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!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

C76: Fourth Albatrosicks album 「STAR CRACKER」

No no, this isn't a story about a new American Idol type show for Southern audiences. Coincidentally, I am in Alabama right now. Rather, this is a quick reminder that Comiket 76 saw the release of the fourth Albatrosicks album, since they consider the short-lived (and not exactly well-received) 「e」 an album as well.

But if 「e」 left you with a sour impression of the IOSYS superband, then by all means do check out samples from their latest release. A song like 「Cosmo Phoenix」 greatly shows how ARM's latest eroge theme songs have started to influence his Albatrosicks compositions as well. 「Walpurgis Sabbath」 is borderline Gothic Lolita / Yousei Teikoku, interesting! But the real kicker is the encore, 「残念ミラクルアンセム!」... 俺のヨメ!! They totally went there. I'll save my complete impressions for the forthcoming review.

Their third live "voyage" has been scheduled for September 12th 2009... but wouldn't you know it, they sold out Studio Cube 326 in less than a week! Good on them.

Friday, 21 August 2009

C76: New とろ美 mini-album 「SECRETORO × MEROCONCERT」

As indicated by her repeat "Denpa Song Night" performances, Toromi isn't one to miss out on a big party! C76 was no exception, although she did not attend the Sunday event due to "poor health". Her new CD is a collaboration effort with めろこ, whose blog I can't find at the moment (some detective I am!) but they have worked together in the not-so-distant past, notably on the April 2009 「On Fight!-Full Chorus Version Vocal Disk」 album for a new Frenchbread game.

「シークレットロ×メロコンサート」 is a concept mini-album which, as you can probably gather from the title alone, revolves around the two "idols" playing a show in front of a massive (virtual) audience. It contains 5 brand new songs, all of which can be sampled at the official website. But in a nice twist, the CD also contains 6 MC tracks, which can't be sampled, but are most likely full of hilarious dialogue, if Miss とろ美's random internet antics are anything to judge by.

So not only is she a pretty good singer (by denpa standards, of course), but the girl can actually draw like a mean motherfucker. The adventures of her new character "Yutori" are shown online courtesy of Yomban, free of charge as usual. There's some pretty badass stuff in there, updated every week, so keep an eye on that.

Monday, 17 August 2009

PV, complete details for MOSAIC.WAV×鶴田加茂×初音ミク 「Heartsnative」

Shit just got very real in terms of official details surrounding the upcoming MOSAIC.WAV and 鶴田加茂 collaboration album 「Heartsnative」. Famitsu reports that the CD is expected to drop on October 21 2009 in two flavours: Regular (1,980円) and Deluxe (2,480円). The wallet-devouring edition doesn't have more songs, but does include a booklet packed with illustrations (from かんざきひろ), "behind the scenes" interviews and so on. More interestingly (from a purely logistical point of view), the deluxe edition is said to feature a "dress-up Miku" cover with up to eight different clothing items. Or none, if you so shall desire. Now that... is what we call going the extra mile.

As you can see from this news post, 「HATSUNEtive」 (one of the album's new songs) got its very own promotional video. Strangely the MOSAIC.MOV logo does not seem to appear anywhere. Though we only get a very short sample, it clearly indicates how Mi~ko and Miku will coexist. The tracklist follows. ◆ denotes a brand new song. However the first track is not a MOSAIC.WAV song, but their own take on the "unofficial" Miku theme song.

 3.電気の恋人 -I am Programmer's Song- with MIKU
◆4.server error
 5.キミは何テラバイト? with MIKU
◆7.Mimic me.

Furthermore, the second track is a re-release of a bonus song that was previously only available on the 特典CD which came as a bonus for preordering the excellent 「ラストバトル! アキバトラー''μ''」 2008 single. Way to cheat on your diligent early adopters, MOSAIC.WAV!

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

C76 / Under the Scope: New melo9 maxi-single 「めろめろ☆さま~ちゅ~ん」

Although this is the first time melo9 are being proper mentioned on this blog, eagle-eyed readers will have noticed their presence in the "Link Banner" section for the past couple of months. Indeed, yours truly became aware of the up-and-coming denpa/moe circle when they released their first full-length album back at May 2009's M3 event. Although rough around the edges (delightfully so), 「めろめろ☆きゅ〜と」 was a great indication of things to come. Check out some samples at their debut album's homepage. Now feel free to accuse me of total laziness, but this post will double as this month's "Under the Scope" feature, given the introductory nature of the following paragraphs (and the fact that I haven't done shit for an actual standalone article).

Unlike their contemporaries Holic Service and IOSYS, melo9 don't depend on the latest ZUN game to compose their songs. So far they've cranked out tunes that are more in line with UNDER17's cutest creations, with heavy emphasis on the cute side of things. But the debut album also showcased their rougher side with "Phantom", a song that is more akin to a SHMUP soundtrack than an eroge opener. So videogame influences are also heavily palpable, and to this writer's greatest pleasure, the circle also openly describes itself as denpa.

So who's melo9 anyway? This biography page would be a great starting point, but let's cover the basics. Two singers (Rizu and Mero) alternate between songs, with Mero taking on a slightly more affable role than Rizu, but this isn't cast in stone. Sometimes they'll also appear together on the same track. With the exception of the first album's opening song 「恋してチュ」, they seem to want to break free from the "Hai Hai Chu Chu" standards (not that there's anything wrong with that) and move into their own sort of territory. They also don't seem to use any sort of voice "enhancing" tricks here, we're getting exactly what the girls can deliver, which makes for a more one-on-one experience.

That biography page points out a number of composers and collaborators, but the man in charge appears to be ひろて~. He seems to be a particularly shy fellow, so he would probably make for a pretty bare-bones interviewee. He does mention Mr. Children as one of his favourite bands, however that doesn't exactly show up through his compositions. Speaking of which, melo9 are open for business in terms of game & anime OP/ED, but haven't been commissioned with official requests yet. Hopefully their presence at C76 will open some new doors for them. In an ironic twist, their booth is located right next to Holic Service's, so perhaps we'll see some collaborations between the two groups in the near future?

Notice the mountain of unsold CDs. Self-deprecating humour is ALWAYS funny.
Which brings us to the actual news portion of this post. Their second release, a maxi-single this time, is set to come out on August 15th for the low low price of 300円 (it's a CD-R after all). Regardless, it contains 2 new songs, a remix from the first album, a "radio track" and uhmmm... 2 sheep-counting tracks from both singers?!? Hilarious. You can (and should) check out a 1:40-long crossfade sampler from the first three tracks to get a decent idea of what they're shooting for. Can't help but be reminded of UNDER17, although an actual electric guitar instead of pure synthpop would improve their sound tenfold. I can imagine them being pretty lonely at booth SA-24b, so make sure you drop by for a visit if you can!

Monday, 10 August 2009

C76: New Veil album 「Veil ∞ DENPA!!!」

Never heard of Veil before? That's OK, I haven't been paying much attention either. All you need to know is that Veil is one of Visual Art's most recent eroge/anime "sound unit", with former I've Sound member and lifelong one-trick pony Lia (let's be perfectly honest here) at its head. The Berklee College of Music alumnus dropped out of I've Sound for reasons unknown, but unlike the other deserter SHIHO, her solo career hasn't exactly flourished as well. Her current stint in Veil also involves a bunch of other girls and one (admittedly pretty lucky) dude. They released their first album 「Veil∞assorted voices」 during last year's C75 and they're back for more this summer.

So far, pretty boring stuff right? Well, looks like they'll try their hand at something new this C76. Lia walked out on I've Sound before she had the chance to appear on a SHORT CIRCUIT song, but there's no time like the present to try out some DENPA remixes! Of course it's not like the now-pregnant diva probably had much to say about the whole thing, but it's a step in the right direction. The remixes are actually handled by some pretty big names. DJ SHIMAMURA? Check. DJ SHARPNEL? You betcha. Hirojack and MUZIK SERVANT are nothing to scoff at either.

To tell you the truth, the 3-minute sampler doesn't sound too different from her "Happy Hardcore" albums and from the whole J-Core/Trance sound in general. But these musicians are closely associated with the DENPA group these days (who also remixed a Saori@destiny track) and I'm thinking that's what they're trying to promote here. The sample also briefly exposes some sonority that would probably insult J-Core purists but may attract "regular" denpa fans. It's an interesting experiment, especially coming from a larger company such as Visual Art's/Key, we'll just have to wait and see how the full thing turns out. Thanks to 愛撫 for the heads up.

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Third MOSAIC.WAV Uju single in the works

Guess it's that time of the year again! A short version of the 2009 Uju theme song was recently posted on the joraku website, along with the traditional lyric sheet. "Frantic" doesn't even begin to describe this one, but "slaphappy" is also definitely appropriate (talking about heavy bass thumping here, not choking the chicken). Looks like we're dealing with a fairly incensed Uju-tama this time. Is her manga not doing so well? B-sides for this series have always been above average, so that's another thing to look forward to.

Along with this expected short version came the equally-foreseeable live concert announcement, which also doubles as the release date for the single. October 3rd is the date, for more details just check out Uju's own blog. Oh, fuck me. Things are getting kinda creepy at the ole' Toei Uzumasa Eigamura.

Friday, 7 August 2009

C76: MOSAIC.WAV Japan Expo photobook

Mi~ko and Kayapi haven't announced an official single release yet, but MOSAIC.WAV fans who attend next week's Comiket 76 will have to get in line for at least one of their new goods. Indeed, they will release their first photobook, which chronicles their early July trip to Paris through pictures and personal recollections from both members. No word on the number of pages, but the size is A2 (17x12), which is making me feel slightly remorseful about asking a friend to pick it up for me. Furthermore, a 3-page sample shows an average of 12 pictures per page and some lovely little illustrations that are sure to perk up the whole thing. For now the book is exclusive to Comiket attendees, but if they're somehow stuck with leftovers, they'll sell the rest online. I wouldn't be surprised if they made more copies anyway, like they did with last year's concept mini-album.

As previously reported, they will also perform a full live set on the last day of Comiket. Fans who purchase both the photobook and a 1500yen ticket to the show will get the bonus CD 「おはよう!パリだよ」 or "Good morning! Paris it is". It appears that it only contains one song (as most Bonus CDs do), namely their own version of the popular 「みくみくにしてあげる♪」, which is set to be the first track on the upcoming 「Heartsnative」 CD (more details after the C76 rush). It's not clear if the lyrics will be modified to incorporate various France clichés, but they sorta did the same thing when they released their "We Love OOSU-POP!" Bonus CD four years ago so it's not completely out of the question.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

C76: New ave;new projecto maxi single, Saori radio collection

Alright folks, Comiket 76 is only just over one week away, so let's get the news rolling. ave;new will be at the convention for the first time, under their new d;VIRTU distribution label (they love the shit outta semi colons). As well as regular ave;new merchandise, they'll be pushing two brand new releases, namely an ave;new projecto maxi single titled 「あらら、ど~も☆CHUぅ」 and a Sakura Saori double CD 「radio♪佐倉紗織のLoveLoveLovable!vol.1」. They'll be at booth 992 in the corporate section.

Although they're calling it a "maxi", the new ave;new projecto single only has three full songs (and two karaoke versions). What's more, two of these songs are actually remixes, but their description is promising so we'll have to give doreCHU benefit of the doubt on that one. You can listen to a very short sample of track #1 (the only new song) on the ave;new blog, but you'll have to sit/skip through 12 minutes of Saori Sakura and Rie Shirasawa being obnoxiously cute about this hot summer we're having. Well, I don't really mind them, but fair warning.

01. ダブル♪SHOOTING☆ぱるちゅ!!
02. 続・生意気☆いちごミルクDAYO!!-ツン成分63%増 CHU(当社比)-
03. ふわっFuワッホー☆メイプルまじっく!!-どれちゅ、今は黙ってて!みっくCHU-
04. ダブル♪SHOOTING☆ぱるちゅ!!(カラオケ)
05. 続・生意気☆いちごミルクDAYO!! -ツン成分63%増量CHU(当社比)-(カラオケ)

ave;new's own little princess will be getting a double CD which, as the name suggests, compiles most of her internet radio shows since late 2007. The first disc will contain 30 episodes, available as high-quality 160 KBps MP3 files (their oxymoron, not mine). Now I am not exactly familiar with her radio act, but I believe she assumes the persona of "chiwakura", which is a clever pun that incorporates "sweet nothings" into her name (edit: read comment by paranda for actual explanation). The second disc features 2 songs, the first of which is most likely the full version of the show's opening theme. The other track is a full version of a theme song which a.k.a.dRESS wrote for some TV drama. Then we have the obligatory karaoke versions and some "hard" remix of the radio show OP. Not sure they couldn't have fit all of these on one disc, but the whole thing is a pretty sweet package deal either way.


First 30 episodes of 「radio♪佐倉紗織のLoveLoveLovable!」 (mp3 / 160kbps)


02.everybody LovableNote!
03.チワ倉さんのラブソング -HARD dRESS STYLE-
04.チワ倉さんのラブソング (karaoke)
05.チワ倉さんのラブソング -HARD dRESS STYLE- (inst)

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Don't dodge this hail of Love Bullets samples

Team Love Bullets' third opus 「にゃんこライダー」 (Kitty Rider) hit the streets yesterday, July 31st 2009. Now chances are, unless you live in Japan, you weren't able to walk into your local record store and pick it up in person. I share your pain, but there's no need to resort to wrist slashing just yet. Consider crying yourself to sleep to the tune of this lovely set of sample MP3s that was recently made public on GWAVE's website. Four out of the seven tracks are represented in short version, but you can also check out the original version of 「シスターまじっく!」, which is featured on this new album as a remix. Here's the final tracklist, with links to individual samples.

01. にゃんこライダー
02. 天華御免-TENKA・GOMEN-
03. どめすてぃっく・LOVE・まじっく REMIX ver
04. ねこ☆まっしぐら
05. かくも、青春とは美しい
06. アイリス-Iris-
07. にゃん×3 Love Bullets

The samples bode well, considering that the second album had a bit of a drop in the intensity department (but still very creative). The title track 「にゃんこライダー」 is clearly modeled after 「ドラゴンガール」 which was one of LOVE BULLET 2's highlights. Very... "asian" in its execution, for lack of a better word. In fact, I wouldn't dare use the term "recycled assets", but I guess I just did. More of the same is just what the doctor ordered in this case anyway. 「アイリス-Iris-」 may sound redundant, but pushes the R&B aspect to the next level for the budding duo. Maybe this song would have been better suited for a standard GWAVE album, but it is certainly more uplifting than, say, 「CALL MY NAME」. 「ねこ☆まっしぐら」 on the other hand, totally belongs on this album. It's as cheerful as they get, still not up to the intensity level previously set by 「1×8 ラブ・バレット」, but that's one hard song to top. 「天華御免-TENKA・GOMEN-」 would be your standard fare techno-pop if it wasn't for Miyu's passionate screams (ideas, get them) and TONAKAI様's eclectic arrangements.

Speaking of the big guy, we had a chat the other day about the state of Denpa in Japan. Serious business stuff, which will probably open the door to a second interview in the future, but one thing at a time. Basically I was just relaying to him that most Love Bullets reviews I've read usually enjoy pointing out that this is "much better than denpa". Which I really find strange, considering that GWAVE themselves are partially marketing this series as denpa. TONAKAI's answer to this problem certainly brought in some relief. He says that "many Japanese listeners don't really know what is and isn't denpa" and that more often than not, it is used to generate buzz around an article.

According to him, Love Bullet's producer KATO describes denpa as something that "accomplishes entertainment". Language barriers aside, I'm sure you get his point. Denpa can and should be used to describe a piece of music that gets people to talk about it, by the sole account of its eccentricity. Either way, he expects the pejorative use of the term to completely vanish in the coming years, much like the resurgence of "otaku" and "moe" as commonly-accepted terminology. Hell, I was told the other day that even Haruko Momoi, who was said to staunchly oppose the label, is starting to warm up to it. Remember my editorial "In defense of Denpa"? I strongly expected to have to write a follow-up, but it's been a year and a half and nothing's popped up. Haters be damned, denpa is here to stay.