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Monochrome Heaven's "Best of 20.." Trade-off

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My review will be late. The last two weeks have been crazy for me and I haven't had a chance to sit down with Cat5 mix. I'll try to have it up by the end of this week if that's okay.

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@Zeus was my partner for this tradeoff and he gave me the year 2012. During that year, I was listening pretty much exclusively to new electronic music, so I was excited to see what Zeus had in store for me, knowing I probably missed out on a lot of other music that year.

Spoiler

1. 9GOATS BLACK OUT - Panta Rhei (4/5)

 

Starting with soft held strings, a delay-drenched piano sample, shortly accompanied by a full band playing gentle, calm music. No crazy rocking yet, sounds more akin to a post-rock number before it's climaxed. The vocals are enticing, a baritone with an excellent falsetto. 9GOATS BLACK OUT is a band I've never really given a chance -- and to say that is not totally fair either. I've probably seen two PV's for their most popular songs, but its just never even occurred to me to try listening to them. They didn't even get the chance to have a chance, for no reason in particular. While this is obviously a morose ballad, it paints them in a very positive light in my book. Extremely atmospheric. The track seems to have reached a close after stripping down to vocals and sparse instrumentation around 4 minutes in. After a few seconds of silence, the chorus suddenly returns and sucks us back in. The additional orchestration shines. We return to the same post-rock tinged guitar riff motif and the song closes on an uplifting note. Classy, well-recorded and mixed. 9GBO are on my list now

 

2. the GazettE - 余韻 (4/5)

 

I've never listened to DIVISION. I've heard the singles and kind of dismissed it as I have with a few of the other 2010's GazettE albums. Nothing particularly wrong with that material, it just didn't grab me. This track being with some synth string/choir, synth, and clean guitar that feels very continuous from the last track. The full band and vocals come in, creating a very doom and gloom vibe. It reminds me of tracks from DIM like Dim Scene and Nakkigahara in terms of the iconic late-era GazettE dark ballad vibe, along with the production value and impressive vocal delivery. This song also ushers Zeus's mix in a direction of heaviness, occasionally switching to heavy start-stop riffs before lush releases into chorus, along with a crying guitar solo over top sustaining distorted power chords. Unlike the aforementioned DIM tracks, it ends quite fast, only lasting 3 minutes. The finish swells into what must be the next track on the album. A lot of catchy vocal melodies here and I love the staccato riff. Might have to go skim through DIVISION and see if I missed anything gold.

 

3. matryoshka - Laideronnette (4/5)

 

This is a band I've never heard of, named after the Russian doll. The track begins suddenly with a burst of distorted noise textures, soon followed by a piano melody and very high frequency synth beeps, characteristic pieces of this track. And then a female vocal. This track is electronic in nature, but transitions well from the last track because of the prominence of strings, which swell towards the forefront by what seems to be the first chorus. I'm reminded of artists like Emily Underhill and sea oleena, who are also memorable for their ethereal female vocals  and electronic-based contemplative, emotional atmospheres. The beeps are a bit abrasive and if they were a bit lower in the mix, I would have given this track a perfect score. The vocals are reverby, ambiguous, and textural --totally perfect for this style track. Like a big swell of emotion, really using the vocals as an instrument. It climaxes in the end, highlighting the strings and vocals, before exiting out with a spastic bit-crushing noise.

 

4. 歌者森 - Cables (4/5)

 

Another electronic track, by a Chinese artist I'm unfamiliar with. The track begins with the main "catchy" section. Synth strings, electronic drums (but more like a future garage aesthetic + snap samples, compared to the last track's industrial influence), that low-passed reese bass synth that was an iconic part of so many chillout/garage/drum and bass tunes around 2012 (a great year for those genres)-- all overtop a "ooh-ooh" type catchy pop melody, my least favorite part of the song. Fun and fruity, sometimes tolerable, but its power quickly wanes for me. The rest of the song is great, the verses remind me of vocals that you might find on a Rameses B or Enigma Dubz remix track from that era, or something in those aforementioned genres. It transitions excellently into the chorus, which really feels like a contrast to it melodically. "I feel the cables", this is my favorite part of the song. Something totally classy about it, and also projecting with this captivating certainty. The song fades out somewhat uneventfully with the "ooh ooh" vocal part. I'd be delighted to hear this on pop radio -- great chorus.

 

5. SILENT DIFFERENCE - Vengeance from Dark -Unplugged Ver.- (3/5)

 

A solo piano number. The first track to deviate from the consistent sonic string-led sonic aesthetic of the previous tracks. The title has "-Unplugged Ver.-" in it, so I do have the sneaking suspicion the original could have been a rock/metal tune, especially considering how dissonant this piece can be. While some moments are noticeably harmonically accordant and somewhat cheery, they are in stark contrast to parts such as a recurring monophonic chromatic riff, that feels very metal or is just downright dissonant. The section @ 3:00 also falls into this category, lots of evil "out" notes. My favorite part of the song occurs at the end of the 3:00 minute mark because of how polyphonic it is -- seems to be the most engaging for both hands from the entire song. Maybe this was a guitar solo in the original? My engagement level in this song starts to plummet when the playing becomes monophonic. Because the piano is such a "musical" instrument, in the sense that its timbral character displays the note choice particularly clearly, I think it fails on these kind of phrases. (Think of how many ways you can play a single note on guitar. You can play the same note in different positions on different strings, which will each be slightly timbrally different. You can palm mute it ]or not]. You can bend into it, or give it vibrato, or pinch harmonics or natural harmonics, blah blah. Let alone all the different kind of amps, pedals, and processing. With a piano, you only have velocity to control articulation. Hence why a lot of piano music /doesn't/ have monophonic lines and guitar music /does/. ) Anyway, the track fades out.  Love the aforementioned middle shreddy bit, and there are some nice moments here and there. Stays consistent to the sentimental theme.

 

6. Lament. - Door (4.5/5)

 

Beginning with a single clean guitar with delay, but then closely followed by a minimal drum count and bass sustaining notes/stabs, this track feels similar to the 9GBO and GazettE tracks in term of sonic aesthetic. The vocals certainly due to, but this time with an even lower vocal register and darker emotional quality. After 2 minutes of this vibe, the track suddenly swells into a distorted section, landmarked by a semi-long pained scream and memorable guitar chords. Small mixing critique, It almost feels like the swell is louder than the actual scream section here, like it builds you up and then instantly lowers you a level, kind of killing the momentum. Easily, with lifted vocal and/or guitar, and/or master level, the transition into that section would have been much more satisfying for me. Very important to note are the falsetto vocals in this short interlude (awesome). The track dives back down to another verse, this time with a slightly more picked-up feeling than before the scream. It evolves into a section that takes the song in a more melodic and somewhat unexpected direction, characterized by a memorable simple lead guitar and what can only be described as vocals that sound a lot more Dir en Grey than the singing did before--In the total quality, but also in the note choice / feeling. Not throwing shade here by the way, its a sound a lot of jrock bands touch, and this is the easiest way for me to describe it.

 

He ups the intensity with a scrumptious sung-then-screamed note just before 4 minutes, and it evolves into total doom-y angst-y metal rage for a few bars. The screams sound great. Super deep growls hardpanned left and right. Singer has amazing vocal control and I have a lot of respect for anyone who can do the more deep growl death metal kind of thing alongside the  standard more "vocalized" screams (bad description/distinction,i know, sorry). There is a section at 5:11 (and later at 7:00) that 1000% should have lasted more than 4 seconds. Favorite part of the song. Excellent melody/emotion. They play a far less interesting part over and over again from 5:16 , until it becomes the background for a wah-wah(?) tremolo picking chords type solo. We return for one more DeG chorus. Both the part I like and am disappointed in as mentioned before have falsetto vocals. I will be curious to check out more from this band which I have never heard of. Fucking great vocals.

 

7. Les Discrets - La Traversée (3.5/5)

 

Only underwhelming transition in this otherwise spot-on mix. The track starts suddenly. Yarg! Great tracks that are from seamless transition albums--what can you do.

 

Post-rock-y, with french vocals. Reverb heavy mix. Melodically, they do great to distinguish themselves from a lot of the harmonic tropes of post-rock. While the catchiest part of the song is the first vocal phrase at 2:37, it feels somewhat disjoint from the instrumental response to it in the following bar before returning to it again. Instrumentals were probably written first and then the really cool vocal part happened to happen when added towards the end and the arrangement wasn't changed to accommodate it more, just a guess. Or I'm being overly picky. I adore the part that starts at 3:26. It feels more coherent than the other mentioned part and has really addictive vocals that paint a very dark melodic picture -- the spirit of banal servitude and "being forced to continue a journey" rids this section for me, along with many moments of the coming Godspeed track. I also love the main instrumental theme at 1:52.

 

In terms of arrangement, the track does its best to stay interesting for its 8 minute length, rarely repeating sections and stripping down at 4 minutes to just a guitar. It builds with tremolo reverb-drenched guitar leads and spoken word obscured vocals, followed by a male/female vocal unison (cool!). It moves on somewhat abruptly to stripped down drums, closely followed by what can only be described as a "rock" riff. Very simple drums. Rhythmically repetitive guitars. Wish there was a little more texture going on here with the first riff. Compared to how expansive the instrumentation and layering was previously in the song, this feels bare. Probably awesome live, but thin and simple on record. The change of riff at 6:09 feels more warranted for this kind of minimalism, though still slightly bare. This repeats and builds for another minute, until the drums break into a black metal type kick-snare kick-snare-forever groove. Certainly more engaging and a nice progression, but the guitars still get a little boring. Power chords yo. Quite the triumphant ending for what is an otherwise mysterious/curiously dark song. It's not a bitter darkness in the first half, but a more nuanced bittersweetness. Kind of let down by the last few minutes of this track. Again, probably awesome live. First three minutes were 5/5 interesting, the bit at 1:52 is totally charming.

 

8. Godspeed You! Black Emperor - Mladic (2/5)

 

While I'm familiar with their pre-reunion work, I haven't heard this album (along with the rest of their 2010's material). The song starts with a processed speech sample "Put his arms out stretched"  "can you get him out there?"(I think?), a woman speaking in a perhaps worried voice. In the introduction, we are met initially by bagpipes along with many droning textures that persist throughout much of the track. Strange pitch-diving short cries dominate the next couple minutes, I'm not sure what the source instrument or recording is. A clangy metal sound playing an incessant repetitive rhythm takes the lead for the next period of time, while the drone slightly evolves, and then the clanky metal sound begins to crescendo and transform into an ugly thud. In a relatively short transition, much of the drone sounds disappear and are replaced by gritty electric guitars, riddled with energetic feedback and fuzz. Drums enter and the tempo slightly picks up. The monotonous nondescript textural guitars change  for a brief moment, the right guitar notably playing a new chord progression before ascending melodically and then returning to a riff that is essentially riding on a single note again. 9 minutes into the song, the main melodic motif is introduced. Straightforward drums, guitars, and probably a shit ton of other layered stuff serves as a backdrop for the left guitar, which plays a melody that is hard to not describe as having a circus-y feeling. It's whimsical, but in a crazy way far more than a cute way. After a few repetitions, the drums shift to a double time beat with a more skipping feeling and much of the band follows the melody in unison. The energy is very clear. The left guitar stays put, loyal to this motif, as the other drums, guitars, and bass, shift back and forth between the earlier introduced mostly single-note riding riff and the unison of this melody. Moving on, the track briefly strips down to drums, one guitar, and bass, before the other guitars are reintroduced, essentially playing textural ambient feedback/pedal FX noise. 12 minutes in, the 2nd melody of the song is introduced, repeated a few times by a new guitar.

 

The song suddenly slows tempo, the aforementioned melody now playing in a slower/simplistic version. A violin is noticeably audible at a few moments. This slow tempo repetitive hits is continued with the drums, bass, and guitars, but now led by a cello (I think) playing a simple melody in unison with these hits. An exciting change to the arrangement that feels (again) quite triumphant. Feedback rings out as everyone takes a rest but a cello and the bass playing distorted chords. The final melody is revealed, another one which follows the pulse of the 1/2 notes (or however you want to count them), switching A-B back and forth itself and a drone section. The drums smashing cymbals in the A and building with the floor tom(s) on B. This repeats a few times, before reverting into another layering of instruments into a collective textural drone, notably starring a fluttering snare drum. This slowly builds in intensity until climaxing in the big rejoice of this final melody, played in unison with most instruments. Taken over again by noisy feedback and drones, which crossfade into a clanking repeating 4 beat pattern, that sounds even more clearly to be made of a collective group of people smacking trash can lids, or something of the like, than the "clank" that was featured in the beginning of the song. And at last, after 20 minutes, the song meets its end.

 

From a perspective of just appreciating the sound, the production sounds great for the style on this track. Extremely roomy, or, better yet, cathedral-y, with massive drones and a distorted wall of guitars that create an appealing blanket of noise to bundle up in. Contrarily, from a songwriting perspective, I find it a little lackluster, even considering the style. While the first circus-type melody is catchy and captivating, and the other ones are nice too when they finally climax, they don't really give much to chew on from a harmonic viewpoint. The tendency was to play a riff with predominantly one note under the melody, or to have most of the instruments play the unison line OR the same line moved up/down to a uniform interval. Not really using a chord progression and hugging one root note  through most of the track makes it very difficult to reach that level of emotional evocativeness I've come to expect from this kind of big, epic post-rock. Lots of great melodies, but never chord progressions to contextualize them and bring them to life. Otherwise, I think it does come appropriately after the Les Discrets track and fits will within the mix. Would be much more enjoyable live.

 

9. Mono - A Quiet place (Together We Go) (3.5/5)

 

I love the records I've listened to from Mono, but also haven't heard this before this mix either. The track is introduced by strings (+1 consistency [again]), a droning low synth, and a clean guitar picking chords, while a tremolo picked melodic guitar appears in the opposite ear. Then Glockenspiels. Ebbing in and out, the strings and the tremolo guitar steal the show in this introduction, raising the intensity and then falling back out just before it becomes too abundant. An occasional (church) bell rings. Halfway through, everyone pulls out but the synth and a cello makes its way in. Another cello accompanies. Long bowed notes, but with lots of variety on a single motif. Violins quietly accompany in the background, holding a single note at the beginning. The whole orchestra evolves, progressing deeper and deeper into this melodic idea, incorporating different string sections in new ways. 7 minutes in, it suddenly escalates in intensity and shifts to a different section. Hard for me to describe it much beyond this. The last few minutes are just orchestral goodness. A sentimental number, but nonetheless, triumphant in conclusion, escalating in velocity and increasing in pitch step by step, emphasizing its last note in the classic dramatic matter, as if the show has finally ended and the audience is waiting to burst out of their seats into a roaring applause. Certainly not an ending of despair.

 

Overall, I was really pleased with the mix Zeus sent me, particularly in terms of its coherence to a theme of mainly string-driven atmospheric songs and ballads. He also relayed to me that this mix was emblematic of a trying time of his life, perhaps of personal struggle. Above all else, there is an emotional consistency which is here in many of the tracks-- occasional darkness and dissonance, met by moments of triumph and glory, and a lingering sense of confusion.

 

I found the post-rock portion of this mix less exciting. To avoid driving home the stereotype that post-rock is boring music, I'll add it was mainly to do with a lack of emotional resonance for me. Though, I can almost guarantee Zeus has a very different emotional experience with that Godspeed track than I do.

 

Found some nice keeper tracks in here and as always new bands to check out. Because of the superior thematic consistency (only blunder was that abrupt start of track 7), I'll give this mix 4.5/5.

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My partner for this mix was @reminiscing2004 and he sent me a mix for the year 2002. This is not what I was expecting, because the screen name primed me to expect a mix from 2004. Unlike mine, there wasn't a deeper meaning to the mix so I assumed this was a collection of the best songs from rem's collection from 2002. As a result, the mix is all over the place and is a ride from beginning to end. Let's discuss.
 

 

 


01. umbra - my eyes lie 3/5

We start the 2002 mixtape with a very polarizing opening track. I find the instrumentals complex and satisfying but the vocals grating. The guy has a nasal clean singing voice and a throaty rasp full of emotion and mucus. The imperfections in his voice adds spice to the track as often as it makes it unpalatable. Sometimes I like it and sometimes I don't; it depends on my mood. He is most definitely an acquired taste, but that tier of vocalist where the music fits his awkward voice like a glove. Does he scream like this in all of his songs? If not, I might check this band out a bit more.


02. Pinkly Smooth - Mezmer 4.5/5

In music critique circles, there is a concept of a 1-2 punch. This is when two tracks work so well off of each other that one is almost always played after the other. 2002 The Mix does this very well with "umbra" into "Mezmer". While I was not the biggest fan of the first track, the way the second track continues with the energy of the first is phenomenal. A wall of music erupts into a song that shares a lot of stylistic similarities with visual kei. I like how the vocalist switches between rasps, growls, and clean singing almost effortlessly, and musically it sounds 30% of the way towards the closest demented circus show. The ending piano melody was also something else. Even "PINKLY SMOOTH" sounds like the style of lost in translation but cool and provocative titles I expect from Japanese bands. Probably my favorite new discovery here.


03. 凛として時雨 - 鮮やかな殺人 4/5

The older I get, the less I can stand TK's voice. The older he gets, the less I can stand TK's voice. And yet, take me back to 2002's 凛として時雨, and suddenly all my problems go away. I'm not sure why, because TK's core style hasn't changed AT ALL between 2002 and 2019, with the exception of adding more instruments into his music. The indie rock retains the signature TK sound; mathy, hard, and angular but with well thought out melodies and purposeful solutions. TK's voice is less refined here but also less grating with the "whines that kinda pass for falsetto but don't". Technicality is replaced with passion and emotion and I enjoy that more. It also helps that his partner in crime is providing additional female vocals - which while not much more refined provides a needed contrast. This isn't the most memorable 凛として時雨 for me - "replica" is still one of my all time favorites - but with enough time I can add this into my rotation.


04. Miyavi - ジングルベル(仮) 3.8/5

ジングルベル (Jingle Bell) is one of the least discussed Miyavi singles. It has no real titles to its name; it's not first, it's not "best", it's not responsible for a career breakthrough. This song hasn't resurfaced on an album or a collection; I'm not even sure if Miyavi has played this song in years. Despite that, it's still an interesting song. For one, it doesn't sound like 2002 visual kei, which I suppose was a lot of early Miyavi's appeal. It's got a great guitar riff running through the verse and right into the chorus. The acoustic guitar solo is another nice touch. What takes away from this song are all the random sound effects that Miyavi has added to the track. There's seagulls chirping and light voice dubbing near the end of that doesn't need to be there, which is why this song gets such a unique score.


05. Aioria - ファンタジア 3/5
 

I have never heard of Aioria before. "ファンタジア" is the only track on here whose melody I could not instantly recall after three listening sessions. I do remember several things: the production is very flat and muffled, a hallmark of visual kei bands strapped for cash. Another is that it sounds like the year it was recorded in, which is in contrast with "ジングルベル(仮)" but which does line up with several songs lined up. It's an interesting snapshot of a transitionary period in visual kei through a gothic rock lens. This song would work a lot better for me if the rhythm guitar had more meat to it; as it sounds the lighter, spidery notes from the other guitar are suppressed in the mix. There are two rough transitions into the pre-chorus, but I can overlook those. "ファンタジア" is just an okay tune with an above average chorus (the best part for me), but this was the only track where I was actively checking how much longer the song was. Probably the low point of this mix, but look at all this competition! Aioria never stood a chance.
 

06. the GazettE - 別れ道 4/5

The first-ever the GazettE single, back when they were simply known as Gazette and sported a quirky rock sound a cut above their peers. 2002 The Mix caused me to re-evaulate this single. I was never that fond of "別れ道" or anything before "Cockayne Soup" really. Fans would rave about this song, but I didn't hear it. I felt that a lot of the hype was based off status or nostalgia, and I remember grabbing their earliest singles and coming away with the impression that they are a hot mess with good ideas sandwiched together awkwardly and plastered all over the place. This mix has caused my opinion on just this song to do a complete 180. I have to admit that there is a lot more going on than I remembered. This song grew on me the most out of all songs on the mix, but I also listened to the other 8 songs from their first three singles and still feel similarly about 5 to 6 of them. That makes this song a risky choice that pays off.
 

07. Coheed and Cambria - Time Consumer 4.5/5

Great track! I'm starting to lean into prog metal more and more as I age, and I've found one more band to check out. As weird as it sounds, I've never listened to Coheed and Cambria at all. Nothing about how the band was presented to me pushed me to check out more. This is the push that I needed. Guitars and groove are phenomenal, starting with a very cerebral melody and then sliding backwards into a more traditional rock chorus before lurching forward again into complex instrumentation and even more passionate vocals. I really like how many different motifs they can explore while not going off the rails and coming back to the central theme from the beginning. One thing that I HATE about a lot of American rock bands are the high pitched male vocals, giving J-Pop artists a run for their money sometimes. "Time Consumer" is mostly an excpetion to this; vocals are a tad whiny, but there's a strength to those upper registers that smooths out my complaints. 
 

08. Dué le quartz - 玩具修理者 4/5

I'm growing a fondness for visual kei created at the turn of the century. Bands active during that time have a unique bend to their sound where it sounds halfway between what the scene was leaving and what the scene was moving towards. It's a transitionary sound that can't be easily reproduced by bands today and really makes Dué le quartz stick out. Legit the third flashback I've had for this mix. 玩具修理者 is one of Dué le quartz most iconic tracks; it's one of the few tracks I actually had access to in 2002, even if back then it was given the wrong title. The main melody line off the guitar is so bright it sounds like crystals making music; it weaves a dance tune that is so infectious and it gets stuck my head easily. Much like ジングルベル(仮), there are a lot of weird sounds added to the verses and chorus that sometimes works and sometimes doesn't. That's 2002 visual kei for you.
 

09. Kagrra, - 罪ト罰 5/5

Kagrra, is one of those bands that I am convinced have never recorded a bad song. To be fair, I have not listened to every song in their discography, but after 75+ straight bangers in a row I get the message. I don't listen to a lot of Kagrra, anymore because listening to Isshi makes me sad. I have the single that "罪ト罰" is on but I haven't listened to it. Don't know how I could have skipped this song, because this encapsulates everything I like about them. Such strong bass that doesn't overpower the delicate melodies, but the melody itself has a sedating and calming effect that contrasts nicely with the driving bass. The flourishes of the electronics have vibes of school food punishment, and do well to tie together the feelings of past and present in the song, and they don't get in the way of the melody any. Including Kagrra, on a mix for me is borderline cheating. Anything Kagrra, is bound to get the nostalgia factor going for me. Kagrra, is also one of those bands that don't sound like a product of their time period, but that's because they don't sound like any other band ever. 罪ト罰 has a very bittersweet tone and it feels like the de jure ending for the mix.   
 

10. Symphony X - The Odyssey 9/5

Earlier in this thread I told rem that we were both obnoxious, and that's because we each put 20+ minute songs on our mix. I really hesitated on giving other songs on this mix a 5/5 because I felt that "The Odyssey" is a song that is in a league of its own. This song may as well BE the mix, for how well it obliterates everything that comes before it. It's a total stylistic and thematic change from the rest of the mix, sounding somewhere between a power metal epic and a sound track for a fantasy movie's biggest action scene. The singer left a good impression on me, falling into that category of higher pitched male vocals with some power in those registers. He sings a lot, but not a lot for how long this song is. Most of this song is godlike instrumentation which allows him to weave a story about a hero out for adventure. It has several distinct movements that represent phases in the journey. One is the opening, which is bombastic and larger than life and takes 2 and a half minutes to "set the stage". The next is the second movement in "The Odyssey", which reduces all of the instrumentation to two acoustic guitars and singing. It sounds like a completely different song and brings a lot of satisfaction as elements are slowly added back in. Tension builds throughout the entire track with natural crescendos and dips, and at each release some melodies are swapped out and other melodies are swapped in. Even the ending itself is several minutes of an orchestra playing a triumphant, if decidedly final melody before the ACTUAL final movement settles in and the main melody of the song kicks in one last time. This use of repetition, both lyrically and thematically, take this song to the next level. It's a very long listen, but a successful one because it doesn't sound as long as it is. Kept me engaged from beginning to end, so good job!
 

 


 

Overall this is a great mix for the year 2002, which when compared to other years I don't have a lot of music from. This mix has given me several bands to start exploring, especially Symphony X, Coheed and Cambria, and Pinkly Smooth. Even if "The Odyssey"  didn't fit, I can understand why you could not resist including it. If I were in your shoes, I would have done the same thing LOL. Even the artists that I am familiar with I was able to either hear a new song by them, or hear an old song in a new context. Some of these songs I haven't heard in tens of thousands of scrobbles! Probably one of the only mixes I've gotten in a while where the non-Japanese artists appealed to me more than the Japanese ones! Thanks for this mix. I really enjoyed it!

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My partner for this trade-off was @indigo, they chose 2011 as the theme of the mix. Being honest, I was expecting some visual kei classics since it seemed like the most obvious choice for me, but it turned out to be completely different〜 But it was fun anyway!

 

Quote

 

01. eastern youth - 東京west

From the first notes I understood I my partner had quite a different musical taste and began to worry if this whole thing would work out at all, so I decided to switch to some other activity, leaving this as a background music just to get used to the sounding of the song - I had to write a review after all. But then 1:44 kicked in, immediately bringing back my attention to the song and since that moment I loved every second of it. I am amazed at how two different genres, two differenced moods are laced together here. Without that screamo part it would be one of that typical calm indie songs I don’t really like too much, but such curious seasoning makes it a very pleasant piece. Kinda shocking experience, tbh.

:4.0:

 

02. Touché Amoré - Pathfinder

In my opinion this song breaks the flow and it would be better to switch right to the third song after the first one. I read the lyrics to get a better understanding of possible indigo’s way of thought, but that didn’t help, although I can’t say the lyrics are completely unrelated. The length of the song suggested it could be some kind of a transition song, but it didn’t help either. Sorry to say that, but this one’s a miss for me!

:1.0:

 

03. blgtz - イデオロギー

Loved that noisy, bouncy drums! That musical mess in the end is also greatly appreciated, I’m always here for unexpected endings in songs. The instrumental as a whole is very enjoyable and sophisticated.

:4.0:

 

04.  SuiseiNoboAz - ultra

This one gives me very strong summer vibes! My first listen made me want to walk on the beach, look at the sky, enjoy the freedom, get into some fun kind of trouble…and the lyrics turned out to express just what I felt: it’s all about cheerful, don’t-give-a-fuck attitude. Not a fan of such kind of punk music, but the vibe was so strong I couldn’t remain indifferent.

:3.0:

 

05. LOSTAGE - 12

The thing i liked most of all about the song was the bass line: it is simple, but still pleasant to listen to. The whole song is like that, actually! Even the cover is very minimalistic, but fun. Although instrumentals didn't really make much sense to me, the vocals are nice.

:3.0:

 

06. Heavenstamp - Waterfall

The chorus is so beautiful here I want to cry when I listen to it! I’m always so jealous of people who blessed with high-pitched voices lol. To be honest, I’m not used to female vocalists and have somewhat prejudice towards them, so I felt a little uncomfortable at the beginning, but after listening to that chorus that feeling went away, enjoyed this one to bits.

:4.5:

 

07. alt of the society - 理想と解答

Clean vocals here turned me off a bit, but i loved the guitar, it reminded me of aie (deadman)’s guitar playing style. This is a hardest song for me to write about, can’t say I have anything against it or don’t like it, it just feels…okay?

:3.0:

 

08. BYEE the ROUND -  No

I would like to point out vocal control in this song, this vocalist seems to be the most skilled one of the list. Musical line is pretty intricate too: harmonies and rhythm kept my attention until the very end of the song. For me, this is the best song of the mix! Gonna check out this band.

:5.0:

 

09. THE NOVEMBERS - 再生の朝

The only band I know from the list. I love them, but prefer more aggressive sounding part of their discography. They cast such a disturbing feeling of uneasiness on the listener, as if enchanting them with the music. Unfortunately, I don’t feel this particular song, as much as other their ballads. I barely listen to anything calm at all, so I don’t think it’s bad, just not my cup of tea ~ I miss times when all of the Novembers album covers were drawn in the same style though…

:2.0:

 

10. Bâton Rouge - Que les fils

This sentimental song with its delicate instrumentals and french language makes the perfect closure to the mix. After listening it to the end, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit sad this musical journey was over.

:3.5:

 

 

In the end, I want to thank @Shir0, @indigo and all other participants for making this trade-off happen! Speaking of the mix as a whole, this is quite a complete work with a certain mood running through it, even the «cheerful» song had a glimpse of melancholy in it. Pathfinder is a bit off in my opinion, but i still get the appeal. My personal favs from the mix are The ratings might be not so high, because it's not kind of music I prefer, and because I don't know any of the songs the theme of the trade-off was kinda lost for me, but there definitely were some great songs! And I’m grateful for this opportunity to broaden my horizons. Thank you everyone, until the next time♡

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Here's my review of @yomii's "Best of 2003" mixtape.

 

I did not have any idea of what kind of music yomii would send me but as soon as I saw the tracklist and some familiar names there I got a pretty good idea what to expect.


01. MONAURAL CURVE - story weep

Instrumental intro, sets the mood. It sounds quite dark and ominous. I wonder if this is the soundscape I should expect from the rest of mix too. Transition to the following track is good. It's great for what it is, as an intro but on its own it's nothing special so that's why I give it a 3/5

 

02. emmurée - 祈り

emmurée is one of the bands on the mix that I'm familiar with but I've never really listened to them THAT much but I do know that their style of melancholic, nagoya kei suits quite well to the music territory I'm into. I don't remember if I have heard this exact track before but it's pretty much the kind of track I expect from them. Atmospheric guitar work, great vocals. My favorite part is probably the chorus. I love how you really don't even notice that it's the chorus because it's incospicuous but it's still catchy. Great track. 5/5

 

03. deadman - rem.

Another familiar name obviously. I have to admit that I'm a huge aie fan. Unsurprisingly there are some great riffs in this song too, fantastic vocals, the prominent bass and drums are great too, but the drums production is a bit annoying. I don't like the snare sound. But that's just a tiny issue. All in all, great song, which makes you want to bang your head. 5/5

 

04. 椎名林檎 - 宗教

I didn't even notice at first that there's a Ringo Shiina song on this mix, lol. So that's a nice surprise. I know that 加爾基 精液 栗ノ花 is usually considered her best work but my favorites are her 2 first albums. Anyway, I can't deny the fact that this is a brilliant song. I don't like the weird underwater-like vocal filter in the intro but after that things get interesting. The song composition is amazing. The song switches between noisy, grunge rock-ish parts and "classical" pieces, and parts that aren't that far from breakcore or something like that. Somehow all these fit very well together? Shiina's amazing, soulful vocals are a cherry on the top. I'm obliged give a third 5/5 in a row.

 

05. Közi - Ism

This is a sort of cool song. It reminds me of 90's drum and bass / jungle music. The vocals are not my cup of tea, though. It's definitely something different. 3/5

 

06. 人格ラヂオ - 回路

This one's a more traditional sounding pop rock visual kei song but I'm not really feeling this song either. There are some nice, crunchy guitar riffs in the chorus but other from that this song doesn't really do anything for me. The vocals are a bit off-putting and mixed too in your face. 2/5

 

07. ナイトメア - Love Tripper

Here we got some questionable production values again, but if we leave those aside and just focus on the song itself. Yet again, the vocals are off-putting for me, but there are some good things going on. Some of the vocal melodies are actually catchy and the songwriting is interesting at some parts. I like the chill, almost a bit blues-y riffs/licks during the verses and outro. The chorus is catchy. If I were to compare this to the previous track, this is better but not as good as the first half, so I would give this a 3,5/5

 

08. Be≒Luna - GRAVE

This might be the heaviest track on the mix, thus far at least. There's chugging guitars and occasional growls but also lighter parts with some acoustic guitar. The song is surprisingly long too, being over 8 minutes. I guess it's basically two songs because in the middle there's a minute of sounds of waves(?) I think. Or just white noise. Anyway, the later part might be even heavier than the first one, with lot more typical vk-screams and shouts. Unfortunately I feel like the song isn't very memorable. 2/5

 

09. GULLET - deracine

Reminds me of that emmurée track. This has that kind of "driving" sound to it, which I like. The atmosphere here is nice, it's decent instrumentally and vocally. It's just missing "that" something for me to really get into it. 3,5/5

 

10. MONAURAL CURVE - deep guilt

Ooh, this is the same band as the first one, but I guess it's not really cheating since the another song was just a sort of intro. I'm not a huge fan of the synth bleep, but the guitar riff is quite good. It's basically what makes this song as good as it is. Kind of reminds me of post-punk and bands like Killing Joke with the guitar sound, rhythm and pounding drums. 4/5


Thanks to yomii for the mix! Visual kei is always such a hit-or-miss stuff for me, sometimes I love it and sometimes I loathe it. This mix was basically visual kei oriented and there were both types of VK there, as I expected. The first 3 proper songs were my absolute favorites, though. Those were also the artists/bands that I was already most familiar with. This is a nice showcase of what kind of VK was produced in 2003.

 

Edited by indigo

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LTSRrgR.png

 

My partner this time around was @CAT5. We'd been paired before, ironically for a separate year-related trade-off, so I knew that I would enjoy what he had prepared. So, I'll just jump right into it.

 

Spoiler

 

Limited Express (has gone?) - Mother Fucker

This is already sounding like a classic CAT5 mix with an explosive energy and psychedelic riffs. The vocalist, who is just full of energy, reminds me of the front man of Polysics when she shouts. It's really fun to listen to. Amidst the frenzy of sounds though, the drumming really stood out with varied rhythms that really drove the momentum of the song forward. The toms especially sound great; you can actually visualize the blurry flurry of sticks hitting the tom heads. It's a great opening to the mix and sets the precedent of what to expect.

:4.0:

 

THIS IS JAPAN - カンタンなビートにしなきゃ踊れないのか

The second track picks up seamlessly from where the first song ends; you'd think it's from the same album but just with a different vocalist. It's got a similar energy to the first song but with more melody and also manages to insert some softer moments. The vocalist sings in a diverse set of styles using a sing-songy voice to using a more strained rocker voice to doing that type of spoken-rap ramble if you know what I mean.

:3.5:

 

VELTPUNCH -  耐え難き暑さと湿度のせいで「青い嗚咽」は噴水とベンチしかない小さな三角公園の片隅で黒い卵を温める事を諦めた

Relatively speaking, we've slowed a bit here. But don't you worry, the crazy guitars and drums are still here. The bass melody really grooves and the guitars play off each other nicely with contrasting parts. I kind of wish there were no vocals because the instrumentals are so good. They're not bad, but they're just not as interesting as what the guitars and bass are doing. I wouldn't mind if they just went full math rock.

:3.0:


Hinto - デート

"Date" is more laid back than the previous tracks and follows a more straightforward song structure. After a lot of psychedelic energy it's a nice change of pace. The chorus is incredibly good, if not maybe a bit too short. I wish it was a bit longer. Maybe that's a good thing though because every time it comes on I love it more and more.

:3.0:

 

ヒトリエ - Daydreamer(s)

Don't get too comfortable because thing are getting ramped up once more. We're back to fast and slick guitars and fast drums. First thing I want to point out is the tone of the guitars sounds really great. It's got that kind of plucky, clean sound you hear a lot in math rock. The chorus in this song is also really good and the breakdown(?) also jams. It ends somewhat abruptly though on a soft note and I kind of wished they just kept the energy going till the end.

:3.0:

 

I love you Orchestra - Sunshine Freeway

This is the first instrumental only track on the mix. It's very upbeat starting out with a very positive sounding piano melody before it takes off with the rest of the ensemble. It stays a nice pop rock song until the middle where the songs takes a shift in tone and gets heavier with harder riffs. Everything goes back to normal soon after, but not before changing styles again into a more jazzy vibe for a short bit. This is actually a song I feel would be stronger with a vocalist. The melodies aren't quite catchy enough and having someone sing some melodic parts would add another point of focus.

:3.0:

 

Kaln Aileen - Nightseeing

Things begin to sound a little darker with this next song. The guitars have the tone of something you might hear in surf rock, but the vibe is quite the opposite. The melodies are dissonant and ominous. You get the sense that it's building towards something big, like an omen. It's a straightforward track, but I like the mood it generates with its simple execution.

:3.5:

 

the GazettE - MALUM

My sense was right because the mix takes a much heavier jump with Dogma-era GazettE. I really like the instrumental direction the group took during this era, but I always found Ruki's vocals lacking in memorable melodies and execution. I'm not a fan of when he holds notes out or just sings in "ahs" and "ohs". It's a shame too because there are some great riffs in the song, especially in the intro.

:3.0:

 

UROBOROS - LOST EDEN

There's something about this song that kind of reminds me of D'espairsRay's "tsuki no kioku fallen"  but I don't quite know what it is. I guess you could say there's a kind of radiance to the melody. But the song itself is very complex weaving between variations of transitions, unique riffs, and musical embellishments. It might actually be a bit too busy and I find it a bit frenetic especially paired with its fast tempo. I think this could've even worked as a more upbeat rock ballad. It's still a pretty awesome track as is though with a strong female front man.

:3.5:

 

TK from Ling Toshite - Shandy

I kind of expected you to include a Ling Toshite song! Them and/or the Novembers haha. Personally, I could just never get into them. It's the vocals for me. The song itself didn't really do it for me either. There were some interesting things going on with the piano or violin, but it was overpowered by the guitars and drums. 

:2.5:

 

downy - 乱反射

downy has always gotten me with their fantastic drummer. Anytime I've heard a song of theirs on a trade-off the percussion was always enticing. The beat is like an off-kiltered waltz but flows very smoothly through the melancholy guitar lines. About halfway through the song the drums start to pick up and the bass starts playing this mesmerizing series of scales one after the other. It's very haunting.

:4.0:

 

siraph - dilatant

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that this has a resemblance to School Food Punishment seeing as the keyboardist used to be in the prior band. A trend I'm finding in the mix is that all the tracks have some phenomenal bassists. And the bass on this track is fire. From the fluttering guitars to the tecnical bass playing, there's a nice contrast in the composition that keeps me engaged as I listen to the way the different parts play off each other. The chorus is a bit weak I think, but enough that there's still something to follow along to.

:3.5:

 

Chouchou - 空蝉の時雨

The black sheep of the mix, but a welcome addition nonetheless. It's a dark but sweet classical ballad. The vocals run on the sweeter side and has an anime-character quality to it. Maybe a little to cute for my tastes for a track like this, but I can dig it. Because it's so simple I ended up listening to every note and inflection. It's a lovely track.

:4.0:

 

Aimer - us

Continuing off the darker vibe of the last track, "us" brings the mix to an end. The vocals are powerful and backed up with the perfect balance of strings, keyboards, and electric guitars. But as great the full ensemble sections are, the softer passages are really what stand out to me. The echoes of drums in the background sound like cannons firing off in the distance and the delay on the keyboards creates this dream like sound. 

:3.5:

 

 

And that about wraps it up. 2016 sounds like it was a great year for Japanese music. The mix had that signature CAT5 sound full of funky, riffy, indie-rock that I wouldn't know about if not for these trade-offs. I enjoyed some songs more than others and some songs less, but I definitely had a great time listening to the entire mix.  Maybe someday Ling Toshite will finally make sense to me. Thanks for putting together a rad mix and I hope you enjoyed my mix too!

 

Edited by ghost

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I'm hella late because I'm getting terrible at this, but a long, long time ago, many moons ago, I was paired with @Triangle, and her mixtape was a shuffle of tracks from 2017.

 

Spoiler

BUCK-TICK - BABEL :5.0:
I’ve been getting way into BUCK-TICK lately, and I really like the No.0 record. This song in particular I really like. If I had to attempt to describe the track, it’d be: classy, digital, post-new wave space cabaret. And BUCK-TICK are no strangers to intergalactic new wave.

 

BAND-MAID - Honey :4.0:
The intro sounds like pretty much every electro pop song that came out in 2017. I think I like this version better than MUCC’s. BAND-MAID’s cover is much heavier, and has better production. I went back to the MUCC version to compare and, uh, yeah, wasn’t really digging it. BAND-MAID wore it better!

 

GRANRODEO - Pierrot Dancing :3.0:
This is a decent song. Just judging by the song itself and the cover, I wouldn’t have immediately guessed that they were an “anison” band. The song just seems like a typical yet enjoyable radio metal song. If there’s such a thing as Japanese radio metal, I imagine it’s not as lame as western radio metal.

 

MUCC - Commune :3.5:
This song reminds me of MOTHER (off SHANGRI-LA), but less generic, but still sounding like just another cover of BUCK-TICK’s JUPITER (just with a different drum beat). It’s a decent song, and it’s one of the more interesting songs on the not so interesting 脈拍. The ending is incredible, however!

 

NEWS - EMMA :1.5:
What the fuck is this shit? This is just typical Johnny’s fuccboi music, and I absolutely hate that I’m gonna have the chorus and the whoa-whoa-whooooa stuck in my head for, like, a week.

 

宮野真守 - 僕のマニュアル :2.5:
It’s a pop cover of TOKYO GYPSY, and I’m not really feeling it. Listening to it made me somewhat glad that I didn’t delete Sadie’s GANGSTA from my hard drives, ‘cause I felt like listening to TOKYO GYPSY.

 

lynch. - CREATURE :5.0:
They’re not really doing anything new here, it’s just lynch. being lynch. So why am I living for it and eating it up? How is it that lynch. can seldom bring anything new to their sound but keep it fresh, while many of their counterparts in the scene have gone stale?

 

ROTTENGRAFFTY -「70cm四方の窓辺」:4.5:
Whoa! This is really great! I’ve kinda always known about ROTTENGRAFFTY, but never bothered checking them out. Maybe that needs to change. This song isn’t much more than your usual post-hardcore ballad, but it’s very well done, and holy fuck I’m in love. I’m a sucker for post-hardcore balladry.

 

緒方恵美 - みらいいろ :3.0:
Another “heavier than the original” cover, but this one isn’t that impressive. Megumi has a nice voice, and the heaviness does bring something interesting to the song, but it doesn’t blow the original out of the water. I think Plastic Tree wore it better!

 

蒼井翔太 (SHOWTA.) - SMILE SMILE SMILE :1.0:
Another generic J-pop song that I don’t care for with an ear-worm chorus

 

SID - 硝子の瞳 :3.0:
This is actually a nice way to end the mixtape. I’m not a huge SID fan, but I’m kinda digging this song. This actually sounds like a song I would have hyped to the moon in 2013. For a so-called metalhead at the time, I was really getting into poppy VK ballads.

 

Thank you for an interesting mixtape, Triangle! This was an interesting look into stuff I hella slept on when it came out, with a few things I knew about sprinkled around. Definitely gonna look into ROTTENGRAFFTY and go back to the MUCC tribute album. While I did tear into a few tracks, there were others that I absolutely loved, so I had a great experience with this mixtape!

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39 minutes ago, Seimeisen said:

Thank you for an interesting mixtape, Triangle! This was an interesting look into stuff I hella slept on when it came out, with a few things I knew about sprinkled around. Definitely gonna look into ROTTENGRAFFTY and go back to the MUCC tribute album. While I did tear into a few tracks, there were others that I absolutely loved, so I had a great experience with this mixtape!

 

XD I kinda figured those songs were not your cup of tea and I was just looking forward to reading your reaction on them hahaha.

I'm glad that you enjoyed the cover of Honey (check the whole tribute album, it's really nice ❤️ ). 

Rottengraffty are also so damn good (it was a struggle to pick only one song from them) XD.

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My partner this time was @ghost. Apologies for being UUUUUUUUUUUUber late! I told ghost i'd have my review up by the end of the weekend - that clearly didn't happen, as it's now Wednesday. So...

 

tenor.gif?itemid=12204860

 

:lol:

 

@ghost chose the year 2014, which was a fantastic year for me. Let's see what he had in store!

 


2014 BEST
ZS5CXTk.jpg

 

Spoiler

01. The Midnight - The Years (Prologue)

 

@ghost started this mix with a decidedly electronic bent. This track opens with some airy, ethereal synths and some fairly poppy male vocals. It's all very warm and has a "feel good" sound to it with a sense of wonder and beauty as well. This makes a for a really good opening track for this mix (and i'm assuming for the album it's from too), because despite being 6 minutes long...it doesn't quite feel like a complete song. But i mean that in a good way...it sounds more like a really sweet intro, as the whole track feels like it's building up into something. Unfortunately, when the beat actually drops, it's much slower than I expected, as I thought it was going to turn into a full-scale trance or EDM song. But it has more of a synthy, nostalgic 80's sound to it. Other than that, I really like this song.

 

:4.0:

 

02. APOGEE - Runaway Summer

 

Perfect follow-up! Keeping the electronic theme going. I've always liked APOGEE, but their use of Engrish always bothered me. That's not a big problem in this song tho, since most of the lyrics are in Japanese. I actually forgot about this song tbh. It's a good one tho, and it's refreshing to hear it again after so long, and especially in the context of this mix. The upbeat EDM style of this song is actually what I expected the last song to turn into! There are some wonderfully sleek sounds in this song tho...like that bit after the last chorus where the beat stops, and you can clearly hear the acoustic guitar and that cascading synth...I love that part!

 

:4.0:

 

03. TEMPURA KIDZ vs Charisma.com - ミイラキラー

 

Another perfect follow-up! In this case, it's still upbeat, danceable,  electro-pop, but it has a different feel to it than the first two tracks. Not exactly light, airy and "feel-good", but still a lot of fun to listen to. I like how this song takes retro synth sounds and motifs, but makes them fresh and catchy in a distinctly "Jpop" kinda way, haha.. I'm not exactly sure what part TEMPURA KIDS play in this song other than dancing in the video, but I think this track is easily one of the best songs Charisma.com has done. Also the video is a lot of fun!

 

:5.0:

 

04. Trevor Something - Come Back Down

 

Alright, I initially thought this was a cover of New Order's "Blue Monday", but apparently it's an original song. I would say that it's inspired by New Order, but that would be a bit of an understatement, as they sound almost identical - from the beat to the vocals. This is just a bit slower, but it's still got the same, synthy, new-wave vibe. I don't really have any strong feelings for this one, but it's definitely enjoyable nonetheless.

 

:3.5:

 

05. Machine Girl - Machine Girl - Ghost

 

This song kinda breaks away from the synthy, retro vibe and goes into more into breakbeat-ish territory. The beat is pretty fast-paced and it seems to make use of one heavily modulated jazz sample(s). It's really repetitive. When I think of this track by itself, it doesn't do anything for me, but in the context of the mix, I think it serves as a great interlude and keeps you engaged with the mix.

 

:2.0:

 

06. PERTURBATOR - Future Club

 

REVENGE OF THE SYNTH!!! Listening to this song, the selection and placement of the previous track makes even more sense, as it kept the mix from becoming too monotonous. I've heard a few songs by PERTURBATOR before, and this is definitely the kind dark synthwave I'd expect from him. It's entirely instrumental, and a bit on the repetitive side - but there's enough layers to keep you engaged. It doesn't catch me immediately, but I find myself really getting into the song as it progresses...especially about halfway through it.

 

:3.0:

 

07. GosT - Ascension

 

Never heard of this artist, but it's actually in the same vein as PERTURBATOR. This particular track, however, is almost alarming compared to the previous track tho lol. The beat is super simple, but it's strong and hits with force. The main synth is really distorted and sounds nice and thick/crunchy. There are even some horror strings (or synths that resemble horror strings), which definitely add to the overall theme of the music. Apparently dude performs with a skull mask on too lol. I definitely prefer the lighter, more "feel good" synth sounds from earlier, but I can dig this too.

 

:2.5:

 

08. Babymetal - Catch me if you can

 

Genre-wise, this is where the mix takes a turn. @ghost warned me that there would be pretty abrupt jumps in genre, but honestly, I'm not bothered by it at all. Which is probably a result of my own taste being all over the place anyways, but I do think it's somewhat fitting within the mix too. We already heard jpop in the mix earlier with charisma.com, and now we get a bit more of that here (at least during the chorus). The rest of the song is pretty dark, metalcore/deathcore? with growls and all, so even tho it sounds different, it's not too far off in spirit from the darkness/heaviness of the previous two electronic tracks. This is a really fun track overall tho. I really like the drums, but what's the deal with them exactly? Are they live drums mixed with electronic drums? I can't really tell, but whatever the case, it produces an interesting effect.

 

:3.5:

 

09. lynch. - DEVIL

 

I've only been listening to lynch. since about 2011, but I've become fairly fond of them. I remember liking this album overall, but if I recall correctly, a lot of ppl had problems with the production quality, specifically the compression on the guitars...or something to that effect. Anyways, I don't mind the production personally, but this is one of the songs from the album that didn't quite stand out to me. I think it's pretty standard for a lynch song, but it's not bad at all.

 

:3.0:

 

10. DEZERT - infection

 

I don't have much experience listening to DEZERT, as I believe I've only listened to one of their albums (the 2016 one), and on top of that, I can only recall one of their songs off the top of my head. Honestly, I'm not a fan of the nu-metal style riffs that open up and characterize this song...mostly because I like melody, and these are just kinda repetitive and unmelodic. The verses aren't appealing either, but the bridge and the chorus get a lot better for me. I'm kinda lukewarm on the vocalist too...i mean, his voice is fine, but it's definitely missing something for me. Not bad, but not really for me.

 

:2.5:

 

11. Kauan -  Lumikuuro

 

Apparently I've never listened to Kauan, but for some reason they seem familiar. Maybe @Champ213 used to listen to them something. Listening to this, I could definitely imagine that. Anyways, their last.fm bio describes them as "post-rock", and while I can definitely hear why ppl might think that (as this song has the slow-dragging grandeur that you'd expect from the genre), I think this is more like some hybrid of different metal genres...cuz the singer's harsh vocals sound like black metal vocals, but his cleans sound really folksy. And musically, the slow, dreary atmosphere sounds very "doomy", especially toward the end. I'd say this is a really well-made song, but it doesn't really resonate with me on a personal level. (also, it almost sounds like the vocalist was speaking Japanese at one point :lol: )

 

:2.5:

 

12. Dir en grey - Revelation of mankind

 

I'm super casual about Dir en grey. Generally, I'll listen to their new material, and just stick to the handful of songs that appeal to me immediately - so I don't really allow their other material marinate, cuz I just don't spend that much time spinning their albums as a whole. And that's unfortunate, because I don't remember this song AT ALL. But it's great! Elements that I generally would not be able to stand - like pigsqueels, and elements that I think can easily sound stupid - like the heavy growls and gutterals - are all integrated really well into this song I think. I think Kyo switches between these different styles in a really organic manner here.  Plus this song is thoroughly melodic, which I love, because it never sounds like it's being heavy just for the sake of being heavy. It sounds like the heaviness is just an attribute of the song and not the goal. I'm glad you included this track on here, because I would have continued to overlook it otherwise

 

:5.0:

 

Overall. I had a really great experience with this mix. While I didn't like everything on here equally, there was nothing here that I had to struggle to sit through. So props to @ghost for putting together a great selection. I definitely know who to go to if I'm ever in need of new electronic music! In fact, @ghost you're more than welcome to send me random recommendations or mixes anytime, cuz I dig your taste. Thanks for taking the time to make this, and thanks for being patient with my slow-ass! Looking forward to getting paired again with you in the future! :D

 

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