[ShibayanRecords] ムソウマテリアライズ

ShibayanRecords’ second newest release, Musou Materialise, following on from the wonderful Kokoro Vibration. Once again it features plenty of distinctive electronic house with some lovely female vocals layered on top – surely, this is the best type of music there is!

Well, not really but it’s fun to hype stuff up, isn’t it?

Still, this is an excellent album if you’re looking for some decent electronic house music. Shibayan’s style is a little bit similar to Justice, but the overall feel is much lighter and cheerful thanks to their use of female vocals. It’s rare to find music that manages to blend such strong instrumentals with equally strong vocals, and for this reason alone I would think this album is one of the best releases of 2011.

Of course, there’s still off-vocal tracks in this album – after all, Shibayan wants to show off his arrangement skills! That said, I still feel that the vocal tracks are definitely the strongest part of the album. They’re simply splendid, and are without a doubt the best vocals I’ve heard in a long time.

Musou Materialize, taken from Shibayan's twitter.

Musou Materialize, taken from Shibayan's twitter.

Circle Name: ShibayanRecords
Album Name: ムソウマテリアライズ
Website: http://homepage3.nifty.com/shibayan/stal1101/

  1. Shibayan – 躍る夜雀~Invitation to evening
    Starting off with some very funky house, this is an excellent demonstration of Shibayan’s style. Although his albums are based off of Touhou tracks, there’s very little resemblance in most parts – Shibayan does his own thing, and boy does it work out well. One of the better first tracks for any album I’ve heard in a while, sets the tone nicely for the rest of the album. Very nice.
  2. Shibayan – 深紅の瞳
    Showing off his style once again, this sounds absolutely nothing like U.N. Owen until it does, breaking out with the distinctive U.N. Owen melody. In reality this means that the large majority of this track consists of build-ups, but somehow it’s still very captivating and not boring in the least. Excellent arrangement of U.N. Owen, in the end I thought this was very fitting for Flandre.

  3. 3L – 紅涙にしづむは供人の憂い
    This is the first vocal track of the album, featuring a common guest for Shibayan’s albums, 3L. At first I thought this was a little disappointing – the vocals don’t mesh well with the vocals, and the instrumentals sound a little too corny and dated for my taste. It comes together wonderfully in the second half though – both the vocals and instrumentals come together and produce something truly fantastic. Pity about the first half, though.
  4. yana – オズネイ・ハマンはもういらない
    My personal favourite of the album, with Yanagi as the vocalist (Shibayan credits her as yana instead of nagi for some reason). The lyrics themselves are some wonderfully trippy stuff, but I’ll be focusing on how it sounds. Yanagi is one my favourite vocalists of all time, and needless to say she does a great job here, made all the more better by Shibayan’s wonderfully catchy and interesting arrangement. I wouldn’t have guessed that this was an arrangement of Shou’s theme at all, but somehow it is. Wonderful stuff.

  5. Shibayan – エコーゲイト
    I came into this track thinking that it wouldn’t be much good – after all, how can anything be better than yana’s track? Somehow though, Shibayan manages to pull something crazy off and the result is more than a match for nagi’s awesomeness. Very nice track, and definitely a well-needed break from vocals.
  6. 坂上なち – シンデレラは魔法使い
    Sakaue Nachi is also one of my favourite vocalists, and by listening to this track you will see why. I’ve mentioned before that Locked Girl’s melody is very difficult to pull off with vocals – it’s definitely not something that can easily be rendered into a vocal track.

    That said, this is without a doubt an absolutely fantastic track – each part of the track has a different style and feel to it, and the contrast of the different parts makes it feel much better as a whole. The main melody is introduced without downplaying everything that’s been built up so far, and even though different styles are used in different parts you can clearly feel the influence of each style through the entire track. Very good.

  7. 3L – MyonMyonMyonMyonMyonMyon!
    Including a “Myon” track seems to be a signature of Shibayan’s albums, and this is no exception. It’s quite interesting to see how different this sounds in comparison to Kokoro Vibration’s one, even though they’re both based off the same track. 3L provides vocals for this song once again, hard to disagree with that choice since 3L is quite a good vocalist as well – I just don’t really like her voice as much as some others. The instrumentals are splendid once again, doing a splendid job of supporting the vocals and offsetting the cuteness a bit. Overall, a rather decent track.
  8. Shibayan – プライベートビジョン
    A remarkable departure from the rest of the album, this track slows things down quite a bit. It’s still fairly electronic, but incorporates alot of soft, smooth piano and is in general alot more calming and relaxing. I wouldn’t ordinarily agree with this, but since its the final track of the album it makes for a pleasant outro for the album. Quite soft and fluffy.

Quite a lovely album! Definitely liking Shibayan’s style even more now after listening to this fantastic album, where everything feels more or less right. It’s cohesive both as a whole and as separate tracks, which is quite difficult to pull off.

I didn’t really mean to be as critical of Kokoro Vibration as I did in my review of it, it just felt a little bit off to me. I’m glad that this release is alot better though – it feels like an extension of Kokoro Vibration in a way, cutting out bits that didn’t fit and adding in new and improved versions of everything else.

Of course, this album isn’t for everyone – if you don’t like electronic music, this is definitely not for you and you shouldn’t even be reading this. If you do though, this is one of the best electronic albums of 2011, and you should definitely pick it up.

If you’re looking to buy this album, Musou Materialise is available on Mandarake for 1200 JPY, and is also on White Canvas if you prefer that.