[Azure&Sands] 十六夜咲夜の時間旅行

A rather interesting album featuring a mix of instrumental and vocal tracks. Has a very interesting feel to it, definitely worth checking out at least the vocal tracks.

Azure&Sands is a fairly new circle, but they’ve been producing some pretty cool music already. Their previous album, 「CASINO聖輦船」, was pretty interesting but a bit too heavy on the jazz for me to like. This album on the other hand, is alot better balanced and has much more interesting lyrics for the vocal tracks.

The style here is a bit similar to OTAKU-ELITE Recordings – when I say that, I mean that the arrangement style is similar to D.Watt’s style in some tracks. I like D.Watt quite a bit, but his tracks tend to be hit-or-miss for me. He’s also done a fair number of tracks for IOSYS, but most of that sounds fairly different from what releases under OTAKU-ELITE Recordings.

I’m still fairly uncertain about the arranger for Azure&Sands, which is one 「鯛の小骨」. He’s quite good but I can’t quite place his style, and it seems like he does a wide variety of different things even in just this album. It’s admirable in a way, but also somewhat strange since most arrangers tend to have a certain style to them.

Circle Name: Azure&Sands
Album Name: 十六夜咲夜の時間旅行
Website: http://bunbun-aya.ath.cx/~tainokobone/Works/izayoi.html

  1. 鯛の小骨 – Bad, too bad morning.
  2. あさな – 十六夜咲夜の時間旅行
    The vocalist, Asana, has a very nice voice that I can fully agree with. She’s done a fair number of tracks for IOSYS and OTAKU-ELITE, and is quite good at the whole vocalist thing. I didn’t think I’d like this at all since it’s disgustingly cheerful, but it’s hard for me to disagree with a remix of Stopwatch of Blood. Still, that just means that instead of vomiting blood at the cheerfulness, I just go into a mild coma for a while. Not too bad I guess.
  3. 鯛の小骨 – Buggy Boogie
    Started out sounding quite promising, but then the saxophones came in and ruined it all! Not actually too bad once they go away though, hopefully they’ll stay away forever. I like the overall feel of the track, it’s cheerful enough while not being too overbearing, and it’s quite interesting to hear Chinese Tea being arranged like this.
  4. 鯛の小骨 – 未来より愛をこめて
    Interesting remix of Locked Girl, one of my favourite original tracks. Very much liking the piano used in this, it’s very catchy while sitting nicely in the background and letting the… brass… carry the melody. Kind of a mashup between jazz and classical. some Once again, very interesting to hear Locked Girl arranged like this.
  5. あさな – タイムトラベラーの友達
    I didn’t think Asana would really be able to do a good job for this track, seeing as its an arrange of Flowering Night and it’s quite hard to sing the melody of Flowering Night. She does an excellent job of it though, and with some arrangement magic this is probably one of the best tracks of the album. Excellent stuff.
  6. 鯛の小骨 – メガロポリスガールズ
    Somehow manages to match the previous track as far as awesome-o-meter goes, and actually feels quite nice too. This is a case where 鯛の小骨’s arrangement style seems to change magically – it’s quite different from what we’ve had up to here, but somehow he does it excellently and the result is amazing. Very light and fluffy in feeling, feels like it might have come from some game’s OST.
  7. あさな – My apoptosis
    My personal favourite of the album. Asana does a splendid job of the vocals, but even better than that is what 鯛の小骨 did with everything else. The lyrics, arrangement and just about everything is just superb. The melody of Eastern Dream blends smoothly into the looped vocals, and the whole track has a very post-rockish vibe to it that reminds me a bit of Echo Project’s work. If you only listen to one track from this album, make it this one.
  8. 鯛の小骨 – 理想郷は変わらない、
    Not bad at all, but can’t possibly be as good as My apoptosis. Of course, just because it isn’t the best doesn’t mean it’s not good at all – this track has a very interesting blend of traditional Eastern instruments with some light piano, chimes and even a bagpipe thrown in for good measure. Somehow manages to not sound bad despite all the different elements, too. Rather decent, would have liked more of this
  9. あさな – ひとりぼっちでも、
    A ballad-style track, but that doesn’t mean the instrumentals are lacking. Starts off feeling rather laid-back and relaxed, but builds up nicely towards the middle with some dramatic piano. Atmosphere is kept pretty relaxed though, with some ambient sea noise and some light chimes. I don’t really like Sepette all that much, but this is done quite well and is definitely not bad at all.
  10. 鯛の小骨 – ひとりじゃない。
    Another rather interesting take on an original, this time of Sleepless Night. I couldn’t recognize it at first because the tempo is quite slow compared to the original, but it’s still quite distinct once the main part of it starts up. Rather interesting that a harmonica was used for the main melody too, although the playing of it isn’t exactly top notch. Still pretty good though, and a nice track overall.

Kind of weird how it develops over the course of the album – starts off very cheerful and then becomes something much more orchestral and epic-sounding. Can’t say I disagree with it though – just that if I were to judge it by say, the first 3 tracks, I probably wouldn’t have liked it very much.

Still, as a whole the good by far outweighs the bad. Definitely looking forward to more from this circle.