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She's the diminutive, pig-tailed virtual singer whose 3D image has charmed audiences worldwide. They're one of the most notorious acts in the history of Japan's noise music scene. And on January 16, Hatsune Miku and Hijokaidan will be united (at last!) for their debut release, under the moniker Hatsune-kaidan. Say what? It's all part of Vocaloid star Miku's attempt to go highbrow, which has included a collaboration with electronic pioneer Isao Tomita and the Japan Philharmonic Orchestra, and a starring role in an all-virtual opera created by polymath musician Keiichiro Shibuya and writer Toshiki Okada. (Hijokaidan are no strangers to this game either, having recently hooked up with idol group BiS.) Alas, it seems that Miku won't be present for the Hatsune-kaidan release party, but the noiseniks have recruited a couple of other guests to help them out instead, namely saxophonist Akira Sakata and fresh-faced singer Kamin Shirahata.

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