It’s kind of shocking for me, but I haven’t posted in over a month! I’ve been really busy at work, and I continue to be busy professionally translating manga, and I keep forgetting about things.
I actually should probably be working on something else right now, to be honest.
All the same, I’ve got a bottle of vodka, and I’m going to use that as an excuse.
I recently read [this post] over at someone else’s blog and thought that I wanted to do something similar.
I know – you know – that I’m incapable of picking a “top 15” of anything, but here are a few songs I’d like to call attention to. I will try to avoid overlap as much as possible, and
I will also put several playlists down at the bottom. [I am too tired – maybe later.]
So here is a selection of 15 Touhou songs I remember:
15. “Cinnamon, Cinnamon” (蒼 -aoi-) [全自動少女 – Automata Girl] [SoundCloud]
arr. “有頂天変 ～ Wonderful Heaven”
Automata Girl will forever be a reminder to me that some things fail. While some tracks from the past get lost in oblivion forever, Automata Girl was lost in the oblivion of the future. This is a track that was scheduled to be on their second album, which they never released. It is spectacular and probably the best of the lot.
Long live the Taisho Era!
14. “Clarity Green” (YAMAGEN) [Nuclear Blast | Pizuya’s Cell x MyonMyon] [YT]
Clarity Green is probably the quietest vocal track to ever come out of PizuyaxMyonMyon and it has stuck with me forever, mainly due to the perfect utilization of godwood’s piano. Even if you’re not one to like the harder stuff like [Romantic Children♥], you can enjoy this.
13. “Nuclear Fusion” (佳織みちる) [Trois Noir | Alstroemeria Records] [YT]
arr. “霊知の太陽信仰 ～ Nuclear Fusion”
There is not another Touhou arrangement in existence, that I know of, that sounds less like its original… yet it works. This song has a bit of a desolate sense to it and has an insane nostalgia factor because it’s from one of the first Touhou albums I listened to.
12. “You’re the love of my life…” (花咲あんな) [Perpetual Devotion | EastNewSound] [YT] [YT]
arr. “耀く針の小人族 ～ Little Princess”
There are about 3 EastNewSound tracks that I like post Felsic Mirage, and this is one, a big one. Now there are other great ENS songs like Black Lotus and Lucent Wish and Lucid Dream and booklet choir, but I didn’t want this to be all about older songs. ENS is one of those groups that used to be my favorite group, but my love for them eventually evaporated. I still adore everything up to Felsic Mirage, but I’m not sure there’s a real objective reason.
There are really only 3 groups I still like as much as when I first encountered them.
They are Shibayan, Shinigiwa Satellite, and…
11. “サナエさん” [騙 | RD-Sounds/凋叶棕] [YT]
arr. N/A (Sanae-san)
RD-Sounds. If we’re ever going to be objective, in any way shape or form, RD-Sounds is the best Touhou arranger there ever was. This is in part because he is also a brilliant lyricist and every one of his songs has an impact in some way. If 嘘と慟哭 doesn’t make you weep, there’s something wrong with you.
Anyway, to Sanae-san. This song is a Touhou song without using any ZUN song as its basis, but oh, is it a Touhou arrangement. The instrumentals are fantastic, and the multi-character hearsay setup… This song is possibly the most memorable and most iconic RD song, and so it’s on this list.
10. “この船は藺草の香り” (Shibayan) [Shibayan Records | キセキ☆インパルス Emotional Feedback] [YT]
This is the first track from the first real Shibayan noise album, and the first I’d ever heard of him. I often go on obsessive rants about how much I love Shibayan, but I rarely get the chance to mention this track, though one of his most addictive, because I’m usually centering on vocal tracks. It’s relentlessly percussive and fantastic.
09. “漆黒スターダスト” (衛☆星太郎) [Lover’s Requiem EP | 死際サテライト] [YT]
To my knowledge, the first Shinigiwa Satellite vocal song. How can these lyrics be so good? Even though the Merami vocal age of Shinigiwa has hit its prime, I still long for the rough screamo Ei-Seitarou vocals often. I could have very well put 戦慄オルレアン or 消滅アモルファス in this slot, but really I have this pain in my heart for those who don’t think Shinigiwa Satellite is the best damn thing since electricity.
If this doesn’t convince you try some Merami-era 妖仙ドライヴ, and 静寂ラストダンス, and then everything else they’ve ever done.
08. 紅楼 ～ Eastern Dream (Demetori) [Demetori | 如臨深遠 ～雨縒煙柳～] [YT]
arr. 紅楼 ～ Eastern Dream
Demetori’s masterpiece, and longest song. My three favorite Demetori songs are 紅楼 ～ Eastern Dream, 少女が見た日本の原風景 ～ Dance of puNDarika, and 天空の花の都 ～ Bridge of The Lotus, but I don’t know, there’s something special about Eastern Dream. It puts you in a trance.
07. “Philosophus Hortum”/”Mandshurica” (梶迫迅八) [Sept Florum | 梶迫小道具店/Cajiva’s Workshop] [Soundcloud XFD]
arr. 衛星トリフネ / ラストオカルティズム～現し世の秘術師
Yes, this album just came out. Yes, this is two tracks and not just one. Yes, this (Mandshurica) is a Last Occultism Arrangement. No, you probably don’t have access to it anywhere. This is Cajiva’s Tribal House Music. Mandshurica has sampled rap in it as well. Sept Florum is an addicting album in a strange genre. These albums sometimes come with stories, like 炎上 and 水なき海を往く, of loli Renko and treachery and murder. If I am one day freed from the bonds of life I’d love to translate them.
At any rate, this: [XFD-Album Page]
06. “GOLD” (itori) [gold* | CYTOKINE/ZYTOKINE] [YT]
The artist formerly known as…
Anyway. That aside. Itori. Itori is beautiful. I rarely like Zytokine without Itori. This is Itori supreme. I think I bought this album multiple times just for this one track. I mean, we all love to see Flandre in pajamas, but this is a Suica song. Itori’s voice is beautiful.
This reminds me of “L’Amour Toujours”… I feel old-ish.
05. “桜花之恋塚 ～ Flower of Life” (陽花) [Re:Starlights & An Umbrella | 発熱巫女～ず] [YT]
arr. 桜花之恋塚 ～ Japanese Flower
I am absolutely sure that this song brought FELT into existence. Anyway, this is the remix, but the original is just as good, just far less FELT-like. There’s a piercing power to Youka’s voice here and and a few shifts takes a playful sounding song and makes it into something incredibly moving. It didn’t take me long to get tired of FELT, but this style really is something. You haven’t listened to “Japanese Flower” if you haven’t heard it in this incarnation.
04. “Primula” (ARM) [bloom | IOSYS]
Why wasn’t there another “bloom”? The world bleeds because there was only one “bloom”. Samplejunk and noise this is the best thing I think that ARM has ever put out.
03. “鉄塔” (utashima) [Mary had a little love | <echo>Project] [YT]
A spiritual predecessor to Automata Girl, Mary had a little love is a great, full interconnected Hifuu album. I think Tettou stands out because of the surrealism of the lyrics and the style of the music. It also tends to cause my headphones, my ears and random objects to harmonize and make radio noise….
02. “Back Door” (坂上なち) [white clear | Syrufit] [YT] [Babbe Remix]
The infamous “the lyrics here have been witheld at the request of the lyricist” song. I felt challenged. Like one of those throw down your glove things. It’s one of the Syrufit songs that tends to stick with me the most, and Babbe’s [remix] is flat out amazing.
I wanted to put “「I」” or “Stigma” from Sensitive Moment around here somewhere, but I’ve already done a post on Syrufit before: [link]
01. “月齢11.3のキャンドルマジック” (3L) [ ココロバイブレーション | Shibayan Records] [YT]
arr. ラクトガール ～ 少女密室
Yep. This song. Everyone knows this song, right? I hope so.
Mahal Ko, Mahal Kita.
The part where 3L sings “NOよ 要らないわ！” is one of my favorite musical moments of all time.
And those high notes…