One of the niftier things Maltine Records has gotten up to recently is a series called Maltine Vocaloid School. Basically, a handful of trackmakers from the netlabel use a copy of Vocaloid 5 to create a new song, while documenting their process on video. Alongside that, all kinds of 2018 internet markers pop up, from virtual YouTubers to…well, a lot of sound effects. It’s a funny and deeply interesting video series…especially if you have a taste for the netlabel acts that appear around these parts all the time…so give it a watch.
Just as interesting to us are the final tracks to emerge from them, showcasing a wide variety of Vocaloid usage. Parkgolf opts to re-create this year’s (still great) “Hiyamugi” with some digi-voice flair, while Pa’s Lam System craft a short but pummeling number accented by complete phrases in “Day Dream,” a number also reminding of their knack for making really great bursts of energy (albeit here one that uses up its steam by the end). Listen to those two below.
Tomggg’s use of Vocaloid, meanwhile, fits in surprisingly well to his technicolor world, and he actually deploys it in a two-pronged way that is both cartoony and melodically delightful. Peppered with hip-hop details (see: the percussion and how it rattles off), it marks a slight departure for Tomggg while still being very much in his wheelhouse, showing just how good he is at stretching that sound out. Similarly, Pasocom Music Club’s “Bright” (above) uses the software as something to skip, creating an up-tempo number that eventually blooms open to reveal sweetly sung robo voices and an electronic glow giving the whole number a melancholy you might not expect from a synthesized voice program. But if there’s one thing Maltine is great at, its revealing new uses for familiar sounds.