Kurayami Monogatari

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BESPA☆KUMAMERO – spiral connector December 18, 2010

Filed under: BESPA☆KUMAMERO — solarblade @ 6:54 am

Track Listing

  1. prologue
  2. like a moonlight
  3. BK’s “Je Suis Fou” (feat. ELECTRONIKBOY)
  4. TRICK STAR
  5. Totem Master
  6. paint to me
  7. spiral connector
  8. Takeda Takeshi
  9. D.P.Fighter
  10. Betty’s Mirror
  11. Kimi ga Inai Asa
  12. losing time (Toby&Bus Remix)

1. prologue

Starting the album, prologue gives off a more darker electro vibe than their last album “PLASTIC CONFUSION” started with and it sort of reminds me of some songs from their debut.  Monkichi’s arranging styles haven’t changed much, but it’s nice he’s taking a vocal role against the electro-rock atmosphere…hope it leads to something awesome.

2. like a moonlight

Into our first full track, like a moonlight has a pretty cool flow to it, but likewise they’re strong when there’s a repetitive melody going on.  Once Azumi joins in for the first time, her voice sounds rather soft and more suave and controlled which is good to see for sure.  I love the more airy feel the songs gives off when it does get full sound, but Azumi’s parts in the song are just good to listen…club music maybe?

3. BK’s “Je Suis Fou” (feat. ELECTRONIKBOY)

I’m guessing this is actually BESPA’s (sort-of) cover of a French song.  Not sure of the original version, but this is quite nice since there’s a lot more focus with Monkichi’s guitar-playing here.  After the French stops going on, there’s more music and Azumi joins to give her touch to the song and I’ve noticed her singing has gotten quite better since their debut.  I’m not totally sure what ELECTRONIKBOY does in the song, to be honest, but I’m sure he supplied the song with the synths and stuff.  Still this isn’t a bad song, but two languages that I’m not fluent in is pretty tough to follow along.

4. TRICK STAR

Going back to just the duo, TRICK STAR starts with a pretty interesting rhythm beat, maybe a slight bit too long…Oh I guess this is a Monkichi solo because there’s just no vocals in the song, a lot of synths and beats and other little picks around the song.  I will admit the later half of the song is actually quite better and does gain a melodic sound so that said…it’s just a long interlude XD

5. Totem Master

I was wondering if Totem Master had anything connections to “Totem Pole” from their debut album and sadly it kind of does in the wrongest of ways.  All in all, the song we have here is just a new version of that song put under new melodies and different synths, but not changing the lyrics around at all.  To me, I love the original’s darker sound than the more progressive sound for Totem Master.  I mean there’s some new lyrics…but…where was that in the original huh and I will admit that the vocals from Azumi are much clearer though XD

6. paint to me

Getting out of that trainwreck, paint to me brings us back into some new tracks and the beat and overall sound really does feel like electro-pop and it sounds nice to listen to.  Azumi’s vocals are about as tight-sounding and kind of shaky like they were in the last album, but she’s trying amongst the synths.  For the most part it sounds great and Monkichi’s skills have gotten better, liking this a bit.

7. spiral connector

Oh yay! We finally get a title track from the duo.  I’m surprised for being such one, it’s surprisingly lighter and happier than most of their works up to this point.  Unfortunately it’s another Monkichi solo and it brought down the likeness for the song quite immensely.  It doesn’t help that it’s 5+ minutes long which adds the salt to the wound.  Still for what we did get, the arrangement is great and shows much much improvement of his skills so he does get brownie points, but next add Azumi and we could have amazingness!

8. Takeda Takeshi

Uhm…a song that has a person’s name on the title of the song?  It’s a little absurd but whatever.  I’m not sure what to think of this song since it’s darker than a bit of the other songs but it brings out the worst in Azumi’s vocals because she sounds too flat and she’s singing quite mechanically…I mean it’s more obvious here than on older songs like “Snipe_001”.  It just took me outta the song for most of it.

9. D.P.Fighter

At least our next songs tries to pull me back into enjoying the album.  It’s nice that we have another song that features Monkichi on lyrics and he sounds edgy and it goes well with the arrangement sort of similar to “prologue”.  Even Azumi gets some quick words in there to give more spice and it’s a great song for the album.  One of the awesome ones.

10. Betty’s Mirror

Another odd title to go along with, Betty’s Mirror is sadly another instrumental piece and I have the exact same feelings like I did with “spiral connector”.  The fact that the song excels in the arrangement so much makes me wish there were vocals for it.  The good thing is perhaps they can take this and learn to use both music and vocals together in these amazing arrangements.

11. Kimi ga Inai Asa

Supposedly requested to be made full because the cellphone ringtone of this song was actually quite popular.  I love the fact there’s actual piano mixed in with the interesting synth melody which would sound great to hear on the phone.  I love the more innocent vibe I get from this track and Azumi adds it in quite nicely as well.  It’s one of the best of the album for sure and I wished “spiral connector” and “Betty’s Mirror” ended up together in harmony like this song had.

12. losing time (Toby&Bus Remix)

If you can remember, losing time was the final track off of “Romantic Waves” and its remix also is put at the end of this album.  It’s also the longest on the album being almost 7 minutes long.  I did enjoy the original because it was so different on the album and the remix does evoke the same thing since it’s more ethereal and Azumi has some echo filters going.  The same problem though is still present with the vocals being so monotone and one-noted.  At least the music kept things interesting and it ends the album on a good note.

Tracks Recommended

  • Kimi ga Inai Asa
  • D.P.Fighter
  • paint to me
  • like a moonlight
  • losing time (Toby&Bus Remix)

Song of Avoidance

  • Totem Master

Oh boy…BESPA’s 3rd album kind of faulted this time around for me.  While I do love that they’re broadening out and bringing both, synth-pop and electro-pop together, there was some mis-steps present.  I think Monkichi took too much time for himself since there were three solo songs with no lyrics and that could’ve been handled better (letting Azumi sing would be the biggest need).  Also the new version of “Totem Pole” was just poor…otherwise it was good, but “PLASTIC CONFUSION” still reigns over.

 

BESPA☆KUMAMERO – PLASTIC CONFUSION December 22, 2009

Filed under: BESPA☆KUMAMERO — solarblade @ 3:44 am

Track Listing

  1. Snipe_001
  2. Girls & Bunny
  3. closer
  4. POP
  5. place of No.9
  6. Close up the music
  7. Find Out
  8. another piece of Nylon Wave
  9. 24 colors
  10. POP (Breeze Piano ver.)

1. Snipe_001

Starting out, Snipe_001 is edgy and dark like the stuff on their first album, “Romantic Waves”.  Azumi already has a bigger role in the song by first reaction.  I’m liking the electronic rush the song has and the points where Azumi is singing robotically were great, I also liked her normal singing as well.  I’m loving this song a whole lot right now.

2. Girls & Bunny

Monkichi surely hasn’t let off the original button quite yet and Girls & Bunny definitely feels new to me.  It still is electronica don’t get me wrong, but it’s like he mixed it with the eurodance style to make it more refreshing.  Azumi is also singing without any vocal help and she has a pretty nice voice.  Catchy beat and catchy song overall.

3. closer

Now here’s where things get really strange.  closer starts with an edgy opening with some guy repeating ~b, k~ which clearly representing the group.  Then the same guy starts to rap with Monkichi’s arrangement…it’s very strange and at the same time very lulzy to listen to.  After his lengthy rap, Azumi comes in with the electric guitar/beat mixed arrangement and it just feels not right. 

4. POP

I’m guessing this was the main song to promote the album, I guess.  POP is definitely a bit lighter than what BESPA is known for.  It’s a pretty interesting song and feels ethereal and rather relaxing.  I love the use of 8bit here and yet the other synths feels totally feel new as well.  Azumi’s vocals can be a little monotonous in places in the verses, but luckily Monkichi is good with entertaining the listener with various melodies and such. 

5. place of No.9

I found the intro to place of No.9 somewhat a throwback to 70’s spaceish based music…(Actually sounds like Reading Rainbow’s theme).  It’s got a lot of different things happening like xylophone melodies, water droplets, and a little bit of 8bit sounds.  I’m noticing that so far, all the songs have taken a little bit too long to start up.  Honestly, I was thinking this was a long interlude before Azumi came in.  About her, she sounds really nice here, but the song doesn’t have a real climax, but it’s also a song that really puts you into a relaxed mood and I like that about it.

6. Close up the music

Close up the music fixes my complain up since it does begin with vocals from Azumi.  This song really goes back to their first album with its darker tone, but it feels like it carries something new as well because it does have a dance feel to it.

7. Find Out

Being a totally different sound than what we’re used to, Find Out is strictly a rock tune featuring both Monkichi and Azumi on lyrics.  Sadly, it’s the shortest song off the album, only over 2 minutes.  I really liked the energy and guitar riffs and Azumi brought back her angsty vocals as well which amazing.  Honestly, I like this alot.

8. another piece of Nylon Wave

It seems BESPA went back to their song “Nylon Wave” and basically gave it a full rearrangement and keeping some of the original intact.  Azumi also seemed to resang it in a deeper tone and I really liked it a lot more than before.  Monkichi’s efforts on this is also great since he added new synth lines and some guitar parts as well.  Great job at this song.

9. 24 colors

The last new track on the album, 24 colors reminded me of “FREE FREE” just without the overload on synths.  I love the mixing of melodies between the 8bit synths and the guitar.  It’s an interesting song and Azumi feels like she’s meshed with the music quite nicely.  I’m kind of liking the arrangement more though.

10. POP (Breeze Piano ver.)

At the end of the album, we get a rearranged version of POP and it’s really surprising how it really turned out.  Instead of the electronic influences that gave the original its peppyness, this is totally devoid of it and actually is just piano, played by Monkichi and Azumi.  I really loved how they gave to song a more melancholic sound and it’s probably their wildest transformation of a song and yet it totally worked since Azumi sounds amazing.

Tracks Recommended

  • Find Out
  • POP (Breeze Piano ver.)
  • Snipe_001
  • Girls & Bunny
  • another piece of Nylon Wave

Song of Avoidance

  • closer

BESPA☆KUMAMERO’s sophomore effort to me was definitely a step up.  We did lose Monkichi’s solos through this album and the songs themselves felt more electropop than Romantic Waves more dark-tinged view, but seriously, I enjoyed this quite a bit.  Now I know Azumi can sing well with songs like Girls & Bunny and the rearranged version of POP.  Hope a third album is in the works cuz they could become a powerful group

 

BESPA☆KUMAMERO – Romantic Waves September 5, 2009

Filed under: BESPA☆KUMAMERO — solarblade @ 3:30 am

romanticwaves

Track Listing

  1. Crazy Bathroom
  2. Totem Pole
  3. R.R.D. (Retro Radio Disco)
  4. Melty Vision
  5. Hagure Kumo
  6. Nylon Wave
  7. Muddy Romantic
  8. buried future
  9. Uchuu Metro
  10. Badger
  11. AIR
  12. eccentric RMX
  13. wise brain computer
  14. losing time

1. Crazy Bathroom

The album begins with Azumi introducing the album somewhat.  It begins with Monkichi doing his thing on the arrangement part since he does most of it anyways.  The track is more of an instrumental, but when Azumi comes in her vocals are in super fast chipmunk mode which does make it hard to listen what she’s saying…She does come in fully, but shortlived…it’s alright, but I would’ve rather had her the entire time.  ~Crazy Bassroom~ LMFAO.

2. Totem Pole

If you know me well, you’ll know I’ve been loving the song to death.  I’m not sure if it was the main promotional track, but it did somewhat have a PV…rather shorter than this track.  I love the deeper and darker sound from Monkichi here and Azumi’s creepy vocals are so damn good…especially when she repeats ~Totem pole na kato ni!~.  She has a nice set of vocals on her, though the end where she ends the song by screaming hard, was a surprise.  Let’s just say this arrangement fit amazingly with Azumi ^_^ good job!

3. R.R.D. (Retro Radio Disco)

We go further into the album with R.R.D. which has a lighter tone the the previous songs and Monkichi has some lyrics I think, but he’s computerized which is pretty cool if you ask.  Azumi is also singing here as well and you can tell she’s under vocoder and at other points she isn’t.  I have to give props to Monkichi though, his arrangements have not let me down yet and he’s quite talented and I see it through this track moreso than the previous tracks.  It’s catchy ^_^

4. Melty Vision

I like how Melty Vision starts out with a percussion filled sound.  Then some guy’s voice just rushes in and repeats a few times before getting to the music which has gotten a harder guitar sound.  It goes on for a little bit before Monkichi’s synth beats enter the fray and take over.  It is mostly music, though Azumi comes in with some lyrics, but it’s drowned out by the music.  It’s quite cool though.

5. Hagure Kumo

I love how Hagure Kumo sounds more like a traditional song at first, but then the drums come in and that mood is pushed aside for a bit before it leaves again and it just goes back and forth.  It is the duo’s first true instrumental track and while it keeps the traditional sound and mixes with their electro style it makes for an interesting listen. 

6. Nylon Wave

Yay, Azumi is back!  Nylon Wave has their electro sound and yet they managed to mix some 8bit sounds to make it off the wall.  Azumi’s vocals do have a tendency to echo and sound strange, but it’s got the most of her so far on this album and while her vocals don’t really stretch on the staff, it’s passable.

7. Muddy Romantic

Muddy Romantic brings the duo back to a more rockish sound and that’s cool that they did especially since their electro sound was starting to get somewhat thin.  Azumi’s vocals are back down to a creepy, lifeless tone, but it once again fits with the guitar riffs and strange synth melody.  It’s a little less energetic, but it makes up for with good sounds.

8. buried future

I love the ominous opening to buried future a lot.  It’s got a dark tone, but it also sounds like it could be a Daft Punk song too.  It’s also in a lighter mood, almost cosmic if you listen to the song, it’s so different and interesting.  Monkichi does add some muffled beats that do ruin a little bit, but Azumi’s singing saves it from being too annoying and she sounds heavenly in it.

9. Uchuu Metro

I was expecting something urban from this track, but this is quite the futuristic tune.  Once again I’m finding myself allured to Monkichi’s arrangement for sure.  Azumi’s vocals are once again showing some monotony and even though she gets cuter in the chorus, the song actually feels somewhat empty….they could’ve added a little more to the song IMO.

10. Badger

Odd title for a song, Badger is another instrumental that is a bit more club-friendly and yet is so crazy in the arrangement, it’s hard to really put it in one word of how it is.  The beat is wild and the synths parts are just as much.  There is a repetition in the low synth the descends a lot…it doesn’t even bother me.  I’m not sure about this song yet.

11. AIR

AIR though is pretty experiemental especially on this album.  Unlike the togetherness of the other songs, it has a lot of interesting sounds like a clanking and the different synths being used.  Azumi returns once again to the more echoey sound her vocals had in “Nylon Wave”.  Once again gets drowned out by the rest of the song going on, but it’s maybe a little easier to follow though.  It’s nice actually and while the instrumental parts drag on too much, the parts where Azumi is singing are nice.

12. eccentric RMX

It’s pretty strange that there’s a song that has remix in its title.  It is an original track though which adds more to the absurdity that came with it.  Azumi’s vocals are filtered pretty nicely, giving it a gritty sound.  It’s pretty cool actually and more props are given to Monkichi on the song as fits just nicely.  I love the middle of the tracks as it gets even more better with Azumi and then the various stop points that Monkichi threw in for the kicks.

13. wise brain computer

We get into the last two tracks (and both are the longest, over 5 minutes) starting with wise brain computer.  I have to say, this track has a pretty cool opening.  After a little bit, the beat comes in a keeps going with the opening melody.  Azumi is great here as well because it her higher interest in the song and even saying the title made me pay attention fully. 

14. losing time

Our final track ends off nicely with a pretty cool electronica feel.  Then again it is their lightest track off the album, almost bordelining pure pop with synth.  Azumi is rather monotone again which isn’t a good thing especially if the music around her is light and pretty.  Alright, this song is the oddball of them on this album.

Tracks Recommended

  • Totem Pole
  • eccentric RMX
  • Muddy Romantic
  • R.R.D. (Retro Radio Disco)
  • wise brain computer

Song of Avoidance

  • Uchuu Metro

BESPA☆KUMAMERO’s debut album is a rather good debut album, especially during the electro craze that’s going on.  There were time that I found the instrumentals too long for me, but the tracks that weren’t and filled with Azumi’s singing were better.  I do think they are going to do well with their career since Monkichi is a great arranger right now…here’s hoping “PLASTIC CONFUSION” is just as good or better.