代代代 (DaiDaiDai) – The Absurd Is The Essential Concept And The First Truth

代代代 (Dai Dai Dai)

Listen to DaiDaiDai’s new album The Absurd Is The Essential Concept And The First Truth, which brings us into a world of suspense, confusion and serenity.

November of last year held some great news for fans of solid chaos pop group 代代代 (DaiDaiDai): Hime Kanon would be returning to activities after undergoing surgery. Though the future started looking promising once more, we received news in April that Kanon will be graduating from the group on June 20th over concerns with her health and her studies. However, the five members promised to bring their brand new album, The Absurd Is The Essential Concept And The First Truth — titled after a quote by absurdist philosopher Albert Camus — on February 27th. It was fully released March 6th, 2021.

Now, prior to this I have had no exposure to DaiDaiDai. I’m a newbie to the idol underground but I’m willing to get my feet wet and venture deeper into the waters, so when Vladkorados sent me this to review I wasn’t quite sure what my expectations would be. Certainly a mouthful of an album (and quite the interesting title, might I add), but I was definitely not expecting the journey that it took me on.

Clocking in at only 25 minutes, the album has seven tracks. The first track, “Fuan” (“Anxiety”) starts off with bursts of electronic noises before introducing the members’ vocals with some really cool robotic effects layered in and random cuts of white noise. The song encapsulates the feeling of anxiety well in the bursts of sound and the uneasy nature of the vocals. Once the chorus hits, though, everything takes an overwhelming turn like you’re caught in a frightening chase. It ends with the bits of white noise increasing in frequency alongside an almost teasing chant, giving a very creepy feeling.

The next song is “Fumei” (“Uncertainty”), a very short and entirely instrumental track. I’d describe it like you’ve entered a heavenly realm within a video game, with shimmering sounds. When you listen to it you almost feel like you’re floating. After that is “EHM”, which opens with a rock intro and once again employs cool vocal layering and effects that make the girls sound distorted. The vibe of the song grows increasingly sinister, especially after the 1:15 mark, and once again explodes into walls of sound before the end. The last thirty seconds close the track out with some interesting ticking noises. The fourth song, “Piranha”, begins with eletronica before mixing with some guitar, sounding like something akin to a major boss fight in a game. At the two minute mark the energy of the song picks up into an almost breakcore styled beat alongside a shouted chorus from multiple members.

Whereas the previous tracks had very amped up energies about them, the next two tracks stand out in their more mellowed out, emotional feeling. Track five, “Shinigami” (“God of Death”, which got a lyric video that you can watch above), opens with an orchestra alongside dreamy synths. There’s no vocal effects in this song, giving you a chance to hear the voices of the girls loud and clear. The feeling of this song is exhilarating, like you’re running, and the catchiness makes you want to sing along. The rock elements in the second half of the song are short lived but create a nice open atmosphere before you’re colliding with the dreamlike orchestra.

It’s one of the standout songs on the album for sure, as is the next track, “Yuukai” (“Melting”). Coming in as the longest on the album at five minutes, it opens with a math rock-esque sound. It employs a similar dreamy effect as the last song, but in a way where you really do feel like you’re melting into it all. There’s a hypnotizing quality to the song, especially in the parts where DaiDaiDai‘s members are all reciting the same lines one by one. Shiho’s voice shines in her solo portion of the bridge; there’s such a power in her voice there, it grabs at your emotions a little bit (it certainly did for me at least). The song got a music video featuring the song’s choreography earlier this year.

The final song, “Seiketsu” (“Cleanliness”) quite literally creeps up on you with electrical noises that gradually get a bit louder, but when the song officially starts it comes when you least expect it. The MIDI instruments give it an old horror game feeling and the unsettling vocal effects accentuate it perfectly. The song ends with noises that sound like something being dragged, and quite literally so as, if you listen with headphones, the sound slowly travels from your left ear to your right.

Prior to this, I had no knowledge of DaiDaiDai or what their genre, chaos pop, could consist of. After giving this album I can gladly say that I’ll definitely be checking out more of their discography, as this was one of the coolest albums I’ve heard in a while. Consider me a fan!

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.

INUWASI – Thanatos


Listen to INUWASI’s second ep titled Thanatos, which blends idol music with rock guitars, post-hardcore energy, electronic synths and hip-hop beats.

The release of the second EP of INUWASI finally gives me a chance to spend some words for this great group; so let’s see what the brought us with Thanatos.

Taking its title from the Greek personification of death, the album presents itself with a cover art which reminded me of Katatonia’s Brave Murder Day, except in place of the dead bird we have a bizarre creature depicting the concept of the group: a colorful hybrid made of a dog which can’t chew and an eagle incapable of flying.

The five tracks of Thanatos draw inspiration mainly from powerful genres such as rock, post-hardcore and alternative metal, although other elements such as electronic synths and hip-hop-like beats make their way through the music to improve it and make it more varied and appealing. The usual catchy idol vocal lines make the songs very enjoyable and memorable, and at times leave room for some harsh vocals which further enhance the energy of the whole sound.

“Burnt Sienna”, a pigment that got famous during the Renaissance in Italy, is also the title of the opener: fast paced, full of energy, soaked in electronic sounds and even featuring vaguely middle-eastern vocal lines, it’s perfect song to start the album. Next up is “in flames”, a less experimental but still powerful and enjoyable track with some intense guitar riffs, cool synth melodies and a very nice hook.

Halfway through the album we meet “Hades”, another name coming from Greek mythology, representing the god of the underworld; the song leans even more towards the electronic side of INUWASI, with beats ans synths piercing through the electric guitars, without actually replacing them. On the other hand, “budh” — my favorite one — seems to get into some sort of industrial rock sound and features a very emotional refrain.

The final track is “holy”, which also got a music video recently. Post-hardcore electric guitars and hip-hop beats fight with each other just to get both replaced by mysterious piano notes, ending the album in a great way.

This EP shows that INUWASI are already a very interesting unit, although there is obviously room for improvement in both the production and the vocals; regardless, the group is absolutely praiseworthy for having an original concept and also an unusual music style which brings together many different worlds. You can listen to Thanatos below or on your favorite streaming service.

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