cyber beatnation 2 -Hi Speed conclusion-
cyber beatnation 2 -Hi Speed conclusion-
Konami Digital Entertainment
December 7, 2011
Buy at Amazon.co.jp
cyber beatnation 2 -Hi Speed conclusion- is the second album in the Bemani cyber beatnation series. Where the first album featured a collection of full versions and remixes of tracks from various artists, this album focuses entirely on artist Ryutaro Nakahara while boasting tracks that are all over 180BPM. The songs are either remixed by Nakahara or are written by Nakahara and remixed by other Bemani artists. The album mostly covers a good range of old and new songs, but the uniformity of the style on the album may be off-putting for many listeners.
The first track on the album is a remix of “Mermaid Girl” done by Ryu☆ (although the original was also composed by him, albeit under a different alias). The standard facelift procedure is all here: pitching vocals up, swapping the synths for Nakahara’s usual palette, and that pulsing fast BPM. The song gets annoying pretty fast due to its repetitive, simplistic melody, as well as the vocals which become grating as well. Other remixes by Nakahara fall into the same traps. Everything that was interesting about DJ Yoshitaka’s “FLOWER” has been stripped (even the melody is simplified!), leaving a very generic and repetitive track. “Koisuru Uchuu Sensou!!” overuses samples of the vocals and jumbles them to the point where the track is simply a mess. There are a few remixes that are at least tolerable, like the one for “Fly Away”, mainly saved because the original melody isn’t as repetitive as the others on the album, being composed as a full pop song. It’s enjoyable enough, but nothing special. The same can be said for the “SigSig”, which doesn’t do much that’s notable other than to change up some of the background synths from time to time or add a more aggressive beat, but this means that the song is still fun like the original. “ABSOLUTE” is also decent with a few nice chiptune touches, though the pace is nearly too quick for the melody.
Ryu☆ also provides extensions of two of original his tracks. “I’m So Happy” has essentially the arrangement as its jubeat version, but now it takes its time building up different elements, and also adds in Yoshitaka Nishimura’s autotuned vocals to the mix. Unfortunately, the lyrics still do little other than sing “I’m so happy that I found you” over and over again (and now even more often with the male vocal added). It takes Nakahara’s repetitiveness to a whole new level, and I find myself skipping this track every single time. At the end of the album is “Thunderbolt” (from his Rairyuu alias with Rai Option). Although it is very similar in sound and structure to the tracks of his Seiryuu alias, “Thunderbolt” is not as catchy, nor does it feel as epic or unique. It doesn’t help that Nakahara includes all of the vocal samples from his Seiryuu tracks in this version, which don’t fit in well and only remind me of those other, better tracks.
The other half of the album consists of remixes of Ryu☆ songs by other artists, and unfortunately many of them share the same problems as Nakahara’s remixes. “Second Heaven (Risk Junk Remix)” is paced too fast for its melody, and even seems to lack the signature sound and charm of Takayuki Ishikawa’s “Risk Junk” alias. There are some dj TAKA-esque piano runs thrown in that are nice, but aren’t able to salvage the track. “Follow Tomorrow (L.E.D.-G STYLE MIX)” has a decent new accompaniment written for it that no longer simply follows the vocal melody, but the pitched-up vocals can be annoying, and don’t suit the rest of the track very well. The increased pace actually works for the “Ignited Night (REDALiCE Remix)”, and REDALiCE’s signature sound is also effective for the track, but the original composition is still so bland and repetitive, making the track hard to get through. “Sakura Reflection (DJ Shimamura Remix)” is rather unfortunate in that the original was one of Nakahara’s more interesting tracks, with a bit of intrigue in the melodies and a nice oriental touch added to it. However, Shimamura’s remix strips the track of the latter, leaving what sounds just like another generic Ryu☆ track. It isn’t otherwise too bad, but it’s certainly unimpressive on an album that is already filled to the brim with this kind of material.
A few of the other remixes are much better, working quite well and differentiating themselves from the homogeneity. kors k’s “Mind Mapping” remix works well in that he changes up the synths every now and then for variety, and the stripped-down sections are great. The “waxing and wanding” remix is great with JAKAZiD’s manipulation of the melody into something that is familiar but fresh, and still a lot of fun. He’s also not afraid to change up the instruments as the song goes through, keeping it from being a one-trick track. The “bass 2 bass (dj MAX STEROID Remix)” is also pretty good, particularly in the latter half of the remix when he plays more with other styles like dubstep. The “starmine (Hommarju Remix)” is a fun remix, in part mainly because the original is already quite fun and much of that is retained. Hommjaru writes a new segment in the middle of the track that fits in well, and although the vocal samples are a tad overused throughout the track is still enjoyable.
Overall, cyber beatnation 2 -Hi Speed conclusion- is a rather mediocre remix album. Many of the remixes are overly repetitive or don’t utilize a lot of creativity, merely speeding up the originals and changing a few of the sounds here and there. Some of the tracks even sound awkward at the higher pace. Further, there is a homogeneity and genericness in the sound of the album that makes it all rather tiring, making even a single listen-through of the album a difficult task. Admittedly the album can work in short bursts as pump-up background music, but it won’t offer much more than that kind of mindless entertainment.
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Posted on August 24, 2015 by Christopher Huynh. Last modified on August 24, 2015.