Things I Am Excited About 【Fall 2009 M3(24)】

Click to go to the M3 Homepage.

M3 is a one-day, biannual, music-only convention held in Yokohama, Japan, and its name stands for “Music + Media-Mix Market”. It’s kind of like Tokyo’s Comiket but for doujin music artists only. The Fall M3 event for 2009 will be held on October 11th, and is the 24th iteration of the event. This post will briefly highlight only the circle releases I am watching for (22 releases in total are profiled here). Click on the banners for a link to the site, all of which include demos unless otherwise stated. Info is listed BELOW the banner.

Entries are loosely ordered by genre:
1. Original, xx-based (ie. Story-based, Light Novel-based, etc)
2. Original, Pop / Original, Pop-rock
3. Original
4. Touhou Arrange
5. Cover
★★ entries are the ones I am most excited about.

Copy and paste the stars or genre titles into CTRL+F to find them.

I know the doujin music scene is a pretty uncommon/obscure subject in most anime-related blogs, but if you have an interest in finding out more and discovering new artists and such, M3 is seriously the best place to start foraying into this niche-ish sector. Hopefully this post will be helpful for doing that too.

Official M3 Circle List: http://www.m3net.jp/m3_24/circles.html
M3 Circle Releases List at BLACK ANGEL: http://blackangel.main.jp/event.php

Original, xx-based


Circle: TINKERBELL SOUND LABEL (Consisting of 神凪琉榎/KANNAGI Luka, Verdammt, Una.)
Release Title: 蒼の煉獄-Sapphire of Rusalka cathedral- (Ao no Rengoku/Azure Purgatory)
Genre: Original, Story-based, Fantasy-themed, various
Artwork: 猫乃ふにや (NEKONO funiya)
Notable Tracks: ICE GARDEN
Description: Album with a varying genres, from pop-ish to rock. Album consists of both instrumental and vocal tracks, and is based on a fantasy-themed story with different characters and places.
Release outside of M3?: Yes, can buy from Tinkerbell’s webshop directly.


Circle: 世の漆黒/Sei no Shikkuro (Consisting of 胡桃坂庵/Kurumizaka Iwori and 胡桃坂もえ子/Kurumizaka Moeko)
Release Title: 名も無き君へ、花、散り掛かる (To the nameless you, these flowers I scatter)
Genre: Original, Light Novel-based, Character song
Artwork: 鵜飼沙樹 (UKA Saki)
Notable Tracks: 奏鳴曲;葵
Description: This is the Sei no Shikkuro’s first work, and the songs are based on characters from the Light Novel 文学少女 (Bungaku Shoujo). Lyricist Iori translated the feelings he found in the characters into the lyrics for the song. The circle members are brother and sister.
Release outside of M3?: No.


Circle: Alieson (Consisting of SYU and 久遠ゆん/KUDO Yun)
Release Title: WORLDS END ~忘却され行く命の記憶~ ★★
Genre: Original, Story-based
Artwork: レディ (Lady)
Guests: 尾崎 空 (OZAKI Sora), guest composer
Notable Tracks: 帰らない船, きみのしらない
Description: Mostly rock with pretty high and mature vocals. Most tracks evoke a kind of frantic and slightly epic feel (?). Another release where I was rung in by the spectacular banner art.
Release outside of M3?: Yes. Link to Akiba Kingdom on the site.


Circle: O+N Factory (Consisting of 大貫理音/OHNUKI “richa” Rine and 長村楓/NAGAMURA “caesar” Kaede)
Release Title: LAIN -或る老人の手記より-
Genre: Original, Story+Character-based
Artwork: あづみ冬留 (AZUMI Tohru)
Notable Guests: Annabel, vocals
Notable Tracks: bláth tú deo 〔永遠の花〕, niflheim 〔ニフルヘイムの子守唄〕,
Description: Original 2-disc album with music and voice drama, revolving around a story set in a world based on Northern European and Celtic mythology. Brings together many guest artists of different genres to collaborate on one theme. Voice drama is about characters from 3 parts of the fantasy world. Annabel’s participation is what cinched my interest in this one.
Release outside of M3?: No.


Circle: BRAINBOX (Orange Paw division, consisting of 片羽ゆず/Kataha Yuzu and 朱月笛丸/Akazuki Fuemaru)
Release Title: エミリーとシャーリーの絵本箱 (Emily and Shirley’s Picture Book Box)
Genre: Original, Story-based
Artwork: ぷちでびる (puchidevil)
Notable Tracks: スピカリウム
Description: 5 gentle and relaxing vocal tracks based around a story about a magic book. Kataha Yuzu’s vocals are innocently but not forcibly cutesy, which suits both the theme and the illustrations, the latter of which is extremely spectacular and was the first thing that made me interested in the release.
Release outside of M3?: Yes. Links Amazon.co.jp/toranoana/D-STAGE/Akiba Kingdom on page.


Circle: Krik/Krak (Consisting of 繭木瑛/YOH Mayuki and 鳥島千佳里/CHIKARI Torishima)
Release Title: 黒い森 (Black Forest)
Genre: Original, Story-based
Artwork: One of the members of Krik/Krak
Notable Tracks: 黒い森
Description: Fantasy-type music very similar to Sound Horizon, which is one of the circle’s biggest influences. Storytelling lyrics sung by a vocalist who is very good at singing high notes, and songs also has dialogue in the middle. This is the circle’s 2nd album.
Release outside of M3?: No.


Label: Voltage of Imagination
Release Title: 存在の正しさは不在 (A “Correct” Existence does not Exist)
Genre: Original, Light Novel-based
Artwork: (Hidari)
Notable Guests: 茶太 (Chata); vocals, b; vocals, bermei.inazawa; music compose and arrange
Notable Tracks: differance
Description: This M3 release will be a maxi single containing the vocal music tracks found on the project’s previous album (which has both a voice drama and 2 vocal songs), and includes remixes and karaoke versions of the two tracks. differance is sung by b, and ecriture is sung by Chata. The project is based on the light novel 嘘つきみーくんと壊れたまーちゃん (Usotsuki Mii-Kun to Kowareta Maa-chan), and is kind of not from a doujin group as Voltage of Imagination is an independant label that publishes near-professional (but doujin-related) CDs.
Release outside of M3?: Yes. Links to retailers are on this page.


Circle: Reliance:Tone (Consisting of 流歌/Luca), circle division: Project -ALCA-
Release Title: project-ALCA-【Rudbeckia-Mother’s Prayer-SEED】 ★★
Genre: Original, Story-based
Artwork: 五島 優 (GOTOU Yuu)
Notable Guests: 桃梨/Momori; Vocals, yanaginagi (aka niconico’s ガゼル/Gazelle and nagi); Vocals, bermei.inazawa; Disc 1 Mastering & Track 4 Mix, AIKAWA Razuna; Remixes
Notable Tracks: シリウス, プラティテラ, ルドベキア, ルドベキア-Rising Sun Nova REMIX-
Description: 2-disc album with intrumental and vocal tracks of varying genres based on one story. Disc 1 are the original tracks, and Disc 2 contain the remixes. My favourite track out of all of them is ルドベキア (Rudbeckia), which has a very hopeful and optimistic feel to it, and yanaginagi is at her best providing the vocals in this track. Rudbeckia also happens to be the title track. シリウス (Sirius) is another one of my favourites as well, with strong and unwavering vocals by Momori. This is the release I seriously want the most from M3 this time.
Release outside of M3?: Yes. Links to toranoana/Akiba Kingdom/D-STAGE/Melonbooks on the top entry (in text links) on the site.


Circle: SOLSTiTiALIS (Consisting of Natsulicca, 美羽りつか/MIHANE ritsuka, and nao)
Release Title: 凜ノ國 (Rin no Kuni/Rin’s Country)
Genre: Original, Story-based
Artwork: 黒裄 (Kuroyuki)
Guests: 癒月/Yuzuhi, voice acting
Notable Tracks: むつのはな
Description: Another story-based album with calm, gentle vocal, intrumental, and dialogue tracks. Vocals seem to be pretty good and fitting for the atmosphere of the intrumentals, but I could hear a little faltering in the demo. Would like to hear the rest of the tracks though. Story is about a girl trapped in the same day in the same world over and over again and is trying to find her way out.
Release outside of M3?: No.

Original, Pop / Original, Pop-rock


Circle: stretta di mano (Consisting of月子/Tsukiko)
Release Title: Glittering TOKYO
Genre: Original, Pop
Artwork: Yohsuke
Notable Guests: KTG, compose, arrange
Notable Tracks: Glittering TOKYO, Sky Aquarium
Description: Relaxing pop composed by KTG of Aliced Twilightz, with guest arrangers. One track has a chorus by LINCO, who is also from Aliced Twilightz. Vocalist is Tsukiko, who is the stretta di mano’s sole member. Her voice is soft and is just slightly cutesy, and is reminiscent of リツカ/RITSUKA’s (niconico singer) style of singing.
Release outside of M3?: No.


Artists: Linco (From Aliced Twilightz) x くど/Kudo (From Pixelbee)
Release Title: Kangaroo Dog
Genre: Original, Pop
Artwork: 晴子 (Hareko)
Notable Tracks: 冬の記憶, Kangaroo Dog-BATUCADA mix-
Notable Guest: KTG, remix
Description: Collaboration between Linco and Kudo, with songs by kudo and Linco, and lyrics by Linco. Features two remixed tracks by KTG. Songs have a free and breezy atmosphere with fitting vocals.
Release outside of M3?: No.


Circle: LC:AZE (Consisting of everyone on this page)
Release Title: FOLLOW
Genre: Original, Pop
Artwork: 上本聖人@OverR (UEMOTO Masato)
Notable Tracks:
Description: 11 vocal tracks produced entirely by the circle. Has no set theme, just good and high quality music all-around. A lot of the tracks remind me of Visual Novel OPs, though, with female vocals, rising tempo, and quite a bit of synths.
Release outside of M3?: No.


Circle: ぷんこ★ちん/punco★chin (Consisting of 実谷なな/MITANI Nana)
Release Title: ぷんこちんだふる (punkochin daburu/punkochin double)
Genre: Original, Pop
Notable Guests: 40m; compose&lyrics, リツカ/RITSUKA; guest vocals, samfree; compose&lyrics&guest vocals, that; guest vocals, Shibayan; mastering
Notable Tracks: panorama, TSUBOMI-秘密の花園-, Pieces
Description: niconico singer MITANI Nana’s doujin circle release! Many well-known niconico composers and singers helped out with compose/lyrics/vocals, which makes this album seem pretty extravagant. Looking forward to hearing panorama (due to 40m’s participation) and TSUBOMI-秘密の花園- (due to リツカ/RITSUKA’s guest vocals). Demos for the album’s songs can by heard on Mitani Nana’s Myspace page.
Release outside of M3?: Yes. Link to toranoana on the 2nd page of the site.


Circle: forest (Consisting of はな/hana aka niconico’s うさ/Usa)
Release Title: 水槽 (Suisou/Cistern)
Genre: Original, Pop
Description: Free, one-track CD given out to people who visit the circle at M3. Nice demo!
Release outside of M3?: No.


Circle: FataMorgana (Consisting of 遊女/YuNa)
Release Title: RE:SENTIVE
Genre: Original, Pop
Notable Guests: UNi from SENTIVE; compose&lyrics&mastering, 葉山りく/HAYAMA Riku; vocals
Notable Tracks: All of them?
Description: Although I billed it as pop, there’s all kinds of genre twists on each track. All the tracks on Disc 1 are previously released songs from different SENTIVE albums with vocals originally already by YuNa and Hayama Riku, but Disc 2 are re-arranged and re-recorded by different combinations of the two vocalists.
Release outside of M3?: No.


Circle: the forget-me-no (Consisting of えいんへりや/einherjar and キル/KIRU)
Release Title: Forget Me Not
Genre: Original, Pop-rock
Notable Guests: はな/hana (aka niconico’s うさ/Usa), 花たん/Hanatan (from niconico), 華南/Kanan (from niconico)
Notable Tracks: LITTLE BRAVE, Take The World
Description: This is the circle’s first original album release, with 10 vocal tracks and 1 instrumental track. All the vocals are done by female singers, and a lot of them are well-known for their utattemita videos on niconico, such as うさ/Usa and 花たん/Hanatan. Also notable is that the electric guitar parts were done by in-house guitarist キル/KIRU, who is also pretty popular on niconico, and due to this makes a lot of the songs have a really rock-ish edge to it.
Release outside of M3?: Yes. Link to D-STAGE on the site.

Original


Circle: binaria (Consisting of Annabel and yanaginagi (aka niconico’s ガゼル/Gazelle and nagi)
Release Title: ALBA
Genre: Original
Artwork: xai
Notable Tracks: ??? (Demos not up yet)
Description: New single from binaria consisting of 4 tracks (3 vocal, 1 karaoke inst). Not much is known since the demos aren’t up yet, but will probably continue in the same slightly-choral/ambient/alternative style that is characterstic of the circle.
Release outside of M3?: No.

Touhou Arrange


Circle: TRICHROMATIC (Consisting of TMZ and Kei)
Release Title: Astral Pulse 〜 東方星脈動 ★★
Genre: Touhou Arrange, Technopop/Progressive House/Ambient/Trance
Artwork: 富槻義裕 (FUZUKI Yoshihiko)
Notable Tracks: All of them
Description: Really cool intrumental-only electronic Touhou arranges. There’s so much depth and all-around catchy beat to all the tracks. I want to hear the rest of it!
Release outside of M3?: No.


Circle: ShibayanRecords (Consisting of Shibayan)
Release Title: キセキ☆インパルス~emotionalfeedback (KISEKI☆INPARUSU/MIRACLE☆IMPULSE) ★★
Genre: Touhou Arrange, Electronic
Artwork: YU
Notable Guests: 3L; Vocals, yanaginagi (as yana, aka niconico’s ガゼル/Gazelle and nagi); Vocals, 深水チエ/FUKAMI CHIE; Vocals
Notable Tracks: CRASH ME!, アナタガモトメルモノ, わたしはねこ, MyonMyonMyon!, ちるのりずむ
Description: 8 tracks total of Touhou Arranges, with 4 vocal songs and 4 instrumental tracks. All tracks are of the eletronic music genre. This is one of the releases I want the most because of 3L’s awesome track and also yanaginagi’s 2-track presence. The crossfade sample is way too awesome, and what stood out most were the club-heavy feel of the intrumental tracks, especially MyonMyonMyon!. I can’t get enough of that bass. As well, Shibayan uploaded two of the vocal tracks to niconico, which you can hear the full version of. (アナタガモトメルモノ / わたしはねこ)
Release outside of M3?: Yes. Links to Akiba Kingdom, Melonbooks, White Canvas, and toranoana are on the page.

NEXTRA
Circle: Halozy (Consisting of すみじゅん/Sumijun, ボッチ/BOCCHI, koma’n, 花たん/Hanatan, and ほたる/Hotaru)
Release Title: NEXTRA
Genre: Touhou Arrange, Electronic
Notable Tracks: 上海紅茶館 ~ Chinese Tea (Instrumental)
Description: 5 tracks of entirely intrumental Touhou arranges in a really DDR/Beatmania-style. High-tempo and super synthesized.
Release outside of M3?: No.


Circle: birdtune (Consisting of KuKuDoDo, 貿易風/Bouekifuu, みりん/mirin, ASHTRAY)
Release Title: 東方ちゅんちゅん郷 (Touhou Chun Chun Gou)
Genre: Touhou Arrange, Eletropop
Artwork: ???
Notable Tracks: 月の出でたらむ夜は
Description: Touhou Arrange album with 10 tracks, 4 of which are intrumental tracks. Most of the vocal tracks are sung by almost-annoyingly cute female voices, except for 月の出でたらむ夜は, which I think is the best track out of all of them.
Release outside of M3?: Probably, but no links on album page yet. Might pop up later on sidebar of main page.

Covers

片霧式*妄想ルンバ
Circle: CLOSED/UNDERGROUND (Consisting of 片霧烈火/KATAKIRI Rekka)
Release Title: 片霧式*妄想ルンバ (Katakiri Shiki*Mousou Rumba/Karakiri Style*Delusion Rumba)
Genre: Cover, Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei OP&ED
Notable Guest: 橋本鏡也/HASHIMOTO Kyouya; Vocals
Description: Maxi single of Katakiri Rekka singing covers of the OP and ED songs from Zoku Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. Contains 4 tracks, 3 of which are sung by Katakiri Rekka and 1 is by Hashimoto Kyouya. 妄想ルンバ/Mousou Rumba is a rearrange of the original. You can listen to the full version of 空想ルンバ/Kuusou Rumba at niconico here.
Release outside of M3?: No.