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!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A La Mode 2 is that album I dreamed about but never realistically expected and now I am just counting the days until it's finally out. I always figured they would just keep Avenue Project around to occasionally resurrect with one-off songs and such like チョコっとレイトな☆告白たいむ!! but a whole second album is much better.

Shaori will rise again to deliver more fever time.