Apologies for the patchy posts at the moment – there’s plenty going on behind the scenes though, and the big plans for TYFTH are still on track. They were even (partly) revealed to a select few at CODEX a couple of weeks ago, so stay tuned for more info asap. There’ll also be a write-up on the last event before too long…
In the meantime, an interesting edition of the Spider event is happening in little over a week, with headline sets from Guld and Munetica. It’s been way too long since I’ve been able to enjoy a really good club set away from CODEX, so I’ll definitely be making the short stroll from home to attend this one.
5/30(Sat) Ultra Hard Dance Party Spider-Limited-#1 Shin Okubo@unique-laboratory
A brief respite before the freeform-related busyness starts up again, giving me just enough time to mention the next edition of the Lucky Lotus festival. I’m very happy to have been invited to take part, and looking forward to introducing a few new listeners to some darker freeform, as well as providing a fix for those who already know.
There’s a Facebook event page that will likely have timetables up in the not-too-distant future, but it will also be worth keeping an eye on Doujindance, where the festival will eventually be streamed.
Better late than never – it’s time to finallly show some support to Blue Revolver, an extremely promising shmup that features an OST from Qygen and sound design from Wyrm.
The developers reference CAVE and Raizing in their opening comments, and there’s definitely a strong influence of mid-era CAVE in the bullet patterns and weapon choices. Thank the heavens that character design and overall atmosphere don’t stray into the cringeworthy territory of later CAVE efforts, while the demo shows some pleasing depth to the scoring system and a quality first boss.
The choice of Qygen on music duty is inspired, and there are already some fabulous tracks on show in the game and on Qygen’s SoundCloud. Very freeform-esque, this will surely be the best use of harder music in a shmup since Raizing’s Battle Garegga. Big congratulations to both Qygen and Wyrm for some amazing work so far.
I’ve only had a little time to play around with the one-level demo (available here), but apparently the game has already been Greenlit on Steam, and I’ll be spending plenty of time with it on release.
Funnily enough I was intending to write a little VGM-related digression post soon, but for now I’ll just mention Recca (Famicom) – one of my favourite shmups and released in 1992, the soundtrack is way, way ahead of its time.
Whether you’re a Dragonball fan or not, Guld’s Solid State Scouter and Final Revenger were both glorious NRG reworks. Spirits of Saiyan is Guld’s latest effort, showing the confident production of all his tracks these days. No download for this one (or ability to embed, so follow this link to listen), but I wonder if we might hear this one at CODEX in a couple of weeks’ time..
A busy week has delayed a couple of other posts, but the release of Smiling Corpse 2 definitely deserves to jump the queue. Long-awaited is a bit of an understatement here – it probably won’t be too long until this two CD compilation sells out. Congratulations to the SC crew for finally completing the release, and the tracklist is really one of the strongest we’ve seen for a few years.
Trek over to the rather sexy new Smiling Corpse site, where you can order the release for a mere five pounds.
Fortuna into Sylph – that’s what first caught my ear here, but Olly Addictive and Damo’s back to back set also has a fantastic tracklist that makes it well worth checking out.
The selection here is a top example of what can happen when DJs with a knowledge of the UK scene mix things up with their love for the Finnish/Japanese sound. There are lighter moments, but the darker stuff is never far away and the tracklist flows brilliantly without ever needing the transitions to do too much work. The sequence immediately following Fortuna – Sylph is a great example – a series of nicely selected tracks that do a fine job of keeping the atmosphere consistent and the quality level high.
Whether this was an every-other-track style of B2B or Olly and Damo took on one half each, the chaps deserve kudos for a very nice set, and one that should have something for everyone.
01) Milo – Kill You
02) Oli G – Cordelia
03) Shox – State of Mind
04) Grimsoul – Some More
05) Twisted Freq – Innocence
06) Asa & S1 – Cured
07) Stormtrooper – Adrenalin Rush
08) Transcend – The Purification
09) Human Resource – Dominator (Brisk & Ham Remix)
10) Ephexis – Intensify (Greg Peaks & Solution remix)
11) Skampy & Mayhem ft K Complex – Perverted Science
12) Transcend, Cyrax & Iggy – Jungle Hijynx
13) Nomic – Fortuna
14) Aryx – Sylph
15) MHX – Gray Death (Sky Dragon Remix)
16) Alchemiist – Empire
17) Ephexis – Mind Grinder
18) Pain On Creation – Adaptation
19) Ephexis – Quantum Fury
20) Shanty, Tazz & Dodgee – Law of Hardcore
21) Tazz & AMS – Gettin’ Dirty
22) Ruffage & Size – Demonic Rose
23) Le Dos-on – Mental Madness
24) Nomic – You Have A Dream
Massive congrats to Dyzphazia for winning a place on the lineup at the next Hardcore ‘Til I Die, where he’ll be representing freeform alongside some very big names. His winning set submission is now online, and you can immediately see why it convinced the judges – enough uplifting, dancefloor freeform to excite a UK crowd, with some surprises along the way to a glorious, harder finale of Rx’s Eternal Cannon remix, Gozenzeuna and al Megiddo.
Another milestone for Dyzphazia, and I’m sure he’ll be representing the scene in fine style with some tasty selection and typically quality mixing. Huge news, then, and hopefully the UK Horsers will be out in force to support one of their own.
I’ve been keeping an interested eye on Sky Dragon’s productions for a long time now, and so I was very excited to see him in the lineup for round 19 of Freeformaniacs. Happily his set has lived up to expectations, and is a lovely example of (mostly) deeper melodies and well-considered mixing.
Liquid Moon is such a nice choice to set the early tone, and I really, really enjoyed the blend into Code of Silence – something about the two playing together adds a sad note to the hard trance melodies of LM. There’s a nice, careful key change into Celestia too, and while Ambient Angels wouldn’t normally be my kind of track, it works superbly here as a bridge between Nightingale and Lightshaft.
The final section will probably appeal more to the UK freeform brigade, but Solar Summon takes things back to the deeper atmospheres of earlier in the set and is a more than fitting finale.
A great mix from Sky Dragon, and it’s so encouraging to see some (relatively) new DJs approaching their sets with this much thought, and an obvious feel for how melodies and atmospheres can blend together.
01. 2 Raverz – Into My World (T-Forces Remix)
02. Sam One – Liquid Moon
03. DJ Rx – Code of Silence
04. Aryx – Celestia
05. Sky Dragon – Nightingale [Demo]
06. Gammer – Ambient Angels
07. Grimsoul – Lightshaft
08. Oli G – Jasmine (Ephexis & Helikaon Remix)
09. JD-Kid – Unforgettable
10. K90 – Red Snapper (Metrix Remix)
11. Gammer – Unforgettable Hope (Douglas Remix)
12. Vyral XIII – Solar Summon
Not the first time I’ve heard this, but thanks to Vyral XIII for reminding me of Betwixt & Between’s beautiful The Eon. That breakdown’s the main draw here, though the combination with some older RaverRose style (the voice samples!) is pretty special. Definitely one of those tracks that only Betwixt could have created.
There’s some very interesting stuff floating around this week, including a brand new set recording from BRK. This mix features a good number of new tracks alongside Genesis material and past FINRG releases, in a full hour of BRK’s own productions. The set really has its moments – once again, it’s easy to see the progress he is making with each new release.
It’s rare these days to find an NRG-only set, and BRK deserves plenty of support for continuing to keep the lab 4-influenced sound alive. Thanks to the man himself we also have a tracklist: