Wednesday, 6 August 2014

tac_: little_courage & my_magic

Someone else I touched on in the voice piece, Japanese artist tac_ has been doing some interesting things with vocaloid - chief among them being making them seem old-fashioned. Or perhaps not old-fashioned... perennial. Like the Polygon Prompt track, this one is dissonant, but only subtly - thin golden circles going gently in and out of alignment, both naively and according to Nature's cosmic design. tac_ threads the vocaloid like a vine into various grandma and grandpa instruments - organ, a mellotron and xylophones. The whole album explores similar combinations (the sequel I found a little too full, maybe), and suggests fairy kingdoms nestled and glowing in the hulls of old rusty tech. Here's what I wrote:

Then there’s tac_ for whom vocaloids are a perfect element gently woven into dainty, elfin compositions. Another sound tac_ frequently uses is that of the mellotron, which in many ways is the forerunner of the vocaloid, being an analogue sample-based synthesiser where keys were attached to tape loops featuring recorded instruments such as strings and flutes (you might know it from the opening to “Strawberry Fields Forever”). Both dolls designed to emulate more organic musics, the vocaloid and mellotron complement one another not as fake, insufficient, robotic entities, but as toys that have run away to a miniature fantasy kingdom where they can now be loved only by history and nature.

Alongside the mellotron, the vocaloid becomes a velveteen rabbit, fleeing from revulsion and supercession and becoming magically real among the fireflies, brambles and dark blue evenings.

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