Alabaster has just announced his newest mix album, and it looks very very good indeed. Future Sight features tunes by Alabaster himself, Umbrella, a surprisingly freeform-ish tune from Minamotoya, and two Betwixt & Between tracks, War Monger and Tankobu Hesotarou no Hourou (The wandering of Hesotarou Tankobu). War Monger is a pretty old tune, but a real classic…incredibly hard, with a brilliant break and vocal sample (“We’re going to die now“, she says). THnoH is brand new (Betwixt completed it on the day of the last Hell’s Gate), and one of his best for a good while. It has a hard trance feel, but is more ‘traditional BTW’ than some of his recent experiments. Really excellent track.
Anyway, all of the other tunes on the mix CD are very nice, and the atmosphere is completely different to UK or Finnish freeform – it seems like Japanese Hard NRG is really starting to build up its own identity. Incidentally, two unmixed tracks are also included, Alabaster’s The Clairvoyance (Distortion Girl) and Ziggurat. The CD will be released on the 29th of this month, at the Comiket (Comic Market) event for doujin (fan-produced) manga and related stuff. I’ll try to find out if it’s available from abroad, as this release looks like a definite must-buy.