Dr. Latency’s Freak Report: First Impact

drlatency

Tracklist:

01. 他愛も無い二人の博物誌 (3:29)
02. 凍り付いた永遠の都 (4:00)
03. Dr.レイテンシーの眠れなくなる瞳 (3:55)
04. 九月のパンプキン (3:46)
05. 須臾はプランクを超えて (3:46)
06. シュレディンガーの化猫 (3:39)
07. 空中に沈む輝針城 (5:04)
08. 禁忌の膜壁 (3:56)
09. 故郷の星が映る海 (2:33)
10. ピュアヒューリーズ ~ 心の在処 (5:12)
11. 永遠の三日天下 (3:46)

I warned you. Useless opinions posts COULD still pop out sooner or later.
It’s so strange that this wordpress is mainly about Touhou music but I never actually had the chance to talk about the real touhou music, in other words ZUN‘s works.
Today at the Reitaisai a new CD by ZUN has been released, titled 燕石博物誌 ~ Dr. Latency’s Freak Report, and being that I’ve been listening to it just few hours ago and I haven’t yet a clear idea about it, let’s just speak a bit about the first impression each track has left me.
Note that I haven’t bought the CD yet (I plan to do so, as I already bought every other ZUN’s music collection from vol.2 to vol.7) and so I haven’t read the story too.
This post is only about brief opinions of what I’ve listened to, just in terms of music.
It will be short and pointless, just like any other opinion posts. But I feel like writing a bit, so let’s talk about this CD!
PS: Of course, those are my personal, stupid and pointless opinions.

01. 他愛も無い二人の博物誌 (Natural History of the Childlike Duo)
The first track from this new CD is an original track which surprised me a lot. Compared to previous CDs (such as Ghostly Field Club or Changeability of Strange Dream) this song is really cheerful and energetic. Even more than cheerful beginning songs such as Welcome to the Moon Tour (Magical Astronomy), Green Sanatorium (Trojan Green Asteroid) or Hiroshige No. 36 ~ Neo Super-express (Retrospective 53 Minutes).
It’s one of the most happy-sounding touhou themes I’ve listened to in a while, and has a really positive feeling to it which is not very common amongst touhou themes.
Some parts of it seems to match Riverside View ~ Higan Retour, and that’s something I’ve apreciated a lot, being one of the first touhou themes I’ve listened to. Basically, this song set a happy mood and made me smile, and that’s something I’ve liked a lot.
Its impact may be different compared to most Touhou themes, but I think it’s still really fitting with the crazy and unbound world of Touhou project.

02. 凍り付いた永遠の都 (The Frozen Capital of Eternity)
Straight out of the latest game, Legacy of Lunatic Kingdom, this was the first “new theme” we all listened to when the full version of the game came out.
I remember I liked it a lot at first, because it perfectly fit the stage and danmaku movements… well, like always!
But it’s not the exactly the kind of theme that I could enjoy listening to outside a LoLK run. It doesn’t mean that I don’t like it, of course.
About the DrLFR (I’m calling the CD this way from now on) version, I didn’t like how it didn’t change much between the first and second version in terms of sounds, but I like the new section ZUN added to it. After all, adding the Theme of Eastern Story inside a touhou track is something that never fails to get my attention. I’m extremely weak against it!

03. Dr.レイテンシーの眠れなくなる瞳 (Dr. Latency’s Sleepless Eyes)
The second original track from DrLFR, which also has “Dr. Latency” in its title. Who is him? Well, we’ll probably figure out once we’ll read the CD’s scans!
By the way, this theme is something that I can easily imagine to listen inside a touhou game. There are lots of original ZUN tracks that can’t possibly be stage themes or such in a touhou game, but I can see this one, kinda like Trojan Asteroid Jungle, as a stage theme in some not-yet-produced touhou chapter.
To be honest, that’s probably the original track that left me the weakest impact compared to the others, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t like it. As I said before, this CD is pure gold. But of course not every piece of gold has the same weight or shines the same way… doesn’t it?

04. 九月のパンプキン (September’s Pumpkin)
Ringo’s theme, from LoLK. It looks like ZUN wanted to give more space to his latest game in this new CD.
Turned out that this song got some more effects to it that, in my opinion, made it better.
When I first listened to Ringo’s theme in the LoLK demo I was like: “ZUN… dude… that’s not a stage 2 boss theme!”
Am I the only who thought that? This theme is so powerful! Is it really fit for a dumpling-eating rabbit? Oddly enough, yes. Because somehow ZUN’s music always matches his other artistic choices.
The beat added on this track is surely something that I liked a lot, though the piano on some parts got weaker on this second version. A mix between the two versions would be the best! (I like the ending segment a lot, it’s brilliant)

05. 須臾はプランクを超えて (Beyond Planck in an Instant)
Hey, remember in Magical Astronomy when Renko said “I’m in a different field, but maybe I am as smart as Planck”?
Is that foreshadowing? Or does it mean that this is the new theme for Renko? Either way, this theme is amazing. It starts off pretty weak, but once the beat comes in it becomes amazing.
I found this theme to be both relaxing and mysteryous. It gaves me a similar feeling as the one that Strange Bird of the Moon, Illusion of the Strange Cat does.
In terms of music, it has lots of points which are not exactly very ZUNnish (?), mainly the first and last part.
It looks like ZUN is experimenting new types of music. And that’s perfectly appropriate for a CD which talks about phisicians and theories and Planck. Doesn’t it?
Makes me want to write an arrange for it… If only I had the right tools…

06. シュレディンガーの化猫 (Schrödinger’s Bakeneko)
This theme is absolutely crazy, I love it! If I close my eyes while listening to this, I can already see titles of non-yet existing arranges done by lots and lots of bands. I have the feeling this one will be the most arranged theme from the whole CD.
Its fast paced rhythm and joyful sounds reminded me of Greenwich in the Sky, even though this one has also a shady side on it. Some parts of it are a bit dark, and if you listen closely there’s a background distorted sound that sets a different mood from the other track’s cheerful vibe.
Also, the faded away ending completes the circle, making this the most old-fashioned touhou theme on this CD.
While some tracks are really different from older ZUN’s tracks, this one could have easily been on other CDs without seeming out of place. And that’s not a complain about it. I really like this theme and I look forward to arranges of it!
…Also, dat bass!

07. 空中に沈む輝針城 (The Shining Needle Castle Sinking in the Air)
DDC is one of my favourite Touhou games, both in term of characters and music.
I always thought that, IN aside, this game has the most beautiful stage themes, mainly because they’re really appropriate for the stages / mood themselves.
For example, Bamboo Forest of the Full Moon was perfect for stage 3, just as much as Magical Storm was the best choice for stage 4, and just like this theme was great for the stage 5’s atmosphere.
Again, this new version doesn’t really add more than it already had before, so I don’t really know what to say about it.
The drums are clearer on some parts and more unclear on some others, so it’s like ZUN took this theme and placed it on a hammock, letting it sway back and forth, back and forth…

08. 禁忌の膜壁 (Membrane Wall of Taboo)
The last original track from DrLFR, and the one whose title caught my attention the most. Title-wise, I remember reading a theory about this song being about something… you know, lewd. It makes sense, doesn’t it?
But we’re not here to talk about songs’ titles or pr0nz, I’m here to talk about music.
This song is like a straight line which changes color over and over as it goes on. Meaning that while it doesn’t have a huge set of instruments as other songs on the same CD have, its mood always changes even though its rhythm stays more or less the same.
Therefore, it’s like a static crescendo, a storm in a teacup.
I’m really, really curious to know more about this song. It’s probably the song that caught my attention the most, and, just like previous tracks, it seem an experiment ZUN made again blending different music styles along with his usual technique.

09. 故郷の星が映る海 (The Sea Where One’s Home Planet Reflects)
Okay, let’s start off saying that this, along with Junko‘s theme, is my favourite theme from LoLK.
Lots of people have complained about the fact these two themes are similar between them, but I don’t think so. They share the same notes but with completely different moods.
When I learned to play this song on my bass, I used to play it nonstop, to the point that I changed it a bit, slowing it down to make it more “dramatic” according to its nostalgic mood.
ZUN did the same on DrLFR, and thus this song became slower, lower and even more atmospheric than its original version. That’s why I like this version more than my already beloved LoLK version.

10. ピュアヒューリーズ ~ 心の在処 (Pure Furies ~ Whereabouts of the Heart)
Another theme that I love, as I stated before, which sadly wasn’t upgraded well as the previous theme was.
While I like a lot its new ending and effects on the last section, some of this screams “MIDI” everywhere, and has some unrefined soundfont compared to the original track that makes me wonder if ZUN really actually tried when arranging it.
If this was an original track, I would have love it, but being that it’s a remix of an already existing touhou theme that I liked a lot, it’s quite a shame that not much changed.
And that it was… like, halved in terms of soundfonts.

11. 永遠の三日天下 (Eternal Short-Lived Reign)
The exactly same comment I made about the previous track. Read it again.
…But add the fact that I actually liked some bass tracks on this one more than the original, while the drum soundfonts worsened and the other instruments got weaker.

———————–

So, in the end this CD was amazing and my expectations were fulfilled. I didn’t care much about the remixes from the previous themes (I almost never cared about them that much even on the previous CDs), but the original were amazing and the few re-arranges I was looking forward to were really appealing.

If you read this through the end, I must tell you the truth: You wasted some precious time.

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About foregroundnoises

I'm a 23 y.o. italian guy, I have a degree in japanese language & culture and I'm currently advancing in my studies. I love music but I'm too self-destructive to attempt to produce it myself. Sometimes I gaze at my shoes and think it's a nice genre. Mainly translating japanese music lyrics (Touhou / doujin / indie / etc) and Gaki no Tsukai clips (worked with Team Gaki too). 宜しくお願いしマスタースパーク。
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