Jul 10

ZIPmania All Best Mix
Release Date: 9/18/13
Price: 2190 yen

ZIPmania lives!!! Holy crap, EMI/Universal are really pumping out some unexpected releases this year. After reviving the Speed series after a 6-year hiatus, they’ve gone ahead and revived ZIPmania, which hasn’t seen a release since ZIPmania 7 in 2004.

ZIP-FM is a popular radio station in Nagoya, Japan that happens to be celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Their influential ZIP Dance Hits 20 chart used to be full of Dancemania artists back in the late ’90s and early ’00s, and they had a close relationship with EMI for years.

A few artists have been revealed, and the sad reality is that Dancemania will forever be changed by EMI’s sale to Universal. Misa and Pandora do make appearances, as does Katy Perry, but the rest of the list is populated by Universal artists like Lady Gaga, LMFAO, Jennifer Lopez, and Rihanna. One of things I used to love about Dancemania was that it focused more on European artists, so I can’t help but be disappointed that more mainstream artists are showing up. And unless EMI license the tracks from Warner, we might be missing tracks like “Dub-I-Dub” or “Butterfly” that would truly make this an anniversary release.

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Jul 10

Classical Candy 2
Release Date: 10/30/11
Price: 1000 yen

It’s RTTF week here at Dancemania EX, where I’ll be placing a spotlight on the indie/doujin Japan label, RTTF.

I’ve covered RTTF’s follow-up to Classical Candy before, but it’s worth revisiting the album now that I’ve listened to it in full.

Of course, Dancemania fans would be most interested in the new track from Chris Bucknall (a.k.a the “C” part of CJ Crew). It’s a 170 BPM arrangement of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue,” and it doesn’t disappoint. It’s quite lengthy at about 5:52, so he gets a chance to cover a lot more ground than the painfully short edits from classical Speed. There are pianos abound in the track, as well as some nice synth interpretations of the melody.

Speed Synth Symphony is also back with two tracks that lovingly recall the Dancemania SPEED sound. Seriously, if you listen to them you’ll realize that this guy knows and understands Dancemania Speed. DJ Hyuji also has a vocal(!) trance arrangement of “Pomp and Circumstance” on the album, as well as a trance cover of “Polovtsian Dance.”

Hommarju gets the final track on the album, a rousing trance rendition of Mozart’s “Requiem K.626 Dies Irae.” It’s absolutely amazing and makes me mourn the death of non-anime Exit Trance albums even more. It has everything you could possibly want from a trance song: a hard, galloping beat, random vocal samples, epic trance synths, and CHANTING.

Dancemania fans will also be interested to know that the booklet contains an interview (in Japanese) with Chris Bucknall. DJ Hyuji also posted parts of the interview online: http://rttf.eternalbreeze.net/works/rttf_0004/chris_interviews_web.html

You can visit RTTF’s official website for a crossfade demo. If you’re interested in ordering, DJ Hyuji speaks English and is willing to ship overseas. You can contact him here: http://rttf.eternalbreeze.net/contact.html Just make sure to turn your ad blocker off if you have one installed, otherwise the form won’t appear.

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Jul 10

Vocarock collection loves IA
Release Date: 7/3/13
Price: 1619 yen

New release in the Vocarock series, this time with IA providing all vocals. There are lots of retailer-exclusive bonuses, the most impressive of which is an 18-track karaoke CD and can badge from Animate. Visit the official website for more info.

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