Tracks

Tatsuro Kojima: "0818"

(2012)

By George Bass | 16 February 2012

Tatsuro Kojima—no relation to Metal Gear Sold creator Hideo—is a games developer who just published sound app Mizuiro. Basically a way of making your iPhone sound like an old dusty toy piano, it’s got to be the quaintest music app around; one you could safely take to a baby shower. Clearly intrigued by the nano end of the listening spectrum, Kojima’s made a whole album of it, 16g, on which he aims to encourage sensations of “paper-thin ice or richly-coloured, yet transparent air.” This way’s cheaper than a smoke machine.

Working with recordings of trodden snow and suzu bells—and not much else—Kojima’s world is delicate, where you’re almost too scared to turn up the tracks in case they shatter. “0818” is his most fragile, sounding like a doorbell on a wrecked ship, overpowered by straining wood. Chimes and wrinkles knock against each other, and if only a few more electronics were involved it’d sound exactly like Xela before he got religion. There aren’t, and Kojima does his own thing, making music so peripheral distant fairy lights could dwarf it. If that wasn’t interesting enough, purchasers of 16g are promised two Polaroids, each signed with a hand-written message. So you’re not just getting music but a ransom.