A very light progressive-trance album by a little-known arranger, Takuya Hori. Definitely something you should check out if you enjoy light trance.

This is Camphor’s third disc, with perhaps the lowest budget packaging yet. The disc comes in just a small plastic sleeve with no cover image or anything like that – it’s just a CD with the above image laser-etched into it. Of course, packaging doesn’t affect how it sounds, and it does sound rather good.

I liked Camphor’s previous releases quite a fair bit too, with a rather unique style of taking high-energy arranges and turning them into relaxing trance arranges. It’s alot lighter than most other arranges of the same original track would be, and is definitely worth listening to at least once because of that.

Circle Name: Camphor
Album Name: Outpost
Website: http://camphor0000.blog11.fc2.com/blog-category-2.html

  1. Outpost
    A very low-key track that demonstrates Camphor’s style remarkably. Very soft at the start, before smoothly progressing into a slightly louder sound revolving around mostly synthesizers and a bit of light piano. This is more of an introduction to the album than a full track, but it feels rather splendid nonetheless.
  2. Suwa Foughten Field
    Another track that starts off in typical trance fashion, with a slow and steady buildup that eventually breaks out into an anthem. This one has a bit of a house touch to the drums, so you could maybe call it progressive house if you wanted – otherwise, it’s a fairly typical trance arrange, typical apart from the fact that Suwa Foughten Field is hardly ever arranged in this manner. Very pleasing stuff, definitely a good trance track.
  3. Border of Life
    This is also supposed to be a fairly high-energy original, but once again Camphor manages to tone it down quite a bit. Starts off with an extremely gradual introduction of new elements, with a pretty long hang-time on the synthesizers note for the first bit. Builds up quite a good atmosphere around itself, and maintains it throughout the track. It also has a fair bit more emotion than the previous two tracks, though that probably has more to do with the way Border of Life sounds. Quite good, but I prefer Suwa Foughten Field.
  4. Pocket Watch
    Much higher energy than the previous two tracks, and a much more aggressive sound. This is still a progressive trance style track, but at the same time it sounds alot darker than the previous tracks, while at the same time containing a fair bit more excitement. I’m quite pleased to see that Camphor isn’t just sticking with their style throughout the entire album, it’s nice that Takuya Hori is willing to experiment with different sounds. This actually ends up being a good contrast to the previous three tracks, and coming right after Border of Life livens up the mood quite a bit – a very good choice in terms of track placement, and an excellent arrangement.
  5. Withered Leaf
    An interesting choice for the last track – Withered Leaf has one of the more disruptive sounding melodies, and is generally hard to arrange in a relaxing manner, as outro tracks are wont to be. Camphor manages to pull it off though, defying tradition and producing one of the most relaxing sounding arranges of Withered Leaf I’ve heard. This is probably the most relaxing track in the entire album, with a very large focus on the light piano and very minimal drum helping to build up a very delicate atmosphere. Probably the best track of the album.

Camphor is definitely one of the most interesting circles out there, with a pretty unique and relaxing style. They’ve only released discs at Comiket so far, which tells me that they’re probably not as full-time of a circle as others like Alice’s Emotion/Alstroemeria Records might be, which is sad. Takuya Hori doesn’t seem to be a very active person as far as the doujin scene goes, with absolutely no links to other circles on his website and no twitter account, so I don’t really know alot about him.

If you liked this album the only thing I can really recommend is to check out Camphor’s previous works, since there’s not really any other circle that produces this style of music.