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Saturday, April 2, 2016

Song of the Week! 2 April 2016

Now that all the April 1st tomfoolery is over for this year, let's return to more serious-sounding tones around here.

But you know what? Maybe not from today. I'm quite thirsty...

 Tokyo Soda 8Bit Edit (東京ソーダ 8Bit Edit) Hige DriVAN
Allx4 (183)x5 (265)x7 (520)x8 (745)
 Taiko 0 K

Okay, I'm not quenching my thirst by merely talking about a song with a sugar-coated drink in the title, but seeing as the original Tokyo Soda song is about to turn 6 years old from its original debut, what better occasion to talk about the Tokyo Soda we got in Taiko gaming?

The original song is made by the independent unit Hige DriVAN, whose name is based on the nick-named Hige Driver (ヒゲドライバー), its lead member and composer. In activity since 2005, this composer from the Yamaguchi prefecture has joined the musical scene as a chiptune musician, making music that might as well be more akin to the NES and Game Boy software library. His first popular works that got major recognition can be dated past the year 2007, with Hige Driver posting his works in online services such as MySpace and Nico Nico Douga.

Being both the leader of Hige DriVAN and a member of the Heart's cry unit, he still makes all sorts of works on his own, including his own 'endless-runner' iOs game Hige Driver Run (ヒゲドライバー・ラン) and many other original works, both freely and on commission. For the latter spectrum, the composer has made a lot of popular songs for the bemani family of rhythm games from SOUND VOLTEX to jubeat and REFLEC BEAT, such as PULSE LASER and (I swear to God this is the title of the actual song) Dadadadadadadadadada (打打打打打打打打打打). For more details about Hige Driver and his works, there are always his official website and Twitter profile.

With Hige Driver scoring hits with both personal creations and commissions/collaborations with other independent artists such as Vocaloid sensation cosmo@BouSouP (cosMo@暴走P), Hige Driver moved to Tokyo in 2010, which later on lead him to the composition of Tokyo Soda for his 4th album -Fantasy Diary (幻想ダイアリー)- on April 3rd of the same year. This digital-only debut was followed by three physical album releases to date, with one of the outings being for his first 'Best Of' album in 2010 with Diary (ダイアリー) and the other two being for custom arranges for the song: a Tokyo Soda 3UP Edit from 2010's Hige Driver 3UP (ヒゲドライバー3UP) album and a Tokyo Soda cover by KNOTS in the 2011 tribute album Hige Driver Tribute (ヒゲドライバー・ トリビュート). The latest of the Tokyo Soda versions is Taiko gaming's 8Bit Edit, which infuses a mixture of chiptune magic to a shorter cut of the original song. This particular version's release was announced by the whole Hige DriVAN unit in one of 2014's Taiko Team livestreams, no less!

This custom arrangement of Tokyo Soda stands tall among Kimidori Version's newcomers as one of the few drumroll-less Oni songs of said arcade firmware, with Kawagen Collagen's charted modes mainly starring 1/16 note/cluster formations not that dissimilar to other songs of that period like Mahou no Kissaten. Just keep an eye for the very last couple of notes towards the end!

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