Syrufit’s C81 release, featuring both Poplica* and Syrufit as arrangers! Expect plenty of female vocals from the usual cast, with a very electronic feel overall.
Rather than doing separate albums, this time around both Syrufit and Poplica* are collaborating on a single album – surely, this means the best of both worlds? It kind of depends on how much you like both arrangers’ work – I’m much more inclined towards Poplica*’s style, which has plenty of D&B influence rather than Syrufit’s, which is a very trance-like electronic style.
Circle Name: Syrufit
Album Name: Avidya
- Syrufit – Avidya
A rather worrisome oriental introduction – I don’t want oriental music when I’m listening to Syrufit! Thankfully, it transitions into a much more Syrufit-esque style, with a touch of progressive influence. Not particularly noteworthy, but it serves adequately as an introduction.
- 綾倉盟 – Another Vision
This track is somewhat harder than I would have expected, but it’s thankfully much better than what we had for C80. It seems that Syrufit has picked up more of Minoshima’s style, and the result is a non-painful sounding house/dance track with a touch of vocal trance added in. Ayakura Mei does a decent job with the vocals, but overall it’s not a particularly stand-out track.
- itori – We Are
Poplica’s first track, and boy is it good. The introduction manages to be catchy while not sounding overbearing, and the rest of the song manages the same standard. Lots of buildup/breakdown shenanigans going on as well, which always helps to make tracks sound more interesting. I’m surprised at how good itori is on vocals, she turned out to be pretty decent at the whole singing thing. One of the highlights of the album, for sure.
- 市松椿 – Rapture
The second Poplica track of the album, this time being much more sombre. Personally, I feel that this would have been better with a different style of arranger. Poplica’s style just doesn’t suit short, sombre tracks – he does a fairly good job all things considered, but it would have been more interesting to have someone else do this track. Tsubaki does a good job with the vocals, but the instrumentals just aren’t supporting her. A disappointment, but not bad as far as the album’s flow goes.
- 綾倉盟 – et Cetera
This is a guest track by LinJin of CYTOKINE, which has since been rechristened ZYTOKINE. It’s one of the better tracks, too! Linjin’s style is always interesting to hear; he’s done all sorts of stuff from rock-style tracks to vocal trance to drum&bass. This track in particular seems to be mostly vocal-trance in style, but with a dose of house/dance thrown in for good measure. Ayakura is excellent as well, her vocals are definitely the best part of the song.
- Cathy – Links
The first collaboration between Syrufit and Poplica, and it really is the best of both worlds. Syrufit’s excellent use of electronic elements is combined with Poplica’s great beat sense, and the result is catchy while still managing to change it up quite a bit throughout the track. I wasn’t really sure about using Cathy for the vocals, but she does quite well and the track suits her voice quite excellently. There’s a bit of autotune used, but that’s completely OK.
- 綾倉盟 – Stellar
The second collaboration, featuring quite possibly one of the worst instances of track placement ever. Coming off of Links this track sounds disgustingly cheerful and overly happy, which detracts from the album overall. It’s a pretty good song overall with a very interesting melody and a catchy beat, but it’s hard to recover from such disastrous track management. Ayakura’s vocals are decent, I guess? Would have preferred Sakaue Nachi or nagi on this, probably.
- 市松椿 – candle
Once again, the mood shifts suddenly – this time, we’ve got another rather sombre track by Syrufit. It’s a very sad-sounding, ballad-esque song that would be perfect as a lullaby, and coming off of Stellar that’s very, very strange. Definitely wouldn’t mind this as an outro track, but this isn’t the outro and it’s weird to have it here. Still, it’s not bad and I like this style of Syrufit a fair bit. He does very slow, relaxing songs quite well, and this track is no exception. Tsubaki’s vocals are quite appropriate, definitely good stuff.
- Nhato – innocent – Nhato Remix
Specially featuring the famous Nhato, this is definitely the most distinct track on the album. It’s a remix of a remix that’s already been remixed before, if that makes sense. This time Nhato brings some very distinctive heavy dubstep to the table, and with his excellent buildup/breakdown management the result is quite splendid – definitely the best track.
- Poplica* – Angel’s Doubt
Poplica’s solo outro track, which by all means should be quite good. It’s evocative of Poplica’s previous excellent trance tracks in his solo album releases, but there’s a pretty big problem – the track here is only 4 minutes long, and that’s not nearly long enough for any emotional buildup, which is Poplica’s forte. As a result, everything sounds too rushed for my liking. It could have been pretty awesome if he had the extra time, but sadly that isn’t the case and the result is something that’s merely above average. Which, frankly, is still rather good.
Overall, I was quite pleased with this album. It’s quite worrying when a circle releases a sub-par album, but this more than made up for Syrufit’s C80 release. It’s definitely worth listening to, and apart from a few problems with the album structure it’s quite a good album.
It’s a pity that the transitions between the tracks are quite lacking – I like it alot when all the tracks in an album flow smoothly into each other. Still, it’s made up for by the sheer awesomeness of some of the tracks – Nhato’s in particular stands out, while Et Cetera and Links are close contenders for 2nd-best track of the album.
I’m a bit sad at what happened to Poplica’s solo track though, it could have been really great. I’ve liked almost ever single one of his solo, trance-style tracks so far, so I was expecting something much better than what we got.
If you’re looking to pick up this album, I would advise you to wait for White-Canvas to pick it up. It’s not currently listed on their website, but it should be in a couple of weeks/months/years/never. Otherwise, you’ll have to use a proxy service of some sort to buy it, since only doujin shops in Japan are selling it right now.