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Space Invaders 2008 :: Review by Chris

Space Invaders 2008 Album Title: Space Invaders 2008
Record Label: Avex Trax
Catalog No.: AVCD-23715
Release Date: December 3, 2008
Purchase: Buy at CDJapan


Space Invaders 2008 celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Space Invaders series with an electronic remix album by various Japanese DJs. The successor to 2003's Space Invaders Daisakusen, it features a mixture of reprises and new tracks. Though it has a number of highlights, it is slightly weaker album than its predecessor overall...


The album opens with a reprise of "Space Invaders 2003" from Space Invaders Daisakusen. This track uses the descending four notes from the original Space Invaders as the basis for a five minute remix. Ken Ishii and FLR add a range of electronic beats, ethereal synthpads, and, of course, UFO sound effects atop. The resultant arrangements is sometimes quite enjoyable, but verges on being annoying and repetitive in places. That's largely because the focal material is so minimal and not really developed upon. Unfortunately, the subsequent "Invader House Club Mix" almost completely rehashes these ideas and extends them for an intolerable eight minutes. It is probably the msot generic remix I have heard on a game album.

Most of the tracks elsewhere on the album are dominated by the sound effects from the original game. This certainly gives an authentic and retro tone to the album, while emphasising the spacey sound. However, the resultant tracks are only enjoyable if there are other features to enjoy and generally the vanilla techno mixes like the opener don't really suffice. Malawi Rocks' "Theme from Space Invaders" and DJ Aki's "Spiral Flow" tend to be novel and quirky enough to sustain interest, while "Easy Funkship 106" nicely blends retro keyboards with funk work. However, other more unusual ones such as "I.N.V." end up being little more than a pile of sound effects and jarring industrial noise.

Nevertheless, there are a few redeeming tracks on the album. "Game Over", in particular, integrates the sound effects from the game into a pop track featuring male vocals, bouncy beats, and thrashing guitars. The resultant blend is actually very well done and fairly catchy. However, the vocals themselves leave a little to be desired, especially when interpreting lyrics such as "You must believe us... it's hard to be a Space Invader in this galaxy". Further vocals are found at the end of the album in Hifana's "FamiVador" and Q;indivi's "Over". Between them, they offer some of the trippiest and craziest sounds on the album, though aren't quite as catchy as "Game Over". They're certainly select tastes, but are hardly boring.


The Space Invaders 2008 album builds on the concept of Space Invaders Daisakusen, but doesn't manage to exceed it. Unfortunately, there are too many tracks here that are repetitive, grating, and downright weird to have much mainstream and what's left will only appeal to hardcores. Skip this album either completely or in favour of its predecessor.

Overall Score: 5/10