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!

Monday, 24 May 2010

Eric W. Brown: The unholy trinity of chiptune, eurobeat and metal

Whoever says Nashville is all about Country Music obviously never heard any of Eric W. Brown's numerous projects. I started following his musical career back in 2008 when I first heard his debut song "Eur Hawt", an unlikely but oh-so-memorable mixture of chiptune and eurobeat. I got in touch with him for some Little Sound DJ lessons, and the rest is history. 2 years later, he has evolved into two distinct musical entities which I am convinced each and every Denpa no Sekai reader should check out... so here's an exclusive interview with the man behind the music!

Under his chiptune persona Rainbowdragoneyes, he released his first mini-album "Super Eurobit Vol 1" in 2008. Word got around and he eventually landed a spot on the Blipfest 2009 lineup, certainly North America's largest event of its kind. This surprise appearance is a testament to the quality and originality of his songs. The entire recorded performance is freely available and video segments are floating around on Youtube. Recently, he built the truly terrifying RAPE CASTLE, a monumental edifice of sinful chiptune pleasure.

Intertwined with his 8bit path lies his other major musical creation MAGIC HAMMER, an out-of-this-world amalgam of eurobeat, power metal and many other EXTREME to the MAXXX components (read the manifesto). MH released an album in late 2009, which can be sampled (and bought!) on and iTunes. Its release party was quite the event; an Army of Para Para Dancers was summoned from the depths of hells to captivate the crowd with mesmerizing dance patterns. So what else is coming up for Eric? Read on and find out!

Is “RAPE CASTLE” the very first piece of chiptune shock art?


Shit I dunno, it's very likely not. I don't keep my finger on the pulse of the shock art world but I will say for what it's worth I've never heard anything like it, hence why I probably like it so much. Leave it to some smartass to email me with a detailed chronological timeline of all the rape castles dating back to the beginning of time. I'll keep you posted on that.

Last year you said that your invitation to blipfest rekindled your chip-flames and got you thinking about taking Rainbowdragoneyes to the next level. How was your performance received, is “RAPE CASTLE” an indication of things to come?

As far as I gather, I was awesome. Which rules because I had the best time I've ever had in my life, but which sucks because I'm going to have to work my ass off for the next few years to get back up to that level. Blip Festival 2009 was the first show I've ever played not behind a drumset, which was why I was hesitant to accept the invitation in the first place. But, they didn't ask, so I didn't say anything and instead just went with it. Then somehow, with very little effort and with help from the mighty Victor Furious, an image was carved for Rainbowdragoneyes, a then-retired name with which I wasn't even planning on moving forward, which somehow got everyone really excited for it, which sent my ego through the roof which made me decide to push on into the future and keep it going, because that shit was just too fucking sweet. RAPE CASTLE is most certainly where RDE belongs, everything about that track is what I want more of from myself.

One of your first tracks is "eur hawt", which just blew me away when I first heard it on Micromusic. How would you describe your progress as a chiptune composer since then?

Well for one thing, I actually know how to write songs now. At the time of doing that one and the rest of the EP I was figuring out the program at the same time I was trying to grasp basic pop song structure, I've never really "written" anything before that in my life. I recorded a completely improvised deathmetal/grind album when I was 19, but that's it. So not only is "eur hawt" my first chiptune, it's the first song I've ever written.

In October 2008, Calmdownkidder Records released your first mini-album “Super Eurobit Vol. 1”, which includes 6 intense tracks. The next question is obvious: are you working on a second volume and if so, what can you tell us about it?

Not a second volume, but definitely a new release. I want to do a full album, probably a concept album, but that'll have to wait. I really want to get something out before the end of the year so it'll likely be just another 5 or 6 songs. But I've been writing really really slow lately, and wanting to include lyrics on every song, so someone should really come over and crack the whip on my face.

Rainbowdragoneyes is your chiptune persona, while MAGIC HAMMER is your… how the hell do you describe MAGIC HAMMER? “Intense as fuck” isn’t really a genre.

EXTREME. Rainbowdragoneyes and the Hammer have actually become two different personalities, and I like to keep them separate from each other. Basically even though in the end it's all catchy and danceable party music, an idiom I can't seem to stray away from, the idea is for each project to explore its own worlds of writing, production styles and live performance. Let's say if Magic Hammer's favorite metal band was Rhapsody Of Fire, RDE's favorite metal band would be The Berzerker. But they each love Children of Bodom and Manowar.

MAGIC HAMMER released its first album “MOST EXTREME ULTIMATE THUNDER” in late 2009 to some glowing reviews. Since MH is more like a band, are you looking to hit the road this summer?

There's a shitload of people on that album, but there is no specific lineup for the "band" of Magic Hammer. It's still and always will be 100% my vision, and in the studio it's just me behind the helm. But yes, the live show must always consist of no less than 2 guitar players, at least one of which must be a shred master. And yes the Hammer will absolutely be on the move at some point, but I've been extremely patient in making sure all the pieces are in place before embarking on any epic voyages, and just taking things one step at a time.

You write MH lyrics and sing them most of the time, but not “Blooddrunk” which features high-pitched hair metal vocals from hell. Who sings that one and how did this collaboration come about?

Man that is this rockin dude named Jonny Aune from North Carolina who sings for the bands Viper and Twisted Tower Dire. I was searching far and wide for a badass power metal singer to spit hot fire all over that track, and he came highly recommended from my old bandmates Destroy Destroy Destroy who toured through his area and partied with him and his band for a few days. They described him as a living, breathing Metal cartoon character, who only wears leather and only rides motorcycles, who only listens to metal but hasn't heard of any band that formed after the year 1989. Sadly, tragically, I was not a part of DDD during that tour, but was more than happy (and honestly a little surprised) when Jonny returned my email saying he was into the idea of doing the song. So I sent him the demo and the lyrics, he recorded his vocals and sent me the tracks, instant boner. Someday I will meet him, and we will party.

A heavy Euro Beat influence is present in both Rainbowdragoneyes and MAGIC HAMMER compositions, which is uncommon these days to say the least. Where does this influence come from and do you expect yourself to expand on this concept in the future?

I took a trip to Japan several years back, where I heard eurobeat for the first time. Needless to say I have never heard anything like it before, and I was just as floored as I was when I saw Cannibal Corpse and Hate Eternal for the first time. It was insanely catchy and addictive, and all I could think about was trying to create something just as awesome. I delved further into the genre, became obsessed, and drove my bandmates crazy in the van listening to the same six or however many albums I had at the time on repeat.

You can sort of hear the progression on Most Extreme Ultimate Thunder, as I ordered the tracks for the most part in the order they were written, from 2007 - 2009. "Dance On Fire" was the first song written of all of those, and an older version was released on a compilation thrown together by eurobeat producer Laurent Newfield under his Akyrmusic record label. But I still wanted it for the Magic Hammer album, so I took the vocal track and re-produced the song from scratch. "The Master ov Time" is where I really stepped outside the standard eurobeat song formula box, and sort of had one foot in that box and another foot in a folk metal box, while my arms flailed about in the "I just realized can do whatever I want" box. Eurobeat taught me the perfect song structure so I doubt I will ever completely desert it, but I am looking forward to seeing how far I can take it. EXTREME.

As well as being the mastermind behind MAGIC HAMMER and a highly creative chiptune composer, you seem to be a skilled drummer if this video is any indication. What are some of the bands you play(ed) for?

Right now, I am playing for a few fine folks. Stuck Lucky is a really awesome bunch of dudes that used to be a ska band, but their sound has totally evolved over the last 7-8 years of existing to something more thrash with a trombone. I joined the ranks a year and a half or so ago as a fill-in but ended up sticking with it and doing whatever I could whenever I was available, including recording on the last full-length and 7" releases. They play and tour a lot, good shit, really fun music, and always put on a great show.

Inferi is the brutal brutal baby of myself and guitarist Malcolm Pugh. We placed ourselves on hiatus a couple years ago, after some incredibly draining album recording sessions and floppy tours and a maelstrom of label drama became too much to handle. All of us still very good friends, after all the bullshit we dealt with the decision was made to each pursue our individual interests for the time being. Which couldn't have proven to be a better idea, as my Magic Hammer and Malcolm's A Loathing Requiem was realized and born. I co-produced the ALR album, and I dread the day that I have to start learning the drum parts to take it to the inevitable stage. You heard it here first, there is also talks of an Inferi reunion and some new recordings on the horizon, whenever our schedules sync up long enough to make it possible.

Nite Nite is I guess post-punk? Though I'm not sure what that means. Either way, they are some good-lookin ladies (and dude) with some really catchy happy/dark/80s-savvy new-wave-y tunes. I hesitate to say "gothic" but it's an aesthetic that works well for them.

There is also Vale of Pnath from Denver, whenever they get it together and start touring again. Their music is brutal technical death metal played correctly and very very fast. They are currently working on a full-length to follow up their EP, and whenever that gets done I'm gonna fly back out there and we're all gonna hit the road together and be one big happy family.

And just recently I've found myself back amongst the ranks of my old band and friends Destroy Destroy Destroy who plays the most epic and True of thrash and orchestral fantasy metal. Recently I did my first show back with them in 3 or so years, and depending on what their tour itinerary looks like coming up I'll likely be doing more. Siqqq liffffeeeee brooooooooo.

Your Basset hound Navi prominently appears on many of your promotional pictures and videos. She looks badass but also like a bit of a troublemaker, what can you tell us about her?

Only that she is the greatest creature, biped or quadruped, to ever live. Always down to party and make new friends, she loves everyone and everything, but is also perfectly content to sleep for 82+ hours a day, which works well with my lifestyle of shutting myself away and working on music night after night. She's the biggest chick magnet I've ever known, has allowed me to start many a conversation with many a lady, and is brilliant at making them bend over to pet her so I can look down their shirts.

You put up a couple of highly entertaining Youtube videos, notably your entry for A1’s “Sing for your beef” contest and a ridiculously catchy remix of “Jesus is my friend”. They’re really funny, so why exactly aren’t you doing more of these?

Well for one thing, if the final entries for that stupid contest tell you anything, a sauce made from period blood cannot be expected to know how to party. I'm not a video guy and working with iMovie is a real pain but I've no plans to not make more videos whenever the need arises or lols need to be had and I get some real shit out of the way first.

In closing, what are some of your short-term goals and long-term ambitions? Thanks a lot for doing this!

You got it sister. As far as short-term goes, I suppose I should prioritize not being homeless and rebuilding my studio. The flood here in Nashville recently hit me pretty hard (hail Leviathan), so if you can picture a single-level house with 8' ceilings, and then picture the same house with 6 feet of disgusting doodoo water in it (hail Hydra), you can imagine what I'm having to deal with. I was out of town at the time playing a show, so I had my drums and my laptop with me, my van was parked 30 minutes away and Navi was staying with a friend. So all the core items are fine, but I lost everything else I own. I've since gutted the place and threw what I hope to salvage in storage (hard drives, console, keyboards, various other electronics and crap) so over the next couple weeks I'll be figuring out where to live and seeing what I can make work again. Party.

My long-term goals have never changed, party full-time, all the time. Between Rainbowdragoneyes, Magic Hammer, six million bands, studio and production work, remixing, singing, booking and promoting shows, there is a lot of touring to do, sluts to be bang'd, and much of the world to be seen and explosioned. I'm going to explosion everything as fuck. That shit is a full time job.

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

See Toromi in crazy 1080p

Because anything less than 1080p would be unacceptable perfectly fine, but CYMEDIA1 insists on giving us high-definition とろ美 footage once again! Now we've all been hammer-blessed thanks to Abe and his crew.

This is Toromi's 「如来16」 off her C77 album 「たちつてとろ美ちゃん Ver1.7+」, but it ain't "just" another one of her wild songs. Hulkamandia-chan found out that its lyrics (and delivery, given this reading) is based on the 16th Chapter of the Lotus Sutra. I don't know about you guys, but I much prefer her version!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

Gaming news: BOSS FIGHT, FALCOM x XSEED and 3D Dot Game Heroes

First of all, MO (one of my childhood friends) has released a beta version of his upcoming browser-based SHMUP "Boss Fight". Right now it only features a single one-on-one battle, but it may remind you of the legendary Raiden. You should really check out the manual, especially if you grew up with NES and SNES games as I did. As far as I know, he did everything in the game but the hard rock music, which was gracefully provided by Saitama doujin circle S.S.H. By the way, the Vitalize plug-in is absolutely safe to download and install -- but there's only a Windows version. If you like Touhou for the games themselves and not just for the crazy spinoff music, then check this out ASAP!

Although Siliconera have been hinting at this for almost a month, it's now official. XSeed have formally announced their partnership with Nihon Falcom, which will initially include 6 PSP games and extends until late 2012 at the very least. The six announced games are: Ys Seven, Ys: Oath in Felghana and Ys I&II Chronicles, as well as the Sora no Kiseki trilogy (renamed The Legend of Heroes in North America). Check out some sweet interviews for all the nitty-gritty. Although this is great news (except for the glaring lack of Brandish PSP), perhaps the best part is that at least one new job has been created in this partnership, and it went to the greatest Falcom fan I've ever known (no, it isn't me). Congrats dudebro, you really deserve this!

Retro gamers, you owe it to yourselves to go out and purchase 3D Dot Game Heroes. Atlus USA are not kidding when they say this is the ultimate love letter to old-school gaming fans. They have jam-packed their localization with references to other games, from the venerable Ys series to From Software's own Demon's Souls. The gameplay itself is a charming throwback to Zelda 1, with all the added conveniences of modern gaming (shortcut keys, in-game map, save anywhere, etc). But perhaps more relevant to this blog is the absolutely stunning chiptune music featured in 3DDGH. Interestingly enough, the soundtrack was produced by the legendary Shinji Hosoe who (among MANY other things) arranged a track on nao's DystopiaGround debut mini-album Euclidean. It turns out the guy also owns SuperSweep Co. Ltd., a record label who published both TECHNO RIDER TAMMY albums in 2007 (techno-pop denpa with vocals by 民安ともえ). Oh, and he composed most of these Tammy tracks! Pass the awesome sauce, there is a denpa connection with 3D Dot Game Heroes!

Friday, 14 May 2010

Here's your SHORT CIRCUIT III tracklist

Did I fucking call it or what?

SHORT CIRCUIT III comes out on June 25 2010, followed with a concert on July 19 at Shibuya-AX. The last two tracks are brand new, but "send off" should be getting a demo eventually, since it's the opening tune to SAGA PLANETS' latest game 「キサラギGOLD★STAR」. The last track, "interceptor" will probably get a video clip from I've Sound themselves, so look for that! There's no telling who (or what) "Larval Stage Planning" is at this point, your guess is as good as mine.

All links point to full versions!

TrackLyricsComposer     Arranger     Singer     
blossomdays 松島詩史      C.G mix C.G mixKOTOKO
Crash Course ~恋の特別レッスン~KOTOKOC.G mixC.G mixKOTOKO to 詩月カオリ
Love is money!?KOTOKO井内舞子井内舞子詩月カオリ
I need magic ~解けないマジ☆キュン♪~   KOTOKOC.G mixC.G mixKOTOKO
お*ま*ま*ご*とKOTOKOC.G mixC.G mixKOTOKO
Stars Biscuit KOTOKO 井内舞子 井内舞子 KOTOKO
Swift Love ~健全男子にモノ申す~ KOTOKO 井内舞子 井内舞子 KOTOKO
ジェットスマッシュ! KOTOKO C.G mix C.G mix 詩月カオリ
Lilies Line KOTOKO C.G mix C.G mix KOTOKO
ユメミボシ★boom!boom! KOTOKO 中沢伴行 中沢伴行
常識!バトラー行進曲 KOTOKO 井内舞子 井内舞子 KOTOKO
Send-off ~涙色のスタートライン~ KOTOKO 高瀬一矢 C.G mix Larval Stage Planning
☆星空 Interceptor☆ KOTOKO 高瀬一矢 高瀬一矢 KOTOKO to 詩月カオリ

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

M3-2010春 電波ソング round-up (PART 2)

M3-2010春 has come and gone, leaving behind one of its most impressive sets of doujin/denpa offerings in recent memory. While the previous entry had a pretty complete round-up of the main releases, some interesting stuff escaped our vigilance and/or was completely unannounced. Yes, this post comes one week late... big whoop, wanna fight about it?

Good guy さつき が てんこもり (satsuki ga tenkomori) releases his own music through his studio皐 label but also takes care of side-project doujin circle ぐうのねサウンズ (GUUNONE sounds) which saw its third and four releases come out at M3.

「ミキューン!」 is a vocaloid compilation featuring satsuki and ラマーズP, a wildly popular Miku manipulator who got his very own full-length album on EXIT TUNES in 2009. All six songs are featured on this generous crossfade sampler, but you could also check out full versions of 「チョコレート」, 「ウインク・トランジ・スター」, 「STOMP THE ENEMY」 and probably the rest too if you look for them hard enough. All six tracks are extremely energetic and some of them were even tagged "denpa" by satsuki himself, so you know this is some good shit.

The second album is 「ACアダプターKICK-OFF!2」 which, as its title indicates, is the second entry in GUUNONE's "AC Adapter KICK-OFF!". Both this sequel and the original volume serve up wacky remixes of Nintendo classics such as Super Ghouls & Ghost, Mother 2 (Earthbound, motherfuckers!), Super Mario World and SimCity among others. Eight talented composers contributed a track, so this is a real treat for old-school gamers! Check out samplers for Volume 1 and Volume 2, but you should totally check out the full version of Satsuki's own track 「dead or die!」 which is a drum & bass remix of the first stage from one of the hardest games ever created!

There were a lot of great last-minute surprises at M3, but perhaps none greater than Birdtune's latest release: a new みりん☆ single CD!!! Don't let the fact that 「アタラセカイ」 was up against the clock fool you, its tracklist means serious business. We're talking brand new tracks from cosMo@暴走P, studio皐, 未来派 and a KuKuDoDo remix, not to mention moemoe art from あじさ 飴, the underground idol's usual illustrator. This is not only her most varied collection of music to date, it's also her best. Check out the sampler below, or download the MP3 directly.

33.turbo did have something for sale, but it wasn't her first single like previously presumed (it actually sold out on the only day it was available, that is to say M3-2009-fall). This time around, she had a brand new K-On! arrange mini-album for sale! Whether you're a fan of the series or not, you can't deny the sweet arrangements 33.turbo have to offer. Some chiptune, some drum&bass, all badass. The production team is listed here; looks like we're dealing with a brand new bunch of artists here! She apparently sold out this new mini-album within an hour... it was a steal at 300 yen to be sure. Hopefully this success is not short-lived and mimi-turbo can cook up a first album in time for Comiket 78!

You thought the glasses fetish was dead? Not so, says programYMG. The IOSYS/InnocentKey/SoundOnline supergroup has a brand new 9-track mini-album (5 of them are dramas). The actual songs themselves range from standard JPop to straight-up denpa, with a twisted gothic-themed one right in the middle. Too bad they don't go for the picopico stuff more often than they do, because that's probably where they shine the most.

ココ is an up-and-coming moe/denpa vocalist who's mostly known for her incredibly cute Innocent Key contributions, but true hardcore fans will remember her sweet collaborations with Satsuki the most. That Persona Arrangement Album was pretty sweet too! For M3, she was featured on Senses Circuit's 7th CD, cleverly titled 「ココミク☆ミラクル」, which features 5 original tracks from hitoshi. The above PV will give you a pretty good idea, but you can download a much longer crossfade sampler for your enjoyment. Doubt this will be as popular as MOSAIC.WAV's miku album... a shame, because it's definitely a high quality release that deserves everyone's attention!

Rapid-fire post-M3 news
  • Still no sampler from DystopiaGround's latest single, however you can check out some hilarious Engrish on nao's M3 booth. "This group of musicians is aiming at becoming the best A-POP artist in the universe"... or something like that? Wow, bold claim is bold!
  • Denpa idol maria-tan had her new single for sale... entitled 「バスルームは浮かれビート☆」. LOL is all that needs to be said.
  • Looks like Siestail delayed their Rizuna vocal album to C78.
  • Melo9 were at M3 but only had a two-track drama CD for sale, as well as their Valentine Day's single. Note that melo9 and おでんぱ☆スタジオ share some staff members!!! More on that later.
  • Twinkle Callion is another doujin circle that shares staff with melo9, one of the two singers this time. They're heavily on the moemoe tip, not so much denpa, but interesting stuff nonetheless. Their second single 「dream prayer box」 was up for grabs at M3.
  • As expected of とろ美, she had a new single just for M3. The second track 「キミに贈る言葉」 is new stuff, but the titular track 「センセイ布告」 can be downloaded from C:DRIVE as it's an ending theme for one of their recent eroge titles. Don't worry, she's more than likely to re-release this stuff at one of the coming comikets. The fantastic cover art though... that's bound to be a one-time deal only!