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Music Highlights #25
Welcome to the twenty-fifth Music Highlights post!
This time, it is a bit more like Denonbu Highlights than usual, since a lot of things happened at the Denonbu space in the meantime. Works from Denonbu composers, a remix, and even a cover by content creators outside Japan.
Let's talk about the songs!
#1: Little Secret
The combination of composer TAKU INOUE and voice actor Rie Takahashi is a surprising, but interesting one. This song is from the "Princess Letter(s)! From Idol" project, which, among others, also has a song for a Mika Pikazo-designed character, composed by Camellia, voiced by Yu Serizawa,and has freaking speedcore.
This particular combination of composer and singer is pretty powerful, and I'm already liking it on first listen. As a really interesting detail, TAKU INOUE recorded an electric guitar with an iPhone.
#2: Senkou Hanabi
This particular song is a remake of a song released 10 years ago. kamome sano's Senkou Hanabi brings a lot of memories. The first time I heard this song was in SOUND VOLTEX (although since removed), and I loved it. Ten years later, it still has the same impact it has to me. What a beautiful song.
#3: Platinum White
From now, it will be all Denonbu, because a lot of interesting things happened in the meantime.
Platinum White is a very, very interesting song, not only because it is the third solo of Shirokane Aki, but also because apparently the head of BanaDIVE AX himself descended to bless us with his composition. For both followers of game music and doujin music, you might be familiar with the name Hiroshi Okubo. Besides working on the soundtracks of Bandai Namco games, like Tekken and Ridge Racer, he also participates in doujin releases for albums like AD:HOUSE, and Aki's song is screaming AD:HOUSE, down to the fact that this song also has SAK. involved.
Hiroshi Okubo's Denonbu house music is awesome. It is true to Hiroshi Okubo's past releases, while also highlighting the sound of Azabu, and house music perfectly fits this aesthetic.
#4: Find Me feat. ミディ (picco Remix)
picco is one of the few names that I've discovered through Denonbu's selection of character playlists, and now, they made a Denonbu remix, specifically Harajuku's unit song Find me. This is a very fun song, incorporating picco's own sound design to the song. I especially like the vocal chops they did in the middle.
#5: Where Is The Love (feat. Shogo&早川博隆) Cover ft. Yuuna & KoYami
One of Denonbu's biggest strengths is how it is very open to derivative fan works, and generally encourages fans to create arts, covers, and even remixes. Even though the Denonbu staff are, in my opinion, relatively new to bringing Denonbu to audiences outside Japan, they are certainly trying their best. Despite Denonbu's current Japan focus, it has brought a few fans hailing from outside Japan, enthusiastic in seeing how this relatively niche series take off with its eclectic library of sounds from all aspects of the Japanese electronic music scene.
Which is why I'm beyond elated when a cover of Where Is The Love, Azabu's unit song, got released, sung by Yuuna and KoYami. KoYami was a liver from NIJISANJI KR, and (sadly) graduated recently. Denonbu has a close relationship with NIJISANJI since they employed NIJISANJI livers as the voice actors of the Shibuya characters, and there are other NIJISANJI livers who are a fan of Denonbu themselves (Pomu Rainpuff from NIJISANJI EN is also a known Denonbu fan!).
Yuuna, however, was a VTuber currently member of Tsunderia, which is an agency based in the United States! Yuuna has graduated said agency, but is still active as a VTuber. The instrumental is also made by Synthion, a composer that I've followed for some time from their happy hardcore tracks, and recently debuted as a VTuber too.
The fact that this cover exists makes me happy that Denonbu is starting to be recognized outside of Japan, even if only a little bit, and Denonbu's relative freedom in making derivative works enabling content creators like Yuuna and KoYami to make Denonbu fan-content without worry. More people recognizing Denonbu, and more content creators making Denonbu fan-content, makes me hopeful that Denonbu will be known internationally, not only for its amazing, uniquely Japanese music, but also for the swaths of fan-made content that it enables.
This has been this month's Music Highlights (or rather, Denonbu Highlights) post, see you next month!
P.S: I may or may not become a fan of Yuuna after I wrote this post. Reminds me of last month.