[DDBY] 秘封物語

A very smooth-sounding Easy Listening album with large amounts of piano and some jazz influence. Pretty calming stuff, great for background music.

DDBY is one of my more favoured circles, and one of the first circles that I listened to on my journey to become more acquainted with the Doujin Music scene. As such, they are rather special to me, though it doesn’t stop me from disliking some of their releases, for reasons which will be explained below.

DDBY tends to have a wide variety of genres in their album releases, with some albums featuring more Drum&Bass tracks, others favouring a more Electronic feel that even dips into hard-trance style at times. This can mean that some of the albums aren’t nearly as high quality as others, and arrangers are often switched out from album to album, which adds further to the inconsistent overall feel.

Despite all this however, they’re still awesome.

This particular album focuses more heavily on the Easy Listening/Lounge style of music, which is very easy to listen to. There’s a bit of Drum&Bass/Jazz influence in some of the tracks, but mostly it’s a series of short, relaxing tracks that don’t strain the ear at all.

Circle Name: DDBY
Album Name: 秘封物語
Website: http://ddby.jp/cd19.html

  1. Temptation Rabbit
    Probably my favourite track of the entire album, this track contains a high amount of energy while keeping the overall feeling of the song rather muted. I like the use of piano throughout the song to carry the main melody, adding a much lighter touch to what would have been a rather dark song with the very low bass. The choice of drum is also excellent, with a very soft and non-intrusive beat that keeps the tempo up while not interfering with the lighter feel of the song. I’m rather disappointed with the different piano chords towards the middle though, that seemed to stagnate and didn’t introduce any new interesting elements to the song.
  2. Sadness of the elderly
    A much funkier start than one would normally expect, with some extremely soft guitar leading in a drum pattern that’s rather similar to Temptation Rabbit. Guitar is the main focus of this track, taking over the lead role from the piano. I’m rather fond of piano, but the guitar does a splendid job of introducing more emotion into the track than the piano could have, and makes this a rather lively song as well. The distortion on the guitar is also rather pleasant sounding and adds to the overall loungey feel of the track, while the piano riffs in the background lend this more of a jazz touch. An excellent track if you’re aiming for elevator music.
  3. Two strains
    Segues in rather interestingly from the last track, with an immediate light, cheerful feel being introduced by the light-sounding guitar and also a much lighter drum pattern. Even when the main melody starts, it still feels like a rather flip-floppy song, that is to say, it’s a song that introduces a feeling of care-freeness that would likely induce carelessness somewhere. I swear to you that sentence made more sense when it was in my head.
    Moving on, another excellent easy listening track that is extremely pleasing to the ears. I’m rather impressed with Takayan’s guitar arrangement in this – it’s rare to hear guitars being used in such a supporting way, and this adds a very fragile side to the song.
  4. Faint
    Does not segue in rather nicely or interestingly, with a very abrupt change in tone. This marks the first of two tracks arranged by Bizen, and are probably the two darkest songs in the entire album. A very aggressive sounding bass and a slightly faster drum adds a rather oppressive tone to this song, while the synthesized vocals add a more creepy touch. As a track on its own, this is rather good, with most of the elements well composed and a good, focused sound overall, but the placement in the album is ridiculous, ruining the carefree mood that was carefully cultivated over the last 3 tracks.
  5. Material Drug
    The second track arranged by Bizen, this one bearing more resemblance to his previous releases. A very slow, minimalist build-up over the start of the track, with a constant drum pattern that doesn’t seem particularly intent on changing throughout the track. I’m rather tempted to just call this track experimental, but it seems more to me like it’s a mix of various different minimalist styles, resulting in a rather unique arrangement of U.N. Owen was her?. Overall, Bizen’s style in this album maintains a much more electronic feel than Takayan’s work, and it doesn’t really mix together well.
  6. Synchronicity[Acid Cafe Chic Edit]
    This track is arranged by Attrielectrock, whoose name I always copy paste for fear of spelling it wrong. Despite the name having the words “Electro Rock”, that has absolutely nothing in common with Attrielectrock’s arrangement style. It’s more of an Easy Listening-type style as well, but with more use of synthesizers and an overall more electronic feel to it that doesn’t quite suit lounge music as much. It’s a very unique style of arrangement, and Attrielectrock’s style is constantly developing as well.
    Anyway, more about the track now. It’s a very light track that’s similar in feel to Takayan’s three tracks, but with a very big difference in the elements used. Not much use of guitar and piano here, with alot more focus on synthesizers and a more electronic style that still retains the light fluffiness of Takayan’s tracks. I’m rather fond of the style of drum as well, which blends into the other instruments and doesn’t make itself felt very often, helping along the tempo of the song without taking the spotlight like in say, Temptation Rabbit. One of the better tracks of the album.

I’m rather disappointed with Bizen’s work in this album, especially since I liked his older work quite a fair bit. The DDBY album “Taz” was one of the most interesting drum&bass-oritned albums I’ve ever listened to, utilizing drum&bass elements in an easy-listening style song. I find his electronic-style work lacking in comparison, with most of the more electronic tracks feeling like there’s a crucial something missing.

This album would be the first contact I’ve had with Takayan – I think that he wasn’t featured prominently in the older DDBY releases, not one the ones I’ve listened to at any rate. I find his style quite appealing from this album, with a good blend of piano and guitar, two instruments that I tend to favour alot. He also seems to have a knack for arranging smooth-sounding tracks that tend to induce quite a relaxed feeling, which is always nice once in a while.

I think if you liked this album, you would probably like some of DDBY’s older releases as well, such as Taz and Touhou Synthesis. Attrielectrock’s albums are also a good bet, with plenty of easy-listening focus in the older albums, though he seems to be moving to a louder electronic style in the more recent releases. I would recommend the albums “FIND” and “ACCR a perfect day”, which are presently my favourite from Attrielectrock.