Month in Review: January 2012

It’s been quite a month! With Comiket 81 wrapping up there’s been a huge flood of new music, and it seems like new albums just keep popping up before all over the place. Of the four albums reviewed this month, three were C81 releases, all of which I thought were pretty excellent. But what do I think of them now?

This is a new type of article where I wrap up what I thought about all of this month’s albums – I usually change my mind a bit after writing each review, and I thought this would be an excellent way to express how my opinion has changed with some more time. If you have any comments or suggestions about this, please do leave a comment below – I will definitely read and try to respond to it.

75% of albums reviewed this month were electronic albums – in other words, the price of electricity will be going up 75% this week while water prices tread a 25% increase. Analysts predict that this is the result of Alstroemeria Records finally releasing a new album, creating a ripple effect on the electric market place. Growth looks set to continue into the first quarter of 2012 as more and more companies jump on the electric bandwagon, and overall the market looks extremely healthy.

Closing from that awful stock market joke, I would like to review a few more non-electronic albums but I haven’t really found anything that’s really amazing just yet. So I’ll continue reviewing more and more electronic stuff till the end of times.

  1. (C81) [Alstroemeria Records] KILLED DANCEHALL
    KILLED DANCEHALL

    Definitely one of the best releases of C81, and definitely worth listening to at least once. I’ve yet to find another C81 album that’s better than this, and if I do I’ll be pretty surprised. I wouldn’t compare it directly to HAUNTED DANCEHALL, but this is definitely a good album.

    In retrospect, LUNAR DIAL is one of the strongest tracks of the album, followed closely by Unknown and Phantoms in Da House. I’m more disappointed with Endless and Flowering Night now – the high energy from LUNAR DIAL simply does not flow well into those two tracks, and it feels very off-putting and I just loop back to Unknown rather than listen to Endless and Flowering Night.

  2. (M3-28) [ShibayanRecords] ムソウマテリアライズ
    Musou Materialise

    Alot of people didn’t know that this album came out until C81 – a sin that should be punishable by death. One of the best electronic albums of 2011 without a doubt, and something that you have to pick up if you’re an electronic music fan. It’s so good, it’s just sooooo good!

    I’d say my initial judgement for this album still stands – my favourite from this album is definitely オズネイ・ハマンはもういらない, alternatively known as yana’s track. It’s such a wonderful combination of melodies, and is so wonderfully catchy. I have to say that MyonMyonMyonMyonMyonMyon! is pretty good on hindsight as well – these two tracks are definitely the best of the album.

  3. (C81) [Syrufit] Avidya
    Avidya

    Hmm, this one is a tough one. I haven’t really found myself compelled to listen to this very much. In a way, it’s kind of good, but when I listen to the entire album it’s not nearly as exciting as say, KILLED DANCEHALL or Musou Materialise. This is a recurring trend for Syrufit albums, they usually have one or two really good tracks, but as a whole it’s not as good as other circle’s work.

    The only tracks I really liked are et Cetera, Links, innocent – Nhato Remix and Angel’s Doubt – still the same as how I felt when I reviewed this album. Hopefully, their next work is better and closer to Alstroemeria’s standard.

  4. (C81) [Syrufit x Pizuya’s Cell] 君の歌と僕の小さな恋
    君の歌と僕の小さな恋

    The only non-electronic album of the lot, and it’s pretty good! I’m usually not really that interested in non-electronic, slow-paced music, but this album caught my attention pretty well. One of the most interesting things about this was the guest arrangers – Syrufit, Poplica and LinJin don’t usually do non-electronic, so it was interesting to see them try their hand at it. Except for LinJin, who went ahead and did his usual stuff anyway.

    In retrospect, the track that really appeals to me the most is the middle track, 焦堕. It’s very calming with lots of smooth jazz, something that’s lacking in most other albums I find. It’s also structured well and is excellent for looping on its own, definitely the best track of the album.

Having so many albums and such a wide range of choices is surely suffering; Such is the fate of the first month after C81. Hopefully more and more stuff will get reviewed quicker – I still want to review some very old albums, but it’s more important to get the big albums of C81 out of the way first.

I’m glad that my opinion hasn’t changed by that much after just a few weeks – most of what I thought when I reviewed these albums was quite accurate, which is good. Look forward to more reviews this month!

Please do comment on what you think about this – it’s a new style of article for me so I might change it up considerably if it doesn’t work well.