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As Japanese pop culture is increasingly dominated by insular subcultural groups with little interest in what’s happening outside Akihabara’s otaku haven or Shibuya’s gyaru mecca, the news that electro-pop trio Perfume had moved to major label Universal and made its music available online to overseas audiences was a breath of fresh air that gave even the most cynical hacks at JT Towers a glimpse of hope for a long overdue international J-pop success story.

Despite (or because of) having pretty much the most distinctive musical identity in contemporary Japanese pop, Perfume could be well placed to avoid the mistakes that have seen so many others stumble.

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