fascinates: (k-on | soul music)
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Kikuo / きくお

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Kikuo is a freelance track-maker and is often regarded for his high sense of music arrangement/composition as well as for his talent in producing songs of different styles. You might have known him from his highest-viewed Vocaloid song, Boku wo Sonna Me de Minai de, which I translated here.

While Kikuo's recent works might seem a bit similar when it comes to themes or presentation, his list of works is a large repertoire of various genre, ranging from pop to RnB to jazz. He also started his Vocaloid career with a pop-ish song, then slowly bridged pop and techno, then techno and ethnic, then techno and jazz and as of recent, jazz and pop. This is why his music is hard to define by genre alone, since he has the ability to make use of various "instruments" and come up with a different style each time. One specific characteristic of his songs, however, is the so-called high sense of style. Simply put, it is the meticulous overlapping of various sounds and make them sound good together. In each of his songs, you can hear piano music, electronic music, a rare guitar/ethnic background melody, as well as a variety of sounds which sound from chopping stuff to grinding sand to...well, anything you can imagine. One good example of his dexterity in expressing music is in Tsuki no Youkai, which starts off as an ethnic/ambient song and then slowly becomes techno and then back to ambient and so on, without apparent breaks in melody or lyrics.

His songs are often controversial because of their themes and lyrics. Kikuo's songs are always catchy, with a repetitive and cute rhythm. However, the words comprising the song are the complete opposite. Disguised in elaborate, flowery metaphors and descriptions, his songs often speak of tragedy, mostly in children. There's talk of violent deaths, murder, psychological issues, etc. Hence, his songs are often called "dark fairytales" for they sound like innocent cheerful nursery rhymes but actually tells morbidly sad tales. His songs are also a bit non-specific and vague, meaning the listeners can interpret his metaphors in his songs as they like. This is why you'll often see a lot of questions marks and "ehhhhh?!" and "I don't know what's happening D:" in his songs in NND ^^;.

Kikuo has only used Hatsune Miku in his Vocaloid works, and she is always tuned high and solid, possibly to bring out the "cute child-like" aura of the song. She is often made to sing in fast syllables with surprising clarity. Kikuo also makes her "hum" a lot in his songs, creating either a creepy feeling or a cheerful aura in the song.

His earlier PVs were all made by him, from the illustrations to the animation, and most of them are cutely grotesque in a way. Recently, though, he has found a good partner in si_tu, who did the PVs for his latest works. Si-tu also has the marvelous talent of presenting the morbidity of Kikuo's songs in a cute, colorful way.

As a person with extreme talent, Kikuo doesn't confine his work in Vocaloid. He is a freelance composer after all. He has composed for Touhou music, as well as games and even for idol songs. He has also two CDs, the first being sold out a long time ago, and the second one "Kikuomiku", to be released in Internet shops soon. You can watch an interesting crossfade of Kikuomiku here.

sample songs
Boku wo Wasureta Kuusou Kikou (The Journal of My Forgotten Fantasies)
Tsuki no Youkai (Monster in the Moon)
Warui Koto wa Shichaikenai (I must not do bad things)
Hajimari to Owari no Uta (The song of Beginning and End)
Tengoku he Ikou (Let's Go to Heaven)

nikki says
Kikuo has become one of my favorite VocaloidPs, not only because his songs are "interesting" in a sense, but because I'm amazed at how far he can take his music. His samples in his websites are all wonderful. I am also a sucker for songs with many little sound effects in them, which is what Kikuo's songs are. I admit, I got hooked to his music first with Boku wo Sonna Me de Minaide, but the rest of his mylist is a pleasure to listen to. That is if you don't think much of the meanings of the songs ^^;. But, creepy factor aside, it is also nice knowing the lyrics of his songs and trying to figure out what he really wants to say through them. His album seems to have new songs so I'm very much looking forward to more brain breakage enjoying it ^o^.
fascinates: (kuroshitsuji | alois nice playthings!)
[personal profile] fascinates
This week doesn't have as much new ones as last week's but there are still quite a few worthy of a listen. There are some Ps which are new to the rankings, too, so I think everyone should check out what kind of awesome songs they uploaded. :) Since it's 1AM here, this post is going to be short and sweet ♥.

↑# - the song moved up from a previous top 30 rank
↓# - song moved down from a previous top 30 rank
- song is a re-entry to the top 30 rankings

original nicovideo link

Songs are arranged from 1-30.

top 30 under the cut )
fascinates: (hourou musuko | down)
[personal profile] fascinates
Hello guys. It's been a while since I last wrote a post and I know the lateness of this is inexcusable. I'm really sorry. Work has been killing me right now (I'm on overtime until 11PM for the sixth day OTL). Please, please forgive me again this time for the lack of interesting stuff to say.

Anyway, this week, Nem continues his reign on number 1, but for a different song. Episode.0 also saw another week at the ranking, thanks to Gackt's single being release. There's quite a lot of cute Luka songs released this week, but it's coupled by two unusual songs from UramanbouP and Kikuo's usual creepy stuff.

↑# - the song moved up from a previous top 30 rank
↓# - song moved down from a previous top 30 rank
- song is a re-entry to the top 30 rankings

original nicovideo link

Songs are arranged from 1-30.

top 30 under the cut )
fascinates: (durarara | shinra my husbando)
[personal profile] fascinates
Weekly Vocaloid Ranking #178 (February 21 - 28, 2011)

Today's week has a lot of movements, few songs have decided to do a comeback and take one rank up at a time, while a lot more had decided it's time for them to zoom down. Which leaves us with new songs in the upper rankings, all of them worth checking out! I apologize for the lack of good descriptions, as I'm running out of time ^^;.

↑# - the song moved up from a previous top 30 rank
↓# - song moved down from a previous top 30 rank
- song is a re-entry to the top 30 rankings

original nicovideo link

Songs are arranged from 1-30.

top 30 under the cut )

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