Waxing Nostalgic

“Hallucinations can occur in any sensory modality — visual, auditory, olfactory (smell), gustatory (taste), tactile, proprioceptive (perception of self), equilibrioceptive (perception of balance), nociceptive (perception of pain), thermoceptive (perception of temperature) and chronoceptive (perception of the rate at which time passes).”

“One of the most common forms of hallucination occurs when your brain simply fails to distinguish between an internal stimuli, like ‘a voice in your head’, and an eternal stimuli.”

“High caffeine consumption has been linked to an increase in the likelihood of experiencing auditory hallucinations. A study conducted by the La Trobe University School of Psychological Sciences revealed that as few as five cups of coffee a day could trigger the phenomenon.”

“A 1996-1999 survey of over 13,000 people, reported a much higher figure, with almost 39% of people reporting hallucinatory experiences, 27% of which were daytime hallucinations, mostly outside the context of illness or drug use. From this survey, olfactory and gustatory hallucinations seem the most common in the general population.”

So I had a nostalgia trip the other day, in which I experienced olfactory (strong and often), gustatory (weak but often), visual (short-lived but strong and in 2-3 second flashes), and tactile (short-lived, weak, and not very often) hallucinations. Now I don’t do drugs or anything and this isn’t too uncommon for me (when I was young and religious I was sure I had the god-given gift of having visions), especially with a mixture of caffeine and some alcohol ^^, but listening to music that I used to listen to all the time forced up some memories I’ve associated with said music, strengthened by the brain fuel that is caffeine and sugar, and with alcohol probably keeping my brain from holding up that line that distinguishes fantasy from reality. Anyway that was the start, but it just snowballed and snowballed … if iyou follow me on Twitter you probably got a glimpse. I’m still sensitive to the olfactory and gustatory ones right now, but with all the alcohol out of my system I’ve got a better internal grasp that they aren’t real ^^;

Anyway, the brain is awesome huh? It can remember not only “data” but entire sensory states. When everything was at its strongest I felt really time dissociated, most of my senses were reporting on things that happened a really long time ago and yet I still just had enough of “normal” mode senses reminding me I was actally just sitting down at my computer.

I really have set myself up for these sorts of things with all the music I listened to and looped to sort of form triggers. One of the very clear and kind of funny ones that’s not really entirely associated with memory is because of the fact that I listened to Bibamus.moriendum.est (Touhou Piano Album, by Pizuya/Godwood), and only Bibamus.moriendum.est, the entire time I read The Lord of the Rings (I’ve done this 2-3 times), whenever I hear that music I cannot not think of hobbits and the like, even though I already have a very firm musical association between Touhou characters and their themes, but for this one album the Hobbit association trumps.

When I was studying for my differential equations final, back in my first semester of college, I listened to a particular playlist the entire time, and only kept time in units of 4 hours (the length of the playlist) when a song would come back around… Anyway, there were lots of moments like this, so if you think you have some triggers, go ahead and attempt to dive into the vast expanse that is nostalgia. It’s a science experiment!

Anyway, what started this entire thing was me being a bit depressed by the fact that EastNewSound is not what they used to be. I’m not going to say they’re bad or anything (for instance, I quite enjoyed the song I translated last post), and with so many variables in play, if I heard some of the songs that hooked me then for the first time now, my response might be “meh”. But I can’t deny that while maybe there was a song here or there I liked, “Felsic Mirage” is the last EastNewSound album I cared for, and it’s probably my favorite one, so the drop from favorite, suddenly into “not interesting to me at all” might have just been too great a shock. One of my favorite members Izumin, left right after Felsic Mirage, and was kind of never heard from sense.

Enough mourning over EastNewSound. The point is that especially after this crazy nostalgia trip that I experienced, I wanted to do my own version of “Games You Might Not Have Tried (Or Heard of)” that Extra Credits (web show about video games) does – “Touhou Music You Might Not Have Listened To”. Extra Credits’ disclaimer is “I’m not promising all these games are good, just interesting.” My disclaimer… “I’m not expecting for any of you to like all of these, I did, but my tastes are strange and my tastes have sort of changed too, and this is an opportunity to listen to some of the older stuff of groups you might be listening to now.”

Touhou Music You Might Not Have Listened To:
(Every track listed below was released 2009 or earlier, (with the exception of Felsic Mirage))
This timeline puts everything before Buta-Otome, Draw the Emotional, and excludes RD-Sounds, Foreground Eclipse, and Shinigiwa Satellite (who were emerging unknown to me at the time), and although they were around in full swing – I hadn’t heard of Kisida Kyoudan yet.

少女が見た日本の原風景/REINE OKTAVE (東方紅楼夢4) [Piano]
 Shoujo ga Mita Nihon no Genfuukei

Crazy Clock Cracker→Romantic Children, Meteralice/The Grimoire of Alice (東方紅楼夢4) [Piano→Metalcore]
 Pizuya,Myon,Godwood,Tsuuten/Pizuya’s Cell x MyonMyon

I found these two albums before I knew what Touhou was, or that these two albums were “Touhou Arrangements”. When I found out about “The Grimoire of Alice”, my immedate reaction was: “Wait Romantic Children is from a game!?” *panicked rush to find game* This is why I actually played the PC-98 games first, and found out about the windows games about a month later, when I realized REINE OKTAVE was a Touhou arranged album as well.

It is not a lie to say I picked up these two because I liked the album art and weird title on the first, and the second for the art and latching on to the name “Alice”. (The strange dark-setting Alice in Wonderland I imagined out of this music was pretty crazy if I remember correctly.)

REINE OKTAVE’s 少女が見た日本の原風景 is very intricate, and I’ve always been disappointed I haven’t heard anything like it from CYTOKINE since.

I put Crazy Clock Cracker→Romantic Children to put a little emphasis on the transition. The short piano piece by Godwood is toned down, so the immediate volume jump from track one to track two would always hit you hard. The same effect was employed in Prunus Subhirtella, but it didn’t feel as severe. Other tracks off “The Grimoire of Alice” that I’d like to emphasize are “WEII -World’s End Est-“, and “Mind is Love Holic Pt.2”.

Not too long ago Pizuya remade “The Grimoire of Alice” with all male vocals as “Resurrection Ballad”. Though it wasn’t well received some of the instrumentals were cleaned up, and it wasn’t bad (I really liked the “Meteralice” remake, and “WEII -World’s End Est- came out alright) – but it’s just not the same. Prunus Subhirtella was remade a bit better.

幽霊楽団, 信仰は儚き人間の為に/Knights of Round (C73) [Symphonic Rock/Speed Metal]
 Yuureigakudan, Shinkou wa Hakanaki Ningen no Tame ni
 Eru, Ex-calibur/Knights of Round

I still hold 幽霊楽団 and 信仰は儚き人間の為に by Knights of Round in high esteem even in post-discovery-of-Demetori, mainly because they carry a different atmospheric with them that just seems to work better with these songs. 幽霊楽団 carries itself with (probably synthesized) violin and 信仰は儚き人間の為に just relies on its breakneck speed.

Strawberry Crisis!!, Invisible Full Moon/For Your Pieces (C74) [Vocal/Electronic]
 Sakaue Nachi, Haruna, Masayoshi Minoshima/Alstroemeria Records

“I am just waiting for you I… Tell me what you want…”

Invisible Full Moon is strange and has a strong rhythmic beat, like an undercurrent. Strawberry Crisis has it too, but breaks out into the smoother flow that was pretty much Masayoshi Minoshima’s trance style at the time.

fof, night falls/Assortment of Sense (C74) [Electro-Trance]
 Shibayan/Shibayan Records

fof is a light sort of trance that’s easy to listen to, and “night falls” just makes you feel uncomfortable. But strangely enough, that’s why I like it so much. It’s long and very disconcerting, so much that it’s really easy to trance out and lose yourself in. This is pre-noise Shibayan with 831 delivering a sort of “bossa-nova-ish piano” on a track here and there (幻視の娘 for example) 厄神が恋した幻想郷 is also a recommendation.

Voyage 1969, Retrospective Kyoto/Nite Versions (例大祭3) [Trance/Atmospheric]
 Masayoshi Minoshima/Alstroemeria Records

Break the Sabbath, Flowering Night/Signature (東方紅楼夢4) [Trance]
 Masayoshi Minoshima/Alstroemeria Records

This music carried me through many a night drive back and forth between Austin, Houston, and DFW. The two songs on Nite Versions I noted are also on Signature, but it was after listening to Nite Versions than I got a hold of Signature.

I have never heard a song as repetitive as Masayoshi Minoshima’s “Flowering Night” and yet somehow it works. Maybe it’s just because I’m the kind of person that loops songs over and over again.

Tag, Fallen Heaven (REDALiCE Remix), Nuclear Fusion/Trois Rouge, Trois Bleu, Trois Noir (C75) [Vocal Pop/Techno]
 Misato, Misawa Aki, Kaori Michiru, REDALiCE, Tsukasa, Masayoshi Minoshima
 /Alice’s Emotion, Sound Online, Alstroemeria Records

When these albums came out, still young in my Touhou knowledge, I could only name two characters (Marisa and Reimu) out of all three of the album covers. I only listened to REDALiCE’s remix of Fallen Heaven, because I thought Tsukasa’s version was too slow. “For Lovers not Fighters”, “Resonance Effect” and “Prominence” are another trio I’d throw in.

Awakening Bugs that Cold Dislike, Back to the Colorful Road, Prunus Subhirtella/Prunus Subhirtella (C75) [Metalcore]
 Pizuya,Myon,Godwood,Tsuuten/Pizuya’s Cell x MyonMyon

I’ve already talked about Pizuya a lot and since the remakes of these songs have come up -very- recently in CORONeT and Prunus Centifolia I’m going to keep this short, but I can’t tell you how thrilled I was when I found out about the remakes. SOPHIA flat out nailed Back to the Colorful Road too. If you liked either of those albums at all, give Prunus Subhirtella a listen to hear their original forms.

空ろなるヘリオスフィア, シンクロニシティ/Catharis (C76) [Gothic Symphonic Rock]
 Utsuro naru Heliosphere, Synchronicity

Intense Gothic Symphonic Rock. Enough said. Darker than Pizuya’s stuff, this sort of held the transition bridge until I found Demetori, because I wasn’t really looking for anything “darker” just “more intense”.

Scarlet Fogbound/Aspherical Surface e.p. (例大祭6) [Vocal Trance]
 mican*, Masayoshi Minoshima/Alstroemeria Records

This remains one of my favorite Alstroemeria songs of all time. I prefer this version to the one featured on Fragment Reactions, and this is one of the first songs I point people to if Alstroemeria is being discussed.

Rhododendron, Primula, Helichrysum, Poppy/bloom (例大祭6) [Synth/Sampling/Noise]

“Since the far off day when man first heard a scratchy noise on a cylindrical drum, accompanied by a stacatto human tone, it has been his aim to add breadth and depth.”

“Here’s all Touhou’s Instrumental Arrange Open, Oh! It’s Showtime! Of Girls in a Gorgeous Land!”

I wait, and wait, and wait, and wait for ARM to produce another one of these albums. I got so addicted to this album I never really fully recovered. This album might be the reason I latched on so quickly to Shibayan’s noise. Which leads on to…

この船は藺草の香り, 蝶ノ華, アナタガモトメルモノ, わたしはこねこ/キセキ☆インパルス~emotional feedback (M3-24) [Noise/Vocal/Percussive Techno]
 Kono Fune wa Igusa no Kaori, Chou no Hana, Anata ga Motomeru Mono, Watashi wa Koneko
 Fukami Chie, 3L, yana, Shibayan/Shibayan Records

I framed this album.

わたしはこねこ “Watashi wa Koneko” has the longest lead in of a vocal song (that isn’t split into separate tracks) I’ve ever encountered. (2:36)

[EastNewSound Section]

緋色月下、狂咲ノ絶, 奏で穿て、東雲の彼方へ, VANISHING POINT 「/」, Ten made to do Key!, Girl’s Mind, Together in the Sky咲き届け、春へ至る音/Lyrical Crimson (C75) [ENS/Vocal Pop Techno]
 ”Hiiro Gekka, Hyousai no Zetsu”, “Kanate Ugate, Shinonome no Kanata e”, “Sakitodoke, Haru e Itaru Oto”
 Nayuta (Hadzuki Nano), Cryu, Izumin, Lu-na, Kokuchou, KOBATYU, Crouka, raku/EastNewSound

死奏憐音、玲瓏ノ終, 幻奏幻花、届かずの音色, 蒼影~Ancient Unicorn~/Scattered Destiny (例大祭6) [ENS/Vocal Pop Techno]
 ”Shisou Rinne, Reirou no Tsui”, “Gensou Genka, Todokazu no Neiro”, “Souei ~Ancient Unicorn~”
 Nanakusa Nayu, Izumin, Zensai, Kokuchou, Crouka/EastNewSound

Black Lotus, Lucent Wish, Proof of River, Black Butterfly, 風導星歌、黎明ノ景/Lucent Wish (C76) [ENS/Vocal Pop Techno]
 ”Fuudou Seika, Reimei no Kei”
 Ritsuka, Chata, Hotaru, Yuki, Nayuta, Crouka, Kokuchou/EastNewSound

Lucid Dream, booklet choir, Fractal Cage, dark wing complex, Alegro?/Sacred Factor (C77) [ENS/Vocal Pop Techno]
 Chata, Hotaru, Katakiri Rekka, Izumin, Shizuki Nano, Kokuchou, Crouka, Sumijun

Lazy Kiss, Intense, 囚 -トラワレ-, 花は幻想の果てに, 終奏叙情曲 -lycoris-, Princess Coronation/Felsic Mirage (C78) [ENS/Vocal Pop Techno]
 Toraware, Hana wa Gensou no Hate ni, Shuusoujojoukyoku -Lycoris-
 Mamemi, Shizuki Nano, Izumin, Tsubaki, Chata, Zensai, MiYAMO, Irus, Kokuchou, Crouka, KOBATYU

After Felsic Mirage, in which he put in a hell of a lot of work (his name is all over the credits), Izumin dropped off the face of the earth, and was never seen or heard from again. ;^;

EastNewSound after that is like “the prequels” to any hardcore Star Wars fan.

lure me to, End of Daylight/Fragment Reactions (C76)
 Alstroemeria Records

Clarity Green, My Fancy/Nuclear Blast (C76)
 Pizuya’s Cell x MyonMyon

Yb Allul, Flying Bucket Adventure/地 -kuni- (C76)
 Sound Holic

法界の火/Knights of Round 3 (C77)
 Knights of Round

桜花之恋塚~Flower of Life, RAiNY STARS/Re:Starlights & An Umbrella (C77)
 Hatsunetsu Mikos

天空の花の都~Bridge of The Lotus, 霊知の太陽信仰~Nuclear Fusion, 少女が見た日本の原風景~Dance of puNDarika/曼衍珠汝華~Nada Upasana Pundarika (C77)

^This is only a gateway. If you like it you’ll love everything he’s ever produced.

Bibamus, Moriendum est. (C77)
 Godwood/Pizuya’s Cell

This post is already too long, so I decided just to list things for the final section. I thought about mentioning Sekkenya/Zekkenya, but you all know all about them already, and I’ve already ranted on about their classics (which I only discovered around C76 anyway)

  1. Now that, there, is an interesting list. And there’s some stuff on there I haven’t listened to either, so it’s helpful too. When I saw you talking about this on twitter, I was hoping you’d get around to doing it, and I’m glad you did.

    I don’t suppose I truly understand what you’re saying when you say latter day ENS is like the Star Wars prequels, but I guess maybe that’s because I’m not a super huge ENS fan, either old school or latter day. But maybe I’ll dig deeper and see if perhaps I simply haven’t found yet what you found in them immediately.

    Something cool about a circle that’s been around for so long and is so prolific is that you can more clearly track changes of style over time. And Minoshima’s style has definitely changed a lot.

    Btw, you know he and REDALiCE did the ED for Haiyore! Nyarlko-san, right? Honestly, I don’t much care for it, but it’s kinda cool.

    • Yep, I think it’s kind of cool that some primarily Touhou groups are making anime music and widening their audience. The best of which was HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD, but Kishida Kyoudan is just awesome anyway.

      I only watched an episode of Nyaruko and wasn’t interested, but I still thought it was cool. The same thing happened for Yumekui Merry with IOSYS, but I actually liked Yumekui Merry.

      • Seeing your favorite artists take their stuff to the next level is something that at the very least, moves you.

        I was also surprised to see REDALiCE and Minoshima do the Nyaruko ED, I wasn’t really expecting that out of all the people that would probably do them; same thing with THE REPERTORY (Horizon Character CDs) which were done by members of Arte Refact (Gojyo-kai, K2, fanfan., Poplica*, etc.) and some stuff from Oda Nobuna’s Utahime CDs which were composed by Nana Takahashi, apparently.

        It’s really something.

  2. I enjoyed this post

    • Xardos
    • November 12th, 2012

    Well, many tracks from this post still in my playlist. And I’m ENS fan from old time till present days.
    Nostalgia – good way to describe emotions from Touhou Music. Alstroemeria records, Alice’s emotions, ENS, etc.

    I hope to see new translations, keep going!

    PS. Sorry for bad english >_<

    • Yeah, lately I’ve been very nostalgic and even a little bit obsessed with the word “nostalgia” ^^;

      I’ll keep on with those translations, and I know that C83’ll be a blast when all that music is released.

        • Xardos
        • November 13th, 2012

        Thats for sure. In fact, every comiket have their own surprise, New groups, vocalist and incredible songs. Zytokine from c82 with “Gold” stunned me. And Melodic Taste was surprisingly good with 稲田姫様大激怒!!
        But every time I’m hearing End of Daylight i couldn’t do anything, such a great track.

    • Nova
    • November 15th, 2012

    Hey. I have a request for some lyrics that are in dire need of translation. It’s Sky High from the game Touhou Sky Arena.

    • Empty Name
    • November 16th, 2012

    “EastNewSound after that is like “the prequels” to any hardcore Star Wars fan.”
    ENS soul changed since a lot of importants members leave the group for sure and it’s clearly not the same feeling that you get when you’re listening to their recents albums for sure but at last Blaze Out (Dione and Solitude Blossom were really disappointing albums) wasn’t that bad but maybe a bit too generic and there’s a kind of lack of soul in their recent work

    • Exactly, it’s not bad, and taking the Star Wars analogy further, probably great to those who started listening to them then, it’s just that the beginning was so good!! D:

      I actually do like a few tracks off of Blaze Out – it’s just that while I used to be so invested in them, I’m not quite so much anymore.

    • Medicate
    • November 19th, 2012

    I was wondering if you could translate echo with by LiLA’c Records?

    • SerChef
    • November 20th, 2012

    Speaking of touhou references in anime… does anyone elses knows another references of artists or parodies in anime??

    I’ll watch Yumekui Merry just for IOSYS and the seiyuu Kana Ueda xD
    Kishida Kyoudan & The Akeboshi Rockets in HIGHSCHOOL OF THE DEAD is nice to know but actually I dont like Studio K2
    And I’m confused about Nyaruko-san ed, they did the original one or just remixes??

    And while watching Umineko no naku koro ni I see this parody (it feels good when you are watching a random anime and suddenly appears a parody of touhou xD)

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