Let me say that I’m a BIG Doujin music fan. I can’t say I’m more than that, because I certainly don’t prioritize that above anything else, but listening to Doujin music is definitely pretty high on my list of things to do. There’s such an incredible breadth of variety in Doujin music, and while not all of it is good, there are a LOT of awesome groups that no one’s ever heard of. So here I am, slowly picking through releases, finding good ones, and then I thought, why not share some seriously awesome stuff that I’ve come across thus far?
Oh by the way, if you’re looking for a look at the Vocaloid pickings from C78, turn away now, because I don’t deal with those. I personally dislike listening to Vocaloid music, but there are plenty of other blogs that deal with it. And also, if you didn’t know, the vast, vast, vast majority of what I write about will be Touhou remixes, primarily because that’s the vast, vast, vast majority of Doujin music releases. So with that in mind… ONWARDS!
Album Title: ソラノカケラ
Genre: Trance/Non-vocal save for 1 track
Recommended Tracks: -
Comments: I believe this is a game BGM, since I see tracks entitled “Menu” and “Practice”. In any case, this is actually a really good trance album, with tracks ranging from some nice, calming trance to some pretty “hard” tracks, for lack of a better term. But I’m sure you’ll find something you like. In many regards, trance albums are truly about the whole and not of its parts, so here’s the crossfade!
Circle: 豚乙女 (Buta-Otome)
Album Title: ロングスカートパノラマガール
Genre: I’m not sure. Rock?/Vocal
Recommended Tracks: 1, 3, 7
Comments: I know that Buta-Otome has some fans out there, but I can’t say that I’m a big fan of the vocals byランコ. The composition is really great, and I want to like it, but the vocals sometimes gets in the way of the song. That being said, there are some tracks that just really worked. I ended up liking half the tracks and disliking half the tracks, but your mileage may vary. Ultimately the album is a little inconsistent in song quality, but there are some real gems here. One of my favorites of the album: Track 7 – a Nuclear Fusion remix packed with energy.
Album Title: Where is Love
Recommended Tracks: 2, 3, 6, 11, 13
Comments: There’s a large variety of songs on this album, but there’s no real focus to the style of music (that I could detect at least). I think essentially every song has some electronic component to it though (or something). In any case, this album primarily contains Syrufit songs with the vocalist綾倉 盟, but there are some guest tracks, namely 3, 6, 7, 9, and 10. Of course the big names, each doing one of those tracks, are mican*, 3L, and REDALiCE. There’s a lot to recommend here, as the nature of the album allows it to appeal to a wide variety of Electric Vocal lovers. I think overall the biggest problem plaguing the album is a lack of cohesion, as you’ll encounter a large variety of different styles that seem to be packed into one album. When listening to it all at once it’s really apparent to me, but I personally love hearing the odd song appear in my shuffle because they’re generally well done. Unfortunately I couldn’t find the track I wanted (between the sky, track 11) on Youtube, but here’s another great one that was actually mixed by Syrufit. Track 2, Dream Bottom, a mix of World’s End from Mystic Square (Yes you read that right, a PC-98 mix!)
Circle: Sound Online
Album Title: Heavenly Sequence
Genre: Electric/Dream Trance/Vocal/Some Rock
Recommended Tracks: Disk 1: 1, 2, 4, 7. Disk 2: 5, 6
Comments: Sound Online is a pretty big name group, but they’re mostly known for their non-vocal releases, of which this track contains… None. However, this release is actually pretty damn good, and has a wonderful spread of vocalists. In fact, I’m certain that each of the 14 tracks have different vocalists, and all but one vocalist sings in a very soothing voice. I think the album as a whole just has one major flaw, and that’s Disk 1 Track 5. It completely ruins the flow of the album. One more thing is that Disk 2 definitely didn’t hit home for me like Disk 1 did. It’s still good, no doubt about that, but they definitely loaded the best vocalist/arranges on Disk 1. Two of the best arranges on the album are tracks 1, outrider sung by三澤秋, one of Sound Online’s flagship vocalists, and 4, 惑いの月 sung by everyone’s favorite 3L.
Album Title: Cristierra
Recommended Tracks: Disk 1: 2, 8, 10 Disk 2: 2, 8
Comments: And another original Trance album. And I’d say that it’s even better than the first one. We’re talking roughly 1:30 of straight up trance. It’s varied enough in composition to keep things interesting as you listen, yet consistent enough to make it feel like one experience. I’d recommend just listening to the entire thing instead of picking tracks, because that’s part of the experience. This is really something to be experienced and not told. Oh, and be sure you bump the volume when listening to the album in its entirety. In any case, here’s one of the more memorable tracks: Disk 1 Track 8: BABYLON.
Circle: Tutti Sound
Album Title: 東方交響音楽選 ～ 雅
Recommended Tracks: 1, 4, 7, 8
Comments: Everyone who likes Orchestral arranges already know of WAVE, but not too many know of its smaller and just as great (or even better?) cousin, Tutti Sound. This group is rather small and not well known, so their releases are rather hard to obtain, but I saw this album, grabbed it out of curiosity, and WOW I was blown away. This is definitely one of the best orchestral arranges I’ve heard thus far, but that’s purely my own opinion, and I am by no means a classical music buff or anything like that. I only have two complaints: 1) all the songs are too short. After only 26:01 of total playtime, it all ended, and that was really disappointing. 2) I’d like to hear a little bit more diversity in the instruments used, and for them to explore some different octaves and leading instruments. I definitely want more from this group though, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for their releases in the future or otherwise. My favorite song is track 4, a slow yet beautiful arrange of Border of Life entitled Border of Life 『Life side』. Truly a great experience.
Circle: Zephyr Cradle
Album Title: Zephyr Violin Duo
Recommended Tracks: 3, 6
Comments: This is a Key/Square Enix arrange album, with the violin played by TAM from TAMusic. And yes, once again, TAM just screws stuff up. I swear that TAM’s violin is one of my most hated instruments. It just doesn’t seem to sound like a normal violin. I swear that it “grates” more than any other violin I’ve heard. I’m not sure what’s up with that. Rant aside, there are some songs where I think the violin just doesn’t. fit. But it’s played in every song, which makes a sad me. In any case, there are times when the violin seems to work a bit better than in other tracks, which are those 2 that I’ve listed above. I think the reason why they were good is because the violin didn’t take over the song. Also interesting to note is that the 2 songs I chose were all from Square Enix games. In any case, the only song that I could find on Youtube is My Soul, Your Beats! -Zephyr Violin Edition-, so I’ll just go with that. I personally didn’t like it, as I thought the violin clashed with the other instruments, but lazy people who don’t feel like uploading a better song can’t be choosers.
And I’m going to stop right here for now, as I want to break this into manageable chunks. I’m new to this, so if you guys have any suggestions on number of albums per post, length, etc, please post them so I’ll know for the future what to do. Comments are always awesome too!
PS – Oh, and if you guys are curious, here’s a list of the albums that I downloaded with those listed above, listened to, and didn’t like for one reason or another. Format is [Circle]Album Title – Genre
[麹町養蚕館] バベリズム – Electric/Rock/Vocal
Comments: I listened to it, but I just didn’t like the vocals. They’re far too amateurish.
[Druggy's Acid RacK] Physical Disconnect – Hardcore
Comments: I don’t think hardcore is my thing haha.