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Touhou Gensou Shiten 3 -Deary- :: Review by Don

Touhou Gensou Shiten 3 -Deary- Album Title: Touhou Gensou Shiten 3 -Deary-
Record Label: Sound Sepher
Catalog No.: SEPR-0004
Release Date: March 14, 2010
Purchase: Buy at Sweep Record


Released at Reitaisai 7, Deary is Sound Sepher's third Touhou remix compilation. It features many recurring artists, such as members of SuperSweep, other prominent composers, and prominent doujin artists. It features a more electronic focus than its predecessor, Cradle 2, but nevertheless retains the high production vlaues.


The album opens up with a remix from Takayuki Aihara,�who has been a longtime collaborator with SuperSweep on certain productions, entitled "Unknown X ~ Unfound Adventure." It features a really spacey introduction, some entrancing beats, and uplifting piano melodies. In addition, it also incorporates some UFO sound effects from the game itself. The instrumental bridge is quite mellow and really lends a beautiful soundscape to a largely upbeat theme. Another composer who has collaborated with SuperSweep members is Masashi Yano. His remix, "Maiden's Capriccio ~ Dream Battle", has a bit of a funky, industrial introduction before moving into trance section, with some ethereal qualities in the accompaniment and some fantastic synth melodies. The piano sections are quite beautiful and really help add to the dreamy quality of the music. It's a pretty solid mix.

Shoichiro Sakamoto features three remixes and each has quite a different sound to it. "Girl's Sealing Club" is a synth rock remix with some exquisite piano work. It features a bit of an RPG sound to it, similar to a battle theme. Woodwinds, electric guitar, and strings make for some intriguing melody and accompaniment, and work well with the overall synth atmosphere of the remix. "Magical Girl Crusade" features a baroque/gothic introduction with choir and orchestra and has a regal and heroic soundscape. Eventually it moves into a upbeat/gothic dance style theme with organ, to give off a very Castlevania-like atmosphere. There are some beautiful strings harmonies, especially in the piano section. There are quite a few wonderful sections in this remix, but I find the more dramatic moments of intensity to be the loveliest. Lastly, "Shanghai Teahouse - Yume:Tagae" features a very bright strings opening before moving into some rock accompaniment and some subtle flute melody. This remix features a very dreamy quality about it, especially in the crystalline synth sections. There are some subtle saxophone harmonies in this section, as well as a saxophone solo later on in the sound. It's a beautiful blend of synthesizer and organic elements that make for a very fulfilling remix.

In addition, there are also some other SuperSweep members who contribute to the album. "Catastrophe in Bhava-agra ~ Wonderful Heaven," by Ayako Saso, features an introduction that has a both a retro quality in terms of rave music complete with some odd vocal samples. Dark, brooding synthesizer accompaniment with some haunting synth work in the melody help give this a bit of a more desolate atmosphere, but at the same time, the rave elements featured throughout the remix feature some intoxicating beats and some great crystalline synth leads. It's an excellent rendition of the original with plenty of Saso charm. I love the more ethereal bridge sections. Saso also contributes a second remix, "Crimson in the Black Sea ~ Legendary Fish." Unlike her first remix, this one has a very electro-lounge style to it. There definitely appears to be a bit of a Daft Punk influence, at least their softer themes, particularly with the funky nature of the remix at time. The strings harmonies are quite nice against the groovy bass line. The melody line itself is an excellent synth sound that really brings about a futuristic vibe to it.

Shinji Hosoe offers a sole remix. Entitled "Onigashima in the Fairyland ~ Missing Power," it's a quirky arrangement with a retro vibe. The quirky synth accompaniment goes well with the chiptune-like melody line. The beat is a bit arrhythmic compared to the other elements, but it helps add to the quirkiness. It's like a very unique bossa nova style that's interspersed with some calmer, ballad-like synthesizer sections. Another member of SuperSweep, Takahiro Eguchi, remixes "Alice Maestra." It opens up with a beautiful acoustic guitar/piano atmosphere before moving into some more hardcore electronic beats. It's a bit jarring at first, but the end result is rather pleasing. The use of vocoder really goes well with the electronic beats. There are plenty of calm instrumental bridges with some jazz percussion, similar to the intro, interspersed throughout. The jazz piano and synth melody sections are exquisitely crafted and manage to really go well with the more hardcore synthesizer accompaniment. It's definitely one of the best remixes on the album.

While the majority of this album is dominated by professional remixers, there are also a few doujin artists who contribute to the album, with mixed results. "Interdimensional Voyage of a Ghostly Passenger Ship," by Tsukasa Yatoki, is, fortunately, one of the best remixes on the album. It opens up with a carnival-esque melody with some dance beats and some wonderful synth harmonies before moving into a pretty heavy house theme with some trance melody elements. There are also some retro synth sounding melody sections incorporated as well. Overall, it's a very intriguing and diverse remix. Yuu, who remixes "Beware the Umbrella Left There Forever," tries to do a variety of intriguing themes with the remix, particularly in regards to the lead melody, but doesn't quite succeed in doing so. It has a very RPG sound to it as well, with some heroic strings, beautiful piano work, some slick keyboard accompaniment, and some edgy guitar. Aside from the heroic strings and piano sections, the remix leaves a lot to be desired. Due to the constantly changing instrumentation in the lead, it manages to come off as a well-conceived, but poorly executed, remix.

Another decent remix is "Flight of the Bamboo Cutter ~ Lunatic Princess," by Lix. It's an interesting fusion of ideas, at times very Japanese sounding, while at others, more electronic. When the two soundscapes combine, there are a variety of effects. At times, the Asian instrumentation and the club beats work together in harmony, while at others, the subdued electronic elements help accentuate the Asian soundscape and make it a bit more relaxing. The bridge focuses on piano and violin and sounds a bit like something that Hamauzu would do. It's a decent remix. Unfortunately, the last theme, by JOYH-TV, "Eternal Night Vignette ~ Eastern Night," is the weakest remix on the album. It has a club-based accompaniment; however, when the xylophone notes start to appear in the melody line, they don't really match up with the beat. It makes for a very strained listen at times. This also happens with the synth melody notes as well. It's an intriguing idea that may have worked better if the notes matched the beats a bit more. It makes for a very disappointing end for an overall positive listening experience.


In the end, I think that Touhou Gensou Shiten 3 -Deary- manages to achieve the success of its predecessor. The electronic remixes are definitely more diverse, for better or worse, and the remixes by SuperSweep and company manage to provide a variety of intriguing soundscapes. There are a few bad apples on the album, but in the end, the majority can definitely be enjoyed by many. If you are a fan of electronic remixes of a diverse nature, feel free to get the album. Those wanting a more organic experience may find those offerings to be a bit on the weak side.

Overall Score: 8/10