There's been a lot of great music to come out of 2020, which is fine and all, but so far nothing has really captured the spirit of the moment: you know, that feeling of pure, unadulterated horror and disgust. Just as we wind down the year, however, a new soundscape has emerged that perfectly caps off our ever-present, monolithic, nauseating terror: the VOC-25. You have been forewarned...
From Sweden with love — Glad to see you are still with us. Designed by veteran audiovisual artist / oddball instrument inventor, Love Hultén, from a concept by Simone Giertz, the VOC-25 is a conceptual vocal synthesizer utilizing an Axoloti Core and 25 sets of chattering chompers. Each of these is wired to solenoids within a three-piece wooden setup meant to mimic a standard desktop computer's keyboard, console, and monitor. According to Hultén, who resides in Gothenburg, Sweden, RAW vocal files are supplied into a voice bank via a USB which then can be altered by built-in reverb and delay. The result, if we're being honest here, is pure minimalist nightmare fuel.
We know row after row of shrieking plastic teeth is enough to warrant unadulterated disgust, but we also feel the need to pause and talk about that color scheme for just a moment. That fleshy pink is just... God almighty, it makes everything so much worse. Seriously, give the VOC-25 a closer look.
Mr. Typo will see you now — This isn't the first unsettling creation from Hultén, either. Back in 2018, he unveiled a demon-bot called Mr. Typo, which is even stranger than VOC-25, if that's somehow even possible. For that invention, users "feed the device any text-file, and it will rearrange the content in real-time and output odd and irregular sentence structures, using Markov chains / vocal synthesis," reads the site, before giving customers two versions to choose from: "with or without meat." Great. Just great.
They're not all bad — If it's any consolation (it isn't), Hultén also showcases a number of much more pleasant and fun inventions on his site, too. But we know as well as he does that he isn't fooling anyone. Between VOC-25 and Mr. Typo, no number of relaxing mega-emulators and soothing synths can atone or make up for this kind of madness. The truly masochistic among you can even inquire about purchasing one of these hellish devices, which we can only assume costs your everlasting soul. Plus international shipping and handling, of course.