[Ruxia] Astrometry

Another one of my most favourite albums ever by Ruxia. Lovely stuff.

I’ve always been of the opinion that Ruxia’s music can be enjoyed by anyone – it’s just so calming and inoffensive. This is the first album that I listened to from Ruxia, and the first album that Ruxia made. It’s probably their best work so far.

Of course, their other albums so far have been half-length or EP-length, so that was rather disappointing. I’m looking forward to their new C80 release which should be coming up shortly in August. Until then, I’ll probably be listening to this a fair bit.

Gray and CZK are definitely some of my favourite arrangers, with a distinctive minimalist style that shows itself well in this album. Besides Ruxia, they also run a non-Touhou circle, Disorder Circulation, which is pretty awesome as well.

This is perfect background music for when you’re doing anything at all – it doesn’t get in the way and just sits in the background.

Circle Name: Ruxia
Album Name: Astrometry
Website: http://ruxia.seeds-9.com/rxcd01

  1. Czk – Hundred Million Night Hours
    A rather calming arrange of the menu music to start off with. As expected of Ruxia’s style, it has quite a bit of a minimalist touch to it, with a very slow build-up over the course of the song. CZK shows his stuff quite excellently here, and makes this the perfect introductory track for the album.
  2. gray – Declaration
    While this is actually an accurate demonstration of gray’s style, I found this track to be wanting. I didn’t enjoy the climax of the song very much at all, and it’s disappointing when compared to other, much more excellent tracks on the same album. A pity that it isn’t as good as the rest, but not that bad either.
  3. Czk – Eyes of Entreating
    Another track by CZK, again showing off his distinctively different style. It’s a rather light track that once again is rather calming, and quite minimalistic in nature as well. As for the difference in style, I’ve found that gray prefers to work more with heavy, percussion-based instruments such as drums whereas CZK favours the lighter side of things such as synthesizers and string instruments. Their arrangement styles complement each other quite well.
  4. gray – Retrospective
    One of my favourite songs of the album, this shows a commendable understanding of minimalistic music styles. It manages to feel both distant and empty while maintaining a rather decent melody, while using a good blend of piano and drums to keep the song’s energy from being completely zero. The main “chorus” drum pattern of this song also strikes a chord in me, so I like this alot. Excellent track.
  5. gray – Sight ( ghostly )
    As expected of gray’s style, there’s heavy use of drums in this track but it still manages to feel rather calming despite all the energy. The constant breakdowns throughout the track makes this feel quite spacious and empty, while the main climaxes feel extremely energetic and awesome, with the last one perhaps being the most energetic and awesome of all.
  6. gray – Aerophobia
    This is a much more energetic and drummy track than what we’ve had so far, with an interesting use of a light synthesizer to balance out the drums. I like how consistent this sounds throughout the track, and I also like the excellent timings on the breakdown and re-climax. Pretty good stuff.
  7. Czk – Star Fall Sunset
    The inclusion of a CZK track here leaves me feeling rather conflicted. On one hand it’s a welcome respite from the constant drummy drumminess, but on the other hand the transition from Aerophobia, which was rather energetic, to this track, which is rather not energetic, is quite jarring. Still, CZK delivers as usual, with a very excellent rendition of Dream Battle that manages to make it somehow sound down-tempo.
  8. gray – Imaginary flower
    Another one of my favourite songs, this achieves a remarkable sense of consistency that’s worthy of minimalistic music while also developing steadily throughout the track. The drum pattern is constantly maintained and repeated throughout the song, with the synthesizer constantly being developed throughout the song, and more instruments gradually introduced. There’s only sparse use of breakdowns, but there’s a constant sense that the song is constantly building up towards something greater, which does indeed arrive at the climax of the song. I love the interplay between the different, delicate-sounding instruments and the rough-sounding drums, all of which adds up to one of my favourite tracks of all time.
  9. Czk – Phantasmagoria 5am
    I don’t really think of Phantom Ensemble as a calming tune, so this was quite interesting for me to hear. All the elements of the original melody of Phantom Ensemble are introduced slowly throughout the song with good backup by the main synthesizers, and there’s an excellent use of pauses and breaks to keep the calm going. It does sound rather awesome when it finally reaches the second half, and makes this probably the most awesome CZK track of the album. Good stuff indeed.

If there was a flaw of Ruxia, it would probably be a flaw of the genre in itself. Minimalist music is great when you’re looking for background music, but it’s rarely if ever energetic. Interestingly though, some of gray’s tracks managed to be quite exciting in many ways while also maintaining the minimalistic feel of the music, which is pretty awesome.

As usual, I feel that Ruxia’s style is irreplaceable. There’s no other circle I can think of that would even come close to their style.

I’m looking forward to their C80 release.