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!

Friday, 27 February 2009

ave;new has good, bad and mysterious news

Let's start with the mysterious ones first because really, they'll set the pace for the rest of this article and... oooo mystery!! On April 8th 2009, ave;new and ave;new projecto (the o is really important) will throw their first 決起集会 (literally pep rally) event in Akihabara! Normally, those meetings are used to reveal important news as well as allow for fan interaction (read: selling merch). Complete details such as venue and ticket information will be disclosed on March 1st. The event is said to be planned and organized by doreCHU himself, is there anything this man can NOT do?

The (other) good news is that ave;new will be releasing 「new;Fable」 on April 17th 2009, a brand new full-length album that's taken everyone by surprise! Apparently, they composed more than enough Hatsune Miku / vocaloid tracks over the past couple years to fill a whole disc, but there are quite a few surprises too. For instance, the last track will be a bonus 「ラブリー☆えんじぇる!!」 cover, which is the second track from the first 「A LA MODE」 album. Not only that, two of the songs will feature male vocals from Kaito, a first-generation plugin that ave;new tweaked to perfection. All three girls from the "Character Vocal Series" will be present, but Hachune herself will be on 11 of the 13 tracks! Needless to say this will make for some interesting duets and considering how good their last vocaloid song turned out, hopes are riding extremely high for this new album. Chances are good that advance copies will be on sale at their Akiba event.

What won't be available though is 「A LA MODE 2」, originally slated for sometime-in-March, now rescheduled for sometime-in-May. What a wasted opportunity for solid sales and brand recognition, but oh well. There's gotta be a good reason for that long delay, which no doubt will be explained at the event. At least denpa fans will have two new bones to chew on, thanks to GWAVE's 「Love Bullets II」 and 「ULTRA☆U2」 both coming out on March 27th. In fact, maybe this tough competition is partly to blame for this delay?

Bah, let's conjecture a bit more while we're at it! Since the event is being promoted by doreCHU and not his regular alter-ego a.k.a.DRESS, it's safe to assume that at least part of the big news will concern ave;new projecto. Does the delay mean they're adding a DVD to 「A LA MODE 2」 containing a PV and a bunch of behind-the-scenes footage? Could they be planning a live concert à la SHORT CIRCUIT PREMIUM SHOW IN TOKYO and tickets will be sold at the event? A new singer joining the fold? Some sort of advanced confirmation that a third volume won't take another infinite number of years to come out? Guess we'll just have to wait and see!

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Weekly denpa news: IOSYS, GWAVE, MOSAIC.WAV

Happy Hockey day in Canada! I'm certain everyone is busy partying their ass off by slapping pucks left and right, so no time for massive reviews or articles this week. Instead I'll just dump some of the news I've been holding on to for the past little while. Let's briefly begin with IOSYS's newest eroge theme: Princess Party! From what little I can gather, this is being billed as an IOSYS group effort, although ARM's signature sound work is everywhere to be found and the singing credits mostly go to AYU, who also sang both of the Penguin Musume ED themes.

Back to GWAVE who were the subject of last week's extensive feature. They have released the tentative artwork for the upcoming LOVE BULLETS II album, which is now set for a March 27th 2009 release. In addition, two new track titles have been revealed, namely #2 "Dragon Girl " and #3 "High Tension Date". Famishin has also been confirmed as a returning guest composer.

mi~ko recently worked on a new eroge which comes out on February 27th. 「ふわりコンプレックス」 (or fuwacon for short) is GIGA's most recent maid training simulator. Although there are some very interesting characters such as Hatsune Miku cosplayer Tenka, MI-KO (she insists that we use her voice actress nickname to differentiate from her MOSAIC.WAV activities) is stuck with a far more conventional role. Still, hornballs can check out samples of her work as 沖田つかさ (OKITA Tsukasa) in both regular and "H" action on the profile page.

Also note that the game's opening theme 【ふれあ☆こんぷれっくす】, sung by 水樹奈々 (MIZUKI Nana) and composed by recent Elements Garden's 中山真斗 is slightly on the denpa tip and definitely worth your time. In fact this may be one of the first denpa-oriented tracks the studio has ever cranked out, as they are mostly known for their My-HIME, Chrono Crusade and D.C. Da Capo themes among many others. On the other hand, the veteran Nana is no stranger to wacky eroge opening songs. To tell you the truth, the song vaguely reminds me of some of SHORT CIRCUIT II's rock-ish tracks. Pro-tip! If the song has a ☆ in its title... it's probably worth checking out.

Final link dump of the day: If you enjoyed DJ Shimamura's MOSAIC.WAV trance remix on the brilliant 「Ultimate A-Style2」 compilation, then you'll love his newest eroge OP 「ワタシハアナタノモノ」 or "I'm yours" in plain old English. Well more like "I am your object", but that's besides the point. This is for ClockUp's newest game 「麗辱の館 ~淫縁五姉妹汁姦記~」, which in turn roughly translates to "House of Beautiful Disgrace: 5 Lewd Sisters' Fateful Raunchy Rape Chronicles". God I love translating this shit! As usual, short version and demo movie can be obtained from the game's download page.

Saturday, 14 February 2009

GWAVE now dual-wielding weapons of mass denpastruction

For nearly 5 years, U (composer pseudonym: ユウ) has been GWAVE's go-to girl for all of their denpa song productions. Originally under Koike-sensei's guidance, she has evolved into an omnipotent artist that not only delivered a full set of stable releases but has constantly strove to push her creations to the next level. After all, she does compose, arrange and perform the majority of her songs. Her admittedly unique voice certainly repels or enchants (leaving no one indifferent in the end), but only covetous hypocrites would deny her musical talents and dedication to the genre. Furthermore, ever since her 2002 debut スイートレガシー」, she has remained loyal to her initial employer which in turn led to a strong GWAVExFrontWing relationship that still flourishes to this day. As a reminder, 2008 saw the release of U☆MYSTAR -Frontwing Complete BEST!!!, compiling close to 50 minutes of U's most popular eroge themes for the well-respected eroge studio.

On March 27 2009, GWAVE will publish ULTRA☆U2」, a 7-track album that so far includes the C75-exclusive「GWAVE 5th Anniversary Festa! 」 single and the song 「GO GO☆ら~びゅ」, but a complete tracklist is set to be released in the coming days. This new album is hailed by GWAVE as the proper follow-up to 2005's fan-favourite 「Ultra:U」, so odds are that the remaining 4 tracks are new songs composed for the occasion. Their official statement reads something like "A taste of the old! An evolution in soundwork! The glamorous first album now becomes part of a series!" Frantic description theirs, exclamation marks mine, excitement shared by all. For now, you can check out a short version of "love-go-round", which is set to become track #2 once the album drops in exactly one month and a half.

Despite U's commitment to making GWAVE a recognized name in the small (but expanding) world of denpa, the publisher has gone on ahead and added a second string to its 萌えの辞儀 (bow of moe). Enter 井上みゆ (INOUE Miyu) and her most recent solo effort 「Love Bullets」, a C75-released denpa album which is being promoted as the first in a series... since volume 2 is already coming out sometime in 2009!!!

Inoue-san's discography includes collaborations with multiple musicians; doreCHU's ave;new project first comes to mind and she also sang with the sweet とろ美... but lately she has been in a pretty solid relationship with someone in particular. Save for a lone exception (track #5 "Tsubasa-Drawing" was written by Famishin), the music on this album comes from 磯村カイ of TONAKAI sound works, a prolific composer who has also contributed two MOSAIC.WAV compositions in the not-so-distant past. Together they form Team LoveBullets, but TONAKAI will probably get its own entry in the future, so we'll leave it at that for now. As far as I can tell, their first collaboration only dates back to September 2008's 「モノモノ☆ダンス Feaver」 [major sic!] so they must have hit it off pretty well given this brand new series that is soon to become two-strong. Let's give the first album a quick review while we're at it.
  1. マジカワ: 井上みゆ actually possesses a very versatile vocal range (she can rock the hell out) that can definitely be compared to Haruko Momoi's. In fact, this entire song is very reminiscent of UNDER17's work, what with the constant guitar strumming over a pounding beat and plenty of FUWA-FUWA sing alongs. This is not a bad little song, but they actually get much better than this, so it's not the best pick for an opening track.

  2. ばーん☆まいらぶ: Funky song that incorporates the same intense guitar strumming previously heard, but on top of a much more ardent beat, resulting in a "high tension" song that also has a couple of interesting hooks. Inoue complements the instrumental section with a strong performance, obviously pouring her heart into the delivery. Somehow this song reminds me of the Wild Arms RPG series...

  3. 1×8 ラブ・バレット(REMIX): Now THIS is where it's motherfucking at! I fell in love with the original back when it appeared on 「2007 2nd Drivers」, but the added insanity and extended intro make this remix the definitive version of one of the most hyperactive denpa tracks ever composed. There's a feeling of PURE VIOLENCE when Miyu-san screams zukyun-kyun and all of the other backup vocals. Kai-san provides an extensive instrumental section that was meticulously crafted and is poised to become a denpa classic. It already is for me, but I urge non-believers to give it a try...

  4. リフレイン: Now for something a little more laid-back, we have Team LoveBullet doing a mysterious song that could make a good opening theme for an anime series like Cowboy Bebop. Somehow there's something very S.F. or cyberpunk about this song. Decent track that does overstay its welcome by about a minute or so.

  5. ツバサ・ドローイング: Although GWAVE says this was composed by Famishin, the song is very much in line with what Kai normally writes, so the transition is lost on the oblivious listener (this is a good thing). This is more of a "moe song" than straight up denpa, especially when the small drama part kicks in. The sweet acoustic guitar plays a big part in giving it a warm feel, but ultimately it's Inoue's strong womanly voice that makes for an interesting composition.

  6. 世界の中心でLOVEをかたるアタシ: This is a new song that was clearly modeled after the highly successful 1×8 ラブ・バレット, with its swift tempo, mildly distorted electric guitar and recurring Famicom-esque arpeggios. There's a part near the end where Miyu screams ridiculously fast, adding to the surreal feel of this song and album. Really good stuff that hopefully sets the pace for things to come!

  7. Track07: Just a small ending jingle that's already done playing by the time you're finished reading this sentence.
If this review has piqued your interest, then by all means check out a sampler package that GWAVE gracefully put together. There's even a crazy PV for マジカワ that plays over a full version of the song. I have to commend GWAVE for giving 井上みゆ and 磯村カイ the chance to further explore the extents of their musical compatibility. They're a match made in heaven for true denpa fans! Right now the only information available on the second volume is that its cover should be released in mid-February (that's today...) and it will feature 6 brand new tracks, the first of which is titled "Call My Name", OP to LoverSoul's 「2姫さまはプリンセス」 ADV set to be released this year. Keep an eye on this page for the short version!

But although it wasn't specifically announced on GWAVE's page, chances are the new 「シスターまじっく!」 eroge opening theme will also be included, which is yet another solid 井上みゆ performance of a strong 磯村カイ composition. The opening video was just released yesterday so feast your eyes on this!

Saturday, 7 February 2009

ARM-produced 「monotone」 debut is anything but dull

Just the other day, I was conjecturing about momiji's role in IOSYS's PAI★TOUCH opening theme leading to greater collaboration projects. Thanks to a tip from mandi-chan, it looks as though I wasn't too far off! ARM has recently announced that his first non-IOSYS producing effort will be a debut mini-album for the Sapporo-based "monotone" sound unit, which is spearheaded by YAMAMOTO "the wild pirate" Momiji herself. Maybe I should quit my day job and become a full-time JPop seer...

Set to be released on February 24th 2009, the mini-album will include four tracks, the last of which is actually a drama/talk track that features the five talented voices that make up monotone (4 female, 1 male). In his announcement, ARM explains that he had no idea monotone even existed when he started working with momiji on Touhou stuff. When he did hear about them, he explored their vocal talents and jumped at the opportunity of producing their debut effort. According to him, they are a hard-working bunch and are getting a lot of respect in their native Sapporo, so it's only a matter of time before they explode on a national level. Prior to this CD, the voice unit mostly provided voices for adult PC games; but it looks as though they are turning a new page as their previous work history is all but absent from the official website.

Along with the announcement comes a cross-fade sample featuring 30 seconds from all three musical tracks. It opens with 「恋天使☆PARADAICE」 [sic], a shotgun blast of denpa to the head that will strongly remind you of the previously mentioned 「ゆっくり揉んでね☆ぱいタッチ!」 PAI★TOUCH OP, except with a distorted guitar and plenty of crew backup vocals. The two other songs are pretty good but fall outside of this blog's scope being of the JRock/JPop variety respectively, though they distinctively showcase trademark ARM elements such as the low chainsaw buzz in song #3, 「恋心メトロポリス」. If anything, I'm disappointed there will only be three tracks and (by extension) that only one of them is "true" denpa. But this is a debut effort after all (and only goes for 630円), so let's all cross fingers and wish for more in the future! Good luck to monotone and ARM.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Various news from the ave;new camp

『mirage tears』 ave;new feat.白沢理恵
current song as of 01/21/09

Although I've talked about ave;new in the past, this is their first dedicated entry on 電波の世界! Much like denpa in general, ave;new are more often than not the butt of many jokes on music forums and blogs around the world, mostly due to the average JPop fan's aversion to 佐倉紗織 (SAKURA Saori's) sweet and saccharine voice that leaves no one indifferent, closet fanboys/girls included. Thanks to ave;new's unmistakable poster girl and strong compositions from founder a.k.a.dRESS, the sound unit's status quickly went from "poor man's fripSide" to "Major league players", an analogy that springs to life when considering their participation at 2008's Animelo Summer Live. If the crowd's reception was any indication, their 2009 presence is as good as confirmed, but strong signs of life are already palpable this soon into the year for the relatively young studio (est. 2003).

Case in point is the brand new 「casket」 compilation album which came out on 01/23/2009, filled with exactly one hour of adult PC game themes that vary in genre but don't stray too far from the standard "opening song" formula that Japanese gamers/anime fans are so content with. This means a bit of denpa (∞LOVERS), a bit of high-intensity pop (Divine) and melodramatic trance (emit). A second karaoke disc is also included in the packaging. The end result is a collection of songs that isn't without its similarities to the venerable "I've Girls Compilation" series, which leads me right into my next point...

Unlike I've Sound's intangible relationship with denpa songs (TAKASE Kazuya once was a detractor of the genre), ave;new fully embraces the ideology. Under the hiraganized (did I just create a word?) name あべにゅうぷろじぇくと, they unabashedly took a page from the SHORT CIRCUIT series in creating their own A LA MODE series of denpa releases. In a hilarious twist, a.k.a.dRESS renames himself doreCHU and Saori uses the "Sugar Love" pseudonym, proving their enthusiasm and sincerity to the fans. To be perfectly honest, the compositions are not terribly different from standard ave;new outings, but this series cuts the ballad crap and standard techno-pop fare to concentrate exclusively on balls-to-the-wall denpa. Other than Saori, vocalists include the absolutely lovely 井上みゆ (INOUE Miyu, now singing for GWAVE) as well as moe-tastic AV actress きこうでん みさ (KIKOUDEN Misa) who is now focused on raking in the cash with her adult movies (NSFW) but don't rule out their return!

The first volume came out in time for Comiket 71, or December 2006 in non-nerd / Gregorian terminology. Although it only contains 5 songs (clocking in at just under 20 minutes), it represents very well the flair that a.k.a.dRESS and crew already had for denpa before they even released their mega-hit "True My Heart". While they do not carry the urgency and creativity displayed by MOSAIC.WAV creations, the songs are extremely focused and represent an accurate portrayal of the genre, in an almost stereotypical way if there's such a thing. How can you go wrong with song titles such as 「ミルきゅん☆プリン!! -caramel custard version-」? All of the applicable onomatopœia such as CHU-CHU, YAAAYYY! and HAI-HAI are delivered on top of surprisingly chaotic tracks that are all about the high-treble frequencies, so be careful with your ears! You can stream the whole album as long as you install the terrible QuickTime plugin Japanese webmasters are so keen on using.

All this to say that volume #2 is finally slated for release in March 2009, although no specific release date nor complete tracklist have been made available yet. At least it's pretty clear who will be in charge of the album artwork but judging from doreCHU's comments, A LA MODE 2 should blow away the first album! Of course you can expect a full review on this blog when the time comes. Here are three tracks that will be on the album for sure, with download links for your convenience.

Final bit of news for today! Made public just yesterday (01/31/09), 「Allure -more rock- is ave;new's first 巡音ルカ experiment and comes exactly one day after the release of said Vocaloid3 software... talk about not fucking with the puck. You can stream or download it. Just one day of practice and this is what they can come up with? Is this incredible or what? I'd bet the track was made in advance, of course, and that the Vocaloid API probably doesn't change much from one version to another, but still. This could be the next big Nicovideo hit when someone makes a video for it, so keep an eye out on this song or any of its followups!