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Saturday, August 19, 2017

Song of the Week! 19 August 2017

Today's feature stars two songs from the Japanese hip-hop unit that has followed the development of the ever-lasting Taiko + app family since the very beginning!

 Deep Cleansing (ディープ・クレンジング) SU (from RIP SLYME)
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Among the original three default launch songs of the iOS-rooted Taiko Plus family of games, the J-Pop addition of the trilogy stood out not only for being the only brand-new track for the launch, but also for signaling the debut of the Rip Slyme hip-hop group, whose tracks in Taiko gaming are still a mobile exclusive to this very day!

Affiliated to Tanabe Agency and most-commonly known by the stylized RIP SLYME all-caps lettering, the band was formed by Ryouji "Ryo-Z" Narita (成田亮治), Keisuke 'Ilmari' Ogihara (荻原恵介) and Masatsugu 'Pes' Chiba (千葉昌嗣), the three MCs whose nicknames' initials also served to partially give the name of the newly-formed unit, alongside to the wordplay with the "Lips Rhyme" expression. Among the accolades received by the Rip Slyme unit in its (still-running) carreer are the many consecutive nominations to MTV Japan awards between the years 2002 and 2009, often resulting in victories to either one of the band's music videos or the development of the unit as a whole.

Nowadays, the Rip Slyme portfolio counts 17 singles and over 10 albums, with the band itself now being made of five members, with the additions of Fumiya 'DJ Fumiya' Takeuchi (竹内文也) and a fourth MC: Kazuto 'Su' Otsuki (大槻一人). It's thanks to this last member that the song Deep Cleansing came to light, together with a deal of partnership to the then-emerging Taiko Plus app for i-devices: the song, in fact, is an unreleased track that would have been downright scrapped if it wasn't for the Taiko-related deal. This also marks one noticeable milestone in the series, as Deep Cleansing has become the first full-instrumental J-Pop song in Taiko gaming!

Highly tied in with older rating standards, Deep Cleansing's Oni mode is a slow affair that mostly deals with small clusters and consecutive big notes, in a blend that doesn't shy away to offer incremental pattern repetitions in the mix.

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Four months after Taiko Plus's original iOS launch, the app has received its first mono-artist song pack, for which the Rip Slyme unit hogged the spotlight with a quintet of original track versions among their publicly-available singles!

SPEED KING made its debut as a single on November 7th in 2007, the same year when the song was also later adopted as part of a tie-in campaign with McDonalds's Japanese branch; for this particular version, the song's title is spelled out in Katakana writing and part of its lyrics were replaced with the 'Wrap SLYME' slang, as these ADs were made to advertise the Japanese launch of the fast-food company's McWrap meal. The physical single of SPEED KING managed to peak at Oricon charts' 12th position in the Single category, while its digitally-distributed counterpart has been certified as a Gold seller (= more than 100k digital copies sold). Later on in 2007, the song became the first track of Rip Slyme's 6th studio album, FUNFAIR, which was released on November 28th.

The inclusion of the RS song pack in Taiko Plus also means the permanent addition of a custom dancer animation screen to all the Rip Slyme tracks, starring the unit's current lineup in a cartoon-ish caricature attire. The speech is also true to SPEED KING, whose Oni mode in Taiko bears the highest rating and base BPM of the band's spotlighted songs! The song's Taiko notechart is a pure 1/12 pattern blend, where a swing-ish rhythm is dictated by varying cluster combinations and special notes to dictate the flow. SPEED KING was also featured in bemani's jubeat series (link), although as a differently-cut cover version.

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