It’s my final article of 2017, so I thought I’d write something special that has been a highlight of the year for me. First of all, this review is not associated with chiptune, but it’s probably my favourite album of 2017, mainly down to how it made an impact on me during the year. Released jointly by the artist and ‘neon city records‘, ‘わたしのYUME DIARY’ by ‘カヅキBIGWAVE’ is primarily a Future Funk album, and isn’t something I generally listen to. When I first came across the genre, I didn’t really take to it; mainly down to the constant slow downs & over saturation of funky samples. However, that didn’t stop ‘わたしのYUME DIARY’ from going against those cliches that reside in Future Funk, and instead relies upon making great, catchy melodies that stick in your head for most of 2017.
The first song that is going to hook you in off ‘わたしのYUME DIARY’, is it’s signature song, ‘Fairy’. It begins with the common trope of Future Funk; fading into it’s main hook. Although we hear this a lot in Future Funk (and Vaporwave), I believe it’s handled really well with ‘Fairy’, namely down to the gracefulness of the horns used in the hook, as the tone is changed slightly going forward. One of the things I love throughout ‘わたしのYUME DIARY’ is the choice of vocal samples. It 110% true in ‘Fairy’, as the vocals have been specifically selected in their tone and harmony. This can be found particularly in the vocal breaks, which even though they last a second, they help set the mood as much as the lyrics do. Although I couldn’t understand the lyrics (due to my abysmal knowledge of the Japanese Language), I found myself listening more closely to the melody that was sung. I loved the passion I could feel coming off the vocals & harmonies, whilst the melodies were sublime, fitting superbly well with the rest of the music. I would say ‘Fairy’ is probably my favourite song off the album, however everything else is pretty top notch that you’ll find others that you love too!
The next song which I love off ‘わたしのYUME DIARY’ is ‘Sweet Days’. It was hard to choose this one as there plenty other tracks I really like, however I chose this track mainly because of how ミカヅキBIGWAVE changed and manipulated samples to create a track reminiscent of J-Pop. The vocals are pitched higher, manipulated & cut to create rhythm, whilst the backing is given a soft side chain to the kick. For a lowly guy who knows very little in the language, this is good as it allows me to focus on the rhythm of the vocals and melody, with no need think of the deeper meaning behind of the lyrics. As well as the vocals, there are extra little things such as light arpeggios trickling down behind the scene. I feel they really help pertain to the sweet theme of the track, feeling almost as if sweets rain down from the sky.
My final selection has to be the penultimate song, ‘愛にそうしますｈｏｔｅｌシーサイド’ and is one of the most upbeat tracks off the album. The combination of the kick, the soft yet snappy snare, warm keys & catchy vocals are enough to entice you into loving this song. Delving more into the crux of ‘愛にそうしますｈｏｔｅｌシーサイド’ my favourite moment has to be at ‘1:10’ where the horn section springs into action, and boy does it kick ass! It’s almost as if it’s taking a walk and doing it’s own thing. After listening to ‘愛にそうしますｈｏｔｅｌシーサイド’ enough times, I get the feeling it’s reminiscent of 70s/80s japanese music, and because of this songs like, ‘Lemon No Yuuki‘ come to mind. Suffice to say, ‘愛にそうしますｈｏｔｅｌシーサイド’ is one of my favourite songs off the album, and one I keep coming back to.
So there is it. My final review of 2017, and I’m glad to have used one of my favourite albums of the year for it. It has been an album that I have kept coming back to, and one which my ‘fiance’ actually likes.
This has been a blog post from Chip Bit Sid, a UK based Chiptune Blogger. Along with monthly features here on The ChipWIN Blog, I post once a week on my own blog. To get in touch, please message via the social media links below! I also do my own music under the banner as ‘Kojin’.