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Saturday, January 30, 2016

Song of the Week! 30 January 2016

While the Tokaigi craze goes wild and rampant in Japan, today we're taking an early look at a couple of songs from the latest Taiko-related CreoFuga contest.

If you happen to visit the Tokaigi this week-end, you might be able to throw in your notechart suggestions for these two songs!

 Rin (凛) a_hisa
Allx3 (133)x4 (162) x6 (380)x9 (672)
 Taiko 0 W, Taiko 3DS 3

For this very Saturday, one of the three CreoFuga '16 songs eligible for the notechart feedback operation is Rin, one of the two tracks who have won the Donder's Choice award by the fans' votes.

The song is made by independent composer a_hisa (with the 'a' standing for Aihara, as reported in his Soundcloud profile), in activity since the early months of 2001. Born on January 14th in Okayama, this artist holds a number of album contributions under his belt, including background music for some Kurashiki Cable TV broadcasts and -in 2015- rhythm gaming contributions. For more informations about a_hisa's works there are many sources to look for, such as his official website, the aforementioned Soundcloud profile and his Youtube channel.

Aside from Rin, a_hisa also managed to score another musical achievement in the Bemani-endorsed contest Odai ni Idonde Create! pop'n Original Gakkyoku Contest☆ Daishuurokusai (お題に挑んでクリエイト!ポップンオリジナル楽曲コンテスト☆大収録祭), where composers were invited to create their own songs based on the song genres of the first three pop'n music games. a_hisa's Into the Wind managed to be one of the 2nd-run winners and as such, it has been featured in pop'n music écale, the latest installment of the series (video). The artist is also notable in the mobile music game nanobeat for the song Pastel Subliminal.

While the original plans for the Donder's Choice reward category had space for only one winner, the 2nd-placed Rin managed to be also rewarded due to the very little vote difference between this song and Yomii's Onigiri wa Doko Kashira, the actual Donder's Choice winner. The composer a_hisa has created the song with transience and speed being the main themes behind the song itself, a concept that Taiko Team leader Etou also mentioned on Rin's Judge comments in the contest's winners section.

In addition to being slated as one of the song choices for the Japan Area Elimination matches, Rin was also used in the Area Eliminations greater Asia region, which is held earlier than the Japanese rounds. As such, Rin has been one of the rare occasions where a song debuts outside of Japan, arriving at Asian AC0 one month earlier than Japanese cabinets, and a first since the AC0 generation.

Rin plays mainly in its speed and slews of highly mixed clusters and even-longer streams. Its slowdown sofuran at the end is reminiscent of Yozakura Braiders', whose ambiance also has a traditional Japanese influence.

 Chouzetsu-Gikoukei Shoujo (超絶技巧系少女) Nekokaburi Cyclone (xi+Nekomirin)
Allx5 (208)x6 (318) x7 (442)x10 (803)
 Taiko 0 W, Taiko 3DS 3

One of the three songs for the Tokaigi 2016's second day is also one of the few Taiko CreoFuga winners to involve more than one person for its creation! Let's take a gander at both artists' backstory before delving in the song itself.

Starting with this song's main composer/singer, Nekomirin (ねこみりん) is a female composer/cosplayer who prefers radio music styles. Nothing else about Nekomirin herself is known in the Internet (so far), but her independent musical backstory speaks for herself, counting an impressive number of both solo and group songs/albums, most of which are either available on her Soundcloud profile to hear or on her cotisserie circle website to purchase in many albums.

Among her most recent musical achievements, Nekomirin won another CreoFuga reward in 2014 for the Voice Material championship with her other song published on the website (link), while in rhythm gaming grounds she scored two contest-winning entries in the SOUND VOLTEX series with the remix song Wuv U -Colorful QT3 nekomix- and the Touhou Arrange track Momonga Monbanban☆ (モモンが門番ばんっ☆).

Being a song under the Nekokaburi Cyclone alias, Chouzetsu-Gikoukei Shoujo also features the piano talent of independent composer Yusuke 'xi' Ishiwata, in activity since 2007. Having played the piano since his childhood, xi prefers to perform both classical and jazz music, while in videogame music grounds he prefers the powerful-sounding boss tracks the most. With the word xi meaning 'Dice' in Japanese, it's not uncommon to see profile jackets from him featuring a die.

As an artist, one of the reasons behind his major recognition among rhythm games enthusiasts is his collection of works made for Taiwanese developer Rayark Inc.'s i-device/Android rhythm games Cytus and Deemo. The artist is also known for being a notorious creator of custom Bemani Simulation Files (BMS for short) for playing custom songs/charts and later on as an actual composer of boss songs in the SOUND VOLTEX series. Other rhythm games contributions include Taito's Groove Coaster and Sega's Maimai series, thanks to both Cytus song ports and his couple of songs made for the second edition of the Tenkaichi Otogesai; as at the time of this writing, xi has also scheduled to have songs in both the Chunithm series' first installment and version upgrade! You can find out more about xi by visiting his Twitter account or his Soundcloud profile.

For the Nekokaburi Cyclone unit's Chouzetsu-Gikoukei Shoujo (lit. 'Virtuoso System Girl'), the song's main theme (as told us by Nekomirin's CreoFuga song description) is transcendence, between the intense singing and the hectic piano accompaniment. This has also been the deciding factor for Taiko Team member and contest judge Kawagen Collagen, where in his comment entry he applauds the song's atmosphere of intense singing and tense instrumental gaps in between.

The song's really tension and rhythm changes are also reflected in its Oni mode, one of the first 10-star contenders among the CF '15 winners. While the BPM value is a constantly-high value on this one, the many cluster successions under different timing signatures are concrete curve balls without a fair understanding of the song's musical accompaniment!

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