Vocaloid music has utterly caught my imagination over the last six or seven years since I discovered the rhythm game Project Diva on PlayStation Portable and imported it over from Japan. It opened up my eyes to producers harnessing computerised voices and doing all kinds of weird and wonderful things with it. Late last year an album from EXIT TUNES called ‘Miku Hatsune and World Map’ was released and it showcases exactly everything I love about Vocaloid music.
EXIT TUNES create themed albums of Vocaloid music World Map puts each track in a different country to let those countries traditional vibes take control. It sounds like a magical trip around the world and its full of life and buzz. Kicking things off in rousing J-Pop fashion is ‘Creation Journey’ from Heavens P. It’s full of epic choruses, guitar solos,
First up is the sitar rock of ‘A Lovecatabula’ from Tenzu which is bouncy, cute, sassy and the kind of track you can own a catwalk with. ‘Pororokka Hearts’ is a more traditional pop rock track from Nyutan Star Man that reminds me of Eurovision which then brings us French rock with ‘Hello World, Rubel’ from Koyori – complete with accordions and tiny guitars. PIPPO then takes us across Europe with ‘Dernier’s Travel’ – reminding me of Austria, Belgium and Germany with its instruments and fanfares. The Latin region gets a hat trip with ‘Feast of Art’ from Feat. It’s fanfares, Latino piano embellishments and ballroom dance chants are on fire. Not even yodelling escapes with ‘Yodell’ from Bomb Poppy. Yes, it’s utterly stupid and I love it.
Across the ocean, we hit the country rock of ‘My Road, My Journey’ which is like a hyper version of a barn dance from Yukkedoluce. Ha Ta then slows it down marginally with a waltzing folk rock piece called ‘Bottle Ship Chronicle’. It flips between a heavy rock and a zen like forest piece yet it strangely works perfectly. The zen elements are really saved for ‘Kamii Song’ from Solareca which returns to China for some utterly beautiful traditional Chinese music that shows off Miku Hatsune’s ballad range. ‘Good Morning, Polar Night’ and ‘Brave the World’ return to anthemic pop rock tracks for the album’s finale. From Yukkedoulce and Haori respectively, each are crowd pleasing, leek waving anthems that really do feel like you are celebrating a world unified in song.
World Map is actually a really excellent place to start with Vocaloid music if you are unsure about the breadth and scope of what people do with Miku Hatsune’s voice. It’s a wonderful album and it’s essentially Miku does Worldvision – since the Eurovision is just too small for her. Guilty pleasure? Absolutely. I care not. Let go and let your voice soar.
Recommended track: Hello World, Rubel
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