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!

Sunday, 31 January 2010

Upcoming MOSAIC.WAV concert is a 初音ミク Who's Who

MOSAIC.WAV just sent a communiqué revealing which special guests will perform at their upcoming concert 【We Live Heartsnative!!~ミクとMOSAIC.WAVと仲間たち~】 on February 20th 2010. Of course, mi~ko and kayapi will be flanked by expert Hatsune Miku manipulator 大串友紀 and their usual live band which consists of Big Brother 小池雅也 on guitar, クマキヒロノブ on bass and cat enthusiast 岩田ガンタ康彦 on drums.

The first guest performer to appear on stage will be cosMo@暴走P, otherwise known as one half of cosMoDRIVER. At the risk of rehashing what is probably common knowledge, his most popular composition so far would be the frivolous "Disappearance of Hatsune Miku". However, one would be remiss not to pay some heed to his earlier creations such as the balls-to-the-wall初音ミクの暴走」, one of his first songs but certainly not the least. Another fan favourite would be 「電脳スキル」, which got a chiptune remix from K-> of VORC Records fame. What's more, cosMo has begun contributing tracks to the EXIT TRANCE powerhouse since March 2009, most recently on the Vocalolegend album released on January 21 2010. So he certainly has a great source of audio material ready for his first major concert, but like any good Japanese artist, the guy also possesses some intense illustration skills.

Second on stage will be デッドボール (Deadball), which operates under the 5/4 TAKEPOD circle. Now they've only been releasing Hatsune Miku songs since early 2008, but we're talking an impressive 30+ creations in about two year's time! There's a very interesting reason behind this otherwise unexplainable surge of creativity: circle head honcho 槇タケポン worked at Nihon Falcom for two years between 2005 and 2007! Falcom are known for some of the best videogame soundtracks out there, so it's only reasonable to think that the experience he gained there helped him develop such a productive drive.

Deadball's flagship series is their Dead Ball Project compilation albums, of which there are three volumes. (1, 2, 3) After publicly releasing his first Miku song in March 2008, Takepon was approached by EXIT TUNES and this led to his first major album, which is still one of the highest ranking EXIT products on Oricon. The album also came with its very own (ridiculously hard) SHMUP game! He was also involved in SEGA's Hatsune Miku arcade/PSP game and managed to sneak a few chiptunes on the fabulous ピコ萌え! series. Even more recently, Deadball collaborated with IOSYS (who hasn't? MOSAIC.WAV, that's who) in the form of an 8bit-flavoured track on 2-dimension's latest vocal album, 「parade」, sung by MIKO. Certainly a rising star to keep your eyes on!

Famitsu is once again heavily promoting the upcoming concert, as they should. There's no word yet on whether or not they'll be freely broadcasting the event online as they did the first one, especially since this one is substantially premium-priced at 6000円. But perhaps they'll make a sneak announcement at the last minute, so keep checking back for further details.

** first picture taken from Dengeki Moeoh

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

IOSYS and Hudson Soft: A New Legend Begins!

On January 27th 2009, Hudson Soft and IOSYS will release their first collaboration album titled 「高橋名人伝説 -魂の16連射-」 or "Legend of Master Takahashi ~16 Shot Rapidfire Spirit~". If you're confused, it's probably because you know Takahashi Meijin under his English moniker Master Higgins, star character of the classic Adventure Island video game series. And if that doesn't ring a bell either... then may God have mercy on your soul.

The album will feature 14 tracks: nine "originals" (all based on classic Hudson games), three hardcore re-remixes (including a REDALiCE contribution!) and two "drama" tracks, the last of which seems to presage a second volume is planned! The nine "original" tracks were all produced by IOSYS and even feature guest vocals. Notice I said guest... because Master Higgins himself sings on all songs. Rather well too! It appears he has previous experience, but this new high-profile release will be most people's first exposure to his rather endearing vocal style. But hey... hearing is believing! Presenting the first promotional video: 「スターソルジャー -魂の16連射-」

Ready for another one? Here's an insane PV for the Bomberman-inspired song: 「ウィー・アー・ザ・ボンバーMEEEEEN!!」

Denpa old-timers will immediately recognize that both songs were furiously produced by ARM, certainly one of the flagship IOSYS members. But if you're a newbie 'round these parts, then hopefully you will recall their internet meme sensation F.O.E. (also an ARM arrangement), based on Etrian Odyssey, one of the most hardcore RPGs to grace the Nintendo DS. And if you think the video itself looks familiar, that's because it was created by one of the most sought-after Touhou flash creators, mesopota. Yeah chances are you saw a lot of his creations without knowing it. As for the beautiful cover art itself? They tapped popular Hatsune Miku designer KEI for illustration duties! Rounding out this star-studded lineup: guest vocal performances by ayu (IOSYS), 片霧烈火 (CLOSED / UNDERGROUND), ビートまりお (COOL & CREATE) and hardcore remixes by kors k (S2TB Recording), REDALiCE (HARDCORE TANO*C) and RoughSketch (NOTEBOOK/SHC).

Whew. They sure knew what they were doing with this! The full tracklist will help you understand exactly who does what when, as well as give you an idea of which games were referenced. Speaking of which, Hudson Soft generously provided us with a full album sampler... enjoy!

IOSYS are giving this release the royal treatment. Currently, they have completely dedicated their website's opening page to promoting the upcoming album. As if the two previous videos were not enough, they have gone ahead and created two nicovideo series. First they have HCVFAMICOM, which consists of a bunch of IOSYS guys and a couple of Hudson Soft dudes sitting around, having a good time while playing old games. The second one is a bit nuts: they will post a RAZARO CHALLENGE video everyday until the album comes out! The premise is quite simple, three guys take turn and try to defeat RAZARO, a Star Soldier miniboss who can pretty much only be destroyed if you possess rapidfire skills! Even if you don't know your Hudson Soft history, you should totally see how they tied this up to Master Higgins' legendary rapidfire skills back then. Here's a spoiler: ARM totally sucks at Star Soldier!

Hudson Soft are also holding promotional events left and right. Here's what one of them looks like. Wanna know about that chick on Master Higgins' right? Thought you would. That, my friends, is the lovely 杏野はるな (ANNO hanara) and let me assure you that she totally belongs up there on stage with them. You see, this "gamer idol" has a retro gaming collection worth upwards of 100,000$... and she's still in her early 20's, so there's no end in sight. She's also written a book on retro gaming and regularly appears on TV to discuss terebigemu, old and new stuff alike. Her hobbies include 2chan, Chun-Li cosplay, showering in her panties... and strangely erotic Pac-Man photo shoots. Yeah... now you know how she can afford so many games!

Final note, there is a pretty lengthy interview with Master Higgins on gamasutra... certainly a worthy (and timely) read.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

NicoTubeDump: CYMEDIA1 and their nutso videos

CyberMedia TV (CYMEDIA1) has recently become a treasure trove of high definition Toromi videos. I'm not sure exactly what the relationship is between the two, other than I guess she works for them. The weird part is the extent of material they provide: GGW is a series of bizarre poka-poka improv / softcore panchira porn that WILL leave you scratching your head. Then they have JEWELS 6th ring or "WOMEN'S FIGHTING ENTERTAINMENT", which features hardcore freeform combat, interviews with Germany-imported boxers and English tongues twisters. They also host the newest episodes of CRAZY OTAKU WORLD OF GENKAN MATT (formerly MATT MADD THE WORLD), which Toromi is a part of. They also seem to be in charge of animating a local shrine with henshin-superhero shows and overall wackiness.

But more to the point, they also promote some denpa music, specifically Toromi's releases and the recent A-POP compilation on which she appeared. Short of going to Japan yourself, this is as close to a Toromi concert as you'll get, considering this 1080p resolution video from the Ishimaru launch event. That's a ... deep performance, barefoot and all.

Speaking of the A-POP album, I'm not sure how well it is being received, but I hope for all involved that it is selling decently. The producer herself (UEDA Sanae) appears on the following video and uses her natural charm to move a couple more units... figuratively and literally?!?

Wondering about that hardcore otaku nerd scolding the stunningly beautiful Sanae about not being on the CD? Good eye... this is none other than 東京メトロちゃん... oh wait now it's メトロポリちゃんV (or simply metrochan), an akiba-idol who became famous for her Dokuro-chan antics of clubbing to death her fans and TV hosts. The scared look on their faces is just priceless, here's another good one that ups the awkward to new heights.

Honestly, I'd welcome a metrochan full-length album with open arms, and I'd let her beat me to a bloody pulp any day of the week!!! Right now she only has a couple of singles which are pretty decent, all things told. Check out this Nicovideo medley for a better idea. By night she's a nurse, but by day she's a fairy who protects people in the subway system!!! Yeah... more in this interview. To finish things off on an even weirder note, here's a wicked crazy original denpa song/video from late last year. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a website for this Usagi-chan circle. All right fucking men, let us get a new job!!

What's that, moar you say? Hai hai, kore! A death metal version of Studio Satsuki's Fami-Mart theme, coming your way!!!

Monday, 4 January 2010

Top 5 things that need to happen in 2010



Though the C77 maelstrom still virulently rages on, 2009 is now squarely behind us. 'Twas a good year for denpa, it was. Without giving away too much, we've still got one big "2009" article lined up for your refined reading pleasure. But until then, please indulge with us as we lay down our most perverse wishes for the coming year... and feel free to throw in your two cents when it's all said and done.

5 - The 電波ソング tag is not taboo anymore -- so use it
Calling all artists, musicians, singers, youtube/niconico uploaders -- DENPA IS OK!!! There's no need to hide behind fancier terms, it doesn't have to mean "crazy in the head" anymore. We have claimed it as ours and now it's time to take this shit to the next level. The war still rages on, of course, so don't let your guard down until the enemy is completely disgusted with the soundtrack to our collective lives. For you see, there are still those who refuse to "stoop" to our level, thinking that denpa song is a lowly denominator for rubbish music. Ironically, GWAVE's Love Bullets producer KATO describes denpa as something that "accomplishes entertainment", so that misguided reviewer will have to re-evaluate her standards. I'd like to think we're doing a good promotional job here, but all of the credit goes to the creative artists this blog covers, as well as the fine folks dedicated to events such as Denpa Song Night and the DENPA!!! gatherings.

4 - MOSAIC.WAV and IOSYS (ARM+miko) crossover
This one's high on my personal wishlist. As much as I looooooove MOSAIC.WAV as a standalone unit, they can deal even more damage when otaku mastermind kayapi is paired with a fellow composer and mi~ko an accompanying songstress. They went with koike-aniki for a long time and that worked pretty well, although they made it very clear that they were not gonna be the second coming of Under17 anytime soon. TONAKAI wrote a couple of fantastic MOSAIC.WAV songs before launching into Love Bullets full-time. Then their recent 「Heartsnative」 mini-album saw them team up with 鶴田加茂, one of the most popular Hatsune Miku composers out there. So theoretically, they should be open to the following idea: Kayapi, ARM, mi~ko and miko on the same song(s). No seriously, I know Japan is supposed to be a peaceful country now, but that deadly combination right there, my friends, gives THEM the nuke.

3 - Japanese stores must open up to international buyers
Japanese music fans OUTSIDE of Japan have had to live with a dilemma for years, one that quickly fades away the second that special release shows up in torrent form. Most Doujin music comes out at a fair price and stores such as akibaoo and toranoana don't have the huge markups that HMV and amazon liberally apply. But they don't offer international shipping! There are folks like myself who would just LOVE to shower hardworking denpa artists with hard-earned dough. Holic Service, Birdtune, Satuki? I would finance them myself if they knew about paypal at all! We don't all have 1000$ to blow on roundtrip airfare when comiket rolls around. Is Japan not the industrialized country they pretend to be? HOW FUCKING HARD CAN IT BE to add international shipping to akibaoo? And don't even get me started on those courier/proxy services, bunch of fucking crooks. Props to CDJapan for stocking up on more independent releases, but their search system is wack as all get-out.

2 - Enough with the regurgitated Touhou madness
This one's a bit of a double-edged blade and I might as well fall on my sword if I don't explain this properly. I do enjoy the revered SHMUP series, but there was a dark era of doujin music when it was all touhou all the time. Who isn't sick of Marisa Stole the Precious Thing by now? I'm not sure anyone wants this mistake repeated. Somehow IOSYS got the memo and spawned great original series such as Albatrosicks and ARM's fantastic denpa album. Originality is one area in which MOSAIC.WAV has never disappointed. I know, starving musicians want their new products to sell, but a little artistic integrity goes a long way with hardcore fans. If anything, I'd like to see more internet memes turned into songs, such as Studio Satuki's Denpa Hammer. On the flipside, we do have circles such as Holic Service doing recycled wonders with their Energy Reimen series... but KuKuDoDo's original compositions are just as good and don't carry the same sense of déjà vu, so why bother in the end? Again, let me make myself clear: I'm open to more Touhou remixes (as long as they're denpa-flavoured) but from now on, original compositions will get priority coverage on 電波の世界.

1 - I've Sound must bring SHORT CIRCUIT back from the dead
This one's not a wish, it's an order. I know the American I've Sound underlings are reading this, now that they've opened up an English website and started translating cool interviews. Let's be perfectly honest: KOTOKO and crew are to denpa what Thomas A. Edison is to the electric light bulb. They didn't quite invent the genre, but they sure made it work! What's that, you want me to be even more perfectly honest? How's this: all of KOTOKO's post-SC2 singles SUCKED. This affirmation does exclude the brilliant 「七転八起☆至上主義!」 but to be fair, it came out a mere three months after SHORT CIRCUIT II did. 2008 and 2009 were pretty abysmal for I've Sound overall, but that's not for this blog to discuss. To add insult to injury, they did come out with a couple of hyperactive-eurobeat-denpa compositions that were pretty damn good, but diehard fans will only consider their existence validated if everything comes out in the form of a compilation CD, along with 3 or 4 new songs. Enough with the bait-and-switch, SHORT CIRCUIT III is where I've Sound should be at... 2010 is their make-or-break year as far as this fan is concerned.

Well, that's that. Hope I haven't offended anyone, but feel free to lash out in the comments if you are. Otherwise, a heartfelt happy new year to all of you readers! I would especially like to thank my trusty sidekick mandichan who has provided me with tons of links and exciting news through the year. Another grateful mention goes out to all the Japanese composers and denpa fans who didn't delete my emails right away and chose to communicate despite my awkward JLPT4 "skills". Here's to another year of lyrical delusion and musical nonsense!!!