I've been posting more at my personal blog recently, but right when AnimeRemix went down and OverCoat revived NMM, the perfect opportunity to post here popped up. A friend of mine recently acquired a copy of a CD called Exit Trance Presents SPEED ANIME TRANCE COMPLETE BEST while browsing Kinokuniya. It's a pretty fun album that contains a lot of trance remixes of popular anime songs (mostly opening themes, but with a few others). The limited edition also comes with a figure of some Exit Trance anime mascots (the ones in the image). It turns out this is sort of a collection of tracks from several previous Speed Anime Trance albums on the Exit Tunes label.
The style and quality of the music is pretty reminiscent of Beatmania trance, if you're familiar with it. This is not a coincidence - our resident Bemani-fanboy Spiritsnare took one glance at the box and recognized some of the same artists! That's not to say that it's bad - in fact, most of the music is pretty catchy if you like trance. It leans towards the cheesey side once in a while, but overall I'm a big fan of the album. And most people should recognize at least a few tracks. (I knew just over a dozen; my friend was familiar with all but three or four of them.)
The vocals are all covers sung by a few different artists. None of them are really up to par with the tracks' original singers (Maaya Sakamoto, KOTOKO, Nana Mizuki, etc.) but it's nice to hear a fully original cover rather than just sampled vocals. I also feel like the mastering of the vocal tracks is unfortunately muddy, but it doesn't make the songs unlistenable.
The CD is presented as a gapless "megamix" in 30 tracks, which is pretty impressive. A few of them are presented as full versions, but most only follow the TV-size versions of the original songs. I've bolded the full-length tracks in the following tracklist:
Delaction feat. CHIKA - Cruel Angel's Thesis (Neon Genesis Evangelion OP)
This one sets the tone for the rest of the album, with pretty decent and instantly-recognizable vocals soon backed up by gating synths and a pulsing bass beat. It's actually probably the cheesiest song on the CD, with voice samples such as "Pump this party!" and "R-R-R-Remix!"
Delaction feat.MAKI - Sousei no Aquarion (Aquarion OP)
MK feat.CAMRY - Wheel of Destiny (Mobile Suit Gundam SEED insert theme)
I love this original (It's Yuki Kajiura - what can I say?) and the remix is awesome, but pitifully short.
Dizzi Mystica feat.Florence - Kom, susser Tod ~ Come, Sweet Death (Neon Genesis Evangelion insert theme)
MK feat.KANA - Arashi no Naka de Kagayaite (Mobile Suit Gundam 08th MS Team OP)
Starving Trancer - Tank! (Cowboy Bebop OP)
I had the hardest time recognizing this song. It follows the original's composition so closely, but is so differently instrumented that it just barely escaped recognition.
MK feat.CAMRY - For Fruits Basket (Fruits Basket OP)
One of the most hilarious tracks, considering how much they sped up the original.
Ryu* feat.YURiE - Uninstall (Bokurano OP)
MK feat.MAKI - Shooting Star (Onegai Teacher OP)
Starving Trancer feat.chum - Re-Sublimity (Kannazuki no Miko OP)
I love the original to this song, but it's already really good trance... so this remix feels kind of redundant (and chum pales in comparison to KOTOKO). It's a great original, though, and it fits really well into the album, so I'll let those qualms slide.
Icon feat.Florence - Red fraction (Black Lagoon OP)
It's not as sonically dense as MELL's original, but the lyrics are comprehensible! My mind was blown.
B.U.S feat.MAKI - LION (Macross Frontier OP2)
Ryu* feat.MAKI - HEMISPHERE (RahXephon OP)
Possibly one of the simplest-but-most-effective adaptations on the disk. It starts off sounding a lot like the original, and then the excellent bass synth starts up, and it's all great from there. MAKI even manages a pretty passable impression of Sakamoto Maaya.
MK feat.Ma15 - Happy Material (Mahou Sensei Negima OP)
Negima! may be a stupid series (or at least a stupid adaptation), but this song is catchy as all hell in that really generic J-pop way. I love it.
Judas feat.MAKI - Hishoku no Sora (Shakugan no Shana OP)
Ryu* feat.KONEKO PROJECT - Seishoujo Ryouiki
I have to think the "KONEKO PROJECT" thing is a joke, since this instrumental remix doesn't even try to imitate ALI PROJECT's distinctive vocals. Personally, I've been tired of the ALIPRO genre for quite a while, so that's not a bad thing.
DJ Sa9 feat.MAKI - Over the Future (Zettai Karen Children OP)
Ryu* feat.YUKI - Makka na Chikai (Busou Renkin OP)
B.U.S feat.MAKI - Iteza Gogo Kuji Don't be late (Macross Frontier insert)
The song that Sheryl sings in the first episode.
So there you have it! If I don't pick up a copy of this CD at Kinokuniya soon, I'll probably end up ordering it or one of the other volumes.
Did I mention that the album jacket art is pretty nice, too?
Edit: fixed some references to the Macross F songs in the tracklist. It's hard to properly mark something as "OP2" for example when there's another song used for one episode between it and the first OP, and it's sometimes used as an ED, too... but I've tried to use the most obvious way to refer to things.
I actually had no idea this blog actually existed, but thanks for the heads up nonetheless about this album. The only anime-related albums that remix OP/EDs that I had been aware of up to this point had been the Yoko Ishida Para Para albums, so it sounds like from your thoughts here that this album's worth checking out.
But still, a Fruits Basket trance mix is bound to be hilarious, given the nature of the song to begin with.