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!!!


z411 said...

Nice post.

5. The 電波ソング tag is not taboo anymore: This is really nice to know. It seems people is starting to acknowledge the genre.

4. MOSAIC.WAV and IOSYS (ARM+miko) crossover: I've always been a fan of MOSAIC.WAV the way they are, but now that you mention it, I'd be specially interested in the result of a MI~KO+miko vocal duo and Kayamori+ARM joint composition. I hope they consider it in the future.

3. Japanese stores must open up to international buyers: This has been like this for YEARS. It seems the Japanese don't like to acknowledge foreigners liking their media, or aren't really interested in the matter, or think we don't care about their work. Although this is partially true as the western fan-base is very small. バカな外人たち。

2. Enough with the regurgitated Touhou madness: I especially agree on this. Don't be afraid of saying it: We all like Touhou music, but come on, we really need some original stuff at this moment. It's the time to make use of the growing denpa hype to utilize new and original ideas, and I've seen good results when this has been done.

1. I've Sound must bring SHORT CIRCUIT back from the dead: I've Sound made such a good job on this series. Certainly I haven't been interested in later KOTOKO's singles as they aren't appealing for me. Although I agree on this, they probably didn't feel comfortable working on the series, or the commercial results weren't what they were waiting for. Either way, we can't blame them. I'd like to know the reason though.

Happy new year to you too, I love your blog and I hope I can keep reading stuff from you! Great job and please keep it up!

B-DASH said...

I specially liked number 3...Poor students like me wouldn't make much difference but I can buy ecchi retro-idol albums from the Internet ...what's wrong with denpa?

And about number 2... I live on Spain. This Saturday some people is going to give a short introduction to Touhou and doujin ongaku (obviously, Tohou related) at a local event. xD I'll try to comment on this topic.

Denpa no Sekai is one of my favourite blogs. Keep up the good work!

GekkaMeron said...

I really agree with number 2, there's been a real rise in doujin music circles but there is so much touhou remixes and so on. I think it's a fad that has grown out of control. Maybe something new will come around soon.

mandichan said...

Interesting wishes!!

I am glad the term denpa song is being recognized too. Even Momoi started to use it about her own songs.

As for the foreign shipping, I'm guessing that it's more they don't want to have to deal with giving foreign language customer service. I never thought of that till recently since i wouldn't expect them to go out of their way for me... until I remembered how self important and demanding some people can be.

As for Touhou remixes, I agree totally. I think part of what makes it appealing to the musicians is that ZUN has given the OK on remixes, much safer compared to the iffy nature of remixing other stuff. (Of course original is always safe, but at a doujin event, it's a harder sell I'd wager.) hopefully some others will start to see the remixes can be helpful as promotion for the originals.

電波の世界 said...

I remembered how self important and demanding some people can be.

INTORESTINGU!!! Can't help but think this is some thinly veiled shot at me (or my kind in general), but you're on!! Yes, I definitely spout off a ton of bullshit, but I think it's assholes like me who get things done in the end. I don't enjoy spending 20$ and upwards on courier companies that only exist because Japanese online stores are too lazy to put up with a potential international demand.

And really, therein lies the question: WHY won't they do it? Online systems are in place so that stores can REDUCE costly human interaction, INCREASE profit and EXPAND market coverage. They have everything to gain here, nothing to lose. It's such a small investment to setup your store for automated international shipping. No one is saying anything about whole websites translated to English, just an extra checkbox besides the prefecture list that says EASY MONEY FROM DIRTY FOREIGNER. We're still in a global slump, they probably have had to fire many employees yet they REFUSE TO ACCEPT MY MONEY, it just makes no sense to me.

remixes can be helpful as promotion for the originals.

Yup yup, and yup yup to the other commenters as well. See, one of the reasons I went nuts when I first heard Melo9 is that they COULD take the path of least resistance yet they went to M3 with an original debut album. Then when I found out about Birdune/Holic Service/KuKuDoDo, it was through original songs that don't feel like microwaved TV dinners. Same deal with Satuki whom I will jock very hard in the oh-10. I can't help it: I need originality and creativity. Again, I'm totally, TOTALLY fine with more Touhou Denpa, bring it the fuck on, but if you really want to impress me, it needs to be FRESH and it needs to smash the hell out of whatever mould others may use.

mandichan said...

what!! it had nothing to do with you!! lol

it came to mind cause of an online game i was playing full of people who can't speak english. a lot of people would just go in the chat / forums / whatever and spam questions in their language that the people running the game couldn't understand. (of course some people were nice, but others just rude.) and i saw the same thing happen in the japanese version of the game, but english speakers doing it!! not just speaking english, but demanding service in english.

so maybe they'd be worried about an influx of stuff they can't understand if they had to deal with foreign orders who wouldn't be very understanding about the lack of english support.

i agree with you totally about not wanting to spend a ton of money on deputy services or auctions. in the end, none of that extra markup money goes to the artists, so it's a waste... but unfortunately as it is now, the only option sometimes.