no, for real. Oh that reminds me, I have some short videos of Sulumi and Bubblyfish from the 2008 event. Sulumi was by far the highlight of the event as far as I'm concerned, what a crazy guy!!!

Friday, December 4, 2009

C77: More U for you this winter


It's not a winter Comiket if there isn't a new U single for all of us to enjoy. This year is no different, as GWAVE recently announced two new songs will be released in late December 2009. Interestingly, the attention-grabbing promotional image above lists Koike-aniki as "guitar", meaning he actually plays both songs. Well that's what's assumed right now anyway, otherwise he should have been credited as "fuckin' awesome guest" or something.

GWAVE says sample MP3s are coming December 14th. This will be a release limited to C77, but odds are that the two songs will be featured on a full-length album somewhere down the line so no reason to panic. Additionally, they mention that the genre is "denpa&moe" and that the name of the two songs ("NicoNico" and "BabyBaby") should be enough to describe the contents. Huh. I'm thinking the gratuitous panchira will also be a strong selling point.

Recently, U opened a members-only section to which yours truly has been granted access. Unfortunately I am bound by HI-MI-TSU law not to reveal the login procedure (I wish to retain my testicles, thankyouverymuch). Ah who am I kidding, of course I'll expose her (hopefully indecent) exclusive material as soon as it pops up online. At the very least, she is promising some early demos and other unreleased material.



In related news, idoling's tenth single comes out on December 16th 2009 with our dear U credited as composer/arranger/overlord. Just take a quick gander at the video for the A-song 「ラブマジックフィーバー」 and you'll quickly notice that it really does sound like a U song. Actually, 実は, she has been writing songs for this popular idol program (as well as a couple AKB48 tracks) for the past couple years via her general-purpose (i.e. no porn) sound unit Funta. The duo hasn't really been mentioned at all on this blog before, but are definitely worth checking out, even if that other guitarist dude is totally not as cool as big brother.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hey Jack! Don't forget about COSMODRIVER's new album



October 2009 saw the release of the first full length album from コスモドライバー (cosMoDRIVER), a brand new chip-pop duo featuring two highly active niconico artists. HIGEDRIVER was briefly mentioned late last year when he composed a song on Saori@destiny's first album, as well as contributed tracks to the superb Picomoe compilation series. It's hard not to like the dude with such great chiptune skills and his iconic image borrowed from Super Mario Bros. He has quite a number of songs up for download, but one of my favourites is this year's ukigumo. He's teamed up with cosMo, a similar artist, albeit one mostly known for his expertise with all things Hatsune Miku. He is behind the reaaaaaally fast (and kinda sad) "Disappearance of Hatsune Miku" among other things.

But those of you allergic to the virtual diva will be pleased to know that their first album 「コスモドライバー∞UP」 only barely features her voice (about four seconds, to be precise). It's mostly these two guys singing along with some sampling (moemoemoe...). Without getting into details, the album's a great mix of pop/rock/chiptune and even some pretty intense prog-rock à la Yes. Close To The Edge, chiptune style? I think my dad would enjoy that. And let's not forget about the third player on the visual front: SasakureP took care of the jacket art and the unit's first PV as seen above. Dream teams like this only last so long, but I'm already looking forward to a second album!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

VORC: JulieHally debut single, Saitone's 8bit Micheal Jackson tribute



Today marks the (digital) release of 「256 e.p.」, the first single from JulieHally who are a new duo backed by VORC Records. A full-length album is slated for release in early 2010. The above video demoes their second song L.E.D. Nation. You can also sample their opening track Casual at their HearJapan page, from which you can conveniently buy both songs for a measly 2.22$. So what we have here is an interesting combination of Julie's cute vocals laid on top of some carefully programmed 8bit tracks from none other than chiptune expert Hally. The songs were composed with a standard pop/rock mindset, no experimental stuff here. There's good energy and both songs are fairly memorable, which is impressive for a debut release.

But dig beneath the surface and you'll uncover some impressive hardcore experience. Hally of course is a well established Chiptune artist in Japan. He even came up with some custom Famicom equipment for his live performances. Seems the man is a total party animal too, judging by this touching male bonding story from Denmark (do I detect some bromance?). Now the other part of the equation is just as fascinating. We are indeed talking about the proud Samurai descendant Julie Watai (AKA SAMURAIGIRL) who appeared alongside DJ SHIMAMURA on last year's brutal JCore compilation 「真・凌辱HARDCORE ~エロスの饗宴~」. And yes, you're right, this is the same Julie Watai whose fantastic otaku photography book was released worldwide in 2006. So, uh... street cred? Yeah. It's everywhere.




Also from our friends @ VORC comes Saitone's two latest songs: Smooth Criminal and Thriller. Yup, these are indeed 8bit covers of some of MAIKURU JAKUSON's greatest hits. He's always enjoyed tremendous popularity in Japan, so these chiptune tributes are quite fitting. Regardless of what you think of the man, you should be able to enjoy these two songs on a purely artistic basis. It helps that Saitone, one of the founding members of VORC, is nothing short of a legend when it comes to stringing intricate series of crude beeps together. And hey, he'll even play them live.

Speaking of which, VORC record also wants you to know that on November 27th 2009, you can log on to DreamHack's Justin.tv channel for a FREE STREAM of JulieHally and Saitone performing live in Sweden. You may consult the event's schedule for more details, but JulieHally and Saitone go on at 11:30PM (11/26) and 12:30AM (11/27) respectively. That's Sweden time (CET+1) so use this handy website to convert to your own time zone (east coasters, we're talking 5:30PM here). Don't miss them!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Make room for the New Denpa Kid On The Block: Studio SATUKI



I say new, but in reality, Studio SATUKI (studio皐) have been around since 2004. The Yokohama duo began by entering many YAMAHA competitions, then moved on to contribute multiple Touhou remixes of the J-Core variety and a number of one-off denpa songs that helped them gain popularity on Niconico. The video above showcases their second most recent composition (as of November 2009), but by far their most popular. The Hammer meme (originally from Super Smash Bros.) exploded sometime in early 2009, spawning thousands of hilarious MADs. So SATUKI took the concept, made a song around it and now they're the talk of the internets.




Just prior to their Hammer song, they also drew the attention of many denpa fans with a remix of the Family-Mart theme song (at least the ones in Akihabara, from what I understand). What I love from studio皐 is that they don't shy away from using the 電波ソング tag, which is a symbol of quality as far as I'm concerned. I also appreciate the fact that they actually reply to my emails, in English no less! So head on over to the Studio SATUKI website and check out some of their older MP3s. You'll notice that their second composition 「 竹取ふらいとッ☆ to: Luna /from: our Tokyo」 was a chiptune-style Touhou remix, that right there says a lot about the budding studio. I also recommend their song 「嫁 404 Not Found」, which is part of their original denpa series featuring KOKO.



Their most recent composition is their first time with Hatsune Miku, this is sure to turn quite a few heads their way. It was gracefully translated by Japanese Youtube user ikuy398, who has quite a few other translations on his channel. I love when Japanese folks are aware that there are denpa fans outside of Japan and make an effort to connect with us. Kudos to ikuy398 and Studio SATUKI for this very reason!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nao still doing eroge theme songs for Visual Art's

In related news, the Earth still revolves around Sun.



Some "graduation", eh. On to greener pastures, you say? Nuh-uh. Once an eroge singer, always an eroger singer. But I'm not complaining! 「咆哮!ド田舎ちゃんねる5」 is a decent theme song tinged with just enough craziness to remind me of fripSideNAOproject!'s greatest strengths (considering they were a total SHORT CIRCUIT ripoff). Of course, being the new and improved person that she is (now that she left sat to rot), she probably wants to avoid any and all comparisons to her former work. Maybe a good start would be NOT including old fripSide songs at the beginning of a completely unrelated eroge.

It does seem like this is her first new song since 「my graduation」 which appeared on the monstrous 10-disc compilation of the same (sorta) name. At the very least, it is her first collaboration with composer 新井健一 and experienced lyricist 下地和彦. She is also doing the ending theme with 新井健史, who actually composed the very last fripSideNAOProject! track. 「プール・バケーション」 was an OK song, but my money's on sappy for this one. Since I can't find Nao's blog right now, that's all the details I have! But I wouldn't mind more of the same in the future. Also, the game in question features voice work by 民安ともえ! Is she intense or what?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Adorable MOSAIC.WAV artwork, live pictures


(click for full resolution image) Does this art remind you of something? It was drawn by SHIGATAKE, the same artist who came up with last year's Kuma-tan, titular character of a Nintendo DS game by Vanillaware (he also worked on Odin Sphere and GrimGrimoire). There is something wrong with this piece of artwork though: Mi~ko is much taller than kayapi!! A Gentle Giant, if you will.

Famitsu recently put up a bunch of high quality pictures from the recent free concert. Of course you can always check out the Youtube medley I cooked up for you guys. It was pulled from Nicovideo in less than 2 hours, but so far the Youtube one is OK! I'm not exactly sure on what grounds they can have it removed anyway, it was a free & public broadcasting.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Best Believe! Brutally Brain Blowing BUBBLE-B Blurb



Allow me to take a break from the usual hypermoedestructodenpa material this blog normally covers and introduce a pretty awesome dude (BUBBLE-B) and his pretty awesome labels (Speedking Productions/TOY LABEL). I'm only, oh... about two months late on this, but hey: Brandish 2 and all that. So a couple of awesome Speedking albums came out at M3-24, including BUBBLE-B's very own sophomore effort 「バブルBのビッグ・バン」 (big bang). This whopper of a release is actually a CD+DVD and is intended to be a follow up to his 2004 DVD 「バブルBのグッド・イヴニング」 (good evening). You can find the complete tracklisting and more info at BUBBLE-B's blog.

The intense car nerd in the above video is not BUBBLE-B himself, but his buddy Enjo-G. Together they've got half a dozen collaborations on Nicovideo, including MC'ing on this MEGASHIT commercial. While there are proper "songs" per se, a majority of BUBBLE-B's tracks consist of him remixing / freaking out to old Japanese commercials or variety shows. As you can see, there is a strong video component to all of his creations, hence the DVD. He even went as far as creating an original Hatsune Miku song, which is sure to earn him new fans as MOSAIC.WAV have recently found out. Then again, with a song title like 「ダサイタマ」, he might as well make just as many enemies. Zanshiro!




Not content with writing and releasing his own music, BUBBLE-B has also been the driving force behind Speedking Productions and TOY LABEL for quite a while (2000). He and his buddies also publish a number of compilations. The second M3-24 release, perhaps slightly more relevant to this blog's content than the first, was 「SPEEDKING PRESENTS 8bit RAVE」. As its title indicates, it offers a seriously dope assortment of chiptune and J-Core from an interesting variety of artists. The tracklisting reveals contributions from some currently "unknown" artists (including the delightfully named Eagles Become Vultures From Pile Of Dogshit) but also from veteran KPLECRAFT and Momoi-collaborators Missile Chewbacca.

The idea with this album is quite simple: combine the best of the chiptune and J-Core worlds (or J-Death as they like to call it). This results in a largely different kind of 8bit sound than what we've been getting lately; abrasive and gloomy come to mind. I sincerely hope this is the first of many in what could be a lucrative series for Speedking. If you're hungry for more of their unique J-Death techno, check out samples from their first and second compilation albums. Solid soundtracks for a solid gym session, I'll tell you that much.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Brandish 2 English translation out, still not for bitches (updated w/ trailer!)



Oh yeah, I'm done with this thing. Until the first bug report shows up, that is. Right now, you can download the Brandish 2 English Translation Patch from the Synchronicity forums, but the file is also in the romhacking.net submission queue as we speak. Judging from the trailer's reaction, I'm thinking this could get at least 2000 downloads -- which is probably more than the amount of Brandish 1 copies KOEI sold back in '95. All bragging aside, I'm pretty confident hardcore gamers will enjoy my translation. I may be some low level JLPT4 schmuck, but I've been playing video games since the mid eighties, especially the RPG variety. Time will tell, but so far the reaction has been overwhelming!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Under the Scope: Everyone, let's DATE COURSE get!



It's a small interwebz, and an even smaller erogeworld after all. Earlier this year I was talking with I've Sound blog owner 愛撫 about a new fishtone (former I've member) OP tune. We both concluded that the song sucked balls and that this would be the end of that. Enter デートコース (Date Course) who actually had a decent song on the game's CD (抱きしめて欲しいよ, featured below), which I didn't bother checking out because of the totally lame fishtone OP. Shame on me, but no time like the present to catch up on past mistakes.

Although Date Course only officially started sometime in January 2009, the girls have at least a decade of experience combined. It's worth taking a look at the unique lineup behind this new band, namely: 民安ともえ the veteran, みるく the hypersexual strumpet and finally 加瀬愛奈, the regular girl who wants you to fly her "to the over the rainbow". No shit, hop in my Nissan and I'll take you there. OR WILL I?!?! They don't have a particularly explosive discography to this day, in fact this page will do a much better job at summarizing everything than I ever could. Some of their songs are pretty sappy, but the good ones are upbeat and borderline denpa. They seem to be closely related to (sponsored by?) game studio MoonStone and promotional agency Dwango (home to Akihabalove Records).

Together they make for a good balanced trio capable of producing fantastic (see above), average (see below) and mediocre stuff (see キラキラッ☆-twinkle star light- on the Princess Party album). The fact that 民安ともえ/Tami/Tammy/Tomoe/whatever you wanna call her is at the helm bodes well for Date Course's future. Here's a girl who's been working in the eroge industry for the past 5 years and shows absolutely no signs of slowing down. Certainly one of her most well-know album is 「TECHNORIDER TAMMY」 but right now I'm "looking" for 「アイドルKiss! 無敵ッス☆」, her latest split single with 織姫よぞら, whose deep booming voice always impressed me, considering how tiny she seems! (eyes excluded)

Here's a rather unique objective Date Course have set for themselves this year: they want to shake 10,000 hands. It's a bit ill-advised with the A(H1N1) scare we're going through recently, but it's still an clever promotional ploy. As it stands, they have accomplished a little over 80% of their goal. But with only two months to go before 2009 runs out, methinks they'll have to offer a little more than a handshake. Might I suggest みるく upping the ante with a more enticing incentive? Or... chances are they'll have something new for C77 and that will seal the deal. So let's keep an eye out for our new favourite maid trio!

Mandi noticed an interesting fact: the lyrics to both songs featured on this entry were penned by none other than Countess YOUNO, who usually writes for IOSYS and Albatrosicks. It's a nice coincidence, but I wouldn't come to the conclusion that IOSYS and Date Course are in cahoots just yet, as the dog-loving author actually does this for a living.



Sunday, October 25, 2009

MOSAIC.WAV 「LIVE @ 秋葉原UDX」 youtube medley



So I did get up in time to watch the show, but my live stream recording plan wasn't quite up to snuff. I managed to snag decent footage from the last four songs and pretty much all of the encore. The sound quality is pretty good but the video itself, well... it's not like we're in any position to complain. Thanks to Famitsu and Enterbrain for making this possible... although I fully expect one of these two entities to request this video to go down! Save it while you can, but I could always upload the 100MB AVI file somewhere if you ask nicely. Here's what the actual setlist looked like.

1.みんなみくみくにしてあげる♪
2.電気の恋人
3.***にできたかな
4.server error
5.HATSUNEtive
6.天真爛漫にゅばばばばーん
7.妄想網 Ж Superluminal
8.We Love Akiba-Pop !!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

MOSAIC.WAV 「Heartsnative」 live web broadcast

『Heartsnative/MOSAIC.WAV×鶴田加茂 feat.初音ミク』応援中!

October 21st 2009 has come and gone and brought 「Heartsnative」 with it, the wonderful new MOSAIC.WAV×鶴田加茂×初音ミク crossover album. It actually ranked in seventh on the daily oricon charts, which is no small feat! Impressions should follow shortly but until then, you can check out samples from each song on the rather awesome official website. You should also look at this informative blog entry from mi~ko herself, which accurately details the limited edition's "dress-up" feature.

But here comes the big news, especially for international fans! On Saturday October 24th 2009, Famitsu will stream the MOSAIC.WAV live concert at "entamatsu" (Enterbrain Festival), straight from Akihabara. The show starts at 7PM Japan time (with a test feed going live at 6:40PM), which means 3AM West coast, 6AM East coast and 12PM for our lucky French friends. Use this time converter for your own region.

This is sort of problematic for me; not so much the time, just that I'll be on the road that morning. So here's my request, dear readers: can someone please rip/grab the stream and upload it to youtube? I'm counting on you guys, although I'm not even sure how I would go about it, myself. It seems something like Orbit Downloader could do the job. There's a slight chance that (parts of) the video will go up on the EnterbrainTV youtube channel, but I wouldn't bet the farm on it. Preload the UG Live java applet prior to the show (Java and Flash/WMP are required) to be on the safe side.

Update 10/25/09: Everything's under control.

Monday, October 19, 2009

When chiptune meets old-school hardcore punk

Chiptune and Hardcore Punk both originated in the late 70s, early 80s, so how the hell have we gone on for so long without putting 2 and 2 together? Sure, you could argue that they clashed a few times in the past. Regardless, a bunch of really cool doods are going to do just that this weekend as both The Misfits and Minor Threat (presumably others) will see their classic songs remixed with 8-bit elements. It would seem that Bit Shifter also covered The Misfits a few times in the past, gotta love this guy (feel terrible for missing him playing my backyard sometime ago). Anyway, if you're in NYC this weekend, attending this gig should be a no-brainer. Gonna have to look into ensuring my presence at Blipfest 2009, myself. Here's the superb flyer for this weekend's event.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Brandish 2: The Planet Buster (English Trailer)

Yes, I know, no new posts in 2 weeks now. Real-life deadlines aside, I've mostly invested my free time into concocting the following trailer:



Nevermind the trailer, I've actually spent the last 15 months translating this game (not on a full-time basis, of course). This project will soon come to term as indicated by the vague November 2009 release window. Not that there are any kinks to iron out, just gotta work out some logistics. Much as I enjoyed spending all this time translating Brandish 2 and coordinating the whole project, I can't wait to set this beast free and focus on other things.

Regardless, there isn't actually a whole lot happening in the world of denpa these days. Folks like me are still reeling from the devastating hurricane of quality C76 releases. M3 came and went without any significant drops, although a few records came out which I now heavily regret not having someone buy for me. We'll return to our regular denpa coverage shortly.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

M3-24 and 東方紅楼夢-5 circle lists are out

Two big events are set to take place on October 11th, where hundreds (thousands??) of new records will launch. The list of circles participating in the 24th edition of M3 (Yokohama) was finally unveiled a few days ago, nearly 2 weeks past the scheduled mid-September date. A quick search for 電波 yields results such as BRAINBOX, Halozy, ぐうのねサウンズ, Birdtune and of course our beloved とろ美. Have fun randomly clicking your way through hundreds of unknown circles and let us know if you find anything interesting.


Notice any BIG omission from that M3 lineup? That's right, IOSYS have opted to support an increasingly larger Osaka-based event called 東方紅楼夢 (Touhou Kouroumu). I was hoping they would have some sort of presence at M3 so that I could get someone to pick up 「bitter」 for me, but between this new event and a rather large concert in Hokkaido the night before, I guess they're running out of staff to maintain an omnipresent status. Unlike their two M3-24 albums, they won't have anything new to sell at Kouroumu, they're probably holding out for C77. But about the event itself: exactly one thousand artists will be peddling their wares. That's incredible, considering it's only on its fifth iteration. Unfortunately, their catalog does not classify artists by genre or provide any description whatsoever, so good luck figuring out who's who short of being there in person.

Monday, September 28, 2009

SallyCherry19 debut maxi single 「Very☆Lucky☆Sally☆Cherry」


ave;new's resident princess 佐倉紗織 is at it again with SallyCherry19, a brand new series that aims at mixing sounds of "Cute punk", "Dark gothic" and "Vivid girly" in her own words. Truth be told, the first two samples released on the official website don't sound too different from the average ave;new song, except devoid of any of this oddly enjoyable pseudo-trance/techno sonority most of their tracks are laden with, replacing it instead with catchy TommyHeavenly6-styled JPop. And whether they like it or not, I'm gonna slap the denpa label on this one because it's pretty messed up stuff overall. CHIHUAHUA PUNKISH? WHAT THE FUCK KINDA DRUGS ARE THEY ON? Wait, what's that sound? Oh yeah, Sid Vicious rolling over in his grave. Once again.



On the other hand, I'd expect no less from ave;new. Just hope SallyCherry19 doesn't take away too much from the recent spotlight they've been shining on the ave;new projecto series in 2009, (somehow I doubt it will). They don't seem to be aiming for anime/eroge theme production yet, strictly music for music's sake. If you scroll down the news box, you'll run into promotional videos for both Chihuahua Punkish and Usagi The Darkness, generated with the iDOLM@STER knockoff Dance×Mixer. The maxi single features two other songs, Very☆Cherry and Lucky☆Sally but they might as well be spoken tracks for all I know as there are no demos. Let's hear it from the Chiwakura fanclub!

Monday, September 21, 2009

New MOSAIC.WAV うじゅ song 「天真爛漫にゅばばばばーん」


Oh shit, I posted about MOSAIC.WAV's upcoming Uju/Eigamura concert but forgot to mention their new song 「天真爛漫にゅばばばばーん」 (MP3 / TXT). Thanks to Sham Studio for the reminder. This is most likely going to be the B-Side (or A? anything's game) to 「断罪あっぱぁくゎっと~秘伝飴鞭土下座道~」 (aka the DANZAI! song). There's little to dislike about NYUBABABABAN... it's fast, furious and definitely in line with the other Uju songs. But fuck these yearly singles, they're gonna have to do a full-on album sometime or other. At least compile all of these wonderful songs so us foreign devils can get our hands on all of them at once.

Friday, September 18, 2009

New Holic Service, U eroge theme songs; MOSAIC.WAV live dates



Bit of everything for you guys today. Let's start with an eroge OP twofer, beginning with Holic Service's first commissioned work! Congratulations to the budding duo... but is it just me or does this sound strangely similar to KOTOKO's timeless classic 「覚えてていいよ」? Nah, it's not just me, I ran it by a few knowledgeable sources and I'm not out of left field on that one. Run the two of them side-by-side and you'll see what I mean. That said, Holic Service's 「恋色CLOVER」 came out earlier this year on a sampler titled "KuKuDoDo feat. Gumi Works 3", but the theme song itself was only used by doujin company CLOVER in mid-August. Finally, Holic Service (along with Birdtune's mirin) will perform at 東方異変 ~真っ只中~, a rather large Touhou-oriented musical event this Sunday in Nagoya. The organizers put together a pretty awesome crossfade youtube video of all performing artists, some good stuff in there.



Let's go from newcomers to scene veteran. My favourite aspect of U's music is also what makes her boring to other people: it's damn consistent. She rarely puts out "bad" songs... or she rarely has good stuff if you're on the other side of the fence. Her "Program of Love" (「あいのプログラム」) is absolutely no different. Unlike HolicService though, U is not one to perform, not even on internet radio shows. That's kinda sad, but I wonder if I could get her to answer a few questions for Denpa no Sekai... hmmm...

Speaking of live events, one cannot ignore the huge efforts MOSAIC.WAV have been putting into claiming fans all over Japanese cities this year. According to mi~ko, they've played at least one gig per month since they launched 「Superluminal Ж AKIBA-POP」 on April 20th 2009. As predicted, they will perform at Toei's movie village on October 3rd in support of their third Uju single. A sample was released right in the peak of C76 frenzy, so you're forgiven if you missed it.

Finally, more details and artists have been confirmed on the subject of the Milk Lariat vol. 2 mega-event on November 29 2009, which has all of us foreigners foaming at the mouth. Milk Lariat opened up a complete website for this event (and its sequels), which now bears the subtitle "MOE COMPLEX" along with the mantra "MOE IS NOT DEAD!". It sure isn't, not with a quality lineup like that anyway.

Monday, September 14, 2009

C76: E-penis embiggeningation, MOSAIC.WAV photobook impressions


Click photos for much larger versions. From Left to Right, Top to Bottom:
  1. melo9 「めろめろ☆さま~ちゅ~ん」, melo9 「めろめろ☆きゅ〜と」, みりん 「ピコピコ電波予報」
  2. Birdtune 「れいん IOSYSリミックスCD」, ave;new projecto 「あらら、ど~も☆CHUぅ」, みりん 「プルプルおもちゃ箱」
  3. 紅魔城伝説 緋色の交響曲 AKA Touhouvania, Albatrosicks 「STAR CRACKER」, Impetuth
  4. とろ美 「SECRETORO×MEROCONCERT」, とろ美 「エトロジィ」, Holic Service 「エネルギー冷麺 もうこはんっ!」
Missing from this picture is Veil's 「Veil ∞ DENPA!!!」 CD because... well it was sold out. But it shall be mine one day, yes it will. On the other hand, I got my hockey gloves on an elusive copy of MOSAIC.WAV's JapanExpo "photobook". Yes, "book", because while it's still an extremely cool collector's item, it's still nothing more than a glorified brochure (18 pages). It seems quite a few of the pictures were taken directly from mi~ko's blog and from a few professional sources that you've all seen by now.

The booklet describes their trip to Paris in a chronological order, with the actual concert occupying the middle pages. It's interesting to see their reaction to the armed soldiers patrolling the airport. As could be expected, they hit a bunch of so-called Japanese restaurants to see how different the food would taste. There are a few sections dedicated to their exchanges with the French fans. Another interesting blurb is about how she was surprised to sign an Amusement Pack CD, even though they didn't have any for sale. Then they spent some time visiting landmarks such as La Tour Spirou Eiffantasio and L'Arc de Trimeuf. Since I'm such a huge fan of his, I would have liked Kayapi to share his own account of the concert and event, but overall I'm satisfied with this photobook.

Good luck getting yours! SUCKERS.

Extra-special thanks to an extra-awesome someone!


Thursday, September 10, 2009

MOSAIC.WAV, 桃井はるこ and ave;new to meet on stage again


TAKE A LOOK AT THIS MOTHERFUCKING WEBSITE. The flyer itself speaks volume so there isn't anything else on the page but more info will surely pop up in the future. We've got the holy trinity of "moe denpa akiba-pop" sharing the same stage with none of the bullshit Animelo time limitations, so pardon my excitement. But if this doesn't come out on DVD, there will be carnage.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

C76: MOSAIC.WAV & Various Artists 「Apathy Sounds Collection」



I wanna say weird, but this is much actually closer to what the "official" definition of 電波ソング outta be. Sure, the video that accompanies 「パライソハレルヤスンバラリア」 amplifies that odd feeling, especially when the creepy-ass guy with a squid for a face kicks in at the 1 minute mark. That opening theme was made public sometime in late April 2009 but the full song came out at C76 packaged on 「Apathy Sounds Collection」, a mammoth 32-track CD from doujin game studio 七転び八転がり.



That CD also includes 「花一匁」, another new MOSAIC.WAV-composed track that was seemingly composed exclusively for the occasion. In contrast with the title of said compilation, this is one of the most involved MOSAIC.WAV songs I've heard in a while. Feel those blast beats!

Hey, today's 9/9/9! Happy Dreamcast day everyone!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

C76: Pictures from live MOSAIC.WAV performance


Comiket is the Grand Ole Opry of nerd counter-culture so it only made sense that MOSAIC.WAV would play a formal concert there one of these days. It doesn't have the same mainstream appeal as appearing on the Animelo stage, but regardless Famitsu and Pachinko Vista both recently featured blowout articles on the performance. Yes, that Famitsu, the one that breaks out all the fresh gaming news from Japan. It seems MOSAIC.WAV have gotten on the revered publication's good side ever since they announced their Hatsune Miku album and I suspect we'll see an interview there in due time.

So while Famitsu's article is pretty good overall, Pachinko Vista's coverage has some slightly more interesting pictures, including a bevy of cosplay photography that clearly illustrate Japan's superiority when it comes to dressing up like your favorite anime characters (although I spot a few brave foreigners in there). It's interesting that although the Bikini Pai song that sparked the event is a mi~ko venture (not even sure kayapi composed it!), MOSAIC.WAV as a band would still get to reap the benefits. Oh well, this is a sure win-win situation for everyone involved, plus you can bet your sweet ass there will be a third Pachinko theme song before long.

Friday, September 4, 2009

C76: こなぐすり or how to milk a one-trick pony



I guess you could say that Conagusuri are Yet Another Touhou Arranging Circle (YATAC!) but they actually did try to roll out their own songs in the past, as well as publishing a killer Rockman arrange album. That all changed at C75 when they released 「東方對魔薬」 and its hugely-popular 「チルミルチルノ」 opening track. So popular in fact that they decided to hit C76 with nothing less than TEN different remixes of the same song. Although the above video features nine of those remixes, the doujin circle also had a "heavy metal" version of the song available on a separate CD.

The original song and video were a blast to listen to and watch respectively, although (especially since?) the composers clearly got influenced by we-all-know-who. But this so-called tenth album just feels like a wasted opportunity as ten versions of the same song is a lot to stomach, even for their diehard fans I'm sure. For a proper comparison, you should check out the original version, although it feels kinda cheapened by the sudden influx of remixes now.



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Legend of Face is Miko's new mystery band


Miko is one busy gal, but apparently found enough time to be the face... err, make that the mask of Legend of Face, a new band of facially-covert folks. Nevermind the fact that Miko actually showed her face at last year's Animelo concert. Legend of Face also features Tissue-Hime on bass, the internet phenomenon real-life anime trap. The trio is completed by the mysterioius 桃知みなみ, who doesn't appear to be surfing the wave of internet stardom, but I wouldn't rule out he/she being one of the Anigao people.

They've only released a 30-second sample of their debut song 「Love&Face」 which clearly indicates the band-oriented pop/rock direction they're headed in, as opposed to something more electronic. ARM and the rest of IOSYS don't appear to have a hand in this, yet. Legend of Face have actually already played a gig (at the Animelo 2009 outside stage, no less) and made a few TV appearances, so they're on a roll. They're actually encouraging their fans to download and print out their own masks, so that everyone can enjoy the anonymity of the internet in real life. And look real stupid in the process, too.