Western anime arrangements are a lot more prevalent than you might think. Just go trawl on retailers like Amazon for anime music and you’ll stumble upon quite a few which often take the form of dance mixes or trance/techno albums. I’ve been tempted to check them out for awhile now, except that there are two reasons why I haven’t. First off, the quality looks suspect and second, I’m not sure which artists to go for. It doesn’t help that the music labels that produce such albums are relatively unknown and haven’t really made themselves known.
Some are making an effort. Pete Ellison at Disko Warp Music has been working on getting his record label’s name out there by promoting Anime Love Hardcore, an album consisting of 10 tracks from a scattershot of anime series that go as far back as Lupin III all the way to more recent fare like Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagaan. As you can probably guess from the album’s title, the music consists of techno remixes in the same vein as the music in the Exit Trance series with an emphasis on happy hardcore more so than trance music.
Pete has graciously provided me with the music from Anime Love Hardcore to listen to and review. But before I can even begin the process of giving that album a fair shot, I’ll have to start meandering my way around the techno/trance music and get a feel for the genre. It’s an area that’s less familiar to me compared to other genres.
Credit where it’s due: kevo’s post on trance and J-core is a great place to start. I’ve already given the artists he featured a good listen and my opinions regarding their works have changed only slightly. Aura Qualic’s music continues to channel that transcendent atmosphere that I enjoy so much out of trance music because it immerses you into the music and keeps you there. The components of the trance genre that kevo mentions – build, progression, and climax – come off beautifully. Same goes for Halozy, and the ambience that he puts into tracks like Air’s “Natsukage” and the soft touches interspersed with the electronica in his mix of “Toki wo Kizamu no Uta” are both solid and enjoyable. Even DJ Sharpnel has gotten easier on the ears with subsequent listens, and his rhythms no longer are as unbearable and overwhelming like they were initially.
Of the other prominent names, only REDALiCE has gotten time in addition to the artists mentioned above. I checked him out mostly because of the association I’ve had with him and Touhou Project, and on the whole, his stuff is decent even if it’ll take some time for me to get used to. Kevo also mentioned cranky as someone to look into, so I’ll probably head there next. Naturally, the Exit Trance series are going to get listens too.
A list of other artists to check out would be helpful just so I can get my already wet feet a little wetter. It doesn’t necessarily need to align with the preferences I’ve expressed since I’m looking to immerse myself in what people consider good so that I even have half an idea. After all, it’s a pretty wide field to check out, and knowing how popular electronica is amongst anime fans, I figure you guys probably have your fingers closer to that particular pulse than I do.