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Swinging Circuit :: Review by Zane

Swinging Circuit Album Title: Swinging Circuit
Record Label: Nanosounds
Catalog No.: DMCD-0006
Release Date: 2002
Purchase: Buy at eBay


Here's a question for the ages: "Where dose nanosounds go?" Oh, Engrish, how I love thee! This question is printed on the OBI strip for the Swinging Circuit album, one of Nanosounds' earlier discs released in the barely visible wake of a few phantom and amazingly rare albums like Don't Speak, Listen. and Steal the Scene. Unfortunately, not unlike most hard to find albums, this disc is great and its musical value is amplified when compared to its severely flawed successor in the series, Superb!. So where dose nanosounds go, exactly? They go down the Trans Tokyo Highway to where inspired and original electronica flourish and collectively form one of the more enjoyable Nanosounds albums that I've heard thus far.


Admittedly, not everything on the disc is worth listening to. In what seems like a bad idea perpetuated by Hiroshi Okubo and Satoru Kousaki, they simply must have bad vocal songs on almost every Nanosounds release. It must be in their contract or something. Okubo kicks the disc off in poor fashion with the pop drivel of "Plastic Girl" featuring Chizuru Miura on vocals, which is about five minutes too long and startlingly derivative. Satoru Kousaki's "Handmade Girl Maid" doesn't fare any better; he must have scraped this one out of the drain on his cutting room floor. This one hurts. It's hard to believe that the man behind a good portion of Tekken 4's soundtrack threw together a generic synth-pop song with a painfully saccharine melody and poor brass synth samples in such a way as this.

Fortunately, the rest of the album is simply fantastic and reaffirms my faith in Namco's sound team. Nosleeves' quirky and pseudo-Katamari sounding "click clock" puts the disc back on track after Okubo's fumble. Koji Nakagawa's dreamy vocoded vocal anthem "meet the world" proves that not all vocals are created equal and that, when it comes down to it, robots sing better than humans. Go figure. Sanodg offers up "Trans Tokyo Bay Highway", which encapsulates his electronic compositional style perfectly: take a synth motif, repeat it, gradually introduce some other elements in the piece and then, finally, drop a sweet Sanodg beat behind the whole thing and watch it develop at a blissful pace.

Nakany's "LG513" is a progressive house piece that makes me think that he should be composing electronica instead of whatever Ace Combat tracks he's assigned to write. Eutron's (an alias for Yu Miyake) "Time Machine" is an awesomely eerie and bizarrely syncopated hot mess of electronic layers that brilliantly come together and sync up in all the right spots. Miyake chops up vocals and makes them into their own rhythmic tracks, per his usual modus operandi. It just feels so good.


So there you have it. Swinging Circuit is the inverse equivalent of the Superb! album. Instead of having a disc weighed down by unenjoyable vocal songs, this disc is lifted up by its righteous electronica to the point where even though two of the seven tracks are totally worthless, the album is still well worth your time. So "where dose Nanosounds go"? Hopefully, with my encouragement, they will go into your stereo as soon as possible.

Overall Score: 8/10