Digitaloid and Humanity
Digitaloid and Humanity
August 31, 2013
Buy at Amazon Japan
Digitaloid and Humanity is the first original album by SENSORS, a band that comprises of III’s Ippo Yamada and Ryo Kawakami, as well as Takumi Gennaka and focuses primarily on keyboards, bass, and drums, although there are guest musicians featured as well. In addition, guest contributions by Megaman composers Manami Matsumae and Yasuaki Fujita, arranged by SENSORS, are also present on this album. For fans of music arranged for band and the sounds of III, is this album worth picking up?
The album opens up with “Midnight Stream,” originally composed by Manami Matsumae. Immediately, the melody definitely manages to grab your attention, as it sounds like it would fit right into a classic Megaman game. The arrangement is quite simple, dominated by a variety of synths that really help give it lift and charm. Yasuaki Fujita’s contribution, “Digitaloid Girl,” also sounds like it would fit in a classic Megaman game and features another very memorable and charming melody. There is also a slight Asian tone heard at times, particularly in the intro, and some darker tones that really make the piece feel a bit more dynamic.
The rest of the contributions on the album are composed by either Ippo Yamada or Ryo Kawakami. “Mechanical Life,” by Ippo Yamada, opens with some voice samples, before moving onto a melody that is quite mysterious in nature. The piece itself features lots of bass, which accentuates the mysterious nature of the piece; however, the star of the show is definitely the synthesizer, as it helps really lift the melody into something quite special. “Solitary Moon,” also by Yamada, takes a much darker approach with its slower tempo, industrial sound, and eerie and moody keyboard work. It is definitely one of the highlights on the album and contrasts quite nicely with the more upbeat compositions that dominate the album. Yamada’s last contribution, “Iphigeneia,” opens up with some sleek bass work and vocoder before moving into an upbeat tune that definitely features an Asian influence in terms of rhythm and melody. It’s a great piece and features plenty of atmosphere thanks to its softer sections.
Ryo Kawakami’s “Discovery,” while definitely giving off a fun sound and a fairly memorable melody, is one of the weaker tunes on the album, in my opinion. It features some violin, although it only is during the bass heavy bridge and feels a bit underutilized as such. However, the ethereal and almost ice-like synthesizer used in the accompaniment definitely helps the piece. “Blind Chronos,” similar to “Mechanical Life,” opens with voice samples, but the atmosphere is definitely one that is darker. There is a very industrial sound and is reminiscent of some of the more atmospheric pieces featured in Metroid Prime. However, that being said, that doesn’t mean that melody isn’t a focus. On the contrary, there is definitely a prominent melody that helps to accentuate the overall eerie tone of the piece. The album closes with Kawakami’s “Remote Society,” which is definitely Kawakami’s strongest contribution to the album. It features a fun and vibrant soundscape, thanks to the melody, which would work quite well in a Megaman game. However, despite this, I feel that Kawakami’s contributions are definitely the weaker portions of the album.
In the end, I think that SENSORS’ first album, Digitaloid and Humanity is quite enjoyable. Featuring guest contributions by Megaman veterans as well as those by Ippo Yamada and Ryo Kawakami, it’s a fun keyboard and synthesizer led album that definitely draws influence from Yellow Magic Orchestra as well as Megaman’s musical history. If the combination of the three things mentioned sound like a winning combination, this album may be for you.
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Posted on March 21, 2014 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on January 17, 2016.