Round two! I didn’t forget! A victory for everybody involved.
fromadistance – historie
I discovered fromadistance shortly after writing the last feature so I’ve been excited about including them in this one. While I would also HIGHLY reccomend Duende and Eureka, we’re going to talk about Historie today. fromadistance is a a group that solely consists of spctrm, which gives it some backing from Syrufit/Poplica. Unfortunately, fromadistance hasn’t released anything since C80 though spctrm occasionally pops in on various Syrufit related albums.
in saecula saeculorum is one of the best Lunatic Princess arrangements I can possibly remember. As I’ve recently said, I find arrangements of the song to be reptitive and boring but this one has such an urgency to it that increases and increases right until the very end and sounds great as a result. Originally, I think I was introduced to fromadistance because I heard alter. I’ll complain until I die about the lack of good Touhou ambient. So, I heard this track and fell in love with EVERYTHING Historie, Duende and Eureka had to offer. Which is a beautiful take on Touhou and the sound of folklore (the booklet itself says that the album is an interpertation of Touhou and folk and the whole theme of the album is history, of course) that changes in scale from being ambient or traditional to sweeping, orchestral tracks that are incredibly impressive.
My favourite track, by far, is obscure. It starts off slowly but the build up is so wonderful and impassioned that I fall in love with it every time that I hear it. There’s such a wonderful mixture of sadness and forcefulness that really gets me.
I love everything (kandachi sounds a bit out of place but isn’t bad) about this album and recommend it (along with fromadistance’s other albums Duende and Eureka) wholeheartedly.
24EFFECTS – 24EFFECTS
An ablum that everybody knows about? Sure, why not? The sad thing is that there aren’t many Yume Nikki arrange albums. At all. I can think of two. It’s unlikely that’ll ever change either as Yume Nikki is no longer at the height of popularity. Maybe one day there’ll be more. It doesn’t hurt to dream!
I originally heard Madotsuki in Wonderland and instantly fell in love. It’s arranged by coSmo (of Vocaloid fame) and features an excellent use of Len Kagamine. As background vocals. Really low key. Not taking all the attention in a song. I wish more people would utilize Vocaloid’s like that. I also eventually fell in love with Disregard. The switch between the day time song and the night time with the beat progressing slowly in the background until suddenly あああああああああああああああああああああああああああああああああああああああああああ. Admittedly, the first time I heard the song I was actually kind of startled. Kind of like in the game you can try over and over to get Uboa to appear and even though you know what you’re doing and trying to get to happen, it still kinds of gets you if only for a second or two. It seems, for me at least, that the original track 暗黒時代 is based on is really memorable from the game so this track is also special. It’s not much until the violin starts and then it takes on a whole new feeling. The same could be said of 9 A.M which gains a guitar and suddenly becomes really cool.
It’s often that I’ll love an album, sure. It’s rare that I come back to one so often. There are some tracks I don’t like very much (White Pool, I guess) but I’m always coming back to 24EFFECTS and listening to the whole thing. I think there’s just something about Yume Nikki music that’s just so easy to get… lost in. (I’m doing make YN related jokes now) I think that must be true because it’s not just this album that I’m constantly coming back to…
2hushit & banchouten – Dream Diary
The second Yume Nikki arrange album that I can think of is this one. (I haven’t heard the Subroc album though) It’s a colab between 2hushit and banchouten and is actually available on bandcamp so you have no excuse not to go get it.
Like 24EFFECTS, this one is all over the place. Though Dream Diary has more of an experimental feeling to it. It features a more heavy use of samples from the game while 24EFFECTS was a lot more derivative. NASU is my personal favourite. I would have liked to call it a nice represention of the kind of sound you’ll find in Yume Nikki but I think that honour is better deserved by snow or only in dreams. Another tracks I really like is spector/spectre/shitai. It has a really good beat, even if the samples from the game sound a bit out of place at first. It still ends up really good though.
Again, it’s available on bandcamp but it’s a free album. If you enjoy the sounds from Yume Nikki I think you can’t go wrong with this.
Tatami Stugiwo – Baroque Stroke ~ Touhou Classics 2 ~
There’s a first album, obviously but since the 2nd is easier to find and was the first one I heard, we’ll go with this one.
It’s actually a rather small album and there are only a few tracks I’d like to highlight from it. Medicine Melancholy’s theme is really under utilized. I guess it isn’t that great but it still seems rare to see an arrangement of it. That’s why I always love 毒入り金平糖の踊り. It’s an arrangement of Poison Body ~ Forsaken Doll mixed together with Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies, which was a song I loved when I was a wee little tot. Another notable track, トッカータとフーガ古戦場, is an arrangement of Suwa Foughten Field and Toccata in D Minor which seemed like a weird mix to me but ends up sounding incredibly badass. There’s a few seconds at the end that kind of sound like Native Faith and if the whole song had been a mix like that, it would have been amazing. There’s another less awesome track that features a mixture of Cirno and Letty’s themes
Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets – Rock ‘n’ Roll Labratory
I probably could have included more stuff from C83 but oh well.
cause to decide is the opening of a visual novel I really want to play (and apparently is being translated, thankfully) written by Isuna Hasekura (of Spice and Wolf). I really like the chorus and had it stuck in my head for awhile. I’d like to pay special attention to the one Touhou track on this album. Aya is probably my least favourite character and her theme is one of my least favourite. Though there are quite a few arrangements of it that I like, I find most other arrangements to be kind of annoying. Obviously that isn’t the case here or I wouldn’t be singling this track out. The intro to 自由への賛歌 is mostly what gets me. ichigo sounds great and the piano that is scattered throughout the song sounds great.