Album Review – (Reitaisai 8) [Attrielectrock] Apple Tree

A compilation album that features a broad range of electronic music from several of my favourite artists, including ziki_7, maelock and of course Attrielectrock. Oh, and every single song is a remix of Bad Apple!!.

Attrielectrock, despite what the name would imply, is not about electronic rock. It’s more of a synthesizer-heavy, easy-listening style with some jazz influences mixed in. It’s rather similar to KARMART, which is expected since its’ only arranger 此糸ウルヱ is one-half of KARMART.

While the fact that there’s only one arranger should make this circle quite predictable most of the time, their sound has gradually changed over the years, with “(C75) FIND” sounding extremely different from “(C77) ACCR a perfect day”, which also sounds extremely different when compared to “(C78) 秘封計画”. It’s quite pleasant to see all of this maturing as a circle, but it’s a bit saddening for me since I liked FIND alot, and found 秘封計画 to be rather bad.

Nevertheless, none of this matters since this is a compilation album that doesn’t reflect much on Attrielectrock itself.

Circle Name: Attrielectrock
Album Name: Apple Tree

  1. 此糸ウルヱ – Punish Apple
    Starting off with a smooth introduction to the album, this track is an excellent display of Attrielectrock’s current style. It’s rather feel-goody, and rather easy-listeningy as well, with some house influences present in some sections. I like the usage of piano in this, with just a few riffs here and there to give it more of an electropop or even jazz feel. A very nice fusion of different styles in this track.
  2. 和泉幸奇 – Axxle xUnixxxd
    Sadly, this album suffers from the same disconnection syndrome that most compilations are afflicted with, with not much of a link-in between tracks. Nevertheless, Izumi of AramiTama does an excellent job with this track. I’m rather fond of Izumi’s approach to Techno music, which blends some house elements in and has a lot of repetitive looping that’s reminiscent of minimalist music. It helps to build up a fair bit of atmosphere, and results in a rather awesome climax when it does happen. I notice that Izumi does tend to favour certain drum patterns and instruments as well, making his style of music instantly recognizable. Quite good.
  3. 梶迫迅八 – Alley Apple
    A much more funky start than the previous two albums, with a distinctively different style. It somehow manages to not abruptly transition despite something in my head telling me that it shouldn’t, which is odd because voices in my head are usually right! Anyway, I like the sampled(Or so I would assume) vocals in this, adding a nice hip-hop touch that’s accentuated by the hip-hop drums and overall pattern. There’s also a pretty soft guitar in the background that provides most of the melody, as well as some light chords to fill the space, making this another interesting fusion of styles.
  4. maelock – Cray-G Apple
    Another rather funky track, this time in a completely different manner though. This has more of a jazzy feel to it, which is strange considering that one would normally think of chipion being a chiptune circle rather than something that’s groovy like this. I’m not complaining though, this is easily one of the more original bad apple arranges in this. The main chords that were present in the original are put to good use here, while being backed up by an interesting looped guitar pattern and a smooth house beat that keeps everything progressing nicely. The electronic focus is rather strong here, so that will probably influence whether you will like this or not. Personally, this is my favourite track of the album.
  5. ziki_7 – Forbidden Fruit
    I was pretty excited for this track, since ziki_7 is one of my favourite arrangers, with some excellent trance/dnb arranges being produced by him on a regular basis. As expected, Forbidden Fruit proves to be an excellent track, with a combination of a progressive trance style with drum patterns that are more reminiscent of drum n’ bass, along with a much more energetic climax than one would normally anticipate. Bad Apple’s melody is also rendered beautifully throughout the track, with different instruments playing it here and there, and it even manages to maintain some of the original chords from the song. Very nice and energetic, excellent track.
  6. 〆G – Closed Punish Apple
    A rather slow track in its introduction, this follows more of a typical trance style with a slow gradual buildup before finally introducing the melody. It’s rather non-descript overall in its feeling, and that makes it quite forgettable, but when you’re listening to it this track really does sound quite good, far better than I would have expected from someone who I don’t know anything about. The different instruments blend together quite nicely, and the timings of the buildups/breakdowns are managed beautifully. Sampled vocals also add an excellent touch, injecting just the right amount of emotion. Despite all this however, the arrangement is ultimately rather bland because of the standard depiction of Bad Apple that’s been done a million times. It also sounds like its borrowing too many elements, and all of this contributes to a lack of focus that prevents this song from being the masterpiece it should have been. Good try though, probably one of the better tracks of the album as well.
  7. ハム – Crash Mash Fresh Apple!!
    Softly starting before breaking out into some electro-style music with some lovely piano riffs being used. The drum style used is also pretty reminiscent of hip-hop, though we are saved the agony of any rapped lyrics. The depiction of Bad Apple is once again rather unoriginal, but the small number of elements used and the tight focus saves it from becoming forgettable, and merely sidelines it into the “average” field in terms of memorability. It’s somewhat catchy, but seems to be lacking a certain something. It’s okay I guess.
  8. Nanasy – 74 Apple
    Quite the odd introduction to this track, with some sampled vocals that have nothing whatsoever to do with what comes next. Once again, there’s some piano used, though this time it’s playing a submelody rather than just being used for the riffs and chords. Piano must be something of a theme within this album, seeing as it appears in so many tracks. I like the usage of two melodies, before finally breaking out into some very energetic piano chords that provide excellent backup for the Bad Apple theme. I would have liked a different style of drum to be used though, what’s used in this seems to be just bland and unentertaining. The piano chords used in conjunction with the Bad Apple theme makes for an extremely energetic and lively track, which I like alot. Good stuff.
  9. 蒼-aoi- – Polish Apples feat.aoi
    Another song that utilizes piano, though this time a much more electronic sounding piano. This is probably the track that most people would love immediately, with an extremely agreeable electronic sound to it that I find hard to hate. It’s quite funky as well, with a good pacing on the introduction of new instruments and segments, while the vocals provided by aoi do an excellent job. I’m not usually that big a fan of singing the main melody for Bad Apple, but aoi manages to make it work quite well, which was quite surprising. I guess this is what happens when one of my favourite arrangers(此糸ウルヱ arranged this) collaborates with one of my favourite vocalists. The blending of the different vocals is also excellent, with a very catchy set of lyrics as well. Would be the best track on the album if I were not biased towards maelock.

Overall, this was an extremely satisfying album. The only part I was a bit disappointed with is the lack of an appropriate ending, with Polish Apples being one of the more high energy tracks it makes it hard for me to accept that the album has ended when it plays. Otherwise, everything is just about as good as I would expect from an album, in terms of composition and track ordering.

I wish Attrielectrock would produce something like FIND once again though, I really, really liked that alot. I don’t mind stuff like this either though, this is probably one of the more interesting collaboration albums I’ve listened to in some time, better even than the2.5.

Though yeah, I like this style of music so that’s my bias coming into play.