Plus-Tech Squeeze Box

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Plus-Tech Squeeze Box are a Japanese electronic duo comprised of programmer Hayashibe Tomonori and multi-instrumentalist Wakiya Takashi. Formed in 1997 and initially featuring vocalist Kamada Junko as…
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Plus-Tech Squeeze Box are a Japanese electronic duo comprised of programmer Hayashibe Tomonori and multi-instrumentalist Wakiya Takashi. Formed in 1997 and initially featuring vocalist Kamada Junko as a third member, the group quickly made a name for itself with its frenetic cut-and-paste musical style, bringing together the eclectic, genre-hopping elements of fashionable '90s Shibuya-kei music with Japan's less style-conscious techno-pop scene. Initially making their recorded appearance via a number of compilation CDs, Plus-Tech Squeeze Box released their debut album, Fakevox, on the Vroom Sound label in 2000. Notable for its relentless, cheerful energy, Fakevox resulted in Plus-Tech Squeeze Box becoming in demand as remixers for numerous Japanese contemporaries such as Strawberry Machine, Naivepop or Petitfool, and Capsule. Fakevox also brought them to the attention of an international audience, with the album being released on U.K. label Sur la Plage in 2002, the single "Early Riser" being picked up by Coca-Cola for a British advertising campaign, and the band being invited to perform live on the BBC3 television show Adam and Joe Go Tokyo in 2003. In 2004 Plus-Tech Squeeze Box contributed a track to The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie and also refined their manic pop sound with a second album. At just under 30 minutes in total length Cartooom! was considerably shorter than its predecessor, despite having the same number of tracks. Faster and more intense than before, it is presented as almost a concept album, mimicking the rush of sounds and melodies that one might experience channel-surfing children's television on a Saturday morning. It also saw the departure of Kamada, who was replaced by a greater reliance on samples and an array of different guest vocalists. The following years saw a slowing of Plus-Tech Squeeze Box's output, but they nevertheless remained active, in 2006 providing the opening theme to Korean cartoon Pucca as well as further remixes and compilation album tracks. In 2005 Hayashibe joined Tokyo-based indie electro band Utrecht, continuing both groups in parallel.