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, 24 July 2009

Holic Service's next megaton gets full-length sampler


After teasing with a few samplers, Holic Service just released the full tracklist of their next release, which is now way more of a compilation than a straight-up KuKuDoDo feat. Gumi album. In fact, Gumi only sings on ONE of the songs! Regardless, we're looking at around 40 minutes of fresh new denpa-infused Touhou "arranges" that will likely set the bar for these things in the future... not that UK-obsessed KuKuDoDo has much competition in that field.

Of course the big news still remain the addition of 井上みゆ (INOUE miyu) on track #6. Go ahead and download the 9-minute long sampler MP3, it should certainly give you a better indication of what's poised to become one of the biggest denpa hits of C76. Miyu hits at about the 4:10 mark, in a performance that is slightly uncharacteristic of her, but nevertheless much appreciated. Here's the complete tracklist, with the original Touhou songs for each track.

01 : エネルギー冷麺
   (原曲:エネルギー黎明 Arrange:KuKuDoDo)
02 : 融通が効かない程度の能力
   (原曲:スカイルーイン Arrange:KuKuDoDo Vo:KuKuDoDo feat. Gumi)
03 : 小さな小さな三原則
   (原曲:小さな小さな賢将 Arrange:KuKuDoDo Vo:彩吹えい)
04 : 人肉ディテクター
   (原曲:春の湊に Arrange:KuKuDoDo Vo:奥村りお)
05 : 中国情歌
   (原曲:上海紅茶館 Arrange:KuKuDoDo Vo:Nimo)
06 : アンニュイな猫のためのセプテット
   (原曲:亡き王女の為のセプテット Arrange:貿易風 Vo:井上みゆ)
07 : 貧乏巫女のスゝメ
   (原曲:少女綺想曲 Arrange:貿易風 Vo:海月やみん)
08 : まじかるさくやちゃんスター☆
   (原曲:フラワリングナイト Arrange:nmk Vo:都築きせの)
09 : 恋する程度の能力
   (原曲:信仰は儚き人間の為に Arrange:Rolling Contact 天音 Vo:紫月 菜乃)
10 : 幽雅に食せ、桜餅
   (原曲:幽雅に咲かせ、墨染の桜 Arrange:貿易風 Vo:蒼野真月)

Still in the dark? Make sure you check out Holic Service's in-depth profile.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

MOSAIC.WAV to perform (new Pachinko Theme) at Comiket 76

NET CORPORATION JAPAN is huge, no two ways about that. They've been rolling out popular slot machines all over 日本 for the past 15 years, raking in hundreds of millions of yen in the process. You might remember last summer's story about mi~ko singing her first pachinko theme song, that was a NET product too. Surely that went over very well with fans all over the country, so they're repeating the experiment this year with a new game called ビキニパイ. Yup, "Bikini Boobs". Straight to the point, with extreme prejudice. Kill'em with the obvious.

So the song itself (and the presumed moneybags provided by NET) are good news enough for us fans, but NET decided to up the ante this year by promoting a MOSAIC.WAV concert on the third day of Comiket 76 (August 16 2009). I believe they've played the event in the past, but those were possibly impromptu "rogue lives" or certainly not as fully promoted as this one is turning out to be. SHAM STUDIO sent an email confirming that this will be a "full band performance", so their cool-cat drummer GanChan will be up on stage with them.

Oh while we're at it, you can bet your ass MOSAIC.WAV will release a new single in less than a month. If their track record is anything to go by, we will get news about their 7th single in the second or third week of August (recall that 「こどもざいく・やみもざいく」 was a "concept mini-album"). Of course there's still the slight chance that their recent focus on touring could have taken a toll on their creative juices, so if they sit this one out, well no one can really blame them. LIVE DVD, BITCHES!

Friday, 10 July 2009

ave;new projecto's 「A LA MODE 3」 out sooner rather than later?

So the second ave;new projecto album finally came out a little less than a month ago and already, it has been a resounding success with the masses. Says who? Says me, motherfucker. But don't just take my word for it, doreCHU (that's doreCHU様 to you) and crew have been dropping a few hints that clearly indicate the third album won't be another 2 and a half years in the making.

First of all, they are holding a whole bunch of auditions for all of their active "branches" if you will, with ave;new projecto clearly positioned on top of the list. The only requirement is to be a female vocalist with one hell of a moe voice, as age and experience (pro or amateur) will not be factors. Basically it's Moe-Denpa Idol, come one come all, as long as your voice makes our ears bleed rainbow-colored bunnies. Interestingly, they will also run auditions for bands, so it looks as though they are ready to form a distribution label as well. By the way, last year's audition winner 白沢理恵 sings 「ずっキュンFEVER☆純愛えんじぇるLOVER!!」 on 「A LA MODE 2」. Yep, that one song that runs at 200CPM (CHUS per minute).

OK, so maybe that wasn't such a big hint, but here's the second clue. They ran a contest where fans could name the lovely POPさん-designed character that appears on the cover of 「A LA MODE 2」. What's in a name? Lots, especially in terms of marketing power when it comes to future editions of their denpa workhorse. Not to mention she just got her first promotional video! Poor girl was nameless until July 1st, so what did the savvy ave;new fanbase come up with? 「ももえ☆ぱるちゅ」. Yeah. It kinda sucks, I know. The first part, OK, makes sense, I guess. Second part? Humour me with your guesses, dear beloved-but-fictitious peanut gallery. If we take out the CHU part, that leaves us with PARU and that's not a word as far as my 外人 ass knows.

But I guess it's supposed to be a heart-melting pun on "pulse", because a runner-up came up with a much more clever nickname 「佐藤ぱるす」 and describes it as "sweet denpa thoughts" (佐藤 is the name Satou, which also means sugar!), and as you can see, we have a proper "pulse" here, which does tie-in with the whole denpa waves concept. That would have gotten my vote. Enough over-analyzing for today! Here's your short and sweet 「A LA MODE 2」 review: "HAI HAI CHU CHU KYUN KYUN YAYYYYYY" Suddenly I crave for strawberry milk... huh, wonder why?

Monday, 6 July 2009

New MOSAIC.WAV self-cover album, early Japan Expo media

Well it was bound to happen someday. Online retailers such as amazon and HMV have begun accepting preorders for 「MOSAIC.WAV×鶴田加茂 feat.初音ミク」, a self-cover album featuring vocals by Hatsune Miku (and presumably mi~ko herself as well) set to come out on October 21st 2009. They actually announced this at their May 30th Tokyo show, playing a few of these covers for the occasion, but somehow this escaped me completely since it did not show up on most of my usual news sources. Although ave;new beat them to the punch when they released new;fable in mid-April 2009, this should still be pretty cool, as long as they give their older songs a new twist (and hopefully sneak in a few new songs on there too).

Did you know that 「最高ψ最強φメロダロイド!」, the only "proper" MOSAIC.WAV song to feature Hatsune Miku was actually composed by 磯村カイ, aka TONAKAI Sound Works, aka the other half of LOVExBULLETS? Of course you did. The "other" Miku song was 「×××にできるかな」, a bonus song which was made available for the lucky folks who preordered the February 2008 「ラストバトル! アキバトラー''μ''」 single in stores. Incidentally, the "miku manipulator" for that song was 鶴田加茂 (nickname: ika), who then went on to compose two more of their songs. As you probably gathered from the (temporary) self-cover album's title, he will be in charge of all Miku programming.

A few interesting pictures and videos featuring MOSAIC.WAV have begun to make their way online, though we don't have a proper live performance segment yet. I'm in contact with a few beret-wearing Frenchmen, but it looks as though cameras weren't allowed for the occasion (they usually aren't). But if anything does show up, you can be sure it'll pop up here. Until then, we have a few high-quality live pictures (merci ChrisCB) as well as a kooky group performance of niconico's classic medley "Kumikyoku", featuring MOSAIC.WAV members + tie-wearing translator (is that you, ino?) on the right side.

Update: No videos still, but I have confirmation that a crew from was on stage with professional video equipment and direct access to the sound console, so they could be churning out something sweet any moment. Also I should have mentioned this earlier but mi~ko kept blogging diligently even as she was in France. She has a ton of pictures up as well as some hilarious little keitai videos that usually end up with her crashing into kayapi's golden locks. By her own admission, their live set was somewhat disorderly and felt strange to her; mostly due to the enormous, empty stage (aniki was not on hand), but she did feel that their new found fans warmed up to them immediately.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Under the Scope: In-depth KuKuDoDo feat. Gumi profile

Welcome to the second edition of Under The Scope, where we take a closer look at the career of various Japanese denpa artists. This is different from our other features such as interviews and reviews, since the focus here is more on exploring the artist's discography and overall path of progression. You folks are in for a rare treat today: "KuKuDoDo feat. Gumi" is a brand-spanking new sound unit that formed just over a year ago to this day. They have already started to build an impressive discography in these past 12 months, not to mention their biggest release is going to come out at Comiket 76. Without further ado, let's Osaka Denpa Get!!!

KuKuDoDo feat. Gumi is a brand new Osaka-based, denpa-oriented duo whose first activities trace back to early 2008. As the name suggests, KuKuDoDo (male) is the producer and Gumi (female) is the main vocal act. They operate together under the Holic Service doujin circle (think of it as a multi-purpose D.I.Y. label). But to further complicate matters, they are also closely related to the Birdtune doujin circle (to be discussed in a further issue of Under the Scope) who released their first EP, as they are also based in Osaka. KuKuDoDo composes a number of songs for Birdtune, but Gumi herself is mostly exclusive to Holic Service activities. Of course, "Gumi" itself could just be a second pseudonym for any singer from any other circle. Why they decided to make things so complex is anyone's guess, but let's just play along, shall we?

As previously mentioned, KuKuDoDo's music is unequivocally denpa at its barest denominator, a fact that the duo is proud to endorse. Of course, the genre is merely a loose descriptor for a mish-mash of cute/moe JPop, chiptune, high-energy dance tunes and whacked-out compositions, but so far they fit under the umbrella just fine. Furthermore, some of their songs are a bit more "normal", sounding more like I've Sound's earlier gritty trance than cartoony. So it's fair to say that while denpa is at the core of their creativity, they're willing to explore connected avenues. Although they haven't composed any proper eroge or anime theme songs yet, they are offering their services and are looking for staff as we speak.

Not unlike their peers in IOSYS (with whom KuKuDoDo collaborated by way of Birdtune), Shanghai Alice's popular Touhou STG series plays a huge part in their musical inspiration and by proxy, their marketing ability. But you shouldn't let that stop you from giving them a chance if you've gotten sick of constant Touhou rehashes, as the influence here is certainly palpable but not overwhelming by any means. The fact remains that ZUN provides amazing blueprints for budding artists to build off from and propel themselves into a solo career, which is the step where KuKuDoDo feat. Gumi are at right now. Additionally, some of their earlier songs also made use of Hatsune Miku's charming voice, but the original musical arrangements far outshined the virtual diva's waning appeal.

But KuKuDoDo's influences extend far from the insular confines of Japan. In fact, this guy is a full-blown fan of England's legendary synthpop years, citing bands such as Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure and KajaGooGoo as primary sources of inspiration. Who knows, maybe his artist name is a direct reference to KajaGooGoo? At any rate, KuKuDoDo wanted music to play a big part in his life a number of years ago, citing that as a child, he wrote "I want to be a roller disco DJ" on a 短冊 (Tanzaku), those long pieces of paper that people use to write down their wishes at a 七夕 (Tanabata) festival. He was "dormant" for a number of years, but took it upon himself to realize his wish from 2000 on, when he began experimenting with Cubase and other DAW tools. Very little is known about Gumi herself, unfortunately. Holic Service also have a PR lady, Ponza, who's in charge of events, marketing and so on.

Let's move into discography territory. So far, KuKuDoDo feat. Gumi have released exactly 22 songs spread across 9 CD releases, including 2 singles and 2 mini-albums. They first made a name for themselves by releasing some online videos of anime theme song remixes, but their first original song didn't even feature Gumi on vocals but rather Hatsune Miku. This was on the 「れいんep.」, their first single which came out in April 2008 and also featured three other original tracks, including the unique 「コイノカイロ」, which was renamed 「恋の回路」 later on. Holic Service wasn't even formed then, so Birdtune handled the distribution of this first single.

The summer of 2008 passed by and presumably the first single did well, as KuKuDoDo and crew didn't waste a single second away. They created their own music circle Holic Service to take control of their upcoming releases. The first self-published effort came out in October 2008, in the form of their second single 「HANABI」. Right off the bat, KuKuDoDo wears his Brit-pop influence on his sleeve with the wild opening track 「stjarna」, an hyperactive denpa remix of an otherwise quiet Depeche Mode instrumental piano tune written by founding member David L. Gore. The title track itself is a pretty dark composition, but 「マジカル☆蛙たん」 grabbed the attention of denpa fans worldwide with its textbook execution and addicting patterns.

But in order to tease their fans, they only put the short version of that song on the second single, paving the way to their first mini-album, which came out... on the same fucking day. This was a bit of a questionable move, but maybe what they really intended is to have 「HANABI」 acting as a sampler to 「ぐみれいんぼっ!」. The seven-track mini-album paints a better picture of the unit as a whole, to be sure. It opens with a remixed version of 「恋の回路」 that clearly indicates both KuKuDoDo and Gumi gained quite a bit of skill in their respective departments. 「Dancing Vanpire」 [sic, bitch] is an enjoyable trance-ish song that, as previously mentioned, recalls this writer of some of KOTOKO's better earliest songs. Then the album closes with 「マジカル☆蛙たん」 and 「大好きバイバイ」, two light-hearted denpa songs that most certainly turned up the heat at their recent concerts.

Comiket 75 saw the limited release of 「エネルギー冷麺」, a Touhou-oriented single that didn't feature any original KuKuDoDo compositions, but rather 3 covers of recent ZUN songs. They also threw on a 10-minute crossfade sampler of their previous compositions but more interestingly, a 4-minute long audio segment of their (presumably first) live appearance. It doesn't sound half-bad, and it's pretty awesome to hear the crowd reacting so well. But much like with the second single, this release mostly served to make way to their second mini-album, which didn't come out on the same day, this time.

Rather, 「エネルギー冷麺 てんこ盛り」 was released in time for the March 2009 例大祭, the wildly popular Touhou festival. This time around it's exclusively a ZUN cover album, but a full-on denpa one for what it's worth. The interesting part about it is that it features quite a few collaborations. They're not going to be listed here, because the official Holic Service page does a great job of listing all of the various performers, arrangers and original compositions from which the covers originate. Oh and short sample versions of all songs. 奥村りお provides a splendid performance on 「カッパイズム≠Nitorism」, especially considering that this is only her second recorded song. But the real star here is still Gumi, especially on the hilarious 「O.T.オタクは彼氏なのか?」 whose lyrics talk about the life of an Otaku, going to Akihabara, becoming an Hikikomori, all to the tune of the ridiculously catchy 「U.N.オーエンは彼女なのか?」.

This brings us to the current writing time of this in-depth article: July 2009. KuKuDoDo feat. Gumi have recently announced a brand new album for Comiket 76, and it already shows a lot of promise. This one will be completely written around 「東方星蓮船 ~ Undefined Fantastic Object」, the 12th Touhou shooting game which incidentally also comes out at Comiket 76. Interesting that they'd already have enough source material to write a cover album, but there is a demo out there after all and presumably plenty of original songs to go with it (as well as ZUN's official description of the songs). Now although the whole thing is orchestrated by KuKuDoDo, there are three arrangers and EIGHT vocalists who are enlisted, including the fantastic 井上みゆ (INOUE Miyu) of LoveBullets and ave;new fame!!! This is quite the prize catch for the duo, but considering their previous releases, all of the 10 tracks should prove quite interesting. This is being heavily promoted as a pure 電波ソング album, so keep an eye out on this one, denpa fans!!!

In conclusion, KuKuDoDo feat. Gumi and Holic Service should definitely be moved to high priority on every denpa fan's radar. While they certainly benefit from denpa's increasingly huge wave of popularity created by MOSAIC.WAV, SHORT CIRCUIT and of course IOSYS, they do stand quite tall on their own, with some memorable arrangements that will require permanent brain storage if you give them enough exposure (aka they'll stick in your head). Of note: the duo is particularly active on niconico, having released some absolutely insane videos recently (you're not supposed to know that's them, 電波の世界 exclusive info!).