Today’s song is the unaccompanied robot/computer vocalist for Nobukazu Takemura’s single Sign (vinyl 12″ version) from his 2001 album Hoshi no Koe.
I first heard the original version of this song at a show in New Orleans in 2001. That show was my first real exposure to glitch music (a form of electronic music that has intentional “errors” in it or is entirely composed of error-like sounds, such as a CD skipping) and it completely blew my mind. I still get chills listening to the vocal part of Sign that starts at the 1:09 mark.
Takemura has since become a kind of legendary figure as far as my iTunes is concerned. And while Sign is a fantastic track, without its attendant beeps and boops, however, it suffers from some unpleasant and awkwardly-long breaks of silence, which cost it some of its gravitas. Still, these artificial vocals manage to convey a kind of staccato emotion, like a robot throwing down some slam poetry.[audio:061020sign_acappella.mp3]