Shoumetsu Toshi -Remix works-
Shoumetsu Toshi -Remix works-
December 28, 2016
Buy at Amazon Japan
The Shoumetsu Toshi -Remix works- album features the music of the mobile game of the same name remixed by various artists, such as Ryu☆, REMO-CON, and Hiroshi Watanabe, in Japan. How well do these remixes reflect the original and is the end result worth a listen?
The album opens up with a remix of “Green Light,” by Ryu☆. The overall trance and ethereal sounds in combination with the vocals are akin to the original. In the beginning, there is some dubstep that is a bit of out of place with the rest of the tune, but it transitions quite well into the major style of the piece, a more high tempo dance tune with engaging rhythms, accompaniments, breakdowns, and overall progression. “Flashback,” by REMO-CON, features a hard techno opening with ethereal synths before moving into a hard trance sound. The ambient, beatless sections with ethereal sections are a wonderful why to bring the energy down a bit, and the wispy vocals and excellent progression make for a tune that never gets boring. A personal favorite is Hiroshi Watanabe’s remix of “The End of the World and the Last Word.” The minimalist ambient techno tune complements Emi Evans’ vocals extremely well. The overall piece is certainly more atmospheric compared to the rest of the tunes featured on the album, but it really manages to stand out with its high production values. As the tune progresses, the vocals fade in and out of the tune, some jazz elements are added towards the end of the tune, which makes for a relaxing and chill experience.
Rinaly’s “Eternity” remix is a beautiful trance rendition of the original that is full of layered synths, invigorating beats, and a calm breakdown that manages to capture the spirit of source material quite nicely. “Stay With Me,” by rionos, takes the original and transforms it into a more atmospheric R&B tune that works well with the original sound and vocalist. However, at the same time, the vocal manipulation presented as the piece progresses, can, and often does, distract from the mellow sound of the remix, given its frequency. This is certainly one of the weakest contributions on the album. samfree’s “I miss you baby” also suffers compared to some of the other tunes, as it comes off sounding more generic and less creative than some of the other remixes presented on the album with nothing standing out.
There are two major contributors to the album. The first is Hachioji P, who contributes four tunes to the album. The first, “I miss you baby” is a fun dance remix with the Miku Hatsune vocal program on vocals. It certainly fits the tune, but can be a divisive factor in the remix, given the shrill sound of programmed singer. The melody itself is bright and while I’m not the biggest fan of the vocals in this one, I will give credit to the portions where it becomes more distorted to mirror a synthesizer and is used to mirror the melody at a quicker tempo. Unfortunately, his “Avalon” remix suffers from some pitfalls. The chiptune accompaniment overstays its welcome as it doesn’t really change over the course of the tune and the electro house drops full of glitchy, crunchy synths, do juxtapose nicely with the softer soundscapes of the tune, but they sound quite uninspired. Another Miku Hatsune featured remix is his rendition of “You and Me.” Like “I miss you baby,” the vocals can certainly be divisive, although the vocoder processed vocals do sound quite nice, and the overall electro house tune is plagued by the same uninspired drops that sound like they come from 2010. Lastly, his rendition of “The End of the World and the Last Word,” which also features Miku Hatsune, opens with piano and ambient synths that gradually build. The end result is a tune that isn’t hindered by dated electronic elements, incorporates strings to create a wonderful harmony, although would certainly be more successful with the original vocals.
The other three tunes are all remixed by Hiroyoshi Kato, under the alias, NRG Factory. His first contribution, “Calling Your Name,” features jazzy vocals and piano, ethereal synths, dreamy soundscapes, all mixed with dance beats and trance sounds. The production values are excellent on this tune and really manage to stand out among his remixes. “Our Lost Future” certainly has potential. Another R&B remix, the vocals work wonderfully with the transformed tune and the soft piano and synth build ups really manage to sell the piece. However, the ill-advised choice of going with both trap and electro style sounds for the drops totally destroys from the exquisite soundscape established, so the end result is a back and forth between beauty and ugliness that could have been much greater without the need to incorporate unnecessary electronic drops. Lastly, his “Eternity” remix is a more successful remix, opting for an uplifting trance sound. Beautiful incorporation of the strings melody in addition to using half the tune for an acoustic strings and piano rendition to cut the energy a bit, creates a stylistically jarring experience, but the overall progression still manages to keep the piece interesting and the end result is quite enjoyable.
The Shoumetsu Toshi -Remix works- album is certainly not without its flaws. While there are plenty of well produced tracks, there are some offending tracks that manage to sound uninspired or totally kill the vibe of the piece. Fans of the these artists will certainly enjoy something and for the most part, the originals are translated well in their respective transformations. However, the inconsistency in the album’s remixes are what ultimately takes it down a notch.
Do you agree with the review and score? Let us know in the comments below!
Posted on October 9, 2017 by Don Kotowski. Last modified on October 6, 2017.