Perfume: Time Warp – J-Pop Single Review

Perfume have been pushing the boundaries for 20 years. In an industry that is obsessed with age, Perfume have continued to evolve with the times and are still incredibly popular, if not more popular and successful than ever before.

Known for their technologically savvy music videos and mesmerising performances (produced exclusively by Japanese visual art and media collective Rhizomatiks), as well as their stylish outfits and impressive dance choreography, it was only last year that Perfume became the first ever J-Pop girl group to perform at Coachella, which was televised all over the world.

The three-piece electropop J-Pop girl group consisting of Nocchi (Ayano Omoto), KASHIYUKA (Yuka Kashino) and A-chan (Ayaka Nishiwaki) recently celebrated both their 20th anniversary as a group and their 15th major label debut anniversary. With two years between dance cards, as their last official single ‘Mugenmirai’ (無限未来, Endless Future) was released back in 2018, the J-Pop group finally have a new release with their song, ‘Time Warp’. It is also their first physical single release in 2 years.

I love ‘Time Warp’. The song feels very nostalgic and reminds me of the 80s, but specifically – 80s Japanese pop music, which can only be a good thing. Despite the song feeling nostalgic, it also feels very new and refreshing at the same time. Created by Japanese DJ, record producer, songwriter, composer and arranger Yasutaka Nakata, ‘Time Warp’ has a simple beat, a catchy looping synth, a wonderfully uplifting melody and is by far Perfume’s most reflective and retrospective song to date.

A little obvious from the song’s title, ‘Time Warp’ shares thoughts of affectionately revisiting the past. The music video is also enchanting, stunning (I never expected any less from Perfume) and is incredibly nostalgic with pastel colours, upside-down stairs, eye-popping stylish costumes, clever filming visuals to suit the song, and even an old video tape and player.

If you haven’t heard this song yet nor checked out the music video, it is an absolute must as Perfume’s ‘Time Warp’ may be the best J-Pop release of 2020. I have no doubt that Perfume’s legacy will continue for years to come, as they continue to be experimental and adventurous with their work, which is huge for both themselves as a group and for Japanese music in general because usually Japanese artists aren’t so willing to share their songs with the world.

While the group have toured internationally and I would love to see them here in Australia, I have a feeling that if I want to see them live, I’m going to have to travel to where they’re touring next, or go specifically to Japan (not exactly a bad idea). That’s a long way off, so until then I’m going to be patient (for international travel to be a thing again and for live music to return) and listen to ‘Time Warp’ again, because it’s just so damn good.

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