Danimal Cannon [Interview]

Danimal Cannon (Interview)

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Doing something different is difficult.

In a world obsessed with trends and fads that last a microsecond, the pressure is always on to deliver something palatable to a mass audience with the attention span of a brain-damaged goldfish. With his new album Lunaria, Danimal Cannon is ignoring the seductive pull of the same-but-slightly-different, and delivering something really different.

Danimal Cannon is a chiptune master, capable of blending multiple genres, timbres, instruments, and moods into a long-player that is an acquired taste, but a legitimately rewarding taste nonetheless. After I listened to Lunaria in its entirety and reviewed it here, this interview could only kick off with one question…

Your new album Lunaria broke my brain, in a good way! So my opening question has to be: Just how the hell did you make it? How did the tracks on Lunaria go from idea to reality? Read more…

Posted on 24 February 2016

Danimal Cannon – ‘Lunaria’ [Review]

Danimal Cannon - Lunaria Review

And now for something completely different.

Completely different.

Danimal Cannon’s Lunaria is a mostly instrumental industrial-prog album, composed on a 1989 Nintendo Game Boy and loosely based around a conceptual story inspired by the Giant Impact Hypothesis.

Whether you’re new to the chiptune world or a die-hard veteran, you’re unlikely to have heard something this relentlessly left of centre before.

Acclimatising to Lunaria’s claustrophobic, digitised-to-the-nth-degree universe is challenging, to say the least. But once you get past the initial sense of sonic culture shock, its true nature as Read more…

Posted on 16 February 2016

Approaching The End: Face-To-Screen With The World’s First Humanless Opera

hatsune miku the end

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The crowd is getting impatient. An eclectic mass of humanity presses up against the Théatre du Châtelet’s glass-fronted façade like extras in a zombie film. Across the Seine lies the Isle de la Cité, the floodlit Gothic towers of Notre Dame clearly visible. I am the only one who looks in this direction. Contemplating the night before, my first few hours in Paris.

Hatsune Miku awaits her audience inside as the doors open. Bulky security staff search bags and guide the Miku-hungry horde into the Châtelet’s lobby. A programme seller advertises his fashionably-bound paper products next to a Miku mannequin decked in a custom-designed Louis Vuitton dress and her signature twin teal pigtails, sculpted here as if she were stood before a professional-grade fan on a magazine cover shoot. The programme seller is ignored as the Miku mannequin fills dozens of smartphone screens, each one frenetically blinking as its operator strives to capture the perfect memory.

I make my way to the merch stand, considering a twenty-euro CD and an eye-catching t-shirt and thinking about the level of diversity present here. I’m at a concert starring a Japanese pop star who technically doesn’t exist, and yet there are relatively few examples of the socially inept über-geeks one might expect from such a billing. A good number of the people around me are arty types, clad in designer clothing and affecting haughty airs; others fit the bill of alternative music fans, skinny jeans and trendy t-shirts, while another portion is made up of female pop fans, predominantly Japanese, excitedly squealing and taking selfies on the stairs. 

A mutually confusing encounter with a cloakroom assistant and an exchange of apologies later, I am ushered to my front-row-centre seat. I take in the wide semi-circles of the multi-tiered balconies and the imposing curtain, adorned with a disturbing expanse of faded imagery simultaneously suggesting contemporary surrealism and barbaric medieval torture scenes alike.

Behind this curtain, we are told, the performance is now ready to start. Voices in three languages ask us to take our seats. The demonic curtain finally rises, revealing a plain black expanse. The second curtain is lifted. This is the beginning of The End.

Hatsune Miku is not like other pop stars. Whereas Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber had to be born, trained, discovered, and tweaked by image consultants, Hatsune Miku is coming the other way.

This is possible because she is not human. Hatsune Miku is both real and unreal. She exists as a concept, an idea. She exists in terms of digital information, the neural firings of those who discover and worship her, and in the beams of light projected onto screens during her live concerts. But this has not stopped her from attracting a legion of followers who treat her as if she were in fact made of flesh and blood, like you and me.

In short, Miku is a meme taken to a whole new level. Read more…

Posted on 09 January 2014

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