trax / ravex

Release Date: April 29, 2009

Track Listing

  1. I RAVE U (Original)
  2. ROCK U feat. Namie Amuro
  3. Just The Two Of Us feat. TOHOSHINKI
  4. HOUSE NATION feat. LISA
  5. Bangalicious feat. Anna Tsuchiya
  6. Believe In Love feat. BoA
  7. New Eccentric Girl feat. CHISA (Girl Next Door)
  8. Golden Luv feat. Maki Goto
  9. V.I.P.P. (Very Important Party People) feat. TRF & VERBAL
  10. 1 More Night feat. Monkey Majik
  11. Waruiko Mitsukete feat. Yuko Ando
  12. I RAVE YOU feat. DJ Ozma

Review

Ravex is a collaboration between Taku Takahashi (m-flo), Shinichi Osawa (Mondo Grosso) and Tomoyuki Tanaka (Fantastic Plastic Machine) that celebrates the Avex record labels 20th anniversary. This album features a lot of popular artists such as Namie Amuro & Maki Goto along with collaborations with many other artists.

If you know of the background of the producers behind this project than you know what kind of sound to expect. For those who are unfamiliar, this album fits squarely into club music territory. If you want to get specific the majority of this is Electro Pop influenced. There’s a lot of familiar sounds from video games & many of the of the trademark Electro style synths make their presence known on each track.

Now if you don’t dig that particular sound don’t worry. This isn’t the annoying shit that makes you want poke q-tips all the way in your ears so the noise will stop. No, it’s some accessible and catchy stuff.  There are also some straight up House tunes here as well.

Several songs were previously made available (I RAVE U, HOUSE NATION, Believe In Love, Golden Luv, 1 More Night) prior to this albums release.  I had covered those earlier so there’s no need to do it again.  Instead I’ll focus on a few album cuts.  The most interesting being ROCK U feat. Namie Amuro, Just The Two Of Us feat. TOHOSHINKI & New Eccentric Girl feat. CHISA.

ROCK U starts out almost like a break beat track and transitions into a 4/4 club track.  At first I didn’t recognize Amuro’s vocals since they were kind of filtered through some sort of distortion effect, but after after a few spins I recognized her voice.  This song is better than her Wild/Dr single I think.  I wouldn’t mind hearing her take on this style of music in the future.

Just The Two Of Us has what sounds like a lot of chopped & spliced vocals.  Either that or TOHOSHINKI is good at singing in stacatto.  The song has a laid back kind of feel during the verses & goes in to full club mode in what I suppose is the chorus but really amounts to a lot of vocal effects & doubled up beats.  I found it to be pretty cool actually.

New Eccentric Girl features CHISA from Girl Next Door.  I was kind of expecting another Euro-dance type song given who the vocalist was, but was instead treated to a Funky House track with some interesting video game type sounds used as part of the backing track.  Great Stuff.

There was one track that I wasn’t liking that much & that was V.I.P.P. (Very Important Party People)  I felt it was a little over produced & sounded kind of all over the place.  But I gave it a shot, just wasn’t my thing.

Overall this is an excellent album if you’re into club music.  Personally I would have liked some extended versions (like on the 12″ promo) for some use in DJ sets, but it doesn’t take away from the greatness of the album as a whole.