Sunday, 25 January 2009

HOBiTRANCE 「Ultimate A-Style2」 impressions, release party

HOBiTRANCE's 「Ultimate A-Style2」 compilation came out in late November 2008, to the great pleasure of MOSAIC.WAV fans eagerly awaiting the trance conversions of two of the sound unit's songs. Today, just under 2 months after the release, its producers are giving it one last promo push in the form of the 「Ultimate A-Style2 Limited Release Party」 that's taking place right now in Tokyo's amate-raxi club. Some of the artists on stage include DJ Shimamura and Ryu☆ (who are behind the two MOSAIC.WAV remixes) as well as Uraken, REDALiCE and a couple more big names (including a VJ and a special guest). Party time for sure, but since I'm exactly 6460 miles away from there as I type this, I can only weep softly and turn on the Wii.

Or I can share with you some of my thoughts regarding said compilation, because in a nutshell, it is far and beyond one of the best anime/trance compilations I've heard (not that the CODE SPEED competition is much of a threat). It also helps that MOSAIC.WAV and 榊原ゆい tracks make up four tenths of this album, but the others are nothing to scoff at. The number one quality factor is that HOBiTRANCE did not go for stand-in singers, they obtained the original vocal tracks and in some instances used the actual sound effects or instruments from the master copy.

After hearing this, some may think that the whole process is useless and that sticking to the originals might be just as well. But don't forget this is a trance remix album, so the tempo has been aggressively pumped up and the vocalists' pitch significantly altered (yes, even mi~ko's voice if you can believe that). There are also a few original gems in there, notably teranoid's "still dope" which has hilarious Engrish delivery by MC KENT (although his accent is really good). The MOSAIC.WAV remixes themselves are highly enjoyable, if only to see new life breathed in 2006's "100グラムの恋心".

Bottom line, high production values, expert remixers and original vocal tracks are the three selling point of this outstanding compilation, so I hope others take a clue from this one. By the way the first volume was also just as enjoyable, it just didn't have any MOSAIC.WAV songs for me to report on. Speaking of which, HOBiTRANCE released a 10 minute highlight video of this summer's event, so today's party is likely to be getting the same treatment. About 5:50 in you can see JAKAZiD, a scrawny-looking 20 year-old happy hardcore wonder from England who is definitely starting to play with the big boys... good on you!

And on a final note, mi~ko, kayapi and Ryu☆ visited the アキバ総研 offices on December 27th 2008 to talk about the 「ガチャガチャきゅ~と・ふぃぎゅ@メイト」 among other things. When asked about their impressions, they both agree that the remix is very well done of course. Kayapi says that he sees the original in a whole new perspective now. mi~ko was surprised and amused by the slight change in pitch applied to the vocals.

When asked about their songwriting process, she then joked that she is the right brain of the operation, while kayapi is the left one. I'm sure this has some signification of sorts, but I don't have a clue at the moment. For his part, Ryu☆ says that it is of the utmost importance to him that fans of the original also become fans of his remix, so he works long overtime hours to make sure all the details are in place. Of course they discuss their influences, so Kayamori name-drops P-MODEL once again. They end by discussing their future plans (nothing I haven't reported about) and by wishing everyone a happy new year!

Eh? What's that? Akiba Souken has had an English version since August 2008? Wow, I had no idea. It's significantly lighter on contents than the Japanese edition, but it's there and it's updated weekly. To conclude today's subject, you can read their 「Ultimate A-Style2」 launch report for extra information.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

SINCLAIR StripE mix won the album for me. Good shit indeed!