As a huge ARIA fan I was surprised and saddened last year to hear the news of Eri Kawai's death. I still don't know much about it but I'm fairly sure she was very young, and it really came out of nowhere. As I was browsing Anime News Network I saw that Victor Entertainment has released a memorial album featuring her songs..
Rachael Carothers of ANN writes:
"It was sad news when, just before noon on August 4, 2008, singer-songwriter Eri Kawai passed away. She contributed songs to Aria the Animation, Air and Tales of Symphonia, among others. A memorial tribute album, Himawari (Sunflower), was released on December 24, 2008. The album features songs from Aria, Bamboo Blade and Sketchbook ~full color'S~. Four live tracks from ARIA The CONCERT, which were never intended to be released to the public, complete the present to Kawai's fans. " read more here
I would love to hear these live tracks, myself. I didn't know they had an ARIA concert
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 must admit, I've been remiss for not posting this sooner. But until recently, I had sort of misplaced the link. Anyway, for anyone who's interested in arrangements of anime music, LevoLution is a must-visit. The "Sound" page has several remixes by a guy named "Lix", who is a very skilled electronic artist. Titles remixed include a lot of games, several of which have been made into anime, including Tsukihime (æœˆå§«) and AIR, plus anime-style games like Imperishable Night (which has amazing music of its own), and the Final Fantasy series. They are seriously hot stuff, especially if you like trance, dance, and similar stuff. There has been some talk on Anime Remix lately about anime remixers outside of the United States, and most of us have been hard-pressed to actually find any. The game remix scene also seems to be very biased towards the English-speaking part of the world. If you know of any other cool Japanese remixers - so far all we know of are CROW'S CLAW and Lix - then please let us know!
As a type-moon fan, I usually hang out on an irc channel called #beastslair, which is a channel dedicated to everything Type-moon, ranging from Fate stay/night to kara no kyokai. During my various visit there, I'vwe had the chance to discover many interesting sites, like Arai's Fuyuki wiki. Yet, the thing I'm probably the most grateful for discovering is this : Broken phantasm.
Broken phantasm is an arrange album (wait, is that even the proper words to name this? anyway, that's how they call it....sounds like engrish) of various songs from Fate stay/night, Fate Hollow/ataraxia and Melty blood. It was realeased by a really obscure japanese band called Crow's claw. It's mostly more metal-ish versions of these songs, with one of them having techno elements added. It's really different from most metal cds, as only one song has lyrics. The electric guitar is easily the most prominent and the better sounding instrument out of all the ones used in the various song. Yea, the guitarist has talent and it shows. It's truly an album for electric guitar lovers, as the band itself seems to really put an emphasis on it (their 5th album is called "parental advisory, explicit guitar" :p). Most of the songs are truly better versions of the original games' soundtracks, which only makes this CD more awesome.
All in all, this is a great album to own by any type-moon fan out there, or even metal fans who want some good old electric guitar driven music.
First off, if anyone was wondering where I was this past weekend, I took a little vacation and visited some friends down in San Diego, kicking off the trip with a visit to see The Hush Sound with Murder By Death and a couple other bands that really don't compare. Anyway, suffice to say that The Hush Sound and Murder By Death were both amazing and my friends and I have several complete sets of signatures. I mean, come on, how often do you get to see someone plucking an electric cello in the middle of a Western-esque rock song? Plus there are lots of really good singers overall. Thanks, OverCoat, for taking care of the blog in my absence. It looks like we've made it to one week old without any major problems!
As for more unrelated news, this weekend also saw the release of both the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. My friend and I went to camp out for the Wii, but apparently we weren't hardcore enough because by the time we got there, all the lines were too huge already, and we didn't end up getting one. It sounds like overall, both launches went about as well as can be expected, which is to say that Nintendo's was a little less messy than Sony's - with supplies like that, it was bound to be trouble for PlayStation diehards. Personally, I think I'd rather have had my Wii signed, like the guy on the right. Update: Apparently the guy is a very dedicated gamer and pretty well-known on the east coast, named Isaiah Triforce Johnson. Yes, he got his middle name legally changed.
So today I have the honor of presenting you, our faithful readers, with an older anime arrangement but a good one you might not have heard. A little more than a year ago Trenthian sent in a late entry to Anime Remix's annual Halloween contest. It never did get posted to that site, so I'm posting it here instead, because as Trenthian himself says, "I forgot how pimp this mix was."
Beginning with a pretty neat piano but soon bursting into a a pulsing electronic melody, the song is incredible: it's unmistakably Rei's theme from Neon Genesis Evangelion, but the groove is completely different and a lot of fun. Several layers of synths, filtered piano, and a persistently rockin' beat make this one remix you don't wanna miss: Trenthian - Neon Genesis Evangelion - Rei i