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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 synt/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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  • bonkguy

    Must be a way to get out of this cul-de-sac

    Yesterday 2:03pm Reply
  • jakobdorof

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

    Yesterday 3:12am Reply
  • beatsdontstop

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

    22 Mar 1:06am Reply
  • beatsdontstop

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

    22 Mar 12:18am Reply
  • HaHaHaYoureDead

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

    9 Mar 9:51am 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 12:08pm Reply
  • TamaTheOriginal

    Only 80 000 listeners for these Japanese geniuses ?

    4 Feb 11:43am 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
  • kneFX

    they're just magical ♪

    1 Oct 2013 Reply
  • jakobdorof

    wow. just rediscovered "be a superman."

    23 Sep 2013 Reply
  • Tahula

    Synthesizer fans & lovers & addicts are all welcomed! http://www.last.fm/group/Synthesizer

    27 Jul 2013 Reply
  • tronsuser

    i'd imagine you'll find one or two people who fit that description here!!

    28 Jun 2013 Reply
  • RoCkPhiLia

    Oh, I'm looking for a person who likes YMO or, at least, who knows about the band. I hate being the only one of my groups. :(

    30 May 2013 Reply
  • lailamb

    v *Citation needed

    27 May 2013 Reply
  • ChriS_LIAB

    Damn, such a shame that we don't know nor care more about japanese music! USA killed this culture...

    26 May 2013 Reply
  • am4lcy8s

    I still remember seeing them in London on their 1980 tour .... brilliantly excellent. I suppose that makes me old :-(

    15 May 2013 Reply
  • dissident93

    The godfathers of Japanese chiptune.

    10 May 2013 Reply
  • eterarnial

    Expecting rivers♥

    9 May 2013 Reply
  • All 351 shouts