For a website that tends to do IEM reviews as well as graph measurement. This content would not gather a lot of reactions. But who cares.

Welcome to the Spring M3-2021 report. An entirely new portion of content that is meant for me to discuss Music. Ironically, even though a lot of reviewers tend to put out their music preferences for the reader, not a lot manage to incorporate it into their writing without diluting the review. That or the reviewer themselves has less chance to talk about their own feeling when listening to their own music.

Which is a bit of pity. Considering audiophiles buy their gear to enjoy their music.

Screw it, I am here to push my own niches, the one content that I always wanted to do. A portion of the content focuses mainly on the impression of the music that I like. I don't care if it won't receive that much traction anyway, considering that's how Hobby Lounge has always been working.

And don't worry, by any means, this won't replace my IEM review content. Considering this as a new portion of content rather than a replacement

Without further ado, let's kickstart this article with a crash course of what M3 is... or rather, what Doujin Music is as a whole.

And yes, prepare a drink, this will be a really long article, I will implement a table of content later.

Like usual, click the button below to join my Discord server if you want some banters:

Note: All of what is written below will be my own opinion/interpretation. This is after all, an article about music. And art has different interpretation for everyones.

What is Doujin Music?


Doujin? Isn't that the type of lewd art that I see a lot of Japanese artist do? I often find it in some questionable site after all?

deep sigh

Ok, listen here you uncultured swine, while yes that is one side (or portion) of Doujin, it is by far, not encompassing what Doujin is.

The word Doujin (Or Doujinshi) is written as 同人. The former part (同 - dou) means "same" and the latter (人 - jin) means "person". The entire word means "same person" though with the addition of the word "誌 - shi" (publication) transfer the entire meaning as "The group of people with the same interest in publications".

Yes, "same person" here refers to people with the same interest after all.

Now, with that understanding, try to combine the word Doujin with the word Music (同人音楽 or "Doujin Ongaku" in Japanese). This basically implies the genre of independent publication in Music.

So it's like indie?

You can say it like that, as a lot of Doujin Music publishers are after all... Self-publishing their work. But the Doujin Music scene (or even the Doujinshi scene) as a whole, has seen a lot of entries from notable records to independent records.

Do note: Publication groups in the Doujin scene are generally called as "circles", a circle can have only one person or multiple members.

I agree, this might be a bit confusing for people who aren't used to the scene.

Hence why we got.

What is defined as "Doujin Music":

Now, for sure this is a general debate among the overseas communities. Though all in all while the extent of the definition is clearly on hold (Like considering an artist "Doujin artist" based on how they publish their work). There is one agreeable scope that everyone agrees with:

Every music publication done in Doujinshi events is regarded as "Doujin Music".

This includes a lot of Japanese events like Comic Market, Reitaisai, The Vocaloid Master...

Though since the topic of this blog post is M3-47, I am specifically focusing on the M3 Japan event.

What is M3?

The Japan Music MediaMix Market (M3), by far is the biggest Doujin event that solely focuses on Doujin Music. Currently, it occurs biannually - one in Spring (Spring M3) and Autumn (Autumn M3).
Now if you think this is a small event just to find some new music here and there, think again.

This M3-47 specifically has over 400+ new works from a lot of circles. Don't believe me? The community has done all of the documentation themselves.
It's one hell of an event that can show you the depth of the music scene in Japan. And has been something I have been looking forward to for more than 7 years now.

So why are you that invested?

This is only a rambling session so you can skip to the next part. Though if you bother to read.

One of the greatest advantages of the Doujin Music scene is that it is a place for everyone to gather and share their own work, Whether professionally or just someone who makes their work for fun. The interaction/collaboration between circles keeps the whole scene growing (Some had grown into the mainstream media thanks to this) For me as a music listener, Doujin Music events give me the chance to meet the artists themselves.

Despite how "introverted" i might make myself to be, real life interaction is one of my belief that I think people really need in these day.

Another reason is that: There is a lot of unexplored gems from the scene.

A lot of circles participate in M3 purely because they like it. And if anything, I have seen a lot of circles grow and disappear. It's a blessing to see your favorite individual grow, as well as go. This whole scene is purely amazing because of the unexplored potential, the sheer effort that some circle can go towards.

Again, I have dived into this rabbit hole for over 7 years now, and I don't think I will stop.

That said, without further or do. Let's get to the highlights.

1. Mamyukka / さはさりながらすずろごと:

Sahasari jacket


Crossfade / Song preview:


I will refer this album in this impression as: Sahasari

10 years of working in the Doujin scene with a really distinct style in their music presentation, this trio's work quickly become one of my favorite fantasy circle alongside RD-Sounds' Feuille Morte.

And oh boy, what a treat they have given out for this Spring event. 3 tracks yet it hits a lot on my list, especially since this is a Japanese Instrumental work - a genre that I am a huge sucker for. I fell in love with this album right when the PV Crossfade was announced.

To begin with, Mameko should be one of the first highlights of this album. Her vocal range is among one of the most varied that I know, Coupled with that is an insane control of expression which helps when it comes to portraying multiple personalities in a lot of the tracks. This isn't out of bound, from the fluffy and charming expression in the first track and then immediately flips to a tone that has more authority yet is incredibly cheeky at the same time.
Okka's music composition style for the circle is also really unique: weird, yet atmospheric when it comes. It certainly helps in providing you with the context of the world that the trio is trying to put you in.

A contrast comparison I would make with this album would be Katakuri Town Records (絡繰町レコオド) - Another work from Mamyukka that I frequently visit. Yet, the atmosphere it brings is more cheerful. Sahasari is more of a horror Japanese-themed album, hence along with the mysterious vibe you get from the tracks, there is some sense of terror.

Though if you really want to dig more into that, this album itself is included with a 92 pages novel if you pay more money during the event.

Seriously! They made a whole 3 tracks album (That is actually in digital format) just so that you can also sell a novel that is limited in terms of physical print, ironic isn't it. But regardless of how this album was distributed, the album itself is solid. So much expression, so much Mamyukism condensed that I would enjoy all day long.

2. Solitus / Starseeker:

Sahasari jacket


Crossfade / Song preview:


For what it is worth I didn't pay attention to Ether much until this event, but wow, this album surprised me when I first heard the Crossfade.

One thing I quite love about this album is that Ether's vocal is really strong in delivering a sense of "spaciousness". This, combined with Suzuya instrumental mixing style makes the listener falls into the scenery that the song is trying to portray. Do note though, this album also doesn't really focus on making any tangible language as well; but, who said it's a bad thing?

Feryquitous, El ma riu... these are some of the artists who utilize the use of self-invented language in their tracks.
Granted, these artists don't necessarily belong to the same genre, in fact, what I listed above is an example of two circles with their music styles going in completely opposite directions, but the unique trait of them has always been from the usage of their own conlang. And people love them for how expressive their music can go despite how it can become slightly cryptic for the listeners.

This just to show how far Doujin Music can go. Trust me, you don't need to understand a language to understand the song. That or some individual will do it for you if they dig deep enough.

Anyway, back to "Starseeker": compared to Mamyukka's "Sahasari", it is not as lore-focused, or at least, the lore portion isn't as strong as that of some other circles I heard. Yet again, the album strike for simplicity in its execution, and the results definitely are more than that.

It's refreshing, it's atmospheric... It's a hell of a solid work from both Suzuya and Ether this M3, and I can go on with "Starseeker" the whole week on my DAP.

3. Rigël Theatre / Lyla and the Starry Fairy

Lyla and the Starry Fairyjacket


Crossfade / Song preview:


Rigel is also one of the circles whose style is quite distinct also. They tend to focus on "Folk"-styled music, though "Neopagan Folk" or "Nordic Folk" being some of the genres that I frequently see they do.

One of the focus points of Rigel in their music work tends to fall into how they build up the tension of the song. And then release it. And no, I am not talking about those types of build-ups like how an EDM/Electronic music artists in the Doujin Scenes does. The tension Rigel tends to bring spreads throughout the whole song, yet that portion is always been so energetic and full of life which might shove you into a Medieval Irish/European styled world.

This leads us to this album which is a heck of a play!

"Lyla and the Starry Fairy" is an excellent work this time around from the circle. What's more impressive is that enjoying the whole album for me is more than just trying to go into a random song. The buildup itself is spread throughout the tracks, fits the description of "A gift that just keeps giving".

I mean come on, I didn't even expect "LA LYRA -Regarde les étoiles-" is the instrumental version that I DEADLY NEED despite not wanting to after listening to "LA LYRA". What a song to close off an epic album.

I think more people had been exposed to their work than I think. But if anything, give them a try, and immerse yourself.

4. (nayuta) / 透明な君を掬う

scoop jacket


Crossfade / Song preview:


Nayuta is probably one of the veterans in the scene by now. And despite that, she is really hardworking if you look at how she comes up with her works every year/event.
And hey, it's also a pleasure to see nayuta herself appearing in an unexpected way recently, bringing artists that even most of us in the Doujin Music chamber know nothing about.

Her collaboration with si-sounds was without a doubt one of the things I was pleasantly surprised! His music style fits her voice so well, an angelic, soft vocal with a music presentation that is calm, peaceful?
Count me in.

Now, since I have mentioned si-sounds here...

4.1. si-sounds / あの景色の向こう側で。

si-sounds jacket


Crossfade / Song preview:


Listen to the crossfade alone you will see why I said si-sounds is a great pair to go with nayuta. I mean, this album is somewhat telling you of his style already.

Ambience-esque, calm and peaceful. The "more popular", closer work I would recommend to people who are interested in si-sounds would be "mamomo" though in this case, mamomo does have some work that is more epic and orchestral.

That said, back to si-sounds. One of the most notable moments when I came to his booth is when he asked me how I know about his circle. That along at least shows how unnoticed he is in the scene as a whole. Whatever it is, I always love (and hope) these small circles can eventually grow as time goes on.

Circles in the Doujin Music scene after all, come and go. But it's really fascinating that you would see a lot of small individuals becoming notable figures 5 - 10 years in the future.
That's what I love about the scene in general. Put your faith into your favorite circle please :'D

That said, "あの景色の向こう側で" is a really peaceful album by itself as if nayuta release isn't enough. I have been listening to both non-stop before going to sleep since then.

It's a good sleeping material, soothes your soul like sea-no - Medical Herbs 1/2

5. Sakuzyo / Food and Musik -Japanese Food-

Sahasari jacket


Crossfade / Song Demo:


This album impression can be summarized by just a picture.

I love this meme

"Food and Musik" has always been one of my favorite series from Sakuzyo. Each album is unique on its own despite revolving around the same theme over and over.

Though, if I am going to introduce Sakuzyo to the readers, "Food And Musik" ain't the one. I would rather recommend some other Album that was published during the time Sakuzyo began to gain some traction. Preferably, the era of "Artcore".
"Last Dance" for example, is among one of my favorite introduction courses to the guy. Though personally as a Japanese Traditional sucker, ∀Rkadia is one heck of an album that I often listen to.

Oh right, listening to this album does reminds me of ∀Rkadia somehow
Probably one of my favorite GroundBreaking 2014 submissions from the guy. Just beautiful overall

Back to "Food and Musik -Japanese Food-", a solid album that has all of the "Food and Musik-esque" to a T yet infused with Japanese Instrumental. And you already know my music preference if you have read all of the text above up to this point. The album itself is pretty chill actually. Calm, Jazzy... it's honestly perfect to binge into this album every time I just want to chill a bit.

And hey, the man himself uploads some of the tracks from the album also

Let's see what he has in store next event though, generally electronic music M3-47 wasn't the forte compared to other genres like "Pop" or especially "Ethnic" where a lot of smaller circles do this time around.

6. + 6.1 Endorfin. (Sky_delta + 藍月なくる / Aitsuki Nakuru) / Transpain + Monologue Off

Transpain jacket Monologue Off jacket


For clarification sake, "Transpain" is released as Nakuru's own solo album. "Monologue Off" is relased under Endorfin. which is both Nakuru and sky_delta as a group.

Crossfade / Song preview:


Monologue Off:


For your information, among the La Prière trio, Nakuru's booth seems to be the most crowded with more than half of the first period of the event stacking with lines of people. This has gone to the point people have to wait outside of the venue because there isn't enough space.
Though to be blunt, I am not sure if this is due to Transpain and Monologue Off being sold in the same spot, or both albums are good. Hence why I group these two.

Both Transpain and Monologue off are two J-Pop albums that I equally enjoy in this event. Though I probably have made it a bit clear through my IEM reviews that I am somewhat a fan of her voice myself. There is some airy quality in her voice, yet incredibly charming and cute at the same time.

I don't know, I just like her voice ok?

Sky_delta is something else though. As far as I know, some people (including me) love his Hardcore works. Though to be frank, his J-Pop work with Nakuru isn't bad by itself that I planned to have some Endorfin. for my collection in the future.

It's actually hard to say more about this album impression without saying that this duo has been doing what they have known best up until now. It's definitely worth its place as a highlight on this event and that's all I can ask from them.

7. Odd→Ai (大瀬良あい - Ohsera Ai) / RosarÏum

RosarIum jacket


Crossfade / Song preview:


This is the first time I heard about Oisera Ai. But someone who is from rhythm game communities like Arcaea should have heard of her once.

"Odd→Ai - Tie me down gently" featured in Arcaea's "Sunset Radiance" contest pack.

Her voice is definitely impressive in terms of control. Though, Ohsera Ai seems to go in the lower region in terms of pitch than a lot of female vocalists I listened to. That said, a nice twist is that a lot of tracks tend to make her voice quite airy at the same time due to mixing. Kinda reminds me of Stack from Akatsuki Records with a mix of Mitsuki Nakae from ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY.

RosarÏum is quite an interesting album. It has a strong Gothic vibe but definitely more "Techno" than a lot of Pop Doujin album that I have encountered lately. Am I being too wild to imagine that there is some MYTH & ROID vibe here Especially with songs like "Romantic≒Sudden Death"? Though it's nice that this album also incorporates some Orchestral atmosphere which is always a pleasure for me.

A solid circle that I managed to stumble upon, I probably would consider looking into her Discography when I got time.

8. 葉月ゆら (Hatsuki Yura) / Oracle + Witchcraft

Witchcraft jacketOracle jacket


Do note that Melonbook doesn't have oversea shipping, you have to find a Proxy/Forwarder

Crossfade / Song Preview:




Ah yes, Hatsuki Yura, I always told myself that I would look into her work yet never find the time to do that. It's hard to describe her vocal style in a relatable way: It's elegant, majestic (?)...

Oh for hell sake, let's just say that her vocal sounds like she is a typical western "Hime-sama" that is portrayed in an Fantasy style world Anime.

I swear to god I am out of vocab for this.

And yes, these are also 2 albums, though both of them are directly related to each other so I decided to group them up for this impression.

If you look at the cover of both Oracle and Witchcraft, you would realize there is some sort of contrast in terms of both album presentations. And to be frank, you aren't that far off. Some of the songs in these albums are related to each other after all.
That said, the motif here is quite obvious if you look at the cover, you can even take a wild guess.

Light and Dark? Black and White? Pretty sure I am not that far off here

Mind you, I think the usage of this motif isn't new, but Oracle and Witchcraft are well done in terms of presentations. And not just stopping at the whole "contrast" being just a gimmick alone, some of the song features in each album do have elements that resemble each other. It keeps both albums being good on their own if needed, totally a solid execution despite how repetitive this motif can go.

But hey, if you are interested, goods new, @Meriole from Musical Tales of Yura Hatsuki can give you a better rundown and history of her work than just some guy rambling about one portion of this circle has to offer ;).

9. Confetto (Nanahira) / いろは七不思議探訪記

Iroha jacket


Crossfade / Song preview:


I will refer this album in this impression as Iroha or Iroha Expedition

Oh ok, for an album from Confetto, this surely isn't like the usual typical Nanahira that I normally expect and I am enjoying this album more than I should. It's fun and energetic like how I usually expect from her, but among that, some of the tracks are surprisingly tame.

Maybe it's because I am a sucker for Japanese Traditional music, which is the style that this album is following. That or Nanahira totally nailed it as a whole this time around. Maybe both. Though one thing to be sure of is that it might be easier for someone who doesn't know anything at all about her to digest her song.

For people who don't know how Nanahira sounds. You welcome
No offense to Nanahira fan of course, I love her work also.

And hey, in some cases, I would actually recommend Iroha for someone who is new to Nanahira work as well. Her vocal after all... is really easy to recognize, and can either be hard and easy to hear depending on your perspective. It's either you will never be able to endure her Denpa works or you are too used to Anime that picking up Nanahira will be a breeze for you - pick one.

One notable point to mention is that a lot of Confetto releases do include some unique gimmick in their presentation one way or another. If I remember correctly, one of the albums she released recently features a see-through disc. Iroha Expedition this time has a story to follow and you do have a Prologue manga that is included if you buy the album physically.

Content of the CD when you buy it physically. (Food is not included)

It's honestly refreshing in any case though. For some reason, I would love to see more of this side of her. Not to say that her energetic loli voice is bad or anything, but I know she can be beyond just this.

10. El ma riu / リュート弾きのルークと星を謳うエイダ

リュート弾きのルークと星を謳うエイダ jacket


Crossfade / Song preview:


I will refer to this album as Luke&Ada
Feryquitous, El ma riu... these are some of the artists who utilize the use of self-invented language in their tracks.

Just as mentioned a while ago, now we gonna get to it.

This M3 El ma riu offered 2 albums actually, with another one being "Salve Carpe Diem ~ようこそ!死にたがりの街へ~』特設サイトオープン!" as a collaboration album. Lute&Ada, on the other hand, is her own original fantasy story that El ma riu herself handles from Composition, Singing to Storywriting.

Yes, this album if anything, has a web novel to come with. Thankfully, it's digital so you might save some money on buying a physical version (unlike Sahasari). That said, I am not here to spoil the fun for people who haven't read the work itself.

El ma riu is probably one of the few popular circles that goes "under the hood" among the overseas community for some reason. That or the whole fantasy/ethnic genre is underrated in the Doujin Music scene as a whole. I mean, look at her work, they have a lot of effort into it. Especially when you consider a majority of the main work is only handled by only a person.

That said, as far as Fantasy goes, El ma riu is a typical extreme. The usage of conlang, the way she built the atmosphere... it just feels like you are playing an RPG game or some sort.

Luke&Ada is basically that typical style that El ma riu always brings with her work. An elaborate album that serves the purpose of telling a story. It's relatively calm yet majestic at the same time. Her vocal style is just too fit for this genre, though not surprising.

I probably have to read the novel sometime soon though (Too lazy to do a transcript on it lol). But regardless, give Luke&Ada a try, it's a solid album from El ma riu. And be it your introduction to her work as a whole.

11. B.rose & Crown / ツクヨミ〜偽りの月〜多重コーラス幻想曲

tsukuyomi jacket


Crossfade / Song Preview:


I will refer to this album as: "Tsukuyomi"

B.rose&Crown is run under rujou. Admittedly, this album isn't the one I physically own, more so that I was introduced to this circle through Callionet @ Elegant Sister proxy request. Since he is ok with me ripping the CD also so I decided to give their work a go as well.

And well, for the first album of B.rose&Crown I got to listen, this ain't bad. Tsukuyomi if anything, has set some basic understanding of the circle for me. A music style that is quite atmospheric or if I am trying to be more (in)accurate... "catholic" (?).

There isn't much to say about the album itself since... there isn't actually a lot in it. The execution of the album itself is simple, though some digging does show me that this album seems to follow an ongoing series.

That said, that's as far as my impression goes. B.rose&crown is one small circle that needs more love from the scene. Though considering that they have reaches 5 years of their age with that amount of attention. That's some dedication.

And hey, it's also what I love about the Doujin Music scene overall. This is like finding a gem in a sea of music

12.くろねこほたて / Pub. House MATATABI

Pub. House MATATABI jacket


Crossfade / Song preview:


For something that I put in the highlight spot, this will be a short impression.

I mean... for real, Pub. House MATATABI is an instrumental album that is incredibly easy to understand from the get-go. It's a Pub... that's all it is.

Warm and cozy. Imagine yourself just drinking some alcohol in a pub with a fireplace, maybe a bard playing in the background. That's pretty much all I would imagine of a Pub in medieval times which is what Pub. House MATATABI has to offer.

I am sure this will be nice to listen to in Winter. Oof, maybe I should make some hot Cocoa or actually buy wine?

Just kidding, I am not at that age yet in Japan.

13. 立秋 (Rissyuu) / CANDY PANIC BOMB



Crossfade / Song preview:


Yes, I am sure I have gone crazy to buy this album, and truth be told. I lost my mind since then.

Rissyuu and Choko as a pair are probably ones you will find some resemblance to the Nanahira and Camellia pair. Except their work is damn more chaotic and cursed on so many levels. If this is your first exposure to these pairs. Let me introduce you to their "Oniichan Essentials" work. And hey, have I mentioned that there are two of these albums?

CANDY PANIC BOMB is nothing but conveying that chaotic sense down to earth. The album is hard to swallow unless you are that used to the scene. But... that is exactly the reason why this album has so much charm in the beginning. You can tell that these guys are having so much fun doing this album despite it being really really cursed.

And hey, to the BOF followers, if you know about "", this album features the full version of it. It made me chuckles that Rissyuu decided to pull in an entire sequence of Choko doing a play about The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter which is comedic and cute at the same time. It was a great fit to the already chaotic track that we are honored to be blessed with during BOFXVI.

Ah yes... I managed to learn more about Bamboo in 2 and a half of a minute more than I could learn Kanji in a month.

I am sure if you managed to understand what was added into the extended version, you would be delighted as well www.

Quite a memey album in general, and I am glad I managed to buy this album by the end of the day. It's chaotic, it's fun. Really recommended for someone who just lost their mind for a day and decided to go "f*ck it" and roll along instead.

14. Honorable Mentions:

Basically a lot more album that I bought and listened to, but can't bother (or find a word) to write a longer impression
Number Circle Album Crossfade / Song Preview Purchase
1 sakuraCafe 月明かりのランタン
2 ABSOLUTE CASTAWAY 花標本乙女-Herbarium Maiden-
3 Ariabl'EyeS 葬詠ベリアル
4 At the Garret × 欠陥オルゴール 劇場の化物
5 Mystic Note Terrarium
7 夕暮アトリエ Atelier Tunes vol.3
8 Paradise Eve 妖姫ルノンキュール
9 Haccadrop Sachi Midnight Wonder Walker
10 A little bit 恋する蓄音器
11 Secret Messenger Sillenite
12 ruha // Pastel Tone Music Sacred Island Saga


Phew, that was a lot. Hopefully, I don't miss anything. If you have managed to read to this line, congratulation. Hopefully, this article has given you some insight into the Japanese Independent scene as a whole.

Now, this was a bit daunting, I know. After all, this article only serves as an introduction to this newly released type of content. I will split it up next time, I swear.

But next time? When?
Well, considering writing this took longer time than expected, and the fact that the event occur biannually, you can already guess.

Yep, M3 Autumn 2021 (M3-48) is happening on 31st October 2021 (Tomorrow). With this writing done, I am off to prepare. This event is packed with newly excited releases that it's hard for me to ignore.

Until next time, see you then. And enjoy.