Doujin Music: Highlighting the AnimeRemix Community

Good doujin music is hard to find. That’s the message I’ve gotten when I was unfortunate enough to have to listen to either of the Anime House albums or TAMUSIC’s godawful Haruhi arrange album. Hell, if it weren’t for kevo’s post celebrating the better Japanese doujin electronica works, I’d probably be giving up on the endeavor altogether.

My chief complaint with doujin music lies in its lack of creativity; most groups seem content with taking a well-known melody, be it an OP, ED, insert song, or, even more rarely, BGM, and slapping some UNTZ UNTZ UNTZ on top of it. Such a method feels so half-assed that I just become disenchanted by what passes for effort, and head off to better anime music pastures. I realize that such pastures are thin indeed, but the one that has stood out has been the works at AnimeRemix.org.

Back when videogame music dominated my listening charts, OCRemix.org was a site that I’d check out a lot. Not only did it (and still does) offer a whole lot of video game remixes, the ones that were posted there were generally pretty good. You didn’t have lazy techno beats draped on top of an anime melody, straight up transcriptions of game scores, or anything that simple. The people whose submissions were put on the site demonstrated a good amount of effort and creativity in their works, which made listening to their compositions a very fulfilling experience.

AnimeRemix is pretty much an offshoot of OCRemix and their goals are the same, except their focus is on music from animated works (be it Western or Japanese). The scale to which they’re operating isn’t quite as large as OCR because anime music is still an underdeveloped area within the anime fandom, but that it even has more than 100 remixes housed on the site is something to celebrate.

After going through their cache of remixes, I figured I’d showcase some of my favorites in no particular order. If you want to download the track in question, I’ve linked to the track’s downloads page for your convenience. [Read more…]

Gundam Unicorn Original Sound Track – Review

Album Title: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn Original Soundtrack
Anime Title: Gundam Unicorn
Artist: Hiroyuki Sawano; Cyua; Yumiko Inoue; Yuko Kawai
Catalog Number: SMCL-20004
Release Type: Soundtrack
Release Date: March 10, 2010
Purchase at: CDJapan, Play-Asia

[Read more…]

The Wonderful World of Doujin Electronica in Japan!

Howdy, everyone! My name is kevo, from Desu ex Machina, guest writing for zzeroparticle today. I’m going to be talking about electronica from the Japanese doujin and underground communities. People call it “techno”, which technically isn’t correct no pun intended. No matter what you call it, it’s a huge part of music all around the world. I love the stuff. I enjoy how diverse the genre is — from instrumental trance to hardcore driving beats and how adaptable it is to other forms of music. Electonica is enjoyed all over the world, from the famed nightclubs of Europe to the clubs of South America. Of course, the underground electronica scene in Japan is great, and totally underrated.

So don’t worry if you know nothing about this stuff. For this post I’ll talk about five albums that I particularly find are outstanding examples of the genre. Whether you are a techno virgin or the most hardcore junkie ever, come along I take us on an adventure though the wondrous world electronic music in Japan! Bring a nice pair of headphones and turn the bass up on your mixer!

Aura Qualic – Crystal Flow

Lets kick things off with some good progressive trance. The trick to trance (and many other kinds of electronica music) is patience. Trance tracks typically are composed of a nice build, where different melodies add and permutate with each other, eventually culminating into some kind of climax, where the bass is “dropped” and the song is driven by a combination of the beat and melody at the boldest. The interactions between the beat and the melody is crucial in good trance track. The mixing should be complex, but still natural enough for a nightclub full of people who want to have a fun time and dance to follow.

Wanna hear? [Read more…]

In Praise of Terribad Anime Music

Ahh, terrible anime music. It’s not really an area I get to dive in as often as I’d like. Though I may search far and wide, only a handful of anime soundtracks would qualify as being truly bad. Either I’ve been too lenient with my judging criteria or there just aren’t really many genuinely bad soundtracks around. I guess that when producers or directors bring a composer on board, there’s a minimum level of competency that the composer must have, and that bar prevents the truly horrendous stuff from really surfacing. So maybe I need to be a bit harsher on the uncreative stuff like K-ON!’s soundtrack just so that I can make full use of the review spectrum. It’d probably be difficult to find soundtracks that toddlers with pots and pans could exceed anyhow.

With J-pop, it’s a different story and you don’t have to look far to find some screechfest that’s really difficult to tolerate all around. But those just end up being easy pickings and aren’t really all that fun to listen to. The gems would be the pieces that transcend badness to the point that they become unforgettable.

So in what I hope will become a recurring trend, April 1st will be reserved for the terribad. I sort of did it last year when I featured Kaere’s character song “Buta no Gohan” but that was a lame attempt at some April Fools humor. This year, I’m just going to skip the pranking and go straight on in to highlight three of the worst pieces of anime music I’ve listened to over the past year and ramble a bit. Like with my notice for the relevant MALKeionbu thread though, I’ll try to make it laughably bad. [Read more…]

Reminiscing over the Decade’s Anime Music – 2005


Artwork by Qinni (thanks!).

The further I progress into the 2000s, the more familiar the shows look and the more music I seem to have accumulated from those series. That’s no accident given how much more I watched from the second half of the decade and so, the lists start becoming really long and it is in 2005 where I really have issues figuring out which soundtracks I’d consider my favorite because there’s just too many to choose from. I’ve reformatted this year’s selections somewhat to make it easier to read if you’re skimming through. Hopefully, that helps with the deluge of shows that I’m showcasing.

Same goes for OP/EDs for that matter. Fan favorites like Air’s “Tori no Uta” can be heard since 2005, but there are a handful of other good ones that deserve mention. Do be warned though. This list is huge. Ridiculously so. I’d listen to a few and then come back otherwise you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of awesome tracks on here.

Note: Youtube videos are spoilered, clips contain the entire track, and with that, let’s go! [Read more…]

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