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“Salarymen are fantastic,” says DJ and producer Takkyu Ishino. “If there weren’t so many of them doing their thing, then people like me would not be able to exist. If more people acted like me (outside the norm), then I wouldn’t have had the life that I’ve had.”

Ishino started producing music in the mid-1980s, inspired by such groups as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk. He then shot to fame in 1991 as a member of Denki Groove. The group’s biggest hit, “Shangri-La,” has sold more than half a million copies and is typical of their style: fun, slightly cheesy techno-pop. Perhaps the most telling sign of the group’s ethos, however, was its decision to cover the pioneering synth-pop tune “Popcorn,” made famous by Hot Butter in 1972. It’s a song that’s as likely to be heard at a kids’ party as it is at an all-night club event.

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