Tokyo, JP July 15, 2009- There is a musical revolution taking Japan by storm. It’s not happening in any clubs or live houses, but on the computers of thousands of amateur track creators. This revolution utilizes vocaloid software which can be programmed to have characters sing the way they are programmed, sounding exactly like a human. While artists worldwide use this software, Japan has created a unique subculture for it by revolving this world around vocaloid based characters.
These characters each have their own unique voice and are visualized in an anime style. Such imaginary characters as Hatsune Miku and Kagamine Rin have started to rival some of the biggest names in the music industry. These characters aren’t only fictional, but can also be based on real people. The visual kei/pop star, Gackt has his own character called Gackpoid. Gackt allowed his voice to be used for the character and as a result when track makers use Gackpoid their songs sound as if Gackt himself is singing them.
HearJapan president, Nathan Reaven became aware of the Vocaloid scene brewing in Japan in 2008 but decided to finally check it out for himself in 2009. "There was a lot of chatter about it but I had no idea how popular it was until I went to a convention of vocaloid track makers and doujin manga artists. The convention hall was so packed that I had to wait in line for three hours just to get in to a completely packed hall. Once in, I saw the creativity and depth that has attracted throngs of fans in Japan. I knew immediately that this was something that had to be shared with the world."
As a result, HearJapan is now bringing this music worldwide through their mp3 store for the first time. Starting with the label KarenT, which owns the licenses to all of the big name characters including Vocaloid’s Hatsune Miku and Gackpoid’s Kammui Gakupo. HearJapan released their entire catalog online today. All tracks are in mp3 format, and can be purchased and downloaded regardless of a users’ country. Full albums are heavily discounted at 900 yen ($9.50, €7) and come with the anime styled artwork.