A short mini-album featuring four AIR arranges by kanabun, who did one track for Ruxia’s Flower, Sun and Moon. A rather easy-listeningish sound overall, with some interesting use of instruments as well.

I can’t find the cover image for this album, so I used an upscaled image of the banner instead. This album was actually released last year to mark the 10th anniversary of the Visual Novel AIR, which had a pretty cool soundtrack. It’s available for download on KPDrecords’ website, or was until the entire website got re-built recently. The file’s location is still valid though, so I’ll link it later on.

I’m starting to like kanabun’s style of arrange more and more the more I listen to his work. It’s a very interesting blend of ambient style with some very strong percussion elements, resulting in a very relaxing feel to most of his songs while still being quite good for active listening.

His work on this album also seems to be rather different than his work with Ruxia, though I think that’s mostly because of the source material. AIR songs are fairly relaxed, and don’t tend to be very high energy, so that helps a lot with creating a relaxing atmosphere.

Circle Name: KPDrecords
Album Name: Loop of Summer
Website: http://s1.shard.jp/kpdrecords/air/los_air.html
Download: http://kanabun.seeds-9.com/los.zip

Copy and paste the URL into your address bar for the download if you so desire.

  1. 夏影
    The start of this song immediately signals kanabun’s style of arrangement, with a variety of pleasant, relaxing sound effects such as flowing water being used. The blending of the piano/triangle/something with the higher pitched flute in the background is also rather good, and helps alot with the atmosphere of the song. This is one of those songs that tend to build up an image in your head over time, and shows kanabun’s excellent understanding of how to combine different elements of music together. The piano introduced near the midpoint sounds extremely delicate, and further reinforces the smooth, relaxing feel of the song. 

    While the first half of this song is excellent, the second half is also superb. This is a some-what long track, clocking in at around 7-8 minutes, so there’s alot of build-up going on throughout the song, and the shift towards a more piano-focused melody after the middle point along with something that sounds like wind chimes/triangle adds a sense of progression to the song, rather than having it just stagnate with the initial melody and patterns. Very good job on this song, probably the best track in the album.

  2. 青空
    Starting off with a larger focus on the piano, this is the first vocal song in the album. The vocals by Chie Fukami suit the song quite alot, with a very slow pace overall. I’m not usually a big fan of her vocals, but this time she suits the track so it ends up being okay. The credits page also list her as the person playing the piano, which is impressive as well. I’m not as big a fan of this song as the others, especially since its so achingly slow at times, but the relaxing atmosphere of the entire album makes up for this quite effectively.
  3. Farewell Song
    Another rather relaxed-sounding start that suddenly segues into some rapping, which is odd to say the least. I was rather pleased with this actually, the coarseness of the rapping and the drum used adds a nice counterpart to the much more fragile sounds in this song. I also like how kanabun used a very pronounced drum in this, where most people would have probably stuck with rather light sounding drums to make it feel more hip-hoppy. The stronger drums add alot of body to the song, and the result is quite excellent.
  4. Natukage
    This track is actually a remix of the same song as the first track, but this time it has vocals by Chie added to it. The starting as usual is very relaxed sounding, this time adding in some rather beep-boppy sounding synthesizers and a very soft acoustic guitar in the background, with alot of playing with windchimes in the foreground. Once the drum starts however, that’s when the song really starts. Chie’s vocals are excellent once again, with a very slow pace to the entire song emphasizing her strong points a fair bit. I don’t mind the slowness in this song as much as in the second track, mostly because the addition of the drums adds just enough for me to maintain interest in the track, and also because the choice of instruments can be rather unique at times. 

    I would say this is probably the second-best track in the entire album, with the original Natsukage being an excellent source track for remixes. It has a very relaxed feeling, but it also maintains a good sense of progression throughout the melody, while having a good amount of excitement towards the midpoint of the song. Quite simply a beautiful piece.

I’m quite surprised by how good this album has turned out, actually, considering that I don’t have a very high opinion of AIR tracks, mostly because I don’t much care for eroge OSTs. I would say that this album has changed my perception as far as that goes, but I probably won’t be downloading eroge OSTs just to listen to them anytime soon, since they tend to be designed for background listening rather than active listening, which is rather disappointing.

Kanabun’s work is proving to be excellent, and I really hope he does more collaborations with Disorder Circulation/Ruxia. He’s alot more solid than the single track Apple and Honey in Flower, Sun and Moon seemed to indicate, and I look forward to listening to more of his releases.