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NanoSweep 2 :: Review by Don

NanoSweep 2 Album Title: NanoSweep 2
Record Label: NanoSounds / SuperSweep
Catalog No.: NS-002
Release Date: January 16, 2006
Purchase: Buy at VGM World


NanoSweep is an ongoing series of original music that was initiated in 2004 by various members of NanoSounds and Supersweep. It usually features members from each of these companies and occasionally a guest composer. This is the second original album and features compositions by Nakany (aka Tetsukazu Nakanishi), Ryo Watanabe, Hiroshi Okubo, Masashi Yano, Yousuke Yasui, Shinji Hosoe, and Ayako Saso.


Nakany, who reprises his role from the first NanoSweep, manages do a much better job at eliciting a positive response from me. "Birds-eye" is another one of those tracks that builds over time, but the approach is much more varied. Starting out with some ambient synth and some bird calls, which feature throughout the track, it moves into a mellow synth line with some rhythmic percussion work that definitely has a calming effect. As the piece progresses some slightly more aggressive synth work is introduced, creating a very nice atmosphere. Throughout the piece, however, the sense of calm is never interrupted. It's quite a nice improvement over "Red-eye."

Ryo Watanabe contributes "Dazzling Rays" on this album. As one might surmise, it features some spacey synth lines. It's an interesting blend of electronica and some acoustic guitar work. The piece is on the repetitive side, especially in the bass line, but the melody line does feature some variation from time to time. I think the acoustic guitar was a good idea to use in the bass line, but at the same time, I wish it was varied a bit more. Overall, it's not a bad piece and does manage to hold my interest, but some might find it a bit too repetitive for their liking.

Okubo reprises his role in NanoSweep and contributes a nice blend of electronica and funk influences, aptly named "PLANET FUNK." The bass line has a futuristic, and slightly industrial sound to it, while the melody line, when it actually features a melody, adds the funk flavor to the mix. The inclusion of some spoken word makes for an interesting distraction. The piece, while varied, does take a bit to get into, but if you can manage to make it through the beginning, you'll be rewarded later on in the track. It's not Okubo's best, but it's not bad either.

"Sage," by Shinji Hosoe, is a nice blend of electronica and jazz. The rhythm is a bit disjointed, but it varies as the piece progresses, while also incorporating some interesting synth lines. The melody line is a nice blend of synth and saxophone. It gives it an earthly feeling while at the same time providing a contrasting space-like atmosphere. This is further accentuated by the use of some tribal percussion samples and some industrial techno. It's one of the highlights of the album.

Masashi Yano provides a nice bubbly synth piece entitled "Like a Clock." Extremely playful in atmosphere, it manages to garner a pretty infectious melody. While it doesn't really vary much throughout the piece, in terms of bass line, the variation in the melody keeps this one from sounding stale. There are a variety of synth lines that blend together harmoniously to craft a theme that, while not sounding like a clock, does seem to have a nice bit of creativity in it.

Saso's on board with "Junk Plant" and it is the most interesting thing on here. To sum this piece up in a single word would be difficult. It is an awesome blend of industrial techno, strange vocal samples, and synth work. Saso proves how awesome she is, yet again, by crafting an intense, driving piece of electronica with some interesting melody lines and beats. She is the star of this album, in my opinion, showcasing her diversity in blending very different things into something cohesive, yet never sacrificing any of the elements' abilities to stand out on their own.

Lastly, "Neural Network," from Yousuke Yasui is an improvement over "prospect" from NanoSweep. While it doesn't really vary much in the bass line, a common theme in most electronica, at least the various synth lines in the melody provide enough entertainment for me to keep listening. At times, there will be more bubbly accents while at others there will be more spacey synth lines. It's not Yasui's best, but it's a very nice contribution to the album.


Overall, NanoSweep 2 is a marked improvement over the first album. While there were still some rather monotonous pieces, there were no pieces that really made me want to skip to the next piece. As before, I think that Hosoe and Saso do a fantastic job, but I'm also impressed with the improvements made by Yasui and Nakany. If you can manage to find this one, I suggest picking it up as it offers a nice variety of electronica styles.

Overall Score: 8/10