Trance Paradise 10th Anniversary – Hime Trance 4

Posted by DanceMaster on September 19, 2014

Hime Trance 4
Release Date: 1/27/10
Price: 1886 yen

Well, here we are at the end of an era. After the release of Anime*Mix in January of ’09, all was quiet on the Hime Trance front until EMI’s surprise decision to finally release Hime Trance 4 in 2010. Keep in mind that Hime Trance 3 had been released in 2007. Was the wait worth it?

In a word, hell yeah. Okay, that was two words, but one wouldn’t have been able to describe my love for the album. Most of it came down to Delaction, who produced 4 new incredible songs for the album, but there’s a lot of awesomeness to be found overall, which you can read about in my review.

This marked the end of Trance Paradise, unfortunately, but at least it went out with a bang. I hope you guys had a fun time going down memory lane. If there’s any interest in a similar series on Mega Trance or Super Best Trance, let me know.

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Trance Paradise 10th Anniversary – Hime Trance Anime*Mix

Posted by DanceMaster on September 18, 2014

Hime Trance Anime*Mix
Release Date: 1/21/09
Price: 2171 yen

After three relatively disappointing releases in a row, the Hime Trance series finally got back on track with Anime*Mix. EMI finally stopped being cheap and commissioned a lot of new songs, and it made all the difference. The album was fresh, fun, and varied, with nary a bad track in sight. I did a full review a few years ago, and I still consider it a favorite. Sadly, as with Hime Trance Speed, it would never end up getting a sequel.

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Trance Paradise 10th Anniversary – Hime Trance Tsukasa Mix

Posted by DanceMaster on September 17, 2014

Hime Trance Tsukasa Mix
Release Date: 11/12/08
Price: 1886 yen

After a Best release and a Speed off-shoot, it was certainly time for a proper Hime Trance 4, right? Whelp, we got another spinoff instead. Tsukasa was often labeled as the “queen of Hime Trance,” so she got a mixed album featuring pretty much all of her songs up to that point. It’s not a bad selection, but the nonstop mix is only 40 minutes, and there are only 3 or so new tracks. That said, it was worth it for an epic rendition of “Eternal Blaze,” which would end up shaping Delaction’s sound for the next few albums.

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Trance Paradise 10th Anniversary – Hime Trance Speed

Posted by DanceMaster on September 16, 2014

Hime Trance Speed
Release Date: 7/30/08
Price: 1886 yen

I was so excited when this was first announced, thinking that it would bring about a resurgence of the Dancemania Speed series. Well, it brought back repeats from the series, at least. Most of the songs still held up well, but “Butterfly” was in desperate need of an updated remix and “Willy…” still has the outro from “Smile” for some reason. The only new Dancemania remix was “Girlfriend,” which I thought was fantastic. It’s a shame they never identified the remixer, though it sounds almost as if Saifam remixed the DJ Ten remix.

The album also includes a few new J-core remixes of Hime Trance tracks. “Paya Paya” and “Doubt” ended up great, but the DJ 92 tracks sound oddly hollow.

Unfortunately, EMI never moved forward with more Hime Trance Speed releases. The album just serves as a painful reminder that we never got a Jenny Rom trance remix.

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Trance Paradise 10th Anniversary – Hime Trance Best

Posted by DanceMaster on September 15, 2014

Hime Trance Best
Release Date: 5/14/08
Price: 2171 yen

Okay, so after Trance Paradise Best, EMI were surely out of repeats, right? Nope, instead of giving us the long-awaited Hime Trance 4, they decided to do a best-of album for Hime Trance instead. And, since they had already used the best tracks (the EMI remixes) on Trance Paradise Best, they went with another angle and collected only the Japanese-language tracks.

It’s a decent collection of songs, with about 7-8 new tracks thrown in, but the reliance on repeats was getting ridiculously tiresome. I will say, however, that it has my favorite “Zankoku” trance remix ever.

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Trance Paradise 10th Anniversary – Hime Trance 3

Posted by DanceMaster on September 13, 2014

Hime Trance 3
Release Date: 8/22/07
Price: 1886 yen

Had EMI stuck to the original schedule, Hime Trance 3 should have been released in January of 2007. Instead, it was 7 months late thanks to Hostrance distractions. And unfortunately, the repeats that so heavily dominated Hostrance started to infect Hime Trance as well. There was only one new EMI remix here, a Shohei Matsumoto remix of “Natsu Monogatari.” All of the other EMI songs were just repeats from Trance Paradise 5. But what really pissed me off was the inclusion of the original version of “Dam Dariram.” I couldn’t believe the balls they had to pretend it was anywhere close to trance.

And that’s the big problem with Hime Trance 3: it wasn’t all trance. For some bizarre reason there’s a whole section of non-trance songs that just sound weirdly out of place. The worst offender (aside from the aforementioned “Dam Dariram”) was the DJ Kaya dance remix of “Wake Up,” which was really odd since there as already and incredible DJ Kaya trance remix of the song.

The album wasn’t all doom and gloom, however. The new tracks from Japanese producers were fantastic, including the Middle-Eastern flavored “MAGICA” and the DJ Kousuke-produced “Friends.” Sadly, “Friends” would be the last track he produced for Trance Paradise, and I think it was one of the last tracks he produced, period.

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Trance Paradise 10th Anniversary – Hime Trance 2

Posted by DanceMaster on September 7, 2014

Hime Trance 2
Release Date: 6/28/06
Price: 1886 yen

The much-anticipated sequel to Hime Trance tried to replicate the formula that made the first album so magical, but the song selection didn’t end up quite as strong.

Let’s get the bad out of the way first: “Everytime We Touch” is garbage unless it’s the Delaction remix. The Scarf mix uses the worst possible synths and it didn’t help that the song was overplayed at this point. Speaking of overplayed, was it really necessary to have “Mermaid” again? As much as I love Delaction, their decision to not include most of the vocals kept the song from being a truly great one.

The 6 new EMI remixes were a bit of a mixed bag. “Boys” and “Hero” ended up as incredible as expected, but the rest took a while to grow on me. My biggest issue is that instead of remixing Dancemania tracks, they chose completely random Saifam tracks that never even appeared on Dancemania. I was dying for a Bambee, Ni-Ni, or Jenny Rom remix.

DJ Kaya and Heavens Wire produced most of the new original songs on the album. Heavens Wire didn’t disappoint with “Doubt,” “Paya Paya” and “everyday, everytime” (My name is Gavin-desu!), but DJ Kaya’s Miu*Miu tracks were mediocre at best.

Hime Trance 2 would still be a good album overall, and nearly matched the first in sales, but the cracks were starting to show.

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Trance Paradise 10th Anniversary – Hime Trance

Posted by DanceMaster on September 5, 2014

Hime Trance
Release Date: 1/25/06
Price: 1886 yen

In early 2005, I began work on a Dancemania fan mix called Dancemania Springs (an homage to Dancemania Summers/Winters). My idea was to make a bubblegum dance mix with female vocals only. Imagine my surprise a few months later when EMI decided to do the same thing, except with trance! Hime Trance, a.k.a. Princess Trance, was announced in late 2005, and I remember being blown away when I first saw the early track list. New trance remixes of Dancemania classics like “Butterfly” and “Dub-I-Dub”? It was like a dream come true.

The amount of effort that went into Hime Trance is pretty shocking, especially by EMI’s usual repeat-heavy standards. Up until this the Trance Paradise series had been limited to 2-3 EMI remixes per album, so to have SIX on this one release was unprecedented. This was my first exposure to Delaction and Nasca Joker, and their remixes of “Butterfly” and “Moonlight Shadow” were nothing short of extraordinary. Shohei Matsumoto’s Misa remixes were also fantastic, but that was to be expected. “Dub-I-Dub” was probably the only disappointment of the bunch. It has some awesome percussion, but the lack of vocals keeps it from really hooking into my brain.

My favorite remix on the album is easily DJ Tora’s incredible take on “Willy Use a Billy…Boy.” Keep in mind that EMI had included the 2003 trance remix on Trance Paradise 3, so I somewhat expected them to take the cheap route and use it again. Instead, DJ Tora delivered an absolute masterpiece, and to this day I don’t understand why the remix never showed up again on any other compilations.

Interestingly, the early list for Hime Trance also included remixes for “Cartoon Heroes” as well as Cut ‘n’ Move’s “I’m Alive.” The former would end up being remixed for Hime Trance 2, but sadly “I’m Alive” never did get a trance remix.

Hime Trance also saw the debuts of 4 original J-Trance songs: “Nobody Knows…,” “Stay for Freedom,” “Don’t Leave Me,” and “Voyager.” Other songs like “Love & Sunshine,” the Tsukasa duo, and the Big Kiss tracks made their debuts on other albums a few months earlier. The one thing they all have in common is that Shohei Matsumoto had a hand in all of them. He would continue to be a driving force in the series going forward.

Of course, this is an EMI album, so that means repeats. Thankfully, there are really only 4 repeats on the album (5 if you count “Banzai” as a repeat), and the songs they chose to repeat were all great. “Heaven Is a Place on Earth” was a little overplayed by this point, but I commend them for choosing Cascada’s best song instead of the inferior and overexposed “Everytime We Touch.” And I could listen to “Another Night” all day and night, so didn’t mind it coming back with a massive 6 minute edit.

Hime Trance would go on to enormous sales, and ended up being certified gold in Japan with well over 100,000 copies sold. It also won the RIAJ’s Gold Disc Award for “Special Product of the Year.” Its success had a huge effect on the industry, with everyone suddenly rushing out cheap imitations (Erocawa Trance, Umi Trance, and my personal favorite, Hime Trance World). But no one, not even EMI, would be able to recreate the magic and perfection of this first release.

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Hime Trance 4 EP – DJ Sampler – Digital Downloads

Posted by DanceMaster on February 4, 2010

Hime Trance 4Hime Trance 4 EP – DJ Sampler
Release Date: 2/3/10
Price: $10.32

First a sales update. Hime Trance 4 debuted at #71 on the Oricon charts, with 2,439 copies sold. By comparison, Hime Trance Anime*Mix! debuted at #24 with ~6,000 copies and Hime Trance Best moved 16,000 units in its first week. So, yeah, not that great. I’m thinking that those numbers are decent enough for at least one more release, but even then I’m not so sure.

Still no word on whether EMI will release a download selection, but in the meantime, Shohei Matsumoto has released an EP on iTunes featuring 3 of his original songs from Hime Trance 4. The best news is that it appears to be available worldwide! It’s $1.29 per track, and unfortunately there’s no discount for buying the whole EP, so it’s $10.32 total. Remember, you don’t need a credit card to buy from your local iTunes. Just walk on over to the nearest supermarket and grab an iTunes gift card. This is your chance to support Hime Trance! Now let’s hope he releases a Hime Trance 3 EP so we can finally get the full version of MA*GI*CA*.

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Hime Trance 4 – Review

Posted by DanceMaster on February 1, 2010

Hime Trance 4Hime Trance 4
Release Date: 1/27/10
Price: 1886 yen

It’s been a long 2+ years since Hime Trance 3. The wait was more than worth it, however. In addition to new songs from Hime Trance mainstays like Tsukasa, Kei, and Misa (who makes her return after being left off Anime*Mix), we also get brand new Saifam remixes and licensed songs from popular J-Pop artists. It all makes for an extremely satisfying CD that rivals Anime*Mix and perhaps even the first Hime Trance in terms of pure enjoyment.

The last entry in the main series, Hime Trance 3, was full of repeats and songs that weren’t trance. EMI have seemingly learned their lesson, as Hime Trance 4 contains only one true repeat (“Stay,” which was featured on Trance Paradise Best) and one non-trance song (“Miku Miku…”). Another problem with Hime Trance 3 was that it only had one Delaction song, and it was a repeat at that. Hime Trance 4 has four new Delaction songs, which automatically makes it the best album ever.

The bad news is that it’s not selling all that well at the moment. The last HT release, Anime*Mix!, debuted at number 24 on Oricon’s weekly sales chart, but it’s looking like HT4 won’t even break the top 30. Heck, right now Wa Euro Best 2 is outselling Hime Trance 4 on Amazon Japan. EMI actually put some effort into this release, so if you have any interest in seeing the series continue then do consider picking up a copy. It’s available at CDJapan, HMV, Amazon Japan, Yes Asia, and JPopHelp. No word yet on whether a Download Selection will be available, but I’m certainly hoping for it.

Full review after the jump.

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Hime Trance 4 – Update

Posted by DanceMaster on January 25, 2010

Hime Trance 4Hime Trance 4
Release Date: 1/27/10
Price: 1886 yen

Preview videos are up! The first video exclusively features a few of the album’s Japanese-language tracks and has some adorable “Jasmine” art. The second video showcases a few other songs, but the sound quality isn’t all that great.

“Miku Miku ni Shite Ageru [Shiteyanyo] (Hime Mix)” sounds a lot like the original mix, which makes me worry that “Boy” won’t really be remixed, either. But they have to remix “Coconut,” right? Right!?

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Hime Trance 4 – Final Release Info

Posted by DanceMaster on January 16, 2010

Hime Trance 4Hime Trance 4
Release Date: 1/27/10
Price: 1886 yen

Track lengths have been announced and it looks like most of the tracks got healthy edits. The Lil’B song gets the distinction of being the longest track on the album, though Tsukasa’s “Shin Ai” isn’t far behind. Some songs got the short end of the stick, however. While I’m happy that I’ll only have to endure ~2 minutes of “Santa Maria,” the new remix of “Coconut” is the shortest track on the CD, coming in at a paltry 1:22. Hopefully EMI will release a Download Selection so we can hear full versions of these songs.

It’s still unknown who’ll be doing the “Hime” remixes of “Boy” and “Coconut.” However, Shohei Matsutmoto has been confirmed as the producer of the Gavin and ari tracks. Also, making his Hime Trance debut is the one and only king of Rock-Trance, N.O.-SYO!!! He’s collaborated with Kei for the original song, “Somebody’s Voice.” I know Kei has been itching to sing another original song for a while now, so it’s great to see her get her wish.

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Hime Trance 4 – Update

Posted by DanceMaster on December 17, 2009

Hime Trance 4Hime Trance 4
Release Date: 1/27/10
Price: 1886 yen

Album of the year.

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Hime Trance 4 – Update

Posted by DanceMaster on December 10, 2009

Hime Trance 4Hime Trance 4
Release Date: 1/27/10
Price: 1886 yen

It’s Jasmine!!! Still no final track list, but updated descriptions are saying that it’ll feature trance remixes of popular Eurobeat songs, which may mean some Wa Euro Best crossovers. There was a rumor a while back that Nagisa would be appearing on Hime Trance, so maybe that’ll come to fruition.

CDJapan also claim that a first-press bonus will be included. If past releases are any indication, it’s probably just a sticker sheet again.

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Hime Trance 4 – Pre-release Info

Posted by DanceMaster on November 18, 2009

Hime Trance 4
Release Date: 1/27/10
Price: 1886 yen

It’s been over 2 years since Hime Trance 3 came out, so it’s about damn time that we finally got Hime Trance 4! This actually comes as a huge surprise, as it’s been quite a while since the last Hime Trance release, and I would’ve expected an Anime*Mix! 2 before another entry in the main series.

01. Shuuketsu no Sono e (Delaction Remix) / Tsukasa
02. Eternal Blaze (Delaction Remix) / Tsukasa
03. Barbie Girl / Savannah
04. I Should Be So Lucky / A.Kay-B.J.
05. Coconuts (Remix) /
06. Licky Licky (Remix) / Crispy
07. Boy / Misa
08. Cinderella / Delaction
09. Without You / Delaction

So far it looks like it’ll be a Delactionfest, with at least 4 Delaction songs/remixes planned. “Eternal Blaze” will be repeated for the third time in the Hime Trance series, but it’s so awesome that I frankly don’t care. Tsukasa will be back with a new song, however, with a Delaction remix of the anime theme, “Shuuketsu no Sono e.” Delaction will also be contributing two brand new songs: “Cinderella” (would’ve been more appropriate on Hime Trance 3, no?) and “Without You.” With Delaction being so prominent on this release, I’d be shocked if they weren’t the ones mixing.

Next up are a couple of Saifam remixes. “I Should Be So Lucky” would be great with a Delaction remix à la “Toy Boy,” though I can’t help but wonder why they didn’t just use the Kylie version since she’s still with EMI. “Barbie Girl” is the more interesting of the two, especially given Aqua’s recent comeback. A 4 Skips vs. Floorbreaker mix would be absolutely ace, as long as they keep all of the lyrics this time. 😉 return to Hime Trance with a new remix of “Coconut,” which is rather shocking. It’s far from my favorite song, and it’s never even appeared on Dancemania nor released as a single in Japan. I would’ve preferred something from Party Around the World if possible, but given the proper remix “Coconut” could be a lot of fun.

Crispy are a surprise inclusion, since they used to be signed with Victor Japan and not EMI. It’s possible that EMI have picked up the rights to their back catalogue. It’s a little odd that they’d choose Crispy over a more established Dancemania artist like Bambee, Creamy, or Ni-Ni.

Finally, there’s Misa’s “Boy,” which could pass as trance in its original form. I’m still pretty pissed about “Dam Dariram” on Hime Trance 3, so they had better spend the money to get “Boy” remixed.

As for what I hope will appear, I’m still yearning for an epic trance remix of Creamy’s “I Do I Do I Do.” Bambee’s “You Are My Dream” is also on the top of my wishlist, as is Ni-Ni’s “Spacy Crazy Girl.” Oh, and give us a REAL trance remix of “Dam Dariram”!!!

Pre-order at CDJapan.