aactually it was a few days ago (october 10th) but I’m going to refrain from making any more date jokes at teto’s expense

it’s probably something I allude to fairly often on here, or at least use as a springboard to discuss things that are hopelessly niche, but I’m sort of absorbed in people taking the unserious to serious places, either critically or artistically. kasane teto, for one, was never meant to be more than a joke imagined by vippers, a soft troll campaign on april fools, and pretty much only managed to exist in most visible contexts as one. thanks to a few enduring producers like harufuri and death ohagi, she’s matured to have sort of an underdog charm to her that explains how she’s now graduated into a more modern voicebank. cheering for teto’s success was, until very recently, like being the fan that attended every underground live for a group you expected to never see on a larger stage, even as you vacuously supported the talents saying they wanted to perform one day at the budokan. UTAU itself is sort of its own joke, plagued with frustrations and obsolete software, that the choice to use it at all always spoke to a very specific ambition well removed from fame or riches. that’s not to say that we should strictly romanticize the starving artist, or even that such things are unattainable when using UTAU, but the enduring loyalty for teto has always felt, to me, appropriately cottage for what she was. it’s the kind of doujin ethos, enshrining the grassroots, that you only seem to get wafts of from the wave of commercial voicebanks that have outclassed her over the last fifteen years. that backdrop, for any number of reasons one can point to, has always resonated with me emotionally.

at a vocaloEDM event at nagomix back in 2017, I got to briefly talk with tekalu, who’s surprisingly good at english. he’s sort of more broadly a guy known for his punchy electropop style and anison remixes, but back then he was also pretty heralded as one of the more active tetoP, inspired by producers like kamome sano that did most of the heavy lifting to make serious songs with teto before he had arrived to the scene. most of that encounter was the usual conversational shuffling of welcoming the white gaijin that was at the club, but I also found a chance to thank him for all of his great teto songs. teto fans, he told me, seemed to always be insistently pushing him to do more with her, and he felt like it was only right to indulge them. we both chuckled at that, had a brief toast, and then disappeared together back into the crowd. it was an interaction I’m sure he forgot by the next day, but one I still think fondly enough about.

maybe it had more to do with the booze, or my tired stupor, but when tekalu got up to play his set, I was softened up. hit with a wall of teto tracks that I can’t say even I was really prepared for, I found myself, quite literally, crying in the club. perhaps I was teed up after the short conversation we had together, hearing about how he wanted to carry the torch for her, or just knowing myself to be a sucker for producers with a good backstory behind them. trying to describe the atmosphere during that set will probably always be something hopelessly out of my reach, even as I try to find the right words to convey it as the kind of transcendental high it felt like. kamome sano’s latest teto track, produced with help from tekalu, is the closest l can say gets to reliving or conveying the emotional gut punch that it delivered. the soaring lyrics, a love letter to the producers that lifted her out of a lie into something real, feel only even grander a year on as tetoP now celebrate her synthV breakthrough and plan for another teto club event that has already sold out. tekalu, too, will be showing up to play for it.

Our emptiness lights up the darkness
May it become someone’s path