Takako Minekawa began her career as an iconoclastic J-pop artist and eventually moved into more experimental terrain, all the while retaining a playful sense of wonder in her music. A child movie and TV star in Japan, Minekawa was always interested in music and formed her first group, Lolita, with some college friends. This morphed into Fancy Face Groovy Name in 1990, which also included Kahimi Karie. After playing in a number of groups, Minekawa was ready to strike out on her own. Inspired by her personal obsessions -- cats, keyboards, French pop -- she released her solo debut, Chat Chat, in 1994, which she followed up with 1995's A Little Touch of Baroque in Winter and 1996's Roomic Cube (released the following year in the U.S.).
With each album, Minekawa's writing and arrangements showed a more refined mix of innocence and complexity. However, her ideas were still fresh and playful, as the 1998 remix EP Recubed -- which featured Roomic Cube songs remixed by friends like Sukia, the Pulsars, and Buffalo Daughter -- showed. Cloudy Cloud Calculator, Minekawa's most independent statement yet, was released at the end of 1998; it was followed by 1999's Fun 9 and 2000's Maxi On EP. After marrying Cornelius' Keigo Oyamada in 2000 (they divorced in 2012), Minekawa took an extended break from making music, and resurfaced in 2013 with the fractured, experimental pop of Toropical Circle, a collaboration with former Ponytail guitarist Dustin Wong. The duo returned the following year with Savage Imagination, a more free-flowing set of pieces featuring more samples and textures. They began working on their third collaboration soon after, taking inspiration from Japanese and European fusion artists as well as some hearing issues Wong suffered while recording. The results, Are Euphoria, arrived in 2017 and featured production by Wong's former Ecstatic Sunshine bandmate Matthew Papich.