I’ve written about a lot of strange things from Japan during my time, but this one definitely takes the top spot so far. Have you ever wanted to know what sort of sounds men make in their downtime? Or wanted to capture them on tape so that you could replay them again and again? No, me neither. But apparently there’s enough demand for people to make a CD of these sound effects, and said CD reveals some surprising things going down in this ‘men’s time’.
“It’s an intermission during recording. After concentrating hard, the actor makes sounds that can bring relief to his tired brain. Sighs, clearing his throat, yawns. Sounds expressed unconsciously. The sound of drinking coffee, giving himself a pep talk, munching sweets. The sounds of life with unrelated to work. Greetings, laughter, talking on the phone. Fragments of everyday conversation.”
From Davril Moon comes a CD compilation of sound materials entitled ‘Otoko no Jikan’ or ‘Men’s Time’. Contrary to what you might think from the rather creepy and predatory look of the guy featured in the cover art, these sorts of CD compilations are actually quite innocent and not that unusual. It’s common practice for people with the tech and the inclination to bundle together sound recordings to sell on to amateur creators of games, anime, etc to use in their work instead of having to go to the trouble of recording everything themselves. It’s not just sound effects either – you can find data compilations of stock backgrounds, animation clips, and any other bits and pieces creators might need.
However, the content of this particular compilation is what has me scratching my head. The theme is based around a man’s break time, and there are plenty of sounds that do make sense given the context such as:
- Biting into a cucumber
- Drinking canned coffee
- Taking off a jacket
- Drinking an entire juice pack through a straw
- Clipping nails
It might seem strange to be selling recordings of these sounds, but you can see how there might be use for such everyday sound effects in games, audio dramas, and so on.
However, there are also a number of tracks that are nothing short of bizarre:
- Rubbing lotion onto own hands
- Waxing hair with cellotape
- Putting on stocking
- Tearing stockings
- Having stockings torn
- Having face sucked with a vacuum cleaner
- Putting on a bra
Just what on earth does a guy putting on a bra sound like? And why is it included in a compilation of recordings of stuff guys do in their free time? Is this what they’re up to?! As well as sucking their faces with vacuum cleaners? So, so many questions, and no answers that I can think of. Now the creepy, dead-eyed stare of the guy on the front cover seems disturbingly fitting.
There are 99 tracks in total listed by theme for ease of use, and some themes contain multiple versions of the same sound employing varying strengths or emotions, making for a total of 180 unique sounds. This is a ‘free’ CD compilation, in the sense that anyone who purchases it is free to use and edit the tracks how they please, although appropriating the recordings as your own and selling them on is of course not allowed. However, if you want to use the high quality recordings as a ring tone or alarm on your phone then you’ll need to use a special app to preserve the quality. I know that I’ve always wanted to be able to set the high-def sound of a man eating a hot dog as my incoming message alert, and the sound of his face being sucked by a vacuum cleaner as my morning alarm. You can also enjoy listening to your favourite themes or maybe the whole thing on repeat for a pleasant listening experience of ‘environmental sounds’ instead of your usual music. Just imagine the kind of dreams you’ll be in for after falling asleep to it.
The CD retails for 2,000 yen (US $20) and is available at Amazon JP.
▼ Click on the image below to see a larger version of the theme listing.