The latest album from Alstroemeria Records, featuring the usual cast of vocalists, and the usual assortment of electronic music!

For those who are still somehow unfamiliar with Alstroemeria Records, they’re one of the oldest circles producing Touhou arrangements and have been around for a very, very long time. Featuring Masayoshi Minoshima as the sole arranger, Alstroemeria Records used to produce lots of lovely trance-ish arranges.

Undoubtedly, their most famous work so far has to be their Bad Apple arrangement – this sparked the creation of a video that is truly spectacular, and if you haven’t seen it yet you’re missing out:

They’ve since shifted away from trance arranges into much more electronic arrangements, starting with their Saisen Turn albums and continuing onwards to the DANCEHALL albums, of which ABANDONED DANCEHALL is the latest!

As usual, Ayakura Mei is the main vocalist for the album, but it does feature quite a lot of other vocalists such as Sakaue Nachi, Yoshikawa Sunao, mican*, Furukawa Mirin and Ayame. I’m really only excited about Ayakura Mei and mican*, since they’ve had such excellent vocals in the past.

Sadly, this time round we don’t have a guest arrangement from Nhato, which is a shame as he’s a fantastic arranger who’s a close friend of Minoshima, and his tracks are always spectacular on any album.

ABANDONED DANCEHALL disks, picture by Minoshima.

Circle Name: Alstroemeria Records
Album Name: ABANDONED DANCEHALL
Website: http://alst.net/2012/05/26/arcd0037-abandoned-dancehall/

  1. Masayoshi Minoshima – THE OUTSET

    A typical introductory track, good work on managing the buildup and the vocals are a nice touch. Not much to say about it, though.

  2. 坂上なち – SAKURA CHAIN

    A nice, smooth track that reminds me more of Alstroemeria’s older work with a very trance-esque approach to the track and a very slow build-up. The house beat in the background definitely gives it away as more of an EDM track though, but a bit more down-tone than people would expect. Pretty good, Sakaue Nachi does an excellent job on the vocals but this is nothing to write home about.

  3. 綾倉盟 – TWOROCKS

    Another trance-ish track with a progressive build-up over the course of the song and lots of smooth synths. Minoshima does a good job of balancing both vocals and instrumentals without disturbing the build-up to the climax of the song. As expected, Ayakura Mei does a good job on the vocals, but I feel like this would have been better suited for someone like Mican*. Quite a decent track, one of the better ones of the album.

  4. 綾倉盟 – Integration under the moon of codes

    This track is composed by a guest arranger, Camellia. I don’t know who he is, but he’s definitely very good from the looks of it. A strong beat combined with excellent use of distorted/processed vocals and excellent timing on build-ups and breakdowns, the result is an absolutely fantastic track. Ayakura’s vocals are the cherry on top with excellent composition and lyrics playing to her strong side, resulting in her best track in quite a while and a very unique, distinct sound that definitely suits Ayakura Mei. Good stuff, very unique and would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes electronic music.

  5. 吉河順央 – MSTRSPRK

    I wasn’t really looking forward to this track – after all, how could you possibly top what came before? Surprisingly, Minoshima actually manages to match the bar set by Camellia with a very catchy and strong arrangement of Master Spark, which is a very difficult track to do anything unique with. This is helped by Yoshikawa Sunao’s vocals, which are honestly some of the best I’ve heard in a long time – she has very good vocals, almost better than mican* and almost certainly better than Ayakura. The combination results in a surprisingly good track, although I feel like the composition could have used more work. Still, one of the best Master Spark arrangements I’ve heard in a while.

  6. mican* – GHOST LASSIE

    At long last, we arrive at mican*’s track! For some reason the DANCEHALL albums seem to focus around giving mican* the strongest possible arrangements, and this is no exception. A very strong arrangement by Minoshima with a very strong lead-in that switches out quickly to a much more typical, subdued synth-focused sound. It’s a bit disappointing that introduction of the track involves such bait-and-switch, I would have liked to hear Minoshima continue on with that. In any case, mican* does an excellent job on vocals as usual and makes this a very memorable track, although perhaps not as good as Lunar Dial was in the previous album.

  7. 古川未鈴 – DREAM A DREAM

    I was expecting nothing at all from this track, since Furukawa Mirin’s previous showing in an Alstroemeria Records album was quite frankly pathetic and was only forgivable if you understood that the vocalist was an amateur. This time round though, Minoshima is playing to Mirin’s strengths by making this track have a very upbeat sound, so her vocals are tolerable at the very least. I actually ended up liking this track quite a bit, it’s rare to see such a happy take on this original and it’s definitely very suitable for Mirin’s vocals. Quite decent, as a result.

  8. 綾倉盟 – Snowy Cherry

    A very smooth transition from the previous track, which is quite the feat considering how different this and the previous song are in tone. Minoshima pulls his usual arranging tricks resulting in quite a decent song featuring elements from trance and house music, while Ayakura Mei does her best on vocals once again. It’s a pity that it’s not really as good as Sunao’s vocals though, but still a pretty good job.

  9. ayame – ICEMILK MAGIC

    Another fantastic transition from the previous track, this time into an arrangement of a PC98-era song. It’s quite a smooth arrangement and very relaxing, suiting Ayame’s style of vocals. It’s a very suitable closer track for the album, but I wouldn’t put too much weight on it as a solo track.

  10. Masayoshi Minoshima – Necro Fantasia (ALR Rewind Remix)

    Nice and smooth, with a very forlorn sound to it. Necro Fantasia has a sense of finality to it that makes it an excellent choice to arrange for the final track, and the result is quite spectacular. A very nice and relaxing arrangement that definitely feels like the ending of the album, it continues on just long enough to feel fulfilling without being overly repetitive, definitely an excellent composition.

    I’m not sure exactly what this is a remix of, but the vocals are from this track. They’re pretty interesting lyrics to say the least, and definitely suitable for this track, making this a very memorable album.

This was quite a fantastic album, and I’m sure most of you would agree if I were to say that this is the best of the DANCEHALL series so far! It’s definitely much better balanced than KILLED DANCEHALL was, and it’s more than a match for HAUNTED DANCEHALL – truely, a superb album!

If you want to buy this album, you’ll have to get it through a proxy service. It’s on the usual doujin shops like Toranoana, Melonbooks, etc. but not on White Canvas, which is the only Doujin shop that ships overseas. It seems they have an issue obtaining stock from Alstroemeria Records or something similar, which is odd to say the least. Sadly, this means that if you want this album you’ll have to get it through a proxy service.