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Saturday, September 15, 2012

Song of the Week! 15 September 2012

Another change of genre for a great song which has never left arcade rooms. Electro music ahoy!

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Taiko 12.5, 13

Introduced on Taiko 12 Zoryoban and featured in the subsequent arcade as well, NIGHT OF FIRE is an ambassador of 80ies's Italo Disco, a musical movement derived from the Euro Disco. Let's begin by talking around that topic.

In the early 70ies, the electronic dance vibes of disco music were reinvented by European composers (mostly coming from France, Germany and Italy), incorporating elements of pop, New Wave, and rock into one big fusion of musical genres. This subgenre of disco music, termed Euro Disco, remained popular for the next two decades to come, and have many subgenres of its own. NIGHT OF FIRE, for example, comes from the Italo Disco genre, which employs a more electronic vibe with drum machines, synthesizers and lyrics, usually sung in English.

Today's song is composed and sung by 'Niko', nickname of Italo Disco musician Maurizio De Jorio. It was published first in 1997 under the DELTA label, until the music house failed and Niko started composing music under the SynclaireStyle label, owned by Italian Eurodance producer Bratt Sinclaire. The composer is still in activity for said label under a variety of different aliases, such as Niko and Dejo. During the 21st century, the song has been covered by several Japanese female bands such as dream and HINOI Team (HINOIチーム), featuring Japanese lyrics instead of the original ones in English.

The Japanese mostly remember De Jorio's musical works thanks to the anime series Initial D, based on the namesake manga by Shuichi Shigeno (秀一重野); NIGHT OF FIRE is a song used as background music for the first arcade game of said series, named Initial D Arcade Stage. The song has also been featured in other rhythm games prior to Taiko no Tatsujin as well, such as Konami's ParaParaParadise and beatmania IIDX 6th style.

Its Taiko no Tatsujin appearance is one of the few arcade-exclusive songs with only simple beats: there are no drumrolls or balloons at all, just a parade of note clusters, with long streams. Beware the beginning and the end of the song if you are at 8* Oni level; you'd need some prior experience with long streams of notes and handswitching skill to decently perform in the Oni chart.

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