Vocaloid is, in itself, a deeply interesting instrument. Problem is, few producers have approached the singing-synthesizer program as that, something to be played around with and bent around. Rather, they see it as an honest-to-goodness singer. Blame Crypton for creating Hatsune Miku maybe, but a lot of Vocaloid music just sounds like typical rock or pop (except with a digital vapor trail). That’s why when something interesting emerges from the Piapro jungles — maybe the fever-dream vibe of “Slow Snow,” the unsettling pace of “Strobe Last” or even the uncanny valley between digi diva and human singer on “B Who I Want 2 B” — it feels so great. Vocaloid shouldn’t be reduced to a stand in because you couldn’t find someone to sing over your guitar tracks, it’s way to interesting and weird a technology to be wasted on that.
Producer Loopcoda has started standing out in recent months, thanks in some part to how Vocaloid gets employed. Thing is, it isn’t in any particularly daring way — on new song “Aoiru Endless,” the familiar voice of Miku ripples, but that’s not really new (or even restricted to computerized artists). Rather, her digi-sing pinballs around an equally jittery electro-pop number, one that eventually gets all sunny but for most of its run is a hectic weather pattern (that piano line!). And even if the singing is relatively unscathed — though leaving it heavily muffled can sometimes be enough — it matches the zig-zagging format wonderfully, no part settling but rather working well to achieve what it wants to be. “Aoiru Endless” comes from the very solid Bye Bye Orizumu EP, which you can buy here. Though you can hear another, far chipper cut from that EP below.