It's time for yet another edition of Rare CD Round-up! For those of you who are new to the game, this is a feature where I find obscure CDs from my collection and share them along with some thoughts. If you'd like to catch up, here is the first edition and the second edition.
This is a strange album. I'm not entirely sure why this album was released and I'm not exactly familiar with any of the DJs involved in this project...but in 2000 this collection of ten remixes of a pretty ecclectic range of Tokusatsu theme songs was released. It includes theme songs from Super Sentai, Kamen Rider, Metal Hero, Ultraman and even some Henshin Hero themes. All bases of the Columbia musical range were covered here. So let's dive in.....
01. Let's Go!! Rider Kick! [Heavy Boost Mix]
To get things rolling we have...a pretty bland remix of one of most memorable theme songs in Tokusatsu history. To make matters worse, it's six minutes long. It just goes on and on. Not bad, but certainly not great. It sounds pretty dated now. Meh.
02. Uchuu Keiji Gavan [Power R&B Mix]
So let's follow that boring remix up with another boring remix of another fan-favorite theme song. The most exciting thing about this remix is it's
probably illegal samples of Snap's "The Power" and Black Box's "Ride on time". Let's take a song from 1982...add a basic beat and mash some samples in from the late 80s/early 90s. Very strange combination...and once again a little on the long side.
03. Ultraman 80 [Star Ocean Mix Ver 5.0]
This is easily my favorite song off of this album. This song is much more conceptual than the previous mixes and does a much better job of not being lazy. An entirely new beat sprinkled in with some of the infamous UM 80 lyrics. It is very layered and holds up pretty well IMO. This is my perfect rainy day song. I remember hearing the sample for this song on Columbia's website back in 2000 and immediately securing a copy of this CD as a result. I can understand if this isn't for everyone, but damn...I love it.
04. Tokusou Exceedraft [Bad Experience Mix]
OK, so this song kind of reverts back the formula used by the first two tracks. It's pretty much the Exceedraft theme with the guitar hook looped on top of a kind of dated beat. I like this one, though. There was some decent effort put into this one...and Takayuki Miyauchi's vocals sound pretty damn cool when they're isolated in spots. Stamp of Approval!
05. Kagaku Sentai Dynaman [Millenium Beat Mix]
This is the first of two Sentai tracks on the album. It's similar in style to the Ultraman 80 theme in that it focuses on a new beat with some lyrics sprinkled in. It isn't as well done, but I still like it. The bass and horns chime in to make everything alllll riiiiiight. I just kind of wish there were a little more lyrics...and a lot more explosions...
06. Amazon Rider koko ni ari [SKA Mix]
A big 'ole MEH from me. I did here a much worse remix of Amazon's theme on a different remix album, but let's focus on this one. How is this Ska? I hate ska music, so I guess that helps. The source track is a little too intrusive during long stretches of lyrics. The beat is pretty lazy, but has some nice little horns thrown in for the hell of it.
07. Kamen Rider BLACK RX [Twin Turbo 2000 Mix]
The final Kamen Rider mix on this disc. This is my second-favorite track from the album. It took me a couple of times listening to notice that the lyrics were part of the beat at parts. The lyrics "Hikari no oorora mi ni matoi", etc are so distorted at the beginning of the song that it's easy to miss them. The beat is drum'n bass coupled with some furious scratching...piano...synthesizers...this is a pretty dense remix. I love it.
08. Chojin Sentai Jetman [Out of Control Mix]
Second Sentai remix on the disc--I like this one as well. This remix is very similar to the Exceedraft remix, but with emphasis on horns rather than guitar. Kageyama's vocals are definitely not as graceful as Miyauchi's...but hey, he's a rocker. One day I'll try to find out what the hell they're sampling in the middle. I have an ear for this sort of thing, but I'm drawing a blank on the "Y-You don't stop.".
09. Bokura no Baroum-1 [Friendly Ghost Mix]
¡RANDOM ALERT! I guess they absolutely needed a theme from Ichiro Mizuki to be included [Spielban, dammit, SPIELBAAAAN!]. This one isn't very good. The lyrics sound like they're underwater. I mean, that makes sense since the song is from 1971...but so is "Rider Kick!"... Atleast the mixer did a decent job masking the original music. The disco beat is a little out of place. I just keep waiting for this song to go somewhere and it never does.
10. Go Go Kikaider [Mechanic Hippy Mix]
This is the CD ending with a thud. I never cared for the Kikaider theme to begin with, so I may be biased. Drum and bass beat with snippets of the original song dropped on to it. It does a good job giving Kikaider dark and menacing cred he never deserved I guess. I really don't have much else to say other than I can totally see why this song was slotted last. I guess ending on a high note wasn't the plan. Heh.
All-in-all I am really glad I own this disc. Some more tracks would've been nice...some better mixes of the tracks on here would've been nice as well. There are about a hundred questions I'd like to ask the producers behind this album, but I think the top question is.....what the hell is up with the names of these mixes?? Bad Experience? Mechanical Hippy? Out of Control?? They add an extra layer of intentional/unintentional humor I suppose. Seriously, though.
Ohhh, and I should note that there is a sister remix album to this. It is called Iron Fist~Rebirth of Super Robots. It was released by Columbia on the same day.
I hope you enjoyed listening along to this round of Rare CD Round-up. I'll be back with Part IV [that's right! I'm switching to roman numerals JUST for Part IV] sometime soon.
Stay tuned for my sixth anniversary stuff at the end of June!