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PREMIERE: LÂLKA Reinvents ‘Romance + Rebellion’ With Hatsune Miku

4 June 2024 | 12:11 pm | Ellie Robinson

The visionary polymath set out to “craft an auditory experience like no other” – and succeeded in spades.

Hatsune Miku / LÂLKA

Hatsune Miku / LÂLKA (Supplied)

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of her bewitching debut mixtape Romance + Rebellion, LÂLKA has returned with a new version of its title track featuring virtual pop superstar Hatsune Miku.

In a press release, LÂLKA said she’s “thrilled to have embarked on this cohesive and immersive journey alongside Hatsune Miku”, noting that she endeavoured to “hopefully craft an auditory experience like no other”.

Her effort paid off in spades – Miku’s programmed verses add a breath of fresh air to the track, already kaleidoscopic and moody, with the shimmer and sharpness of the Vocaloid adding to the glitchy, pseudo-hyperpop feel of LÂLKA’s original version.

Alongside her new take on Romance + Rebellion – which you can hear below ahead of its official release tomorrow (June 5) – LÂLKA has announced a special reissue of the titular mixtape on cassette, available as a limited collector’s item through her Bandcamp.

Tomorrow will also see LÂLKA host a special listening party for the anniversary on her Discord server – you can sign up to be a part of that here.

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In her statement, LÂLKA noted that she was drawn to the world of Vocaloid technology after experiencing chronic illness and the significant breakdown of a personal relationship. She was moved to explore the potential Vocaloids have “not just in democratising the creation of music and visuals, but also in the limitless possibilities in creating immersive music experiences that blur the line between the virtual and real worlds”.

LÂLKA went on to explain how her new version of Romance + Rebellion “reflects this nostalgia while being optimistic and otherworldly as it is brutal, driving and hedonistic, structured in a way that's ripe for underground raves, otaku nightclubs and industrial warehouse parties – ultimately arriving at empowerment through it all, bringing the listener along with it.”

The excitement surrounding the release was echoed by Alexis Benedict – the founder and director of LÂLKA’s label, TOMBOI Records – who said the virtual collaboration with Hatsune Miku “manages to blend elements of hyperpop, J-core, Euro-dance and hardcore through its breathtaking twists and turns via envelope-pushing sound design, ‘kawaii' melodies, hard-hitting beats and both artists’ signature vocals to captivate listeners with its infectious energy and bold innovation.”

LÂLKA released her Romance + Rebellion mixtape independently on June 2, 2023, supported by singles like What If We Kiss To Break The Tension? (which arrived last February alongside a remix by Kenta204) and Lilith (which she and freer also remixed for a special release last October).