[Alstroemeria Records] HAUNTED DANCEHALL

The first C80 album I’ll be reviewing. Suitably, it’s Alstroemeria Records! Who doesn’t like them?

Quite alot of people actually, but yeah. I’ll be placing some pictures at random intervals throughout the post to lessen the “WALL OF TEXT” feeling, but yeah still alot of reading to be done.

HAUNTED DANCEHALL has a very disco-ish vibe to it, with smooth transitions from track to track throughout the album, something which pleases me greatly. Genre-wise it’s mostly Electro House or regular House, with just a tiny hint of Trance present at times. Would definitely fit quite well in a clubbing atmosphere.

It’s extremely dissimilar from older ALST albums like The Garnet Star or Lovelight, and is somewhat more similar to Saisen Turn although less rip-offish in my opinion. I’m not a big fan of this direction, but I can’t say I dislike it either. It’s awesome to get such high-quality Touhou dance music arranges with great vocals and instrumentals.

Here’s some pictures that are vaguely related:

HAUNTED DANCEHALL

Front cover, picture taken by Minoshima

Back, taken by Minoshima again.

http://ameblo.jp/micancoro/entry-10986904709.html

mican* on the left, FurukawaMirin on the right.

I rather like the design of the cover, and the booklet is quite pretty as well. It’s expensive for a Doujin CD at 1500JPY from shops, but it’s well worth it considering the quality.

Circle Name: Alstroemeria Records
Album Name: HAUNTED DANCEHALL
Website: http://www.alst.net/

  1. Masayoshi Minoshima – only in the morning upside down after moonlight
    The track’s structure reminds me of Plastik World’s “God Know Will You To Love From True“. This time though, the meaningless sentence that’s repeated throughout is “only in the morning upside down after moonlight”. Just an introductory track for the next song, so moving right along:
  2. 綾倉盟 – Ancient
    Beautiful transition into this track, very smooth and doesn’t break the flow at all. Initially I was disappointed with Ayakura’s vocals, which were lacking emotion and sounded rather dead, but it picks up nicely towards the latter half, making this a very good track. I liked the liberal application of “only in the morning upside down after moonlight” as well, makes for an extremely euphoric track. Overlapping vocals are surprisingly well done, and manage to sound quite melodic and undisruptive.

    Instrumentals are an excellent electro-house set, with various synthesizers and a nice, deep drum pattern keeping it rolling along. There’s a hint of Minoshima’s older style in this with the way the main melody is played, but everything else is more of the nu-style Minoshima.

    Random picture time:

  3. 坂上なち – Witching Dream
    I’m quite a fan of Sakaue Nachi’s vocals, I think she has quite a nice voice that sounds both cute and emotional at the same time. She’s done songs for Alstroemeria Records before, the most famous of which is probably End of Daylight. She does a good job with this song as well, but it’s not particularly fantastic like her previous works.

    Instrumental-wise, everything is more or less the same as track 2, with more synthesizers being used and less bass instruments. I’m not very impressed by this track overall, it feels like the vocals are the only thing carrying this.

  4. Masayoshi Minoshima – Haunted Dancefloor
    No vocals in this one, and it’s an original track as well. This is by far the most interesting track to me, with a very nice mix of different melodies that remind me of one of Daft Punk’s songs. It’s sufficiently different that it’s not really ripping off in any way though, and I’m quite impressed by this original track overall. I would definitely love to hear more music that’s like this.

    Random picture time:

  5. mican* – Border of Life
    mican* does a fantastic job wit the vocals on this one. I’m not usually such a big fan of her vocals when she has no one else to back her up, but this time it was reasonably decent. The instrumentals did a good job supporting her vocals, and overall the song is well suited for her voice.

    I’m rather fond of the bass elements in this one, and overall the synergy between instrumentals and vocals is excellent.

  6. 古川未鈴 – Little Love Girl
    Furukawa Mirin did the vocals for this one. I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve heard her do a song for Alstroemeria Records, and she does seem rather amateurish. She does have a rather nice voice, but it lacks refinement and could use more training. Still, I’m a sucker for any sort of emotional vocals so I was completely OK with this.

    The synthesizers in this piece complement her voice very well, and Minoshima’s skill shows through in this one. I’m pretty sure almost any other artist wouldn’t have managed to make Mirin sound as nice as this.

    Random picture time:

    Furukawa Mirin

  7. Masayoshi Minoshima – Crescent Dream
    No vocals on this song, thankfully. It would have been quite scarring to hear Minoshima singing. This is somewhat reminiscent of Lovelight, but you can hear the newer style that Minoshima has been adopting more and more recently. It’s much less trance-like and much more dance/House, but it still incorporates a fair amount of trance, especially Progressive Trance into it. Quite decent, and balances out the vocal songs nicely.
  8. ayame – Sky Ruin
    I have no idea who this person is, and why she’s singing for Alstroemeria Records. She has a rather deep voice, which I don’t particularly find myself liking. She’s not bad, I guess, but I would have preferred to hear more Ayakura rather than this person.

    Overall, the instrumentals for this one are alot less energetic, which is somewhat made up for by the emotional vocals, but because I don’t really like the vocalist it feels rather soulless to me. Not that great.

    Random picture time:

    Minoshima @ Badcats

  9. 綾倉盟 – your smile, your face, your lies, your love
    Hey, it’s more Ayakura! It’s always cute to hear her try to sing in English, which might well be the reason why both of her songs in this album involve plenty of Engrish lyrics. She does an admirable job though, and almost manages to get the pronunciation right. Almost. I like her emotional vocals in this alot, it suits her voice and adds alot of excitement to the song. Quite possibly the best track of the album.

    I like the rather tribal-ish beat used in this. It’s a nice, subtle change to the rest of the album, and it really contrasts with the much electronic-feeling synthesizers. Excellent work on the instrumentals, really really good. Reminds me of some other DJ’s work. The latter half of the song is also extremely euphoric, and is pretty much perfect to me.

  10. 綾倉盟 – Plain Asia (Camellia’s Reconstructed Plainness rmx.)
    I wasn’t really excited for this track since I didn’t think anything could really top the original Plain Asia, which is probably the best Ayakura Mei solo song.

    Boy, was I wrong.

    This is a fantastic remix, with plenty of nice distortion on the vocals and great timing on when to use the different samples. Plain Asia’s original melody is still retained despite the remixing, and it also has a wonderful new touch to it that makes it seem alot more like traditional trance rather than the heavier, Vocal Trance style that was Plastik World’s trademark. It’s an extremely intriguing combination, and I can’t think of a better track to end this album with.

    Random picture time:

This is definitely the best album I’ve heard from Minoshima since Plastik World. I thought that Alstroemeria Records was past its prime, and would never again produce something truly great. Well, this album proved me wrong there. I’m suitably impressed by Minoshima’s new sound, and I’m definitely looking forward to his future releases.

I would advise you to buy this album, although I know that most people wouldn’t be able to afford it since you have to pay for overseas delivery and all that jazz. Such a pity. Get it if you have the means to.