Once again, the first album I’ll review from C81 is by Alstroemeria Records! Expects lots of heavy electro and house style music – anything that you would find in a dancehall!

Needless to say, if you don’t like electronic music at all this isn’t the album for you. On the other hand if you do, you’re in for a treat! This album continues Alstroemeria Records’ recent spate of electronic style releases, following up from this summer’s wonderful Haunted Dancehall. It’s very much in the vein of Progressive House or Electro music, both of which are wonderful and fantastic genres.

The usual Alstroemeria Records crowd are here once again, with Ayakura Mei, mican* and Sakue Nachi all providing vocals for this album. There’s also guest tracks by Nhato and Syrufit, both of whom are also excellent producers. At roughly 1500 JPY, this is definitely priced at the higher end for Doujin Music but it’s well worth the price.

Alstroemeria Records at Comiket 81

Alstroemeria Records at Comiket 81, image from mican*'s twitter

Circle Name: Alstroemeria Records
Website: http://alst.net/system/?p=404

  1. Masayoshi Minoshima – Undercover
    A very suave track, builds up the atmosphere very nicely and sets the tone for the album.
  2. 坂上なち – Romantic Children
    Quite interesting that the first vocalist this time around is Sakaue Nachi. I like it, she does an excellent job with the melody and it’s made even better with Minoshima’s instrumentals in the background. I’m particularly fond of the beat for this one, it’s very catchy while not wearing thin at all. A very emotional track, reminds me of Eternal Dream a little bit.

  3. 綾倉盟 – Unknown
    A much stronger track than the previous, definitely no moping about in this one! Ayakura Mei does a stellar job on the vocals – it makes me wish that there were more tracks featuring her. Of course, the highlight for this song is definitely Minoshima’s excellent instrumentals – a mix of progressive house with some dubstep thrown in? Sure, that sounds great! Excellent track.
  4. Nhato – Phantoms In Da House
    An excellent demonstration of Nhato’s skill as a remixer, this track seamlessly blends Nhato’s progressive house style with the distinct melodies of Touhou music. The result is a very deep and powerful track with plenty of bass while still having enough breaks and pauses to let you catch your breath, truly the work of a legend.

  5. Masayoshi Minoshima – Brazil
    The first original track of the album, with a very curious title. I’m not sure why it would be named after Brazil, but I’m sure Minoshima’s Brazilian fans are very pleased with that! As for the track itself, it’s typical Minoshima brilliance, combining catchy looped vocals with a distinctive, powerful bassline. Fantastic stuff, as one would expect.
  6. mican* – Lunar DIAL
    Back in the realm of Touhou Arranges, a Luna Dial arrange has arrived! Personally, I don’t like this original track at all, but thankfully the arrangement of this is wonderful. An extremely catchy beat layered on top of mican’s vocals, this is quite a strong track. The only flaw I can find with it is that it gets a bit repetitive towards the end for the vocals, would have liked to see more development there. Still, pretty decent!

  7. Masayoshi Minoshima – Endless
    A remix of a PC98 track, quite an interesting choice there. I’m liking the sampled vocals for this track quite a bit, it certainly fits the mood. The first half of the track is rather disappointingly mundane, but it builds up quite nicely in the second half which redeems it a little bit. Still not as good as I would expect.
  8. ayame – Flowering Night
    A very interesting take on Flowering Night, with the melody rendered by a lo-fi synthesizer in the background. I’m not quite sure about using ayame for the vocals – I feel that this would have been better in the hands of someone like Tsubaki or Ayakura. Definitely still quite interesting though, it’s not often that you get a not-quite-very-energetic arrange of Flowering Night.

  9. Masayoshi Minoshima – Underdog
    This track seems to be calling back to the old trance days of Minoshima’s work, with very sparse use of heavier bass elements and drumlines and a very progressive feel to the entire track. It’s quite fitting for the end of Minoshima’s tracks, not bad at all. Not particularly good either though.
  10. Syrufit – DIS_K
    Filling the role of a bonus track, this is quite an interesting arrangement by Syurfit. It’s a fair bit heavier than what I would normally expect out of Syrufit, but thankfully it’s not overdone like it was in over. It’s quite a catchy track with decent buildups and a good feel to it, although I get the feeling that it could have used some vocals. Pretty OK as a track, I’d say.

Well, that sure was a fun ride! I’m quite pleased with the quality of this album, it’s truly remarkable that Alstroemeria Records still makes such fantastic albums after so many years.

I always feel compelled to put in extra effort whenever I review their albums – it’s quite obvious that Alstroemeria Records releases represent the upper end of Doujin Music releases. The album art, the arrangement, the vocals, they’re all quite fantastic and it’s hard to find anything that can even begin to match their quality.

If you’re looking to buy this album, you should wait for a week or so for White Canvas to pick it up – it’s a Japanese website, but they do have international shipping by either credit or PayPal, and they can respond to English correspondence if you send them an email.

Before I end this review, I’d like to pose a question to any readers, about the format of this review. Do you prefer it to have pictures between the tracks, or not? Is it distracting? I will either stop or keep doing this based on what answers I receive.

Of course, any other general comments are welcome too.