Happy Holidays everyone!
As promised, the C90 recap before C91! I was originally just going to keep this short but somehow I always end up writing more than I planned to. There always seem to be a few really good leftover albums that are uploaded way later after the event is over.
Finding good albums is always a little bit difficult. Usually the album previews with Touhou artwork on them tend to be consistently more worthwhile while original albums tend to be hit or miss. Either way, this is a Touhou music blog so we'll focus more on the Touhou side of things! ;D.
This Comiket's artwork was commissioned by me and done by ResiD (@medoart) once again. Check out her works here and follow her on twitter! The theme I requested this time around was the transition from Summer to Autumn, as that is what Summer Comiket usually means to me. It's always near the middle/end of August, which is really damn hot before it starts cooling off. So I requested a chibi of a sweating chibi Reimu, which was based on a sprite from Genius of Sappheiros, a Touhou spinoff RPG. I then needed a character to represent Autumn.. and I chose Momiji as she's usually represented in the theme, Fall of Fall. She just seems so ecstatic, doesn't she?! That's how I usually feel about Autumn as well. Finally... the background is of a forest which represents the transition between Summer and Autumn. I didn't give ResiD much direction in this, but she managed to make a very beautiful and fitting background. I love the usage of colors and lighting that contrasts the two seasons while blending them together in the middle. Thanks for the awesome art, ResiD!
Anyways, back to music! Read on for album impressions and recommendations.
Edit: I was just informed that Momiji's face is actually a japanese meme called Gyate Gyate.
Good albums worth listening to
[Aftergrow & Hachimitsu-Lemon] Touhou Six String 03.結 - Aftergrow and Hachimitsu-Lemon make a really great team in Touhou Six String series. It was pretty easy for me to listen to the arrangements and guess who it was by. Hiratake from Aftergrow is one of my favorite touhou arrangers and guitars, and he has a pretty distinct and recognizable style. I am not as familiar with Aizawa and Clean Tears from Hachimitsu-Lemon, but I do enjoy their works in the series. With no Kimino-Museum this Comiket, check out this album instead!
[BUTAOTOME] FREAKS - I don't think I've ever written anything about BUTAOTOME or Paprika (one of their arrangers) on TES before but Paprika is pretty amazing when it comes to piano-based touhou arrangements. Look up "Touhou Nekokenban", which is Paprika's solo piano/electronic instrumental Touhou albums. My favorites are 1-4 but there are 12 total*.
Back to the album though, it is a mix of both instrumental tracks and rock tracks with the addition of vocals on some of them. It is very well balanced but I found myself liking the piano based arrangements more because I like Paprika's style so much.
*side note: I haven't actually listened to 9-12 because i didn't know that they existed. VGMDB only listed 1-8. I've said this in a previosu post somewhere before but it seems like there have been less active people on VGMDB creating entries for Touhou albums. Give this album a listen. If you liked the piano work, be sure to check ou the Nekokenban series.
]CROW'SCLAW] Soundtrack Of The Fairy Tail - I have some mixed feelings about this album. Taka takes on a very different style from what he's usually known for. This time around, it's still rock but has a cinematic style built into it. It was an interesting album but not one that I would listen to again most likely.
[Frozen Starfall] Ocean of Blossoms - Babbe and his german crew continues to produce some great music with this latest release. It is not what I'd consider a full album since half of it contains remixes and the other half, new content. The remixes feature babbe himself, Kirin from ENS, and Syrufit from... well, Syrufit. I didn't find the remixes remarkable, but the new arrangements were well done. Tiny Miracle is another collaboration with Yonder Voice's 瑶山百霊 and has cool drops that switches it up. Hiraeth is a display of Selphy's beautiful voice and Crouka's electronic rhythms. Summer Love is a fun summer tune featuring Sasi's english vocals. Finally, Fading Blossoms is the first time that Sasi makes an arrangement for Frozen Starfall.
Anyways though if you like electronic music or Frozen Starfall, listen to this album for the new content rather than the remixes.
[Liz Triangle] Yellow & シンソウダイバー - I was never really too big on Liz Triangle's music but this Comiket, they have managed to produce some really good Rock/Pop. It's very different from the rock that Kimino-museum and Aftergrow/Hachimatsu Lemon produces, but if you like those two circles, you will like these two albums by Liz Triangle.
[Murder Ground] Double Flower - I saw this album posted on Doujinstyle and the poster described it as "quality EDM/Electronic album". I'll have to say that I agree to that comment. However, it's really not so much EDM and leans more towards the pop side. It's a short album but well worth a listen.
[Osamuraisan] 夢を見る意味 - Personally I think it's really hard to follow up on such a great album like Osamuraisan Selection vol.7 ~Bosa Lon~. I honestly didn't really like the first half of this album until track 5. It's all instrumental solo guitar work. If you like that, then you may like this album.
[The Sergeant] 仙花星涼 - An orchestral Touhou album from a circle that I've never heard of before. They had an album before this but unfortunately I could not find a working download link for it anywhere. This album is pretty good though and is a little different from the usual Foxfactory. The waltz style arrangement is interesting and unique.
[流派未階堂] Reincarnation-新生- - Yet another unknown circle with an orchestral album. I'm not sure if I could really pinpoint their styling or compare it to other circles. Either way, it's worth a listen.
Albums that I listened to but did not comment on:
[AncientChronicle] 真夜中の竹林を行く - Starlight Express.
[EastNewSound] Altar Fragments
[EastNewSound] Tragic Garnet
[Amateras Records] Sparkling Alteration
[Logical Emotion] Touhou Project acoustic arranged instruments2
[Sound of Swing] SOS with strings
[Yonder Voice] 奏穹のラプソディア
[Bassy] Looking Back B Vol.1
[Alstroemeria Records] ENGAGED DANCEHALL - It might be time that I just stop writing about ALR. Nothing good has come out if writing about them for a while. ENGAGED DANCEHALL is pretty much the same stuff from ULTRA DANCEHALL and the rest of the terrible POP | CULTURE series. Do yourself a favor and skip this one.
[ALADDIN] equation.10.00 - This time around, ALADDIN's album is split into two parts: Syrufit side, and ALADDIN side. Honestly... neither of them are very good. The crunchy guitars are still around in the rock tracks and the electronic arrangements are uninspiring. Like ALR's album, this one should be skipped.
Albums I have not listened to yet:
[Marasy] 幻想遊戯映像録 - More Marasy solo piano action.
[Foxtail-Grass Studios] イルミナイト・ストーリア - It's FGS, so you can't really go wrong with his music. It's original work though, and not touhou.
[Humming Life] FANTASIA - I haven't listened to this album yet either but it seems like it'll be pretty similar to their album from the last winter comiket. By that extension, I'll make the recommendation of listening to it.
[BUTAOTOME] Touhou Nekokenban 12 - As already mentioned, I discovered this pretty late so I will get around to listening to it soon.
Favorite album by a newly discovered circle
[Powerless Sounds] Odyssey
Odyssey just popped up on 9Tensu and I listened to the preview. I was immediately hooked by Powerless's style. Think of Release Hallucination but with an emphasis on pianos.
Powerless has been a member of Diverse Systems for a while, but this is his first full album. He has teamed up with Kakichoco, a Vocaloid Utaite. Her versatile voice is just perfect for this album, which displays a variety of music from Hard Rock to Electropop.
I found the flow of the album to be excellent. It starts off with a grand orchestral cinematic opening which leads into the first hard rock track. It then transitions into the "non-rock" segment as I would like to call it, before moving back onto the hard rock again and finishing off with a cinematic outro.
Within the first week of discovering this album, I have probably listened to it around 20 times. Since then... I've lost count. So there you have it, my first pick for this event's favorite album by a newly discovered circle.
[Precious Jazz Orchestra] - Plays Anime Standards vol.1
My first time hearing this album was only a few days ago but I liked it so much that I thought it deserves a second place spot below Odyssey. Precious Jazz Orchestra is a new doujin circle that has just released its first album this year. Plays Anime Standards vol.1, like its name indicates, contains jazz arrangements of some various popular anime themes. While I am not familiar with most of the original themes on this album, I thoroughly enjoyed them nonetheless.
Take a look at that back cover! This doujin circle's name is certainly fitting with the music that they're producing. They use a huge variety of live instruments in their arrangements and the album is recorded quite well. How often do you see a doujin album that actually has a seperate recording engineer and mixing and mastering engineer?! And of course, they used an actual studio to record their music in. The album is definitely top tier in terms of sound quality.
I hope that these guys will eventually do more than just anime music. Precious Jazz Orchestra is definitely a circle to look out for in future events.
Favorite Touhou album
[Accord on Codes] Swingin' Pendulum
Accord on Codes has really come a long way since their first few albums. I remember listening to Where I Fall in Love and being really disappointed at how the album was mixed. The SQ was pretty good, and the members actually played and recorded their music. However, the bass was mixed extremely quietly. With Swingin' Pendulum, they almost fixed it. I would still like to hear a bit more of the bass but it's adequate now.
The improvements in sound quality along with the high quality arrangements from Accord on Codes makes it easy for me to say that it is my favorite Touhou album of Comiket 90. There are some great arrangements of Undefined Fantastic Object in here. Fans of Touhou jazz will definitely like this album while newcomers to Touhou jazz will appreciate what this album has to offer.
Once again, an original album has taken the spot for my favorite album of a Comiket. Odyssey, like Osamuraisan vol. 7, has given me tons of listening enjoyment. Plays Anime Standards vol.1 was a really surprising find since I listened to it so much later, but is a well deserved 2nd place for me.
As for Touhou, I'm always discovering new circles that I enjoy. However, it's a shame that I'm enjoying some of the older circles less and less (ALR, Syrufit/Aladdin, ENS, and CROW'SCLAW) for the most part. I believe I've said this before in a prior post, but the instrumental circles are just so much more likeable and easier to enjoy.
Anyways! That'll be it for Comiket 90. I know that no one ever really posts comments here... but if you're reading this, please let me know which albums you've enjoyed listening to! C91 previews will be coming up ;D.
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is a full time otaku & audiophile who enjoys listening to Touhou music, playing doujin games, and reading visual novels. For more information, visit the About page.