BLASTRAVE COMPILATION -Burst Rave-
BLASTRAVE COMPILATION -Burst Rave-
March 4, 2020
Buy at Sweep Record
BLASTRAVE COMPILATION -Burst Rave- is a collection of original tunes by Supersweep members, as well as other prominent electronic artists working in the video game music field or doujin circuit, commemorating two years of a live music event called BLASTRAVE. These tunes are just a small smattering of the DJ sets each artist provides. How does this album fare in terms of variety and quality?
The album opens up with Takahiro Eguchi’s “BLASTRAVE,” the theme song for the first year’s event, held in 2019. It’s an extremely catchy trance tune that is reminiscent of Yuzo Koshiro’s work on the Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune series. It’s a fantastic start to the album and I wished it was longer. A remix of this tune by Ayako Saso, “BLASTRAVE 2020,” retains the trance identity of the original but adds other flourishes, such as some dubstep and future elements. Following Eguchi’s tune, Y&Co’s “Blast the 90’s” is a 90’s rave throwback with a trance feel to it, plenty of vocal samples and jazz piano chords. It’s a bright and energetic tune with a fun melody.
The energy is amped up with Masayoshi Iimori’s “Tear It,” a high energy tune with some 90’s rave vocal sample throwbacks, a bit of big room influence, hard style, and some trap influence. There is less focus on melody in this tune, but the end result is quite enjoyable and varied. One of my favorites on the album is “Over Power,” by Maozon. It’s a drum n’ bass style tune with a synth heavy focus, electric guitar support, and some dubstep elements. The melody is super infectious and has a bit of a retro feel to it, despite being primarily modern in production. Following that is the only vocal song on the entire album, “Start Running!” by DJ Genki and featuring yukacco on vocals. It’s a very bubbly and bright tune with a strong melody. While the vocals themselves are a matter of taste, they fit the style of the tune very well. The end result is an energetic tune with rock elements, both in terms of harmony and as a solo section.
USAO’s “Enter the Rave” features plenty of interesting elements, from plenty of vocal sample manipulation, distorted bass, intricate drum n’ bass rhythms, while still primarily being a hard trance tune. There is a nice dynamic between high energy sections and softer synth focused sections backed by piano runs. The instrumental melody itself is also quite strong. RoughSketch’s “Kick Harassment” keeps the hard style techno in focus with heavy beats and aggressive synths. These are interrupted with sections with a more mysterious, softer synth. It’s an interesting blend of tunes and the build ups are quite enjoyable as well. The end result is a rather decent tune, although perhaps not to everyone’s liking. Another fun tune is Ryu☆‘s “Blast Off,” a criminally short hard trance tune with dramatic string harmonies, a strong and catchy synth melody.
kors k’s “Resonation” is another complex tune that marries a lot of electronic styles together. Hard trance meets dubstep and classic rave elements along a bright and vibrant synth melody. It’s a tune full of variation and one that never overstays its welcome as it progresses. Taking it back to a more 90’s style rave track is Ayako Saso with her “Back to the 90’s” tune. You’ll hear air horns, sharp synth strikes, plenty of vocal samples, and varied and interesting transitions. You’ll always hear something new as this tune progresses and it is Saso in her element. Shinji Hosoe’s “Barking Night” opens softly and slowly with synthesizer, vocal samples, and heavy beats. It is a more industrial sounding tune. As the tune progresses, the tempo also increases a bit. There are elements of gabber in the piece. It’s one of the “softer” pieces on the album in terms of energy, but it helps break up the energy in a good way.
Perhaps the smoothest tune on the album is sanodg’s “Summer Line #GadgetSwitch, composed entirely in DETUNE’s Korg Gadget Switch software. soft jazzy piano and synths with bubbly beats and intricate drum pad accompaniment make for a vivacious tune that just oozes summer on the beach, especially when it becomes more drum n’ bass towards the end. It’s an exquisite tune and my personal favorite on the album. Lastly, Hommarju’s “Gemini” closes out the album with smooth beats, rock elements, plenty of buildups, and an electronic tune that is a bit tense and certainly industrial in feel. The vocal samples work very well with the beat, but are very repetitive and overstay their welcome. The synth melody is strong and the occasional Japanese folk-style vocals, albeit distorted, are a nice addition as well. In addition to the individual tunes above, there is a medley of these tunes on the second disc, mixed by Atsushi Ohara, that transforms it more into a DJ set.
This original album is quite strong if you are a fan of electronic music coming out of Japan. There is a bit of something for everyone, but the underlying thing tying them all together is, as the title suggests, something that would fit into a rave event in some capacity. It’s worth looking into if you want to hear some original music from a mix of game composers as well as some up and coming Japanese electronic artists.
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Posted on May 22, 2020 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on May 22, 2020.