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Yellow Magic Orchestra

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Japan (1978 – 1984, 1993 – 1993, 2007 – present)

Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) is an influential Japanese electropop band, formed in 1978. They are renowned as a major influence in popular music, and for pioneering the music genre. The principal members are Haruomi Hosono (bass), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums) and Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards).

The band was originally conceived as a one-off studio project by Hosono, the other two members being recruited session musicians - the idea was to produce an album fusing orientalist exotica (cf their cover version of Martin Denny’s Firecracker) with modern electronics. However the first album (with its cutting-edge production) was very popular, and the studio project grew into a fully fledged touring band and career for its three members.

Making abundant use of new synthesizers, samplers, digital and computer recording technology as it became available, their popularity and influence extended beyond Japan. Generally the band were highly regarded as electronic pioneers, and continue to be remixed and sampled by modern artists. The members have also worked with European synth/new romantic artists such as David Sylvian of Japan. The wonderful single Bamboo Houses is one such example (Sylvian/Sakamoto).

The band had stopped working together by 1984, the three members returning to their solo careers. They released a one-off reuinion album, Technodon, in 1993.

The early 2000s saw Hosono & Takehashi reunited in a project called Sketch Show. On the occasions when Sakamoto joined them in concerts they called themselves Human Audio Sponge or HAS. The band played Rydeen at the 2007 Live Earth concert in Kyoto, Japan.

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  • jonodude

    I've read that the lyrics to BGM were printed in one of their books, "Techno Bible" maybe? I can't remember. Anyway I wonder whether any listeners know where these lyrics might be found online? Definitely interested in seeing whether some of the more indecipherable bits, like the conversation in "U-T" or the end of "Camouflage" are included.

    11 Mar 10:02pm Reply
  • Blindenbaker

    KEY!

    17 Feb 9:53am Reply
  • Mechayoshi

    I can't believe I just found this....

    12 Feb 10:52pm Reply
  • nyugh

    " Hip-hop pioneer Afrika Bambaataa, who sampled their music, was only half-joking when he said that Yellow Magic Orchestra invented hip-hop." 8)

    1 Jan 10:07pm Reply
  • Jirdoo

    should've started listening to them earlier

    21 Nov 2014 Reply
  • TheGoobs21

    sweet sound

    4 Oct 2014 Reply
  • TangLime

    wishing ryuichi a speedy recovery x

    10 Jul 2014 Reply
  • tangerman

    Y.M.O. & Logic System channel ---> https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLVpi8Edwfa7IpoCucRGBMtB0lZ3moXtMR

    17 Jun 2014 Reply
  • rascal0pl

    Shadows On The Ground :O

    11 Jun 2014 Reply
  • Keolia

    Catchy and lovely sound~

    9 May 2014 Reply
  • beatsdontstop

    BGM then Technodelic, 2 excellent records within just 8 months of each other - these guys were on fire

    27 Apr 2014 Reply
  • jakobdorof

    Only 80 000 listeners for these Japanese geniuses ? [2] one of the coolest bands ever

    15 Apr 2014 Reply
  • beatsdontstop

    just got to the end of Technodelic - "pretty decent" was an understatement, this is great

    22 Mar 2014 Reply
  • beatsdontstop

    read about these guys in "Kraftwerk Publikation" - had never heard them before; pretty decent

    22 Mar 2014 Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

    почему все так горазды их с kraftwerk сравнивать? тут гораздо больше заигрываний с этническими мотивами, что только радует.

    9 Mar 2014 Reply
  • NiniusNunius

    I would have never guessed that I'd listen synthpop from 80's someday. Well now it has happened. And it's awesome.

    13 Feb 2014 Reply
  • TamaTheOriginal

    Only 80 000 listeners for these Japanese geniuses ?

    4 Feb 2014 Reply
  • Neon_Spadezzz

    Okay, I know the song "Firecracker" from somewhere, but I don't think I know the song from The Invaders or The Circus. -_-

    22 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Cherrylake

    My toys are also broken boys

    20 Nov 2013 Reply
  • YasamanSixX

    never gets old. amazing

    16 Oct 2013 Reply
  • All 362 shouts

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