So, I’m here with another one of these posts. C89’s shaping up to be an awesome event (or at least, it is for me), with lots of LoLK albums set to be released. I’m chipping in and releasing my own LoLK album, ‘Apollo Rises,‘ so be sure to check it out if you’re interested! Anyway, without further ado, here’s my list of
all a few of the albums I’m looking forward to.
I’ll update this post as more XFDs come in.
1. Diao ye zong’s “Hisoka” [密 – ‘Secrets’]
Yeah, that’s the cover art. The theme this time is ‘secrets,’ and those who expose them. I was upset that RD didn’t arrange Last Occultism for his last album. Luckily, he’s included not one, but two arrangements of it in this album! They are ‘The Aftermath’ and ‘Ms. lonely hedgehog,’ and they’re the opening tracks. nayuta also shines on this album, with 2 solos and a duet with Merami, ‘Secret Disclosers.’ I can’t help but feel that it’s going to be linked to ‘True Outsiders.’ Kushi also returns, and 3L’s absent this time. Which is a shame, since I ended up really enjoying 3L’s song…
Anyway, why have I put this album at top spot? Well, to me, it seems like it’s a more balanced album than Tatoe. I can honestly say that I like every track on the album so far. Also, Kirisame Eversion has Witch of Love Potion mashed in. Who can say no to an arrangement of that theme? ‘Alice, the Enigmatic Doll’ [アリス・ザ・エニグマティクドール] also has Circus Reverie in it. I love Circus Reverie.
2. Touhou Jihen’s “Peerless Patrolwoman” [絶倫パトロール – ‘zetsurin patorooru’]
The long-awaited sequel to 悦楽バージン [etsuraku baajin – “Pleasure Virgin”]. Well… I was waiting for it, at least.
So, this circle is another one of Sally’s branch circles. The main members of this one are NSY and IZNA, and their sound is deliciously old-school. I was a bit afraid that Touhou Jihen’s second album would be a PCB album, so I nearly lost it when I found out that it’s a LoLK album. It’s basically what I would have expected from Sally if they moved on to LoLK. Anyway, one of the standout tracks for me is 神楽0 [Kagura 0]. It’s a duet between IZNA and Ranko! They work so well together! I also like the title track – I need more Eternal Spring Dream arrangements in my life. It also features IZNA rapping. I never expected that. But the whole album is really impressive. And it makes me want to go and translate the first one. One day…
3. Ringing Volcano’s “Shinmyoumaru’s Little Adventures” [針妙丸のちいさな冒険 – ‘shinmyoumaru no chiisana bouken’]
This new circle was founded by Nakasako Sakana [中迫酒菜], the main arranger of Machikado-Mapoze. So it’s like Machikado-Mapoze, but with a different name. I honestly thought I’d never hear from any of them again after Machikado-Mapoze disbanded earlier this year, so seeing a new album is like a dream come true. Like always, if you want arrangements of Touhou music for chamber instruments, there’s no equal. Seriously. All the tracks sound amazing. Track 5 is also an arrangement of Eternal Spring Dream… and I’m sure you know how much I love that theme! Anyway, I love the crossfade, and if I can buy a downloadable version of this album, I will. No questions asked.
And isn’t that cover art the cutest? Onigiri always does such a great job.
4. Butaotome’s “Lunar Probe” [ゲツメンタンサ – ‘getsumen tansa’]
Butaotome! The theme this time seems to be the moon (as you can probably tell from the title). But… about half of the tracks are arrangements of themes that Butaotome’s done before. And… they actually sound quite similar to their last arrangements. Isn’t that cheating?! That’s just me nitpicking – they still sound good. And the LoLK arrangements sound great, too! Especially the Sagume and Clownpiece tracks. No Eternal Spring Dream arrangement, though. I’m kind of getting TRASH BOX vibes from this album for some reason…
5. Liz Triangle’s “ether”
Liz Triangle always announces their albums later than everyone else (which makes it hard to make these sorts of lists…). Anyway, the dream trio has worked their magic on LoLK – kaztora’s provided some wonderful arrangements, lily-an’s provided her wonderful and unique vocals, and I can only assume that azuki’s provided some wonderful lyrics. Which leads to a wonderful package all-round. It may seem like I’m looking forward to this album less than Immortal Philosophy since this is at number 5 instead of number 3, but I’m actually more hyped for it. There’s more of a ‘power creep’ this time – my top 5 albums slot neatly into the empty 2nd spot from last time. If that makes any sense.
Anyway, looking at the music – I really like Sagume’s track. Hecatia’s one is really good too. And there’s an arrangement of Eternal Spring Dream, which fuels my desire for more good arrangements of that theme. Hopefully I’ll actually translate this album this time, instead of saying I will then abandoning it…
6.Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets’ “SUPER SONIC APPLE RABBIT”
So, C88 saw the return of Sound CYCLONE, and C89 sees the return of Kishida. I’m excited for this release, since it’s their first one since I became a fan of them earlier in the year. I already translated the first track, Reach for the Moon, Immortal Smoke, back when it was still known as mokotan_demo. There’s also an arrangement of 昔話わんだーらんど [Legendary Wonderland]. I definitely wasn’t expecting that. It’s probably going to be a while until their next Touhou release, so I’m going to enjoy this one as much as I can.
7. Sally’s “LessExtra”
So, after being delayed due to personal issues, the fabled ‘Less 2’ is finally being released! The last time I put this album on one of my lists, it was cancelled, so I’m tempting fate by putting it on there this time… It’s a bit less of a ‘Less 2’ than some might have been hoping for – there are only 3 new tracks (1 by Shrimp, 2 by NSY), and the other 3 include a remix of zen, a re-recording of Forecast (未来予報 – mirai yohou), and a Ranko version of did. So why am I looking forward to it? Well, NSY is one of my favourite arrangers, so it’s always good to see more tracks for him. Also, hopefully this release means that Sally can start releasing stuff more regularly again. Having said that, Wani seems to have been struggling through some personal issues for a while, so please send some positive thoughts his way 🙂
8. KOKYO Active NEETs’ “Touhou Philharmonic
Orchestra 3: IN” [東方フィルハーモニー交響楽団3 永]
This series has finally exited EoSD/PCB purgatory, and is now approaching the games that I like more. I know that’s harsh, since I really liked the first 2 albums, but I feel like those 2 games always hog all the attention… Anyway, even without a crossfade, I know that this album will satisfy my inner orchestral music nerd. It looks like all the main themes are being covered, except for the stage 1 theme/Wriggle’s theme, which makes me a bit sad. The crossfade sounds amazing! There’s also some orchestral piano in there, which is cool. There’s also a bit more clarinet than last time, and less oboe, which I think leads to a better balance between everything. Maybe I’m just biased since I’m a clarinet player… It’s nice to see that there’s more mashups this time – there’s a Mystia mashup and a Keine mashup. I’m already looking forward to the inevitable PoFV album, and the distant LoLK album… >_>
9. “FELICIDADE,” by Hatsunetsumiko’s
Junko’s on the front cover, so you know what that means – a dance arrangement of Pure Furies! It’s chill. I almost thought that the third track was an Eternal Spring Dream arrangement, but then I realised that it was an arrangement of Eternal Shrine Maiden instead. I was a bit disappointed, but I always enjoy Ark Brown’s vocals, so it’s not too much of a loss. The last track is supposed to be an arrangement of Faraway 380,000-Kilometer Voyage, but I can’t hear it in the bit that’s in the crossfade. I can only hope that it’s more prominent in the full song. As a whole, this album’s more subdued than Girls in the Mirror, with less inventive scatting and stuff like that. But I think it still sounds really good.
The cover art’s also really nice. Someone needs to give their artist a raise… >_>
10. monochrome-coat’s “ReM”
So, monochrome-coat’s releasing not one, but 2 albums for C89! As you can tell from the Doremy on the front cover, this album contains arrangements of the themes from stages 1-3 of LoLK. It also features IZNA in a grand total of 3 tracks! (2 by Eiji Hijikata (土方 英司) and the other by buoy). It’s hard to judge this album when there’s no XFD, but I’m sure it’s going to be a good one based on the arranger list alone.
11. monochrome-coat’s “Object2”
The second monochrome-coat album. This one’s a sequel to Object, and it’s full of Sealing Club arrangements. I put this one a bit lower since it only has one IZNA track and more merami, but it also features an arrangement by NSY! An arrangement of Greenwich in the Sky! It also marks the debut of a new vocalist, Yoru Shirasawa (白沢よる), who’s been helping out at the live shows. She’s covering Warp Time Letter, by mono. I’m following her on Twitter, so I’m interested to see what her voice sounds like.
12. Foxtail-Grass Studio’s “Re*Collection”
XFD || Official Site
Some of you may remember the 4 season-related albums Foxtail-Grass Studio put out about 4 years ago. Maybe not? Well, I do. This album is apparently some sort of a commemorative album, continuing in the same spirit. It’s heavily focused on Trojan Green Asteroid and Neo-Traditionalism of Japan, but there are some old favourites in there, too. The Wind of Agartha arrangement is amazing! Also, they managed to get Wild and Horned Hermit’s artist to draw the cover art. Nice!
13. GET IN THE RING’s “Agony”
Hey, look – it’s Sagume! This is another LoLK-heavy album, with GCHM bringing his trademark parody style to the table. I love Mie’s voice, and she shines on pretty much all the tracks. Track 3 deserves a special mention, simply because it’s called “What the hell is going on?” I also like the relaxed atmosphere of “Sweet Dreams.” It’s also an arrangement of Eternal Spring Dream, which I can add to my slowly-growing collection…
14. Toranoana’s “Uroboros 5”
The title uses 業 (‘gou’), which kind of sounds like 五 (‘go’ – 5). But it means something different – I guess that means it’s actually Uroboros Karma…? >_>
And the very first track is a Shinra-Bansho track. It’s an arrangement of Little Princess. That’s it – I’m sold! Other highlights include Butaotome’s track (an arrangement of Kyouko’s theme… finally!), Sally’s track (arranged by Shrimp), TAMAONSEN’s track (I swear they put more effort into their compilation tracks than their real releases), and RD’s two(!) tracks.
15. 智慧人狂想曲 ～ The Victors’ Space Odyssey, by 夢想吟遊詩人 (The Dream Troubadours)
This ‘group’ only came into existence this year. They’re basically a collection of composers who compose music in ZUN’s style, including well-known figures like リュウオウ and Pesot. This album mimics ZUN’s Mysterious Works, containing new tracks and rearrangements of old tracks, as well as an original Renko x Merry story. Their first one, Citrus Resuscitation, was awesome, so I have high hopes for this one. If I feel like it, I might even arrange one of the tracks…
16. Pizuya’s Cell’s 怨みを溶かしたダージリン [‘urami wo tokashita daarin’]
Normally I’d try to translate the title, but I’m actually not too sure about it this time. If I had to translate it, I’d probably translate it as “My Darling, Who Melted Her Grudge.” This album is pretty much Godwood meets LoLK. It has a similar sound to his other collections, and it doesn’t look like there are any extra instruments (which is a bit of a shame for me since I thought the other instruments gave the covers more character). Anyway, needless to say, it has an arrangement of Eternal Spring Dream.
Pizuya’s also releasing a regular album, 共犯ストラテジー [Complicity Strategy – ‘kyouhan sutoratejii’]. Like last time, I’m looking forward to the classic legend track, which is an arrangement of LoLK’s stage 1 theme.
17. Panday@Works 2: Boobs the universe
“This album is C89 venue limited.
Then, the arranger is not a real person.
Please only person who understands pun.”
Hecatia as a Hindu God. Just let that sink in for a bit.
18. Cajiva’s Gadget Shop’s “MOONTRIBE”
The above album is meant to be a supplement to this one. Cajiva made up a fake persona to do Indian Touhou arrangements, and they even have a Twitter account out there somewhere. Anyway, MOONTRIBE offers more of Cajiva’s unique sound. It also has not one, but two arrangements of ‘Eternal Spring Dream.’ Sweet! To be honest, I’m not a fan of the vocal samples Cajiva uses, but I’m sure they’ll grow on me. There’s also another Last Occultism arrangement, along with Pure Furies and Clownpiece’s theme.
19. TUMENECO’s “Secret Winter”
They say there was once a king called Midas, who was cursed with the power to turn everything he touched into gold. Centuries later, a Japanese doujin circle called TUMENECO was granted a similar gift – every theme they touched would, like magic, become related to Renko x Merry. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration. I like the concept of this album – a bunch of unrelated themes are mashed with Renko x Merry themes, which at least justifies the lyrics. And I love mashups! I also love Crystallised Silver, and there’s not one, but two mashups incorporating it! Overall, it sounds like a charming, winter-themed album.
20. Hachimitsu-Lemon × Aftergrow’s “Touhou Six String 02. Sealing” [封]
So, it looks like this might be a series. To be honest, I think I’ve had enough Sealing Club albums this year to last me a lifetime, but I guess more is always a good thing! It’s also good to see that Aftergrow is still going in some form. I have a certain nostalgia for that circle… Sugar in Black is deliciously calm, and the Satellite TORIFUNE arrangement is awesome!
21. SWING HOLIC’s “SWING HOLIC VOL.16”
I think I started to lose interest in this series somewhere along the line. But SWING HOLIC’s still at it, churning out arrangements of each game’s OSTs. They still have a bunch of games left, including the first 2 PC-98 games, LoLK, and the 13.x and 14.x spinoffs, but they’re actually coming close to arranging everything. You have to admire their dedication: some circles start off with the goal off arranging every game’s themes, but I think SWING HOLIC is one of the only circles that’s actually close to achieving that. To be honest, I really like Mystic Square, so I’ll probably like this album more once I hear the whole thing.
22. flap+frog’s “rosa canina”
Kasen on the cover is no lie – in an event flooded with LoLK arrangements, flap+frog is releasing an album with not one, not 2, but 7 arrangements of Kasen’s theme. And only Kasen’s theme. And they all manage to sound different, whilst basically being easy-listening music.
23. FELT’s “Spatial Moving”
Last, but not least, we have FELT. I don’t consider myself a FELT fan, and I usually pass over their albums, but I listened to this album’s crossfade and I was pleasantly surprised! There’s some lovely Japanese-language songs in there, and there’s also MAGIC! (a dance track that sounds like it belongs in a Hatsunetsumiko’s album). Doloza is also really hypnotic. The only track I really don’t like (apart from the remix) is Untitled. It has a promising beginning, but then… something happened and it just jarred with the rest of the album for me. We’ve also got some Lost Dream arrangements, which are always welcome. FELT probably always sounds like this, and I’ve been missing out the whole time… >_>
There’s some more albums being released at the event that I didn’t fully cover here. In particular, a lot of Western circles are releasing albums this time! Veto’s releasing a new EP, and Frozen Starfall [Babbe’s new circle] is releasing an album, too! There’s also a collaboration album called Collection of Dreams by Last Dream coming out. The majority of these are available on Bandcamp, so getting them won’t involve outrageous shipping costs. Also, Shinigiwa Satellite’s releasing
an album two albums. I can’t forget about them.