Sigh

A lot of people took a deep breath when this popped out the other day:

I think we all anticipated the other shoe to drop in that timeframe, and last night did/not disappoint: Continue reading

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You Review Things: Viz Major on MIGMA SHELTER’s

Actually by @VizMajor

One of the best things about listening to a concept album is immersing yourself into the music and simultaneously living in that moment of the sounds being produced almost as if you had astral projected directly into the experience. With MIGMA SHELTER’s newly released full album “ALICE” we get transported right into the wacky, twisted, animated world of the classic story of Alice in Wonderland. Anyone familiar with the Disney animated film adaptation can take one glance at the song titles in the tracklisting and notice words or phrases that relate to the story and even see that it is also in chronological order. One thing I will recommend here: wear headphones because you will want to hear everything on this album.

The album opener “In Wonderland” immediately sounds like you are being taken on a journey, one can even imagine a moving aerial shot of the landscape of Wonderland. We are greeted by spacey percussion-like synths and a warm violin melody that seamlessly pans between the left & right channels in a ping pong effect. This first song is also where we are introduced to a recurring theme in the sound production of this entire album: soundbytes of nature & living things (weather, animals, insects, etc.) One in particular that I found quite unique in this song is in the 1st half before the tempo picks up there is a hi-hat that rolls & playfully skips around from left to right channel that sounds really cool.

The second song “Rabiddo” features fast escalating buildups paired with falsetto vocals and an interlude of strings that would fit well in an old movie score to a sunny day in the Classical era. It’s a very dramatic song with captivating melodies & alluring vocal harmonies. The next song “Drops” begins with a sinister bassline that can remind one of the bass in the Pink Panther theme and when paired with an old sounding piano enables one to visualize a dimly lit, smokey lounge. The song picks up the pace into something reminiscent of a Burlesque theater chorus line leading into a nasal zipper synth which is then washed away by bubbling water, water drops, & faded vocals followed by a return of the theater music to finish.

Now we get to the middle portion of the album starting with “Egg Head”, a maniacal composition consisting of 7 or 8 transitions and featuring instrumentation in the forms of timpani, midi synth, string melodies, marching snares, and even a rooster’s crow that is sampled & chopped up to fit with the rhythm of the beat. I found this song to be one of the more complex & fun productions on this album. The 5th track “Y” either samples or contains an interpolation of “Pink Elephants on Parade” from the Dumbo soundtrack which serves as a fantastic tuba & trumpet accompaniment. This song follows along in the story when Alice meets the hookah smoking Caterpillar who’s deep voice can be heard speaking his famous line “who are you?” during the percussion break at the halfway point. Fantastic brass instrumentation and full, powerful kicks in this song.

Song #6 “It doesn’t matter” is where we get a change of pace by slowing down the madness and bringing in a feeling of tranquility which not only shows a different side of MIGMA SHELTER but results in one of the highlights of the album. Starting off we are treated right away to warmly tuned acoustic guitar strings & outdoor ambience of birds whistling giving the feeling of being around a campfire singing indie folk music. To top it off, the girls’ singing on this song may be the best we heard from them yet. There’s a strong bass pad that sounds great as it envelopes the atmosphere and leads into the sound of rustling leaves as a bird flies out from a tree which transitions perfectly. The thunder & rain is also a very nice addition to the sonics and really works in setting the mood. Very dark & mysterious soundscape that matches well with the Cheshire Cat character who also said to Alice the phrase “it doesn’t matter” in the story.

Following this song is “Unbirthday”, the song that is most fitting to the psychedelic trance soundscape. The music here has intervals of an Arabian theme melody and the familiar tone of sci-fi synth trance patterns. The chorus in this is probably the catchiest & most memorable on this album with the girls singing the lyrics “a very merry unbirthday to you”, which is what the March Hare & the Mad Hatter were singing at their tea party. The placement of sound effects in this song was also mapped out very well. The next song “Road” I will say is one of the best produced records I have heard this year. This composition is structured in about nine different sections. The pop beat & rhythm in the beginning flows into a gritty smug rap-like vocal cadence which then mellows out for a short break before returning to an electronic dance breakdown. What follows is the most interesting section of the song: a flourish of fanfare that swells & builds up into an incredible drop of background static & electric guitars and finally finishes with a guitar solo.

The second to last song “QUEEN” I can only describe best as serving as battle music for a last boss in a JRPG. There are brooding & pulsating bass synths and backing choir vocals. This song also features on production Chapa Didgeridoo who plays the didgeridoo and provides that low frequency rich bass & strong vibrations. The second half of the song kicks up the tempo to make everything feel more intense. I actually think this one may be the fastest BPM that MIGMA SHELTER has ever done before. The final track “My Wonderland” is a 9 minute epic that encapsulates all the elements we experienced throughout the album and is formatted into a song that perfectly expresses the feeling of accepting this wild & weird Wonderland until the last two minutes where we seem to slowly drift away from the dream into a beat that could play during the ending credit roll of a movie. The chirping of birds and even what sounds like a faint voice saying “Alice!” eventually wakes us up for the album to come to a close.

The factors that really make this album great are the always superb production & mixing of AqbiRec recordings and the high attention to detail in the sonics & compositions. Every song was carefully planned and song structures & melodies meticulously pieced together. It feels like an art performance piece or avant garde painting projected through music. It’s difficult to say this album can be completely labeled as Trance since there are so many different genres & orchestrations found here: Pop, Goa, Classical, Experimental, Rock, R&B, etc. The members of MIGMA SHELTER each have great voices and vocals are arranged in a fashion where harmony is melodic & contributory to the instrumental. In 10 songs there are so many ideas & layers that can fill two albums. Transitions are executed flawlessly, vocals are performed well, and the songs have a good replay value. This is definitely one of the best albums of the year.

Official Homicidols Rating

Score: One full Heartbleed, the logo of Homicidols.com, used for reviews One full Heartbleed, the logo of Homicidols.com, used for reviews One full Heartbleed, the logo of Homicidols.com, used for reviews One full Heartbleed, the logo of Homicidols.com, used for reviews One full Heartbleed, the logo of Homicidols.com, used for reviews

5+

Sway Emotions Slightly Is My New Favorite Thing

I’m usually inclined to use a Let’s Discover Some Idols kind of title on these posts, but please, my friends, let’s dispense with formula for the sake of saying the thing that is good and true and pure, which is that there are many idols and many idol debuts, but only a handful of them truly excite. And one of them is Sway Emotions Slightly.

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Let’s Put Some Hocus-Pocus Focus On MagicTime…

In our secret high-level Homicidols share-holder’s meetings, we sometimes bounce around stuff that one of us has discovered just to toss it out there to be shared amongst us, or to possibly consider it’s inclusion in Maniac’s Weekender, if not a full article in it’s own right. Today we’ve got something that Chris came across and brought to our attention. Whether it’s true sorcery or merely an illusion, I found myself taken in by their spell, so ladies and gents, please note that there’s nothing up my sleeves as I present MagicTime

Now I don’t know a heck of a lot about MagicTime other than they’re from Osaka, kick-started their activities in February of this year, and around six months later they still have the same three members, which in the idol world is quite an achievement! The members are Natsuki, Shizuku, and Mio. Natsuki (Megane girl) is the leader and Shizuku is also part of a duo called Strawberry♡Smile. Mio appears to have a superpower but we’ll get to that later. Now let’s check out their recent MV!

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Wishes do come true: New Yukueshirezutsurezure MV

Today was a good day for fans of the blue, melancholic idol unit of Codomomental. While they announced their third album and its release dans (August 26!) a while back, they only just released its title, paradox soar, and its track list.

The new studio album contains five new songs, their recent singles as well as the solo songs of all members. Hue and Existence Metaphysical were previously released on the limited edition of exFallen, but have been re-recorded for this album.

The first track of the album was granted an MV, and it’s great! So, let’s talk Wish/~

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Your Homicidols Weekender #192

Good morning! I hope you all had a safe and healthy and (at least as much as can be) fun week. I’m personally getting tired of watching the paint dry here at Maniac Mansion, but the heat and sudden downpours of late have made just getting out to meet with friends into a dicey proposition. It doesn’t even feel prudent to do something perfectly safe and quick, like change the oil in the Maniacmobile. Summer under quarantine sucks.

Of course, I guess I could live in Florida, pretend like nothing’s wrong and become a massive disease vector for thousands!

Anyway, interesting note: Team was approached recently to put together some edutainment content for an online fest, and we were trying to finalize some ideas last night. Of course we talked history, and D has been pointing out that we’re in the 10th year since Babymetal and BiS both sprang to life within a heartbeat of each other (late in 2010). That’s momentous and deserves more work in the future; I just wanted to note how wild that is. Like, Su-metal’s old enough to have a graduate degree.

So! With that in mind, doesn’t that put the weird-ass grab bag that is the Weekender into a whole new light? Like, 10 years on, this is what loudol has wrought? I personally think that’s neat — so much creativity and innovation! — and look forward to whatever might be next.

Feel Old Yet?

SAKA-SAMA!

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The Future of the Idol World is in YOUR Hands

Remember that online WACK audition where anybody from any country of any gender could participate on Twitter? The chaotic mixture of WACK fans, girls from previous streamed auditions and children who should really have their internet usage monitored by their parents? Great news! It’s reached a mass voting stage so YOU, the reader, can be more involved than ever!

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EMPiRE’s Early EP Release is SUPER COOL

WACK and Avex’s collaborative group (no, the other one) have decided to get a little 70’s to switch things up and boy do these EMPiRE SOUNDS feel SUPER GOOD.

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Why Yes, I Did Enjoy the New Ishido Natsumi, Why Do You Ask?

This isn’t new-news or anything, and the fact that I’m writing it shouldn’t be news per se, either, because of all of the online gaijin wota, I can think of exactly one other person who emphatically supported Ishido Natsumi the same way I do (hi!), but it’s important that I make good on something that I felt strongly enough about like two weeks ago to create a post draft for.

Anyway, yes, the title of the post! And I’d like for you to enjoy it, too:

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I See That Wonder Lander Has Been Busy

I’m trying to remember my first Wonder Lander post. It very may well have been all the way back in Year 1, which is pretty wild considering the volume of disbandments among groups that were covered in that era (let’s call it the peak of Loudol 2.0, the Wonder Years), and all of the various membership ins and outs of Wonlan itself over that time. I sort of always felt that the group was destined for the same fate that ultimately befalls all idol projects … and yet, here we are, round about four years (I guess) since the first time I heard them, liked them, shared them, and a thing called Wonder Lander definitely still exists.

Different though! My very literal first thought was “oh wow, the group’s like a whole different thing now.” The most important thing of course being the music, which is, like, different! Not wholly so, mind you — Wonlan’s always been good for about 50:50 cool rock-like tunes and more conventionally idol material — but different maybe in the distribution of what they’re doing in relation to the core. You, obviously, can be the judge:

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