Pentatonix Pointer Per Perfume

So I was cruising with some tunes after a long day slaving over a hot computer… and one thing lead to another. From Lady Gaga, I drifted over to Pentatonix, where I ran into a song of theirs I’d not heard before.

Being partly in Japanese, I figured it was a ‘cover’ of a group Id never heard of, so went looking for the original (something I regularly do).

In the process, I found both a group I’d never seen / heard before and what I think is a new sort of genre. An odd mix of the “girly dancer” with techno-pop and maybe a kind of Taico Drum influence. With hints of Alizée from France in the package and presentation…

But wait, there’s more… They do a bigger stage act…

with a mostly male audience it looks to me…

It is an interesting thing to realize how big their audiences are, and that I had no idea they existed.

Then there is this. A mega production with light show, special effects, the works.

So I have no idea what genre to call that…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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24 Responses to Pentatonix Pointer Per Perfume

  1. E.M.Smith says:

    The title on this one implies the genre is “Techno electro pop girls” I think…

    Who knew there was such a catagory…

  2. philjourdan says:

    I will let you figure out the genre, I will just enjoy the show. I like it! It does not hurt that the ladies are cute.

  3. Larry Geiger says:

    Could not attend that last one live. Probably have a seizure or something. Very odd.

  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    My first impression – I’d call it Techno – cheerleader

  5. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting, their crowds are overwhelmingly male, the big light show was basically a drug trip without the drugs between the lights, choreography, the music (basic element of techno is a beat that matches an elevated heart rate), giggly and sexy young girls in heels with nice legs. Pretty much sensual over load as just about every sensory hook got snagged except for the sense of smell.

    It would be nice to know what the monologue was in english in the big light show production, you could make out the general trend of it by context and crowd reaction but with out the actual meaning of the words not sure if it was a comedy routine or just an energetic thank you to the crowd.

  6. Stirner says:

    Perfume seems like a Techno version of Baby Metal (i.e. a heavy metal version of Perfume). Japanese pop is pretty weird.

  7. Power Grab says:

    I would guess J-Pop…electronica…techno.

    Another group is Capsule.

  8. Power Grab says:

    I have the album this is on:

  9. Power Grab says:

    The album this is on is the first Jpop album I bought:

    The singer is an anime actor. I enjoy listening to his work. They have good orchestrations (if you can still use that term with techno works…) and his voice is pleasant to listen to.

  10. Power Grab says:

    Hmmm…I just clicked on the link after I posted the comment. The song that started isn’t the one I was talking about. I guess if you link to a series on Youtube, you just get the first item instead of the thing that was playing.

    The album is Fantasista by Mamoru Miyano. The title of the song I was trying to link to is Egoistic, the first track on the album.

    I don’t know what they’re saying, but my kid probably can translate now.

    I like to listen to this energetic stuff to help me stay awake when I’m on the road.

  11. tom0mason says:

    Sorry E.M., Electro-Tech pop is not my preference, especially with over processed voices.
    I have an aversion to excessive Auto-tune ( type vocal processing. To my ears it just rips the person from the vocals, reducing all to a characterless mechanical robotic sounding yowl.
    Cher’s ‘Believe’ ( was one of the first successful records to show off this effect. Since then everyone in pop now appears to use it, as it can and does hide poor vocalization, tuning, intonation, uncontrolled vibrato, etc., and is used to add pitch correction, artificial annunciation, vibrato, super-human pitch-shifts and note holding, vocal colorations, etc.

    This type of processing can and is often used in the recording business to sympathetically enhance a performance, unfortunately, to my ears ‘Perfume’ just sounded like any of the many (from all parts of the world) that have had similar ‘excessive’ style of vocal treatment.
    With a good studio engineer and enough time with Auto-Tune you and I could be made to sound very much like Perfume or Pentatonix!

    The floor-show looked great though, and they are good performers but the music is not my thing. I would have liked to hear how their singing voices really sounded as previously I have enjoyed less processed Japanese vocals.

  12. R. de Haan says:

    They call it Techno Pop.

  13. John F. Hultquist says:

    from tom’s link at 3:05
    Auto-Tune was initially created by Andy Hildebrand, an engineer working for Exxon. Hildebrand developed methods for interpreting seismic data . . .

    So Big Oil isn’t without a redeeming quality.

  14. Power Grab says:

    I endured 8 minutes of that video, but now I’m back listening to Frank Sinatra. It’s less boring. ;-)

  15. E.M.Smith says:


    No need to feel “sorry”. As I had never seen this before, it is more a bizarre novelty to me. I’m not advocating nor rejecting, just surprised…

    BTW Pentatonix is all natural. I’ve watch the videos of them on one of the talent shows (where they call out folks they think may be cheating.) These are just some highly talented kids who formed a group while in music school. They have spectacular and trained voices. (The Asian folks, I have no clue about).


    Given the various responses, it looks like there are several possible names made from various combinations of (techno | pop | electro | girl | boy) perhaps depending on some fine grain of details below my ability to discriminate (in the FM Tuner sence of the word…).

    @Power Grab: To each their own. I’ve not listened to Sinatra outside of movies for decades, and never by choice…

    Then again, once the novelty of WTF?? wears off, I doubt I’ll be choosing electrotechnopopWhatever either… Even now, it is the visuals that I find most interesting (and not just for legs…). Things like the clearly highly stylized hand movements… is it a language? Anime has a “hidden language” of stylized postures that say whole sentences or paragraphs to those in the know. Is this similar and I’m just outside the inside group? Is it the same symbol language? (And since I never watch anime I don’t know it either). Then the use of so much stagecraft in some shows, and nearly nothing in the others. The one at the table being minimal, but perhaps an homage to HandDance?

    Finally, just the cultural aspect of it. Clearly they have a following of hunderds of thousands to millions. Why? It can’t be just cute girls as the world is full of them with many not doing this style. There is something cultural here (or maybe “there” as it seems an Asian thing..,). Kind of like KPOP. I don’t know what it is, but it comes on the local PBS channel just after foreign news ends so I get to watch some of it depending on how long it takes to find the zapper… 8-) I think it is Korean, based on the sound and alphabet used. They seem to also have that “cheerleader pop” (h/t) aspect with “dance teams”) in stylized movements and postures, but minus the techno bit and the special effects.

    I guess really it just comes down to looking at something a bit strange out of Asia and wondering what they are doing this time :-) and how did I manage to never become even minimally aware of it untill now? Heck, I’ve even listened to Tibetan throat singing, so it isn’t like I’m cloistered…

  16. Power Grab says:

    My kid has always liked anime. I find the visuals rather lacking, but it’s not unusual to find impressive music associated with various anime series. That surprised me. But since Asian mothers strongly encourage their children to take music lessons (they understand the mental growth that occurs when a person learns to make music), I’m not surprised that well-made orchestral recordings are common in the Far East. They must be overflowing with accomplished musicians.

  17. Power Grab says:

    My kid also tells me that, even though anime has a huge following in Japan (the voice actors are treated like big rock stars), the huge throngs of rabid fans are actually looked down on by the rest of the people. Go figure.

  18. tom0mason says:

    You say “BTW Pentatonix is all natural. ”
    As inoffensive modern pop it’s OK, however I’d say that’s a pitch corrected, harmony corrected, and rhythm corrected studio production. It’s a nice job but if that is how they truly sound, when singing together without electronic assistance, then I’ll eat their CD.

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    While I can not guarantee anything, having not been in their studio during the recording:

    This is a group that doesn’t even use musical instruments. Think about it…

    The shaved head guy takes the top end and has an odd sound profile that at first I thought had to be the girl, but isn’t. The black guy is their human beat box, but has sung at least once as front man. The dark haired guy does bass to way low, and the blong guy and the girl fill in the middle.

    I have no idea how many takes they do to get it full and complete, but there it is. I’ve heard and seen live competition footage including rehersals where they have something a touch off so restart. It is the same sound as their recordings though a touch less perfect.

    Listen to some of their other stuff. It is astounding what they do with voice only. In one, I was cetain it had a walking base line on string, then the base guy was put front of yhe video and I realized it was all him.

    Here is one of many

  20. E.M.Smith says:

    BTW, this is my favorite. I was first introduced to them via this video. We were doing fav videos cast to the big screen tv in Florida, and my friends son, a music major in voice and professional singer, btw, put this one up. I think he would have known if they were bogus.

    From their christmass serier, less mechanical sound goal

    Just amazing voices…

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    Though this one would be my favorite had I not heard the other one first… making it a special experience memory. A more choral sound with all of them doing some straight singing at times (I.e. more than just bass and percussion)

  22. E.M.Smith says:

    It’s all your fault, you know… you sent me off on a Pentatonix binge session… they have ‘funniest moments’, and ‘the making of’, and more videos than I can count… then I ran into one that is audio only, but it is Bohemian Rhapsody….

    You can tell it is voice, not guitar, but boy did they get the ambiance right… and Queen is a real challenge. I wonder if they did it on a dare…

  23. gareth says:

    Hi E.M.
    Late to the party but wanted to say thanks for the Perfume links – brilliant :-)
    Not so keen on Pentatonix or some of the other stuff in comments, but worth hearing…
    My picks: Mylene Farmer, Mitten (sadly defunct, see google Mitten Bandcamp) esp You’re The Runner

  24. gareth says:

    PS: Link to Mylène Farmer – C’Est Une Belle Journée:

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