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!

Saturday, 22 December 2007

CD検討: MOSAIC.WAV - 「ラストバトル! アキバトラー"μ"」

MOSAIC.WAV has announced its fifth single ラストバトル! アキバトラー"μ" which translates to: "Last battle! Akibattler". Unless I'm mistaken, this is a sequel to an older (2004) MOSAIC.WAV song introducing Akibattler as a superhero who fights to defend the "Moe" of Akihabara. Defend from what and whom? Gaijin invasion, most likely. The new single is set to be released December 29 2007 at (where else) Comiket 73. But Sham studio, for great justice, has posted samples from two of the three songs featured on the single.

The first one, 「ラストバトル!アキバトラー" μ "」, is as hot blooded as it gets outside of Super Robot Wars. If that fast beat alone isn't enough to get your fists pumping then there is something wrong with you. Track #2 goes back to a more regular MOSAIC.WAV sound, if there is such a thing. In 「最高ψ最强φメロダロイド!」 (Strongest Melody Droid) vocalist mi~ko does her thing as she switches between robotic tones and her own silky smooth voice. In both cases, it is best to set aside the lyrics as they are purely nonsensical. Now I really want to hear that third song, but that will have to wait! Look forward to more coverage as the single is released next week.

Friday, 21 December 2007

MOSAIC.WAV 1st ライブ, new album?

One thing to note about denpa bands (make that JPop artists in general) is that they just don't seem to tour or play shows that often. I don't know if it's a Japanese thing or if there's not that much demand for live events. Case in point, MOSAIC.WAV played their first live gig last month since their formation in 2003. Before that, they played some festivals and made store appearances but never performed more than 3-4 songs each time. Even though it's been a month since the Tokyo concert, not much information can be found online. But I found a review that features a lot of great pictures; better than those on the official live info list anyway. If you can't read Japanese, don't worry: you're not missing out. The reviewer mostly discusses which songs were played and what outfits miiko and friends were wearing. *hint hint* she cycled through various maid outfits.

denpa usually features the pretentious keytar

But wait... what's that little nugget of information hidden in the middle of the page? Apparently, it was announced that a new album is set to be released in March 2008, from Lantis Records! Pretty hot news, and a quick turnaround time from a band that just released a full-length in late August 2007...

Thursday, 20 December 2007

CD検討: KOTOKO - 「リアル鬼ごっこ」

The latest KOTOKO single, 『リアル鬼ごっこ』 (Real Onigokko) came out yesterday, and while it isn't denpa by any stretch of the mind, I think it's only fair to cover it here since she is, after all, my favorite JPop singer. As with most singles, it features an A-track (リアル鬼ごっこ) and a B-track (Siren), as well as the instrumental versions of said tracks (karaoke anyone?). Surprisingly, the two of them add up to over 12 minutes, which is extremely long considering it's a single. But seeing as how the first song is actually the title track to an upcoming horror movie, it's kinda normal for it to be so long so they can use parts of it as they please. I'm not gonna touch on the flick itself too much, word around the net is that it's shaping up to be a uneventful B-movie, which sadly works against KOTOKO and I've Sound. Here we have two superb tracks that should please every fan of the genre, but they are likely to fall into obscurity as the movie which they are used to promote is not going to make any splash.

A PV has been released along with the single, watch as it shows KOTOKO in all of her ultra-moulant latex glory. Sexy! It should also give you a feel of the movie, which is to say, a very cheap one.

For an in-depth analysis of both songs, go to 愛撫-I’ve Sound Blog-

Monday, 17 December 2007

すもももももも~地上最強のヨメ~ OP1+OP2

Sumomomo Momomo: The Strongest Bride on Earth (すもももももも~地上最強のヨメ~ Sumomo mo Momo mo ~Chijō Saikyō no Yome~) (wikipedia entry) is a fantastic anime that I am in the process of watching, so I won't comment on it for now. What I will do however, is share with you the two wonderful opening sequences, with music from none other than MOSAIC.WAV. What I find interesting here is that we get to hear a more natural and feminine み~こ (miiko, vocalist) especially when compared her other songs. The music was also obviously written with the setting of the series in mind, with instruments such as the Shakuhachi and Biwa being heavily featured; both synthesized of course. Since the two songs are fairly recent and definitely most excellent, I think this bodes very well for the future.

OP1: 「最強○×計画」 Saikyou○×Keikaku

OP2: 「切情!佰花繚乱」 Setsujou - Hyakka Ryouran

Saturday, 15 December 2007

タイトル曲PV - AKIBA-POP the Future 低解像度

Yes, this PV (promotional video) is already an oldie for some (it did come out in September 2007) but given the young nature of this blog and the introductory mood I'm trying to set, I still think I should link to it. Besides I will take frequent trips down "memory lane" since denpa releases are so few and far between and no solid English information exists about them. I've already talked about MOSAIC.WAV in my previous post and I will definitely keep talking about them in the future because they are simply on top of the denpa food chain. I will eventually come around to building a complete artist profile, but for now enjoy this virtual trip through anime Akihabara.

You can download the video in all of its high resolution glory at Holyseal.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

電波 101: 電波への紹介 - Introduction to denpa

So, here you find yourself on a blog called Denpa no Sekai (電波の世界 or World of Denpa) but you have no idea what it means? Gotcha. First of all, "denpa" itself is a Japanese word meaning "radio waves" but these days, it is specifically used to describe a relatively new genre of music emerging quasi-exclusively from Japan. I say quasi, but I have never heard about denpa artists outside of Japan, who knows what the future will bring? To make things more complicated, denpa itself is only one of the synonyms that can be used to describe this perticular genre: gamewave, chiptune, bitpop, akibapop and to a certain extent, JPop, can be used interchangibly.

Now what's so special about denpa? There are various aspects about the genre which will attract people from all walks of life:
  • Denpa is mainly performed by Japanese artists. To some people, that's an instant sell.
  • Denpa is deeply rooted in the anime scene, songs are often used as opening/closing tracks.
  • There is a strong connection to gaming, with sound FX from classic games frequently used as beats and instruments. Denpa is also closely associated with eroge, or "erotic games".
  • The genre is incredibly happy-go-lucky and morally uplifting.
  • Akin to punk and hardcore music, denpa is "by the fans, for the fans". No generic mainstream regurgited music here.
  • Despite a very strong DIY aura around denpa, production values are fairly high.
  • Basically it should be a soundtrack to every otaku's life!
Make no mistake, denpa will probably offend more people than it will entice:
  • High pitched female voices can be a little nerve grating.
  • BPM ranges from mid tempo to extremely rapid (200+).
  • Denpa is the ultimate fodder for weaboo-haters
  • Some of the songs are just nauseatingly cute/horrid (depending on your perspective!)
Obviously the genre's relative obscurity also works against it in more ways than one. It's very hard to keep track of artists as their careers are often short-lived and their releases just about impossible to procure outside of being in the right place at the right time. Luckily for denpa fans, most of the material is fairly easy to obtain on teh internets, be it from torrents or IRC.

I hope this has been sufficient for an introduction, but I understand that by now you probably still don't have a clear idea of what denpa sounds like. Here is a quick sample from current denpa overlords, MOSAIC.WAV. Remember that name! If the sample doesn't completely disgust you, then stick around as I review existing albums, build artist profiles and provide you with the latest news concerning the wonderful world of denpa!

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

電波の世界にようこそ! Welcome!

Welcome to Denpa no Sekai! Although I've been using the Internet for the past 10 years, this is my first blog. I've been looking for solid denpa music resources and I've found none so far, so I thought, why not go ahead and create one? Having reviewed over 500 punk, hardcore and metal records/shows in the past, I think it's fair to say I have some musical writing experience. Plus it's going to be fun trying my hand with a new style. With that said, I do intend this to be a bit of a personal blog as well, so expect to see a little of everything. In fact, here's a short list of what I intend to accomplish:
  • News, articles and reviews on denpa and JPop music
  • Everything Japan: the language itself, comiket, anime
  • Video games discussion and news
  • Slice-of-life stuff that makes my world go round such as hockey
But overall I will concentrate on making denpa the focus, seeing as how it was the motivation behind starting this blog in the first place. Speaking of which, what is denpa? We'll just have to save that for an upcoming post, won't we...