Vinyl? CDJ? Meh. Hand-mixing and “scratching” karaoke cassette tapes on hacked machines as a new form of strange pop music DJing? Now we’re talking. Behold the YouTube channel of 大江戸テクニカ (Ōedo tekunika).
Somehow this all has only a few dozen views, but nothing is beyond the view of Tom Whitwell of Music thing:
A quick poll of Japanese friends so far has found no one familiar with this person or technique, but … wow, it’s wonderful. It must have gotten some attention from non Japanese speakers as there’s now an explanation in English, in case you’re unfamiliar with Asian karaoke machines:
This is a video that mixes Japanese karaoke tape and beat tape. On the karaoke tape, vocals are recorded on the right channel and beats are recorded on the left channel.
The descriptive text is being a bit humble, though. There’s a ton going on here – fully exploiting the karaoke machine as an instrument, “scratching” the tape heads, beat-matching by advancing the cassette heads, and making mash-ups of different tracks and even whole mixes. There appear to be entire modded machines coming from this artist, complete with custom controls for performing turntablist technique on cassette.
I’ve seen weird cassette tape DJ rigs before, but by modifying the controls a bit and providing easy access to the cassette mechanism, it appears they’ve really managed to perfect the technique. I’d love to learn more. (That’s no small trick – compact cassette is not made mechanically for this kind of manipulation, and they make it sound like vinyl – like if you only heard audio, this would be passable turntable scratch technique.)
I mean, whole hip hop mixes. On cassette. On karaoke machines.
This is just beautiful. Also, eyeballs and… it looks like these are really massively modified tape machines, retaining only the basic guts of the karaoke machine in some DIY contraption.
It’s especially lovely, as you get the warble and drift of the tape machine.
But more than just a novelty, it’s like a whole original form of DJing here. Brilliant.