We’ve already reached the 4th iteration of Kyoukai Kara Mita Gaikai [境界から視えた外界-至-, Cajiva refers to it in English as ‘Scenery Seen From the Boundary]. 至 (shi) sounds like 四 (shi – four), which explains why it’s included in the title. How clever. I’ve been a bit disappointed that more people haven’t arranged the new themes from Dr. Latency and Old Adam, but thankfully… this event exists. It’s a Hifuu-only event, which makes it the perfect time to arrange all those new themes!
Also, if any of you are following 夢想吟遊詩人 (Musou Gin’yuujin – The Dream Troubadours), they’re apparently distributing a card with the details of their next Sealing Club-inspired CD, 歪曲列島. Cirtus Resuscitation and The Victors’ Space Odyssey were amazing, so I’m awaiting their next release with bated breath…
1. BUTAOTOME’s “sachlich”
Hot off the heels of their major debut album ‘Fullbokko’ (フルボッコ), BUTAOTOME is releasing another Touhou album…! This time, there’s a twist. There’s 8 tracks in total: 5 instrumental tracks, and 3 vocal tracks. But the vocalist…
Is Ranko’s sister. If you’ve ever watched this video, you’ll know what her voice sounds like, but it turns out she can sing, too! According to the official site, the album is based on the ‘taboos’ one embraces while they are children. It’s a dandy, old-fashioned album. It certainly sounds unique. Ranko’s sister’s voice reminds me of Yuu Kanade from TAMAONSEN, and I think we need more voices like that, so I’m hoping she makes more appearances in future albums.
I love this album because it reminds me of the I LOVE albums. You can almost think of it as I LOVE HIFUU but without rap… This is more jazz-inspired, I suppose. My favourite vocal track is track #5.
2. Cajiva’s Gadget Shop’s “Grenze”
XFD || Official Site
Cajiva Gadget Shop is back with another tribal house album. They’re pretty much the only circle who does this, but they do it really well! It feels like there are less vocal samples that on previous albums, but there’s more vocal percussion. If that makes sense…
I think the track selection is quite solid – some rare Ghostly Field Club tracks make an appearance, and two of my favourites (The Barrier of Ame-no-Torifune Shrine and The Darkness Brought in by Swallowstone Naturalis Historia) are also represented. Overall, it sounds promising. This circle is great at dragging you to different places…
3. AramiTama’s [荒御霊] “Cruithne”
XFD || Official Site
“Are you approaching the other side?
…Or are you approaching from the other side?”
I always feel that AramiTama’s albums complement Cajiva’s really well (well, they’re always distributed at the same booth, after all). Cajiva’s music is always so organic and vibrant, whereas AramiTama’s music is much colder and calculated. I… I mean that as a compliment! If I had to draw a comparison to another genre, I’d go with Baroque music (think Bach). The sounds are tight and precise, and its mechanical nature has a charm of its own. This time, the tracks seem to be split into multiple parts, which I think is a nice touch. This time, there are a few rare Sealing Club tracks, too – I particularly appreciate the “Children of the Age of Science” (科学世紀の少年少女) arrangements.
Incidentally, Cruithine is colloquially known as Earth’s second moon. It shares the same orbit around the Earth as the sun.
4. Echollapsar’s “Artificial Eden”
This single marks the debut of a brand new circle! Apparently, it’s a preview track from the circle’s first album, which will be released at a later event (possibly RTS14). This single is being released alongside a cosplay photo album.
The music itself is bittersweet yet soothing. It reminds me a lot of Secret Messenger and QLOCKS, so if there are any fans of those circles out there… give Echollapsar a try! I say this every time a new circle forms, but since it’s such a rare occurrence, throw your support behind them…! The XFD links to their official Youtube channel, and their official Twitter account is here. Overall, I think it’s a very promising debut, and I’m looking forward to listening to (and hopefully translating) their first album when it comes out!
5. Cajiva’s Gadget Shop’s “ARCHIVE545”
XFD || Official Site
This album is a bit out of the ordinary: it’s a compilation album featuring tracks from a variety of different arrangers. The twist is that most of them feature dialogue instead of vocals! I really like that sort of stuff, so I thoroughly enjoyed the demo. The subject matter seems to range from Renko and Merry talking about dreams to… Renko talking about wanting to become a cat? There’s a wide range of subject matter, so it should satisfy anyone (like me) who likes hearing people speak over music.
6. Kijou no Kuusouriron’s [机上の空想理論] “Dream Curiosity” [夢幻のキュリオシティ – ‘Mugen no Kyurioshiti’]
This circle is pretty new as well: this is only their third release. It’s billed as a ‘multigenre arrangement album’ and it certainly delivers. There’s upbeat tracks, guitar tracks, and even a smooth track here and there to balance the mood. All the arrangements are by Chair (ちぇあ), a mysterious figure who I haven’t heard about before.
Track 4, “Jazz Bar Old Adam” is exactly what it says on the tin. It’s so smooth, and so jazzy, and I didn’t even realise I wanted the original theme arranged in that way but I’m so glad it is. Another standout track for me is the final track. It’s chill, and I love how the electric piano transitions into a fuller orchestration.
7. A-GEAR’s “Reminiscent Bricolage” [追憶のブリコラージュ]
XFD || Official Site
Bricolage is a word which here means “constructed from a variety of different things.” You can think of it as a patchwork of sorts.
This album is constructed around a trio featuring piano, bass, and drums. The jazz influences can be clearly heard, as well. It’s a smoother jazz than something you’d hear from Tokyo Active NEETs, which I appreciate. They do some great things with the melodies of the original themes, especially Dr. Latency’s Sleepless Eyes. They make jazz out of themes I didn’t really think of as being very jazzy…
8. Glassy:oceaN’s “Clear Expedition” [明晰エクスペディション – ‘Meiseki Ekusupedishon’]
This… is a very curious album. It’s based in electronic music, but each track has a different genre: French House, Future Bass, etc. It reminds me a lot of Cajiva and AramiTama, but it has its own unique style. The main theme is ‘exploration’ and, let’s face it, the Sealing Club is made for this kind of stuff.
The track that impressed me the most was the third one, a Future Bass arrangement of G Free. It has a kind of chiptune style that I really enjoy. Does all Future Bass sound like that…? I feel like there’s a whole ocean of music out there waiting for me now…
9. ATMOSPHERIC’s “電腦祕封EP －DEN NO HIHU EP－”
I thought this was their first album, but it looks like they released a bunch classified under the ‘Touhou Dreamscapes’ collection [東方夢景色]. It’s a collection of synth arrangements, and you know what? It reminds me a little of the Synth de Touhou series by DDBY.
The first track has that ‘opening’ feel to it, and I really enjoyed the short snippet in the demo. Overall, if you like synthesizers, this album is definitely worth a listen!
10. Sound Refil’s “UNION II”
It looks as though the first UNION album was released in 2013, so there’s been a fair gap between installments…
Like the majority of albums released at this event, it’s more electronic in style, but it sounds completely different when compared to the other electronic albums. (Let’s face it – I really don’t know much about electronic music…). Actually, scrap all that because the 3rd last track is an orchestral style arrangement, and the one after that adds in an… erhu? This is a true multigenre album.
If my ears don’t deceive me, there’s an arrangement of Adventurer’s Tavern of the Old World in there that also mixes in Oriental Dark Flight. That’s a unique combination! I really like the second last track (the one with the erhu). It soothes my soul.
11. Girl’s Logic Observatory’s [少女理論観測所] “ParallelEnd Observer”
This is an old album, but I missed it the first time and it features Ayaponzu＊.