First things first: Negicco’s upcoming Rice&Snow LP now has a YouTube preview available (embedded above), featuring short samples of all of the album’s tracks set to a cute, if somewhat bizarre, animated visual of three scarecrows done up to vaguely resemble the Negicco girls. The originals are shaping up to be a bit of a mixed bag thus far, although previously-heard “BLUE, GREEN, RED & GONE” is still brilliant and it’s hard to argue with the singles (such as our #3 single of 2014, “Triple! WONDERLAND”). The ’80s-styled dance pop of selections like Hiroyasu Yano’s “Futari no Yuugi” and Tetsuto Yoshida’s “Space Nekojaracy” is fun as well, although usually-reliable ROUND TABLE composer Katsutoshi Kitagawa falters with his contribution to the album, the staid “Cream Soda Love.” Granted, these are just short samples, so the full versions may be better – or worse – than the little that we’ve been able to hear thus far.
Not content to let any of the other 3 idol groups featured on Memories of Shibuya (can you name all 4?) steal the limelight for too long, the girls of BILLIE IDLE® uploaded a new episode of their “IDLE TALK” podcast over at HOMETOWN Hi-Fi®, suggesting something of a “whenever they feel like it” update schedule. Last time they released an episode, I had said that my spelling of Yuhi Yasui’s name was “very tentative,” but a recent update to the group’s bare-bones website confirms that I did, in fact, get it right the first time.
And finally, following up his work as primary composer on the divisive Ghost in the Shell: ARISE anime series (currently streaming on Netflix, for the North Americans in our audience), Cornelius will be providing music for the upcoming Ghost in the Shell anime film as well. As his work on ARISE was just as polarizing as the show itself, it’s doubtful that too many fans of the anime will be pleased by this development, but Cornelius fans have reason to celebrate – in lieu of any “proper” album releases since 2006’s Sensuous, soundtracks like this one are essentially the next-best thing.