GODMOTHER

GODMOTHER. Booklet Front. Click to zoom.
GODMOTHER
Booklet Front
Composed by ZUN
Arranged by Amedio / A` / Harumi Shiina / LUV2 / Masami Ueda / Naoto Ishikawa / Ryu Umemoto / Toshiharu Yamanishi
Published by Mad Tea Party
Catalog number MTPD-0002
Release type Game Soundtrack - Official Release
Format 1 CD - 14 tracks
Release date August 14, 2010
Duration 00:58:04
Genres
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Overview

Godmother is a doujin album released by the Mad Tea Party circle and is dedicated entirely to the 12th game in the Touhou series, Touhou Seirensen: Undefined Fantastic Object. Featuring a variety of doujin artists, as well as some more well-known professional composers, including Bayonetta's Masami Ueda, and Akai Katana's Ryu Umemoto, it offers a very unique blend of music. How does it turn out?

Body

The album opens up with a remix by the late shooter and bishoujo game composer Ryu Umemoto. "The Sealed Cloud Route" is, in essence, very much in the spirit of Akai Katana in terms of sound. It features slick electronic beats, beautiful orchestral harmonies, industrial influences, and rocking synth/guitar work. It's a well-crafted arrangement that develops quite nicely and I love the build-up using the electric guitar. In the end, it's one of the best contributions from the experienced Touhou remixer. His other remix, "Fires of Hokkai," isn't as successful, but it isn't a bad arrangement by any means. It's a very beautiful orchestral arrangement that focuses on dramatic brass leads, subtle piano accompaniment, and an industrial beat. All the elements go together well to create a very nice theme, given the short and limited original soundtrack, but at the same time, it doesn't do anything out of the ordinary.

Another headliner on the album is Masami Ueda, known for his work with PlatinumGames and Capcom. His remix of "Captain Murasa" is definitely a showstopper. Opening with some beautiful piano and orchestral work, it quickly moves into an synth rock theme with frenetic guitar work, intense riffs, and beautiful synth leads. The electric guitar manages to add so much to the original, especially in terms of buildup leading to the solo, but the solo definitely steals the show with its length and overall ferocity.

One of my favorite arrangers on the album is definitely Harumi Shiina. His approach is definitely adding a bit of ethnic flair to his remixes. His first remix, "Emotional Skyscraper ~ Cosmic Mind," is an Asian rock piece with focus on shakuhachi and shamisen. It's an energetic piece full of powerful guitar riffs and slick electric guitar work. In addition to the more energetic sections, although short-lived, there are some softer shakuhachi-focused sections that really help bring a sense of peace to the mix, especially since I find the melody of the original translates wonderfully on the instrument. Similarly, "Beware the Umbrella Left There Forever," keeps with the Asian rock tone; however, Shiina also adds an extremely catchy and potent electronic aspect to the arrangement, both in terms of synthesizer harmonies as well as an odd, but very effective, electronic beat. This would definitely be a fitting theme for the Muramasa soundtrack and is also one of my favorite arrangements on the entire album. Lastly, "Rural Makai City Esoteria" keeps with the worldly theme of the other arrangements, but is definitely more European in nature. It's a calmer theme compared to his other remixes with a very folksy touch, particularly due to the acoustic guitar and accordion work. In addition, violin and percussion also help add some more personal touches to the mix. While it is an enjoyable theme, it doesn't manage to captivate me as much as his other remixes.

Toshiharu Yamanishi, known for his work on Wanderings and Wanderings II, contributes two very different remixes to the album. "Sky Ruin" is a rock/electronic hybrid that really manages to capture a nice sinister atmosphere, mainly through the synthesizer manipulation in conjunction with powerful guitar riffs. The B section features some more dramatic tones that really help contrast with the intense, frenetic synthesizer in the A section. While this theme doesn't contain a solo, the B section's change of focus helps keep this one sounding fresh without going a typical route. His second remix, "A Tiny, Tiny, Clever Commander," is an extremely relaxing, haunting rendition of the first boss theme with a focus on acoustic guitar and strings. The tempo is much slower compared to the original, adding a bit of serenity to the original, while the strings contribute a more somber tone. It's a simple arrangement with no flashy substance, but a beautiful one.

While Harumi Shiina opted for a more worldly approach, Naoto Ishikawa, under his alias Xacs Ishikawa, opts to provide a more playful tone to his two arrangements. Of Ishikawa's two arrangements, my favorite is "Interdimensional Voyage of a Ghostly Passenger Ship." It's an intriguing piece with a very sleazy jazz sound to it. However, the B section opts for a more elegant, ethereal, and retro-inspired soundscape, providing a stunning contrast to the more upbeat and playful tones of the arrangement. His second remix, "UFO Romance in the Night Sky," is a slower piece with some groovy tones backed by some industrial percussion hits. As the piece progresses, some retro elements are thrown into the mixture as it goes through a bit of a sinister phase before returning to the jovial nature of the original. Towards the end, the addition of xylophone helps give it a bit of a calypso sound, but I feel that the arrangement would have sounded richer and more fulfilling if this had been introduced a bit earlier.

A', from Studio A', has two very different remixes as well. "Heian Alien" is an intense, foreboding, orchestral rock theme that focuses on atmosphere and power. Deep electronic beats, sinister electric guitar work with lovely improv sections, and militaristic sounding strings work together to create a very tense atmosphere fitting for the extra stage boss theme. His other remix, "At the End of Spring," features a very funky, soulful keyboard introduction before moving into a slick rock theme with powerful electric guitar work, intense guitar riffs, and some wonderful electronic harmonies. The bridge is quite beautiful, emphasizing the soulful keyboard work heard in the introduction with some funky guitar accompaniment that turns into an amazing guitar solo that is short but sweet. There's also a guitar solo that ends the arrangement on a fantastic note.

The last two remixes are by Amedio and LUV2, respectively. "The Tiger-Patterned Bishamonten," by Amedio, is an intense synth/rock piece with sections that focus the melody on each of these aspects. It carries a slightly foreboding tone; however, the killer synth solo with some progressive rock keyboard work is accompanied by a somewhat brighter atmosphere. In the end, it's a fun tune, but rather straightforward. LUV2's "The Traditional Old Man and the Stylish Girl," is a remix that clashes with itself at times. Overall, the end result is quite nice, but the introduction is a bit rough around the edges. The jazzy piano elements are a nice touch throughout the remix; however, initially, the odd rhythm of the accompaniment and baby sound effects counter the overall effectiveness of the remix. Fortunately, as the theme progresses, however, a more typical electronic beat and some trance elements are thrown into the mix, giving it balance compared to the rough start.

Summary

In the end, I think that Touhou Godmother is one of the more successful remix albums released during Comiket 78. It features a strong variation in terms of overall soundscapes, and minus a few minor miscalculations in certain tracks, ends up coming off as a very inspired affair. Ryu Umemoto and Masami Ueda are great names to be featured on the album and end up providing some wonderful remixes, while the doujin artists definitely manage to craft their own unique soundscapes throughout the album. It's definitely worth a purchase if you are a fan of the original music, as I think these artists transformed the originals into something greater.



Album
9/10

Music in game
0/10

Game
0/10

Don Kotowski

Comiket 78 Release.

Arranged by
   Ryu Umemoto (1, 10)
   Masami Ueda (2)
   Harumi Shiina (3, 5, 13)
   Toshiharu Yamanishi (4, 8)
   Xacs Ishikawa (6, 14)
   Studio A` (7, 9)
   Amedio (11)
   LUV2 (12)
Performed by
   Namihei (guitar)
   Kazuaki Miyaji (guitar)
   SHACK`n (shakuhachi)
Illustration by Tomoe Rokuwata [EnHANCE HEART]
Design by Mouri Deluxe
Album was composed by ZUN and was released on August 14, 2010. Soundtrack consists of 14 tracks tracks with duration over about 60 minutes. Album was released by Mad Tea Party.

CD 1

1
The Sealed Cloud Route - Stage 2 theme
04:21
2
Captain Murasa - Stage 4 Boss - Murasa Minamitsu theme
04:02
3
Emotional Skyscraper ~ Cosmic Mind - Stage 6 Boss - Hijiri Byakuren theme
03:34
4
Sky Ruin - Stage 3 theme
04:06
5
Beware the Umbrella Left There Forever - Stage 2 Boss - Tatara Kogasa theme
04:58
6
Interdimensional Voyage of a Ghostly Passenger Ship - Stage 4 theme
03:20
7
Heian Alien - Extra Boss - Nue Houjuu theme
03:42
8
A Tiny, Tiny, Clever Commander - Stage 1 Boss - Nazrin theme
03:14
9
At the End of Spring - Stage 1 theme
04:47
10
Fires of Hokkai - Stage 6 theme
03:48
11
The Tiger-Patterned Bishamonten - Stage 5 Boss - Shou Toramaru theme
03:53
12
The Traditional Old Man and the Stylish Girl - Stage 3 Boss - Ichirin Kumoi and Unzan theme
04:07
13
Rural Makai City Esoteria - Stage 5 theme
04:44
14
UFO Romance in the Night Sky - Extra theme
05:28
28.02.13
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