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, June 27, 2010

You will dance ecphorically to MOSAIC.WAV's newest single


It's not much, but we know more about MOSAIC.WAV's seventh single. Now officially slated for an August 2010 release (hello C78), it also has a name: 「脳・内・再・醒 ~ecphoric dance~』 (nounai seisai ~ecphoric dance~). As he did with the previous album 「Superluminal Ж AKIBA-POP」, Kayamori-san randomly pulls a big word out of his bunny hat to use as a title. How about we let our good friends from the NASA enlighten us as to the etymology of the term:
Ecphory is a process by which retrieval information provided by a cue is correlated with the information stored in an episodic memory trace, thus providing the basis for the subjective experience of remembering and the corresponding memory performance. Particularly relevant to the study of ecphoric processes are experiments in which the material that is to be remembered is held nominally constant and in which both encoding conditions and retrieval conditions are systematically varied.

So "ecphoric dance" works well with 脳内再醒, which more or less means re-awakening of the brain. This sounds like a good premise for mi~ko to write totally crazy lyrics to, so let's tip our boring, non-usagimimi hats to the pair as they tirelessly prepare for their next full-length album, out in December 2010.

The latest news update also includes information about their still unnamed tie-up song for the fourth 「こえでおしごと!」 volume, due out July 24th 2010. Basically there will be a regular version and a limited one, with the various bells & whistles such an edition entails. Natalie has a nice writeup of the manga series and make sure to check out 「魔法のおしごと」, the song they previously wrote for volume 2, as well as a naughty audiobook.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

DJ Sharpnel goes denpa on 「爆萌電波注意報!」


A lot more denpa stuff came out at C77 than you might have read about on this blog. It's our duty to keep you informed about the good stuff... but the rest of it can wait. That's not to say that DJ Sharpnel's unexpected 「爆萌電波注意報!」 is complete crap, but it just doesn't compare with the cream of the crop. It's most likely being shunned by their hardcore fans and it doesn't click with this denpa fan at all, so who's this for anyway?

Let's back the fuck up. Who or what is DJ Sharpnel/Sharpnelsound? This is a denpa blog after all, so let's go over a quick overview for you guys. Formed in 1998, DJ Sharpnel is actually a doujin circle consisting of these two guys Jea and Lemmy (Sharpnelsound is the label). They are known internationally for their 50+ speedcore/trance/gabber/etc. releases, most of which are compilations featuring many other artists. Even for their most dedicated fans, it's almost impossible to keep track of everything they have released or are featured on, because they are heavily involved with other circles/labels/groups such as Mob Squad Tokyo, M-Project, and the list goes on.


Let's direct our attention to the focus of this article, their so-called denpa album 「爆萌電波注意報!」 which came out at C77 and went public in February 2010. It features two musicians each doing three tracks, namely Killingscum (one of Jea's many aliases) and m1dy, commonly referred to as Japan's King of Speedcore (check out his latest album 「Lector In The Sky With Diamorphine」 to hear for yourself). These two guys are seminal icons in the Japanese speedcore scene, so why would they waste their time with a denpa mini-album?

Well, they may be speedcore gods but they're also hardcore nerds, in the strict sense of the term. This accompanying blog entry explains their leitmotiv as well as provides track-by-track analysis of their denpa sideproject. If you can't read Japanese, chances are you'll at least notice the constant "MOSAIC.WAV" namedropping. That's right, these guys are big fans of akiba-kei and wanted to have a go at it for the longest time.

Musically, it works... in a "this is not too bad" way. Maybe they had a MOSAIC.WAV homage in mind when they wrote some of these songs, but these guys have been making music for a very long time and it shows. Don't forget we're dealing with 6 original tracks, all of them lovingly crafted by two musical geniuses. Some of it feels like sped up new wave, overdistorted punk rock and standard fare denpa. The highlights are probably m1dy's fast-as-fuck 「くろゅめ!」 and Killingscum's 「ねらって スナイパーたそ」 which honestly sounds like a kooky anime theme song from the eighties.

So what's the problem here? THEY FUCKING SING, THAT'S WHAT THE FUCKING PROBLEM IS. There's no denpa rulebook, but male vocals are usually a big no-no unless they're hot-blooded screams like Kayapi as the Akibattler or Kota-tune on Tulip Kaiser. What we have here is two grown men in their thirties acting like soccer players faking injury. This pansy stuff is made worse by the extreme vocal plugins abuse, not that it would be palatable without that junk in the first place. This is one instance where instrumental versions are desperately needed, but then again the tracks were clearly composed with lyrics in mind so they would have felt empty without vocals.

This aspect of the album feels like they just wanted to satisfy their ego, some kind of "bigger than Jesus" claim. They can't sing to save their lives, so all six songs are a complete loss because of this poor decision. It baffles the mind that they didn't decide to collaborate with some up-and-coming denpa songstresses such as ななひら, ゆきまめ or even リズナ. They can't reach their hardcore fans with this album either way, but at least they would have made a ton of new denpa fans had they gone with female vocals.

There you have it. It's a shame but this mini-album is certainly not one for the history books, unless there's one for the really bad stuff. If you somehow still want to acquire this (for the lolz?) then head on over to akibaoo or Guhroovy. However, dust is best left settled on this one. Let's hope that if they ever revisit the exploding world of denpa, it'll be in company of the female variety.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Get your Doujin Fix from Doujincore

Flashback to January 2010, I was bitching about a number of things. I made SHORT CIRCUIT III happen by sheer willpower, so now I'm working on getting a mi~ko X miko showdown by the end of the year. However, point #3 is still a major pain in the neck... Regular courier services suck, they're needlessly complex, cost an arm and a leg and take forever to deliver your goods. Amazon.co.jp are big-time pussies and won't ship 99.9% of the good stuff outside of Japan. DLSite have opened up to the world but honestly I'm not a big fan of paying for MP3s...

Here's a workaround: enter Doujincore and their sporadic "Group Import/The Profit" service. I have no stake in this enterprise, nor am I getting some sort of preferential treatment for promoting their service. I'm just being 100% honest with you readers, since I know you're dying to get your hands on rare denpa/doujin stuff: this shit works. It's fast and the commission fee is just. This will be my third time ordering stuff through them and hopefully they can keep this long enough to get us through the year. Heck I wouldn't mind being one of their C79 errand boys if needs be.

There's just one catch: the current deadline is June 18th 2010 at 1:00 AM (PST), so get cranking.

Monday, June 14, 2010

「Darkness Silence」 is Holic Service's next album


Holic Service had been hinting at their next major project for quite some time. The veil was lifted this past weekend as they unveiled a new banner containing basic information about KuKuDoDo's latest work. However, it has nothing to do with the world-renowned "Energy Reimen" Touhou-denpa series. 「Darkness Silence」 seems to focus exclusively on Hatsune Miku and will probably feature some serious new wave stuff if the cover is anything to go by.

Don't rule out Gumi's participation on vocals, kind of like how MOSAIC.WAV integrated the original Vocaloid starlet with mi~ko late last year. Remember that some of KuKuDoDo's very first songs originally featured Miku, then were re-recorded with Gumi; we might just see that scenario repeat itself in time. The only other tangible information we have at this point is the release date of June 20th 2010, as well as two simultaneous launch events: "とら祭り2010" in Tokyo and "DEAR MASTER!" in Osaka.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

t+pazolite feat. リズナ is a match made in heaven AND hell... LET'S ROCK!


Sweet & Sour, Salt & Pepper, Oil & Vinegar... sometimes opposites work so damn well together. Such is the case with t+pazolite and リズナ, the unlikely union between an outstanding hardcore producer and a veteran denpa vocalist. Doesn't matter whether their collaborations are rough or soft, they always find a way to make them stand out. But before we explore their team efforts, let's look at their individual profiles first.

リズナ is still a very fresh name in the world of denpa, having been around since late 2008 only. But there's a twist... before her current persona, she operated under two other nicknames in the past ten years. Who would have thought that such a cute and frail little voice belonged to a battle-hardened veteran? Between 1999 and 2005, she was known as 雨宮林檎 (AMAMIYA Ringo). Her old website is definitely in line with the HTML design of yore. In fact it's so old that it can only be accessed via the Wayback Machine, which even archived a bunch of her voice samples. Ever the otaku, she began her career by lending her voice to a ton of doujin and adult PC games such as 夢の少女~DreamGirl~ and Mission Field Intruder 3rd.

Starting in 2005, she switched her pseudonym to 鈴木ななこ (SUZUKI Nanako) and started her website Seven's Bell. She kept doing voice work for PC games, notably the first in FLAT's esteemed SHMUP series eXceed, as well as narration for Laudese's 「Aria - 永劫の音語り -」 story CD. She also appeared in a few more adult PC games, but significantly less so. More interestingly, she began doing moe voices (and her first songs) as Mango, in the "virtual idol" trio Triple Ice Cream, which led to her first denpa collaborations with t+pazolite. In May 2008 she released 「relish」, a best-of compilation album from her "Nanako" years that features 15 tracks of original denpa/moe material. It was released in very limited quantities at M3-21 and never reissued.

During that second era, she was also strongly associated to Silly Walker, certainly one of the oldest Touhou arrange circles out there (2000 to 2008). When Silly Walker stopped in 2008, their founder started another circle which you might be familiar with (Siestail), hence the continued relationship with リズナ (who mysteriously changed names at the same time). In fact, Siestail recently released a 2-disc compilation album 「ザ・ベストてゐ」 that features three re-recorded versions of old 鈴木ななこ songs, now released under her latest pseudonym (such as 「れらかむいろっく」). リズナ still has a strong link to Siestail nowadays, recently singing two decidedly denpa tracks on C77's superb 「かえるさん☆ダ・KERO!」.

Fun fact: she also sang a ton of songs for Mel Seeds, who recently contributed a track on the first album for the new denpa duo 天然ジェミニ (tenjemi)... it's a small world after all! For a (probably) complete list of her most recent work, head on over to her VGMDB listing. So for whatever reasons, she ditched many of her web radio and PC game activities to focus mainly on Touhou arrange songs and changed her artist name twice, which has caused a bit of confusion. However, her voice remains just as sweet and unmistakable; so as long as they get new songs, her fans certainly couldn't care less what she calls herself.

t+pazolite is a prolific composer/arranger/remixer who publishes music albums via his own circle C.H.S (Cutie & Headshaking Sounds). Born in 1985, he started being active while in his late teens (2004) and has released seven albums to this day, not to mention dozens of collaborations with other circles. In fact, he originally started as a member of HARDCORE TANO*C, but once again please refer to his VGMDB listing for complete details.

His style is mostly Hardcore as well as House, Trance and Techno, but he has admitted a strong affinity to denpa. In reality, this is most likely what sets his compositions apart, because they are very unpredictable and memorable (prime qualities of a denpa song). While he is certainly known for his Touhou arranges, he has also covered Klonoa and Espgaluda tracks. Lately he has teamed up with the notorious Sapporo Hardcore Channel (S.H.C) and formed the side-label CHSHC on which he releases the 「108 Sketches」 series (1, 2).

As previously mentioned, t+pazolite started collaborating with リズナ back when she used her second name. His denpa compositions usually feature her voice, but lately he has worked with Holic Service and ゆきまめ, contributing 「ふにふに秘密の補習授業」 to the phenomenal fourth entry in their "Energy Reimen" series. While he rarely writes lyrics, he certainly does not shy away from eyebrow-raising song titles such as "to Luv me I *** for u" and "f**king わんわん"... but things get far more explicit with "Kick ur love" which will be discussed in the HELL section. Despite his extreme hardcore personality, t+pazolite has a soft side which means he can appeal to both ends of the doujin crowd.

HEAVEN



Enough with the bios, time for music! Their second-ever collaboration also figures as one of their most popular ones. Touhou covers have legs and 「Unlimited Spark!」 is no different, still turning heads despite having been released in May 2006. It's also been remixed a few times, notably by Silver Forest. t+pazolite wrote interesting comments about each one of the songs on this album and even put it up for free download!




Triple Icecream is where t+pazolite and リズナ first hit it off denpa-style. TIC is a virtual idol unit that existed between 2006 and 2007, long enough to release a handful of singles and possibly a compilation album (details are scarce). It featured リズナ in the role of Mango, the affable rug rat. They released a bunch of songs, but two of them are of particular interest to this article. The first one is 「マンゴーのモンモンソング♪」 (lyrics), a true denpa powerhouse which came out in July 2007. Sugary hardcore and anguished loli screams make for a violent combination. But they actually started things off in December 2006 with 「Magical Sweet Christmas」, a moe x-mas song. They wrapped up the Icecream era with 「桃色信号DE ゴー☆」(also appeared on the RELISH CD) but unfortunately it is nowhere to be found on the internets.



Gottamaze」 is a pretty sweet C.H.S album full of happy hardcore and fast-paced moe songs. It was released in December 2007 (Comiket 73) and featured 「Let's Fall In Love!」 (鈴木ななこ collaboration) as its opening track. It gets better: it also has a track by 小宮真央, who recently delivered a mind-blowing denpa performance on Holic Service's masterpiece 「エネルギー冷麺 お受験せんそ→☆」. Connections, connections! Get your connections!!!



The last t+pazolite feat. 鈴木ななこ song (before her second name change) came out on the album 「SCARLET EYES」 which was released in August 2008 (Comiket 74) and published by ALiCE'S EMOTiON. Being REDALiCE's label, this was more of a typical Touhou cover album so 「ねむれないよ。」 probably stuck out like a sore thumb to regular hardcore fans, but who knows? Maybe this bold move scored t+pazolite a couple new listeners.



Finally for the HEAVEN stuff, we have two リズナ tracks on 「Ultra Cute!?」 (December 2008), t+pazolite's ridiculously awesome moe-denpa Touhou cover album. Actually the second of those is (a possibly remixed version of) 「ねむれないよ。」, which had already been released four months ago on the previously described album. The new song 「Otenba so ⑨te!」 starts out quietly enough but watch out! This thing packs quite a punch!!! This was the first song for リズナ (under her new pseudonym) and you can already tell that she changed a few things. It seems she managed to tweak her vocals into sounding much more distinct and aggressive. There's also a pretty fast spoken part which was probably a first for her at the time.

Anyway that's it for the heavenly t+pazolite and 鈴木ななこ/リズナ songs. Next up, the evil stuff!

HELL

Since her latest name change, リズナ has mostly collaborated with Siestail (formerly Silly Walker) and her old pal 雪月 ありす (Mel Seeds). Her collaborations with t+pazolite haven't stopped but somehow took an interesting turn for the hardcore, despite her new name being attached to some of the silliest denpa out there.


What's that? You think I'm making up this EVIL shit? Skip to 1:50 and back the fuck up! Check out these fucking lyrics.
...you think so that? Oh shit!

don't show your face. (Fuck you!)
I don't need your all. (Fuck you!)
you say "hear my say"(Fuck you!)
I care. Stay away! (Fuck you!)
Too yucky for me (Fuck you!)
to see you again. (Fuck you!)
Go home cherry boy, (Fuck you!)
and cheer up your john.

Kiss my asshole motherfucker!
As well as being a bitching track, 「Kick ur Luv」 wins the Golden Palm of Best Engrish Lyrics Ever, Forever And More™ (of all time). Bar none. Check out the rest of this linguistic tour de force while you cheer up your john, asswipe. The rest of 「108 Sketches」 is just as vile musically, but you ain't gonna get lyrics like these anywhere else in the world. It just boggles the mind that this is all coming out from the mouth of sweet little リズナ !


「Ghostly Parapara Ship (Hardcore Edit)」 is another pretty good example of their renewed relationship. It's fast and abrasive, has a ton of bite but is still just weird enough to stand out from the rest. It came out in December 2009 on 「SPHERE CALIBER」, yet another high-profile release from ALiCE'S EMOTiON. But that wasn't the only version of that song to come out at C77...


Unconnected」 was definitely one of the best albums to come out at C77, tous genres confondus. It's hardcore for the hardcore, sure, but it's also a Touhou cover album that doesn't sound like one at all. You can sort of tell the influence that lies beneath blastbeat-happy heavyweights such as 「nitrx」 and 「Dust, Mote.」, but you won't be overwhelmed by that déjà vu feeling you might get from other such albums.

This album includes THREE リズナ tracks, namely the title track 「unconnected」 as well as 「limited spark」 and 「Ghostly Parapara Ship (Horror struck Edit)」 (sampled above). The first two aren't on Youtube, so you'll have to check out this crossfade sampler instead (0:00 and 3:30 respectively). 「limited spark」 is a gloomy remix of their first success 「Unlimited Spark!」 and the "Horror Struck Edit" is the alluded second version of 「Ghostly Parapara Ship」, ironically even more hardcore than the first one, despite the title change).



ZUN's original touhou song 「明日ハレの日、ケの昨日」 certainly has seen its fair share of remixes, but t+pazolite and リズナ somehow managed to eliminate all signs of redundancy in their interpretation 「Hale in the 270°」. The song came out in March 2010 and appeared on 「Double Counterpoint」 from Alstroemeria Records, who were behind the whole "Bad Apple" craze. Another interesting fact about this label is that they seem to heavily favor English song and album titles. They also got denpa-avowed のみこ to sing a bunch of songs for them, that's cool too.



Finally (as of today), we have their most recent collaboration song 「Ecstatic Requiem」 which appeared on the still-hot 「108 Sketches 2」 (released May 2010). Like the first album, it only includes original tracks by t+pazolite and his buddy RoughSketch. Still no Youtube presence for this song, so you'll have to rely on the low-quality player above or this high-quality crossfade sampler to get the good stuff, which kicks in at 2:56. Not to say that the rest of the album is bad, oh no, don't get me wrong. This is gold, Jerry... GOLD. There's even a remix of 「Kick ur Luv」 at 5:07, with asshole-kissing lyrics that are just as inappropriate as ever.

LET'S ROCK

There you have it, motherfuckers. Oops, I guess I let their hell side get the better of me! The truth is that this duo can do no wrong, it's quite amazing how they can travel such a broad spectrum and still sound so relevant. In closing, perhaps you're more of a denpa-slash-リズナ fan who had no idea about her dark side (or her long-lasting career, for that matter!). Or perhaps you're a J-Core head who found out about this article while searching for a t+pazolite bio. Bottom-line is that no matter which camp you hail from, you should absolutely check out the other side of the fence.

Sources: VGMDB, dojin-music.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

GUNDEMONIUM Collection now out in North America


It's been a long and brutal wait but GUNDEMONIUM Collection is finally available for digital or CD-ROM purchase. Announced back in March 2009, Rockin' Android's second SHMUP collection compiles three of the best Platine Depositif games for the low price of 19.99$. Doujin games are a rare commodity this side of the Pacific, much less professionally translated and distributed ones. Rockin' Android head honcho Enrique Galvez is pursuing the noble endeavor of bringing independent Japanese games to Western shores, not just for PC but also for the Playstation Network and eventually XBLA/WiiWare. The guy even talked to ZUN about bringing Touhou to America, so he's A-OK in my book.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

MOSAIC.WAV fans get their own festival


MOSAIC.WAV fans in Japan have it all. Concerts, meet-and-greet sessions and limited edition albums, not to mention quick and easy access to their regular merchandise. Now they even have their own Fan Appreciation Festival! The first shindig will happen on June 13th 2010 at club月あかり夢てらす in Kawasaki, full details at the official webpage and mixi community.

So what should one expect at a fan festival? Basically it's one big party in a clubhouse setting, with 3 DJs spinning MOSAIC.WAV originals and their own remixed versions (that's the interesting part). There's also karaoke and a "call workshop". They encourage cosplay, so I hope to see many Tera-tans and Magical Hacker Riskus (wielding a massive trojan horse, of course). On the other hand, the selection is pretty limited for guys... oh man I'd totally cosplay as Koike-aniki wearing his Under17 outfit!!