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‘Fantasma,” released in 1997, was arguably the most internationally acclaimed Japanese pop record since Yellow Magic Orchestra’s “Solid State Survivor.” A sonic journey through musical history, from Bach to the Beach Boys, it became a fixture on critics’ “best-of” lists that year its creator, Cornelius, aka Keigo Oyamada, found himself on the cover of Interview magazine, in the lineup at some of Europe’s hippest rock festivals and dubbed “the Japanese Beck.”

His global reputation was secured, but the question was where to go from there. How does a musician follow up an album that collapsed the Western musical canon into a 70-minute CD?

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