超電波バスターズ (Chō Denpa Busters) – Prototype

超電波バスターズ (Chō Denpa Busters)

Listen to Prototype, the denpa-filled first album of 超電波バスターズ (Chō Denpa Busters), who came from the Internet to save the world.

The world is in danger, apocalyptic scenarios unfold before our powerless eyes, humanity is doomed; what do we do? The answer is obvious: we evoke a group of idols who will surely save the world! Don’t be afraid, the cyber-girls of 超電波バスターズ (Chō Denpa Busters) are here!

…but before they proceed to defeat whatever is threatening planet Earth, let me just say that their website melted my eyes; if they are going to save the world, they better have a cure for my eyesight as well. Jokes aside, these fives girls who came from the Internet released their debut album Prototype last Saturday, so let’s take the chance to know what this unit is about.

First of all, keep in mind that this album has been recorded with the three original members メアノン (Meanon), パニャ メルト (Panya Melt) and エクストリーム・ミユタム (Extreme Miyutam) and it was released to celebrate the 300 retweets target they recently reached; a CD version including the new members, ツキノ・リリカル (Tsukino Lyrical) and ナノ・ミュータント (Nano Mutant), will be released aound July.

Now let’s get to the music. As you would have never imagined by reading their name, Chō Denpa Busters‘ music is totally denpa, there is no better way to describe it. The songs included in this album range from a sugar-filled, happy-sounding electronic style to a light-hearted pop/rock sound. Nothing really unique and surely not the best example of the genre, but a decent attempt, coming from a young idol unit. Both styles have their ups and downs, but the album is enjoyable enough to make me put most of my complaints aside.

The pop/rock-oriented songs seem to work better, mainly thanks to some simple yet nice instrumentals, as shown in the simple yet very nice “良質アップデート” (Ryōshitsu Update) and “Plastic City”; “電子の飴” (Denshi No Ame) and “超電波の法則” (Chō Denpa No Hōsoku) bring in some jazzy undertones here and there, which make the listening more interesting.

On the other hand, the electronic-oriented songs draw equally from EDM, future bass and denpa music, mixing elements of these genres together. From the intense and cat-themed “ニャンだフルライフ” (Nyandahururaihu) to the awesome hook & bassline combo in “ソウルフードパーティ” (Soul Food Party), not to mention the weird evolution in the middle of “ググるnight” (Guguru Night), there is no time to rest with Chō Denpa Busters. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that the album is introduced by a purely chiptune song, which made the retro-gamer inside me happy; so expect some 8-bit sounds here and there too.

However, to be completely honest, there is some room for improvement here; the vocals especially, while not terrible, can do a lot more than this, to bring more of that crazy and happy feeling typical of denpa music. Some of the instrumentals would need to be worked on too, to make the songs memorable and less predictable. In any case, it’s not like the album is bad; we can accept this kind of issues on a debut release of an underground unit.

You can listen to Prototype below or on your favorite music streaming service.


The Orchestra Tokyo

Listen to the first mini-album from the idol group THE ORCHESTRA TOKYO, a very nice release full of hope, energy and lots of positive vibes.

THE ORCHESTRA TOKYO is a new idol unit which was announced last January and recently released their debut mini-album, THE ORCHESTRA TOKYO I; let’s see what they have to offer with these five songs.

Let’s start by saying that the music contained in this release is as high quality as it is varied, taking elements from a quite wide range of genres and giving each track its own, different identity. “ROUTE MYSELF” starts off the album with a sparkling, fast-paced and very catchy idol rock sound, constantly shifting from being powerful to emotional and back.

The following couple of tracks make use of a brass section in two different ways: “HONEY TRAP” adds some nice jazz elements — how can you not enjoy that walking bass? — to the same sound we met before; on the other hand, “ESCAPiSM” draws inspiration from some sort of latin pop, with an almost reggaeton rhythm in some parts, despite actually sticking to the usual formula.

Next is “HOTARU”, which lets us take a break from the intense music we got until now; with a more emotional and quiet atmosphere, the song evolves by adding soulful strings and piano notes emphasized by the energy of the electric guitars. Finally, “My HERO” surprises us by closing the album with an EDM-pop sound fueled by the same positivity which accompanied the listening throughout the whole mini-album.

Overall, this debut ep from THE ORCHESTRA TOKYO is a very good release which, in just twenty minutes, manages to convey a huge amount of hope and optimism, which is what we need during these difficult times. You can listen to THE ORCHESTRA TOKYO I below or on your favorite streaming service.

レイドロイド (Raydroid) – PARALLELS DRIVE

レイドロイド (Raydroid)

Listen to the debut album of レイドロイド (Raydroid) titled “PARALLELS DRIVE”, where future bass and j-pop meet creating the kawaii future pop sound.

Remember when we talked about Raydroid on our Chika Radar? It was February, they had just been starting releasing short song previews and I was waiting for an album from them. Well, my prayers have been answered and we got PARALLELS DRIVE.

Kawaii future basswhich apparently is a thing — may be the perfect way to describe this release: it sounds cute, it has a lot of bass and the group claims to come from the future. The album is indeed very future bass-oriented and combines this genre with very catchy vocal lines and bubblegum-like sounds that paint pastel-colored, futuristic sceneries.

The album is not very long, which is a good thing since the fast and upbeat rhythms almost gave me a headache while writing this review; however, in less than forty minutes, these nine songs manage to show slightly different aspects of Raydroid‘s music, adding some elements here and there. Don’t get me wrong, the album is very coherent style-wise and has little to no surprises, but every now and then you’ll find yourselves noticing that certain passages sound quite interesting.

Take the titletrack for example, which follows its very intense and fast beat just to throw in something vaguely similar to a digital hardcore breakdown when you least expect it and making use of a short guitar solo as well; pitch-shifted vocals, sudden speed ups, 8-bit synths, glitched stuff and syncopated rhythms also appear here and there throughout the tracklist, adding to the futuristic feel in songs such as “Kawaii In the Future” and “Hapitable Zone”.

On the other hand, there are more simple and pop-oriented tracks, made just to sound cute and catchy while keeping the digital aesthetics, like “Renai Logic” and “Kanjou Stream”, both featuring a really nice hook. These relatively quiet tracks help giving your brain some relief, allowing you to fully enjoy the more frantic and hyperactive ones without getting tired of this sound.

The only minor defect of PARALLELS DRIVE regards the vocals, which sometimes feel slightly off or not really expressive; it just happens every now and then and didn’t undermine my enjoyment, but it’s still something the group should and probably will work on in the future. In any case, this release is really recommended to fans of EDM-oriented idols.

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