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Way back in the 1990s, when the “Cool Japan” campaign was but a faint, distant blip on the nation’s radar, a synth-pop group called Denki Groove was doing its best to represent Japanese “cool.”

Founded in 1989 by friends Takyuu Ishino and Pierre Taki — who both hailed from the city of Shizuoka — Denki Groove initially came across as a Yellow Magic Orchestra rip-off (or tribute). But after the mega-success of the album “Vitamin” in 1993, Denki Groove officially came into its own.

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