While vocaloids like Hatsune Miku are still relatively unknown in the West, they have quite the following in Japan(and also in my ultimate mix playlist) and can be found taking part in everything from live concerts to limited edition smartphones. Though some may worry that the digital singers mean the end of “human-voiced” music, so far that’s hardly been the case. In fact, it’s nothing strange to find regular bands performing cover songs of vocaloid originals!
One band has taken the concept a step further by introducing some unique, traditional elements and are garnering quite a bit of attention among Japanese Internet users. Meet the Wagakki Band with Yuko Suzuhana and get ready to rock!
The Wagakki Band, which consists of seven musicians and the singer Yuko Suzuhana, deftly fuses traditional Japanese instruments with contemporary rock. Though the stage may get a bit crowded with a drummer, a guitarist, a bassist, a tsugaru-jamisen (Japanese lute) player, a koto (Japanese harp) player, a shakuhachi (Japanese flute) player, a taiko drummer, and a fan-swinging singer, they manage to put on a surprisingly dynamic and cohesive performance.
The first video the group released was “Tsuki Kage Mai Ka” (“Moon Shadow Dance Flower”), a cover of the Hatsune Miku song featuring electronic dance music mixed with distorted guitars and traditional Japanese instruments. If you look closely, you can see “Wayou Secchuu,” meaning a blending of Japanese and Western styles, written in large, black kanji on the drummer’s back. Nyaaaa! You couldn’t ask for a more perfect description of their music!
Check out their version as well as the original Miku-chan’s version below and tell us which you like best!
Sources: Nico Nico Douga, Youtube