For some reason I tend not to like Vocaloid music or producers, but so far there’s a single artist, that I found many years ago by pure accident while looking through the (long dead) UGUU netlabel, that has managed to surprise me in such a level that it has become one of my favorite Japanese artists in my repertoire.

I’d like to introduce you to: わたしのココ (Watashi no Koko).

わたしのココ is a mysterious, independent and experimental pop-noise virtual band from Japan that dances around beautiful poppy melodies and melancholic piano phrases while switching unpredictably to harsh ear-piercing noise and despair-filled lyrics, creating a surreal and melancholic, but beautiful soundscape flavored with dark and disturbing musical equivalents of rage-induced mental breakdowns.

They started in 2007 and their discography ranges from melancholic ambient works like the kesson shoujo series, to very dark and frantic ones like their self-titled album.

At the beginning I’ve said Vocaloid but the voice is actually created with the LaLaVoice voice synth software, which is similar to Vocaloid. In fact, LaLaVoice is the predecessor of Vocaloid, and it has been deprecated and forgotten as the old failed attempt at creating a singing synth. As such, lyrics often revolve around various inferiority complexes and the feeling of being forgotten, broken, and the despair of not being heard. Other songs also often take a blunt and direct stab at some of the ugliest aspects of ourselves like hipocrisy, escapism, carnal desires and fear.

Since their albums are complete rollercoasters of emotions, I very strongly suggest getting one of their albums and listen to it fully. Their self-titled album is available for free at Bandcamp and I fully suggest going into it with your eyes closed:

I also recommend their 「愛してるって言われたいの」 album (also free) which is similar although sadder in tone.

If you prefer a more accesible sound, there’s the newer 「カラダは正直」 which includes more accesible pop remakes of their older songs as well as a few new ones and extended versions.

Nonetheless if that’s not your thing, and since they might be hard to get into, I’d like to introduce here one of their most accesible songs that manage to capture their particular sound, Lala’s song (ララのうた):

To take a peek at their other side, this song manages to build a complete wall of melodic noise (beware of volume):

If you want to go further, we have Like You (君のように) (BEWARE of 0:26 - lower your volume!):

In the other side of the spectrum there’s one of their most beautiful songs, Let’s Dance (踊ろう):

  • I also translated one of their songs about otaku escapism, A city without angels.
  • There’s also 妄想デート which is in my opinion one of their most depressing songs.
  • Another depressing but noisier and lo-fi one is Walk to Death which, incidentally, is my favorite song of theirs.

Lastly, I’d love to show more information about them but sadly I’m very late at posting this as they stopped being very active after 2013; they’ve deleted their website, Lala deleted her Twitter and Yoss (composer) deleted his Tumblr blog, so there’s not much more updates or information coming from them anymore.

They published a dark ambient album last year but the truth is we don’t know if they’re resuming activities. They released a compilation album of unreleased songs from 2010-2013 so I was afraid the project died then, but I keep wishing they keep going. I’m also worried about Yoss’ mental health so if anyone has news of him personally please throw me a line.

UPDATE: Good news, it seems they’re back! They released a new album on December as a 10th year anniversary celebration a month right after I wrote this, and they’re also back on Twitter (@watashino_koko) so it seems they’re resuming activities. Check out their new album!

I’d also like say thanks to the several people who actually contacted me regarding Yoss’ well-being and their resuming of activities. I appreciate it! It’s good to know fans are also alive and well.

Nonetheless their sound is quite unique and I wish for everyone with a slight interest in noise to check them out; if their particular blend of ambient and melodic harsh noise clicks with you as it has with me it’d be great.