Experimental, Game Music, Reviews

SuperSweep’s Latest Trash: NanoSweep, Overdrive Hell, and Trash (Review)

SuperSweep’s Latest Trash: NanoSweep, Overdrive Hell, and Trash (Review)

April 13, 2012 | | Comment? Share thison Facebook SuperSweep’s Latest Trash: NanoSweep, Overdrive Hell, and Trash (Review)on Twitter

In addition to releasing a ton of great music by composers Shinji Hosoe, Ayako Saso, and the rest of the team at SuperSweep, the SuperSweep label has been host to a number of great music releases, some of which we’ve covered here on OSV. Another benefit that the gain by owning their own label is that they can take more risks, as is the case with their many original composition series that they’ve developed over the years.

We’re taking a look at the most recent batch from these series, including the electronic NanoSweep 12 and 13, the experimental overdrive hell 5 and 6 (sampled above), and Trash007 and Trash 008.

For their 300-500 Yen asking prices, are they even worth your consideration? Find out after the jump.

We’ll start with the longest running series of the bunch, NanoSweep. This has generally been a small collection of original electronic tracks by Hosoe, Saso, other SuperSweep members, and friends including Namco Bandai’s Hiroshi Okubo. Think of the Ridge Racer series, and that’s pretty much what you can expect from NanoSweep.

Starting with NanoSweep 12, the highlights are definitely “Wob.” by Hiroshi Okubo and “Blue Screen” by Takehiro Eguchi. the former sports some trippy synth work, spacey arpeggios and tasteful female vocals, while the latter sounds like something out of a shmup title with a cool call and response between synth and belltone and a catchy melody. Other tracks include the traditional techno track, “Brutal,” by Ryo Watanabe, the fun and high-energy “The Cluste” by Shinji Hosoe, and the creepy industrial “Stalking Darkness” by Ayako Saso that gets groovy and dark by the end.

NanoSweep 13 also gets five tracks, and these are honestly some of the best the series has had to offer. Hiroshi Okubo’s dark drum ‘n’ bass track titled “Take Control,” Ryo Watanabe’s use of psychedelic synth sweeps and warm chip chords in “LAGI,” and Shinji Hosoe’s pumping dance floor tune “Wob Waste Building” with fun lyrics asking the listening to move “up and down, up and down. Left and right, left and right” are all brilliant. Ayako Saso’s “Missing Parts” also stands out as more upbeat and ‘chirpy’ with a funky breakdown about midway through, while Takahiro Eguchi’s “Redring” sports some amazing siren-like vocals and a melody voiced by a pitch-bending synthesizer reminiscent of Metroid Prime. It’s really a fantastic track, and a great wrap-up to a great CD. It’s definitely worth the 500 Yen if you can find it.

Next up, Trash. The Trash series generally presents a small soundtrack by the SuperSweep team for a small game that didn’t really warrant and entire soundtrack release. In most cases, the game that the music is from is listed, but Shinji Hosoe has confirmed that they did not obtain the right to publish the game titles for Trash007 and Trash008.

When it comes to Trash007, however, it’s by Kazuhiro Kobayashi and Takanori Sato and is only 20 minutes in length. It’s upbeat, synthy, and gamey, and sounds to be the soundtrack for a casual title for the Wii or DS. I love the bossa nova-flavored “You Color,” the Kikuta-esque “Your Power is Tried” with its belltone work, the spunky “You Fight” that reminded me of Blaster Master, the sweet lullaby “Dictionary,” and the almost painfully upbeat “It May Happen in Life.” This is a great collection for the 315 Yen asking price.

Trash008, on the other hand, comes courtesy of Kazuhiro Kobayashi and is 30 minutes in length, and is obviously the soundtrack to some kind of brain training title based on the track titles. This one is more upbeat with funky synths and percussion, lots of belltones and futuristic synth melodies that are uplifting, reminding me on Opoona. It’s not as endearing as Trash007, but there is a cohesive sense of scientific wonder that I really enjoy. I particularly dig the dreamy and reverberating “Thinking of the Right Brain” and the poppy “Departure of the Right Brain.”

Last up is the overdrive hell series. This is an experiment by Shinji Hosoe and Ayako Saso who release their tracks under the names SamplingMasters MEGA and SamplingMasters AYA, respectively. These CDs generally contain 4 tracks, numbered as ‘lessons,’ and are not for the faint of heart. They’re known for their high intensity and their often-disturbing combination of sampled sounds.

Today’s lessons begin with overdrive hell 5: Minna no Hizumi Heaven, opening with some surprisingly light acoustic guitar and galloping percussion in “Strain for All” before the mind-drilling bass and percussion begin. “Analo Bear” is also upbeat by series standards, coming with a playful opening melody that sounds like a children’s parade. “No immediate effect” gets more into the spirit of overdrive hell with screaming grunge-style vocals and a disturbing trickling synth that dances about chaotically. Finally, “Tokyo Unplugged” offers distorted vocal snippets, gurgling bubble sounds, and what I think is a dude repeatedly saying “fuck it.”

The lessons continue with overdrive hell 6: Hizumi Heaven Reloaded and “pigs felid,” an overdriven drum ‘n’ bass track with blaring synths and screaming ethnic vocals combined with a grungy male voice. There’s a certain charm buried in the chaos found here. “Loopy Monster,” on the other hand, sports deep bowel-piercing bass drums, female moaning, and the interesting vocal phrase, “Let me get nasty.” There are some interesting rhythmic things going on in this one. “Idiot Tube” is simply maddening with its repetitive bass notes and odd vocal snippets, and while there’s not a lot here to cling to, the sampling is done masterfully. Finally, “Heaven debt” opens with chugging electric guitar and demonic groans. There’s a neat bell synth that seemingly pans around in a circular motion around the listener before the piece digresses into a storm of loud noises to close out the experience. SuperSweep is only asking 300 Yen for these as if they’re daring you to give them a try.

Well, that’s the latest trash (and more!) from SuperSweep. We’re huge fans of these series, so you can be sure we’ll be giving them more coverage moving forward. Unfortunately they’re sold mainly through the convention circuit in Japan and may be hard to come by otherwise.

Let us know which SuperSweep series is your favorite. Isn’t it great to see game music composers finding creative outlets to write outside of videogames?

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