Thursday, 1 November 2012

Exclusive KuKuDoDo Interview (Holic Service / Birdtune)

BirdTune and Holic Service are two well-known Osaka-based doujin circles specializing in Touhou arranges, among other things. Most fans are familiar with their music, but what about the man behind the synthesizer? Over the past three years, I've developed something of an obsession over KuKuDoDo (his name is really fun to say, try it out loud) and his strange-yet-completely-natural mixture of denpa and UK New Wave genres.

Not only are his compositions and arrangements unique, he has always had a knack for recognizing talent as well. Over the years he's collaborated with and featured songs from stalwarts such as t+pazolite, かめりあ, リズナ, 実谷なな, 桜ふみ, めらみぽっぷ, ななひら, ゆきまめ, 未来派 and plenty more.

If the names Holic Service, BirdTune, KuKuDoDo, Gumi and nanano don't mean much to you, start by checking out websites for Holic Service and BirdTune, as well as our 2009 "under the scope" feature to discover some of the most original denpa songs out there.

Please note that all following MP3s have been uploaded with KuKuDoDo's full consent.

- How did you start creating music?

I started creating music well before computer software made everything much easier, so I had to get creative. For instance I would chain up multiple beatboxes and synthesizers together. The end result would often be strange sounds, which I tremendously enjoyed. After a while, I eventually turned to a Yamaha MSX PC and gradually made my way up through the generations of music sofware and DAWs.

At some point I decided to form a band in order to release this music and perform it live. A couple records came out of this and I got the occasion to play synthesizer at multiple club events with various genres such as trance, techno and shoegazer. Over time, it struck me how much New Wave had in common with denpa, vocaloid and doujin music in general. That's why I started BirdTune Records in 2007, as it was clear to me that this would become the best outfit for my artistic expressions.

- Can you expand on your shared vision of New Wave and Denpa?

It's pretty simple to me: New Wave and electropop are and always will be avant-garde forms of art! These compositions contain unexpected patterns and melodies that can put you in a daze. My love for New Wave hasn't waned one bit over the years.

I remember thinking to myself: "This is absolutely art!" when I first heard denpa songs. Before I knew it, I was converging both styles in my own creations and I eventually started focusing on denpa creations.

Official Denpa no Sekai KuKuDoDo Collection

- Let's talk about how BirdTune became an outlet for your new compositions.

At first, BirdTune only released original albums. Both Gumi and みりん☆ were the central figures in terms of vocal performance. We sponsored four "Piconation" events in Osaka where we invited many guests and promoted BirdTune to the rest of Japan.

Editor's note: Piconation had some incredible lineups! Check out the archived websites for Piconation 01, 02 (FICE, 天音), 03 (とろ美, 桜ふみ) and 04 (未来派 and メトロポリちゃんV!!)

Those were some extremely busy, but always fun days! Our focus was definitely the "idol scene", not so much doujin events, but this aspect took over gradually. At some point, みりん☆ graduated from BirdTune and is now pursuing a solo career. She was replaced by "nanano", who is very much doing her best right now! She has brought a new energy to BirdTune and her singing voice definitely matches our compositions. She's working on many new releases, so please expect them and support her!

- Then what is the relationship between BirdTune and Holic Service?

At the time, BirdTune was exclusively focusing on original creations and we didn't want to saturate it with too many concepts. On the other hand, Gumi wanted to explore new creative avenues such as Touhou arranges, nico nico douga and game song remixes... thus Holic Service was born! I also thought it was a good idea to challenge myself musically as well as reach out to new listeners.

One day, a fan told me: "I listen to your music everyday!" then he showed me his iPod playlist full of our songs. I thought to myself "Wow! Some people appreciate our music" and this pushed us to produce more albums. There's something to be said about the feeling of meeting fans at doujin events, seeing wotagei performed on our songs and knowing that people of all ages (from students to salarymen) enjoy our music. This is a big motivational factor!

- So both labels have a similar mission these days?

Indeed, in fact our latest release 「妹達のお尻が臭かったので、戦わせることにした!」 is a collaboration album between BirdTune and Holic Service! Sometimes nanano will sing Holic Service songs, and vice-versa with Gumi. Please enjoy some of these collaboration tracks, as well as some rare and unreleased tracks.

- Other than BirdTune and Holic Service, what are some of your future plans?

When I compose/arrange under the name KuKuDoDo, whether for BirdTune, Holic Service or any other label for that matter, I have to do it in a way that satisfies the staff and overall theme of the project. Therefore, I plan on releasing a solo KuKuDoDo original album in which I will not limit my own creative freedom. Obviously I will collaborate with nanano and Gumi because their vocals have always been a great match with my songs. Chances are it will be distributed under the Birdtune and Holic Service circles, so please look forward to it!

- That sounds brilliant, we will definitely support your efforts! Any parting words?

I was extremely pleased when Denpa no Sekai wrote about us back in 2009! I have been reading the site since then.

Although I continue to challenge various genres as I progress musically, I will definitely have more releases for the denpa crowd! Please look forward to our new albums and thank you for the support!


Anonymous said...

I love this kind of music and finally found something good. Hello from Finland.

Sorry I'm too poor so I can't afford cd's and can't find these online.

Anonymous said...

When is he releasing a new album? I love his works.