Migma Shelter – Alice

Migma Shelter

Listen to the new Migma Shelter album “Alice”, inspired by Alice In Wonderland and featuring a fable-inspired version of their psy-trance sound.

Concept albums are always fascinating, but there are certain ideas that sound even more awesome; take for example Migma Shelter releasing an album based on Alice in Wonderland: how great does it feel? Not as much as the actual work is, to be honest. Alice is indeed an ambitious and incredibly detailed masterpiece, so let’s spend some words about it.

As we already know from the songs they released in the past few months, this album is not simply made of their usual psy-trance sound; instead, they imbued it with whatever felt fine. This means that, while the songs are unmistakably Migma Shelter-like and linked by a fable theme, they also sound very different from each other, drawing from an ever changing palette of colors to paint new, unique soundscapes.

Alice starts off with the magical sounds of a hang drum followed by an effected violin and a 4/4 beat, a combo which sets the fantasy, psychedelic and danceable atmosphere; “In Wonderland” does a great job at introducing the album showing its main element. The next track is one I’ve already spent some good words about and somehow follows the hints provided by the opener: “Rabiddo” brings in more symphonic elements and may different emotions, sounding both mysterious and lighthearted with a very shamanic aura. On the other hand, “Drops” changes everything with a very jazz-inspired piano-double bass combo and some electro-swing vibes in the lighter parts.

Things keep getting weirder with “Egg Head”, where a glitched chicken appears on top a powerful EDM beat accompanying playful and fable-like melodies; actually, animal cries like birds and horses can be found throughout the whole album, but this case is particularly interesting as it reminded me of Igorr. The next song is “Y”, whose colorful lyrics video has been melting my brain for a couple of months; the brass section is very strong here, introducing elements of balkan brass and even latin pop, despite the usual psy-trance setting.

Speaking of pop, the second half of “It Doesn’t Matter” seems to be inspired by recent years American electronic pop/r&b, while some strings add a symphonic touch; regarding the first part, however, it’s more similar to a fantasy ballad, featuring dreamlike and soothing acoustic guitars supported by slower drums.

From here on, Alice seems to be a bit less weird, although there will still be some unexpected twists. “Unbirthday” brings the classic Migma Shelter psy-trance style with an Egyptian-sounding melody which appears here and there. “Road” and “QUEEN” have a common element appearing for the first time at the end of the album, namely the electric guitar: on the first track it comes towards the conclusion with a tremolo picking part which later turns into a very simple and melodic solo, while on the latter it joins the song after the sudden tempo change with a more standard rock riff and then helps making the following slowdown heavier.

The last track, “My Wonderland”, is a nine minute long mastodon which starts off with a magical atmosphere, just to turn into a more typical EDM sound with various sub-styles fused together, at least until a joyful violin takes the lead with an European folk sounding melody. The song ends with a quite dark passage, closing the album on a mysterious note.

Alice is a both typical and atypical Migma Shelter release: while there are elements belonging to their trademark sound, there is a lot of different stuff going on in each track. Definitely one of my favorite idol albums of this year.

I’m Funny Fable – フリージア / Hermes -終わることないメロディを- (Freesia / Hermes -A Melody That Never Ends-)

I'm Funny Fable
We get to know the two different sides of I’m Funny Fable through their latest single “Freesia / Hermes -A Melody That Never Ends-“.
At the end of May, I’m Funny Fable released their second single titled フリージア / Hermes -終わることないメロディを- (Freesia / Hermes -A Melody That Never Ends-); through the couple of songs contained in it, the MAPLE INC. produced trio shows us two different sides of the group.

“Freesia” is a rock-oriented track featuring a simple yet effective guitar riff accompanied by some joyful synths and a light-hearted hook; the positive vibes and the powerful energy of the song are emphasized by the upbeat rhythm supporting the enthusiasm of the high-spirited melodies. Freesia is the name of a colorful flowering plant associated with purity and innocence, which fits the sound of this track and follows the flower-themed cover art.

On the other hand, “Hermes” seems to combine a fantasy atmosphere provided by the harp with a Seventies-inspired pop music leaning towards disco and funk; these two elements somehow blend together perfectly, as if they were made for each other. The result of this bizarre mix is a very quiet and almost surreal song, lulling us to a dream world with it slow rhythm and a catchy main melody.

In both songs, I’m Funny Fable did a pretty good job, managing to sound interesting and with a bit of their identity coming out. I personally prefer the ethereal vibes of “Hermes”, but “Freesia” is a nice one as well.

代代代 (Dai Dai Dai) – ∅

代代代 (Dai Dai Dai)

Listen to “∅”, the new album by 代代代 (Dai Dai Dai) which drags us in a glitchy and multi-colored alternate reality with 8-bit sounds and extreme beats.

Even among the most unique idols in the scene, 代代代 (Dai Dai Dai) definitely stand out: the bizarreness and the kaleidoscopic atmosphere of their music is almost indescribable, but also incredibly fascinating. Their new album brings us forty minutes of this awesome weirdness and we couldn’t be happier.

For the ones who haven’t heard about them until now, I’ll try to give you a short but accurate introduction. Listening to Dai Dai Dai is like putting your brain in a blender together with rainbow-colored candies and drinking the resulting liquid while watching flashing psychedelic animations projected on every wall of your room. I can assure you that it’s 100% the same experience, and you can clearly see I’m not lying by taking a look at the short MV for “すべては薄命の中で” (Subete Ga Hakumai No Nakade).

The songs are based on a strange form of electronic music, drawing a lot from chiptune but also using elements of harder genres such as hardcore and breakcore; rock-metal distorted guitars appear here and there to make some parts heavier, while other times the sound gets more eerie and atmospheric. The multi-colored music of seems to take everything to the extreme, filling our mind with 8-bit sounds and introducing some sort of dirty blast beats and speedcore bursts which at some point get dangerously near the implacable chaos of extratone.

Despite all these extreme elements, the gleaming synths and the glitchy-distorted vocals give more dreamlike and psychedelic sensations, which work perfectly especially in the haunting “細胞” (Saibou) and in the thirteen-minutes long (!) ritualistic sound of “ボロノイズ” (Boronoise). When this musical kaleidoscope gets mixed with the heavier elements, you will find yourself hit by a magical avalanche dragging you through hardcore beats, electro-pop catchiness and complex patterns.

I think I’ve listened to for five times in a row before starting to write this review and I’m not tired yet of melting my brain inside the hyperactive, glitchy but still wonderful world created by Dai Dai Dai. It’s like having a mindtrip while sliding on a rainbow, and if you think about how you wanted to go over and over on the slide when you were a child, you can understand why you can listen to many times without getting tired of it.

While I’m approaching the seventh listen — the sixth flowed while writing the review, of course — I can only recommend you to give a try; Dai Dai Dai are not an easy group, but as soon as you get in touch with their music you will surely fall in love with them.

1 2 3 6