Listen Back 09-30-10


Here we are again for another Listen Back to what the Japanator staff has been rocking out to for the past week.

Also, I should warn you, the above image may or may not have anything to do with the contents of the post. This seems to be a recurring point of confusion for some readers. It's just a pretty girl listening to music! That's all! Calm down!

OK. With that out of the way, let's continue after the jump and listen to some music! What have you been listening to?

Zac Bentz
Vola and the Oriental Machine

This past week I've been listening mostly to Principle, the new album from Vola and the Oriental Machine. I was blown away by 2008's Halan'na-ca Darkside, so naturally I was really looking forward to their 2009 album SA-KA-NA Electric Device. While it was a good album, I felt it lacked the energy of their previous stuff. Nevertheless, after seeing a live version of "Flag" and some in-the-studio footage I was again really hopeful for the 2010 album Principle. Sadly I was again a bit let down. It's a good enough album, but again lacks some of the more aggressive energy that drew me to the early releases from the band. The upbeat, happy dance vibe that many of the songs have just isn't what I was hoping for. So really it's more of a problem with me than with the album. There are still some interesting songs on Principle (like "Thank You My Force" and "Flag,") just not much that demands my attention.

Bob Muir

Genki Rockets
"Star Line"


I'd heard of Genki Rockets before, but I never really sat down and listened to all of their stuff. However, this week previews for the new Q? Entertainment game Child of Eden came out, which gave me a wonderful excuse to re-watch the beautiful E3 trailer. For those who haven't heard of it, it's a spiritual sequel to Tetsuya Mizuguchi's Rez, an artsy on-rails shooter that mixed trippy visuals, pumping electronica, and abstract concepts to make a very unique piece of art. Somewhere along the way, I managed to find out that the song used in the trailer is the remix of a song by Genki Rockets, a group of largely unknown musicians produced by Mizuguchi. From there, I looked up this original song and found myself really enjoying the lighthearted, spacey pop-techno sound it had going for it. Even more interesting was the video, which though not as detailed, still looked aesthetically similar to Child of Eden. It also features the group's fake front-woman Lumi, who is supposedly going to be a "character" in the game.

It's a bit fluffy, but the song is catchy and even beautiful when married to the brightly-colored visuals of the music video. The remix used in the song isn't quite as good as the original, but is still worth a listen.

Mike LeChevallier

mc chris
"Japanese Maid"

In many of my selections for Listen Back, I've opted to choose songs that more or less sum up the inner pride and nature of Japanator, and most likely, the people who visit this little site we try to run here. This week's track no doubt takes the cake if there ever was some kind of Unofficial Japanator Theme. mc chris has been a mainstay in my music library ever since the early days of Adult Swim, when Sealab 2021 was changing the game with its unorthodox formula of animated randomness (mc chris voiced regular cast member Hesh, and commonly contributed rap pieces to the show). His latest LP, mc chris Goes to Hell (which comprises three previously released EPs), may be his strongest work to date. If you can look past the surface vulgarity of mc chris' razor-sharp rhymes, what you may discover is some of the smartest, most well-produced geek/pop culture rap out there today. The way mc chris casually throws in obscure references blows me away time and time again.

I'm not going to sit here and try to dissect "Japanese Maid" to the fullest extent. You really just need to listen to it, and listen closely. The lyrics are over-the-top, yet artful in how expertly they know the subject material. I played this song for a female friend who is Japanese and is also, coincidentally, a caretaker at an elderly couple's home (i.e. a maid). I wanted to see if she would take offense to the song. It turns out she loved it, and was laughing hysterically through multiple listens. I hope many of you will have the same reaction, and if you're not into mc chris...you should jump that. I'm about to J-Pop.

Colette Bennett

First off, I LOVE Genki Rockets..I had to pause before adding my entry because I had to listen to "Star Line". Good call, Bob!

Every once in a while I do this thing where I go listen to the top ten or so items in the Oricon charts. More than half the time, it's pretty bad, but this week I fell in love with Ayumi Hamasaki's "Crossroad". I've been listening to a lot of the Gazette lately too -- "Red" is not normally my kind of thing, but I think maybe it's poking me in that soft spot where I love Gackt forever and ever.

Brad Rice

Hokago Tea Time

With K-ON!! nearing its end (although the impeding movie keeps the moe flame alive!), I find myself listening to a lot of the music again, and I've got to say that the first OP and ED of K-ON!! are my favorite. Stuck in the middle, it's got more depth than the first set of songs, but doesn't have the sort impending feeling of the show hanging over its head. While the episodes may have been the dumbest, the music was the best.

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Zac Bentz
Zac Bentz   gamer profile



Filed under... #Japanator Original #music #top stories



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