RFI: Yellow Magic Orchestra

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I really like their name.

Alex in Doncaster (Alex in Doncaster), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 00:17 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, but their music is better.

'Naughty Boys' might be the greatest synth-pop album ever.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 00:58 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I was listening to this DJ Harvey radio show mix CD and he played Yellow Magic Orchestra's awesome "Behind the Mask" from XX infinity multiples or whatever that album's called(not XOYO, that's the passage...) and then played Eric Clapton covering that song.

very...weird.

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 01:10 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Just discovering YMO's material. Really great stuff. Both the early mainly instrumental stuff, and the later, vocal but very Eastern sounding, output.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 01:40 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I love the first three. 'Solid State Survivor' and 'xxo multiplies' in particular. Japan is number one. Some good things on the later records too, though they bland out a bit. 'BGM' has it's moments.

Sakamoto's '1000 Knives' is very close to the YMO sound, more jazz less kitsch though. 'B-2 Unit' and 'Esperanto' I love to tiny bits.

The new Sketch Show record 'Loophole' has disorientingly modern production; it's glitch-o-clock. But it's really growing on me. It's currently a hyper-expensive import, I wouldn't say it's $28 worth of brilliant but if you're a YMO fanatic, you definitely want this. If it ever comes out domestically, people will be talking about it.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 01:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

one last descriptive note: 'Loophole' is almost entirely songs, many in english. the production's at the service of the tunes. less pomo than cornelius, less acoustic more tuneful than takemura's songbook material.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 02:18 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

The best news about YMO is that they've just reissued all of the albums, some of them as doubles with different versions on different discs. The first self-titled one has the Japanese/US version split into two, and Naughty Boys is split into regular and instrumental versions. I just got the Naughty Boys the other day so still not sure how it stacks up for me overall, but the self-titled and Solid State Survivor are both fantastic, and am still enjoying most of Technodelic, BGM and Service.

I'm unclear on Xoo Multiples...is it just a compilation of the first two, or are the versions of the songs on that one somehow different?

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 02:28 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Another great thing about the re-releases is they have made marvellous surround remixes that (unlike most surround remixes) aren't only available to the select few that own a SACD player.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 02:31 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

can someone explain this? A friend made me a CD of B-2 Unit and it had this one amazing new wavey pop song on it that was kinda punky, but that wasn't on the LP another friend had, but I can't remember seeing a difference in tracklisting...

Dan Selzer (Dan Selzer), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 02:41 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

the japanese issue of xxo multiplies was a 100% new album. with extremely odd 'comedy skits' capable of frying the mind of anyone trying to come to terms with what the band was really about.

the us edition replaces the skits with several tracks from 'solid state survivor'. hopefully any new reissue will just feature the japanese edition.

early copies of the us edition of 'B-2 Unit' replaced the dissonant 'Participation Mystique' with the amazing 'Warhead', from the a-side of a 12" single. if the song you're thinking about has a one-beat slapback delay on all the human vocals and insane vocoder vocals for the chorus, that's 'Warhead'. they're both incredible songs.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 02:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

extremely odd 'comedy skits'

Those are insane and wonderful. Anyone who complains/can't deal with hip-hop skits probably just won't know WHAT to think about these.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 02:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

they marked me pretty deep as well.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 02:56 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

ho ho ho ho ho ho ho ...aaaaaho ho ho ho ho ho ho ah yes

donut bitch (donut), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 03:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Sean, 'Naughty Boys' is amazing. And the second instrumental disc is totally worth getting. In fact, I might listen to it more. Listen to it before you go to bed. It just makes you so happy!

And I agree with milton on 'Loophole'. Pretty great album. I was surprised. The one from '02 'Audio Sponge' is good as well (higher highs, lower lows maybe).

Patrick South (Patrick South), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 05:52 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Of the reissues, is there one that towers above all others that I should obviously definitely get first, as flavoursome sampler? Or is opinion hugely divided on which is best? Or should I perhaps just buy as many as I can afford? (please make all my decisions for me)

Alex in Leeds (Alex in Doncaster), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 10:25 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

So far for me it's Solid State Survivor so far.

Patrick, will definitely be listening to Naughty Boys more. I found the instrumental version a bit repetitious and grating when I listened last but I was also in a bad mood, so...

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 11:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

do you understand me mr.ohira ?

eleki-san (eleki-san), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 15:07 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>Of the reissues, is there one that towers above all others that I should obviously definitely get first, as flavoursome sampler?

'Solid State Survivor' seconded, no contest. Then 'XXO Multiplies'.

Comparing this band with late 70's/early 80's synth pop from other countries; everywhere else, the synth sounds seemed to inevitably lead to concept pop bands focusing on either amped up irony (M's 'Pop Musik') or dehumanized alienation (Ultravox / Numan / Human League, even Moroder etc.) YMO's a bizarrely happy, kitsch party band throwing out references to video games, sleazy lounge music, happy party fun. If it's dehumanizing, they seem very happy about it. Maybe because the same technology in Japan signified unprecedented financial prosperity? I can't know. Seriously, if anyone can knowledgeably fill me in on how YMO was received in their home land, please post to this thread.

Obviously a big part of the group's concept was throwing up a funhouse mirror to the west's asian stereotypes (the Martin Denny cover, the Snakeman Show skits, the unbelievable 'Tighten Up' single: 'We Don't Sightsee, WE DANCE You Understand, Yahdee!'), but they don't seem... angry... they seem happy? Or is it actually intensely focused rage? Or... what? Huh? How?

For perspective, the only other group doing Martin Denny tributes in the late 70's was Throbbing Gristle (certainly coming from an entirely different place).

The last reissue wave was the early 90's, still one decade too soon. Hopefully they'll catch on this time.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 19:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I shouldn't have lumped in M with the other bands, they're the western exception, underlined by the fact that Scott and Sakamoto started collaborating almost immediately.

(Jon L), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 19:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I would say Human League were about fun from "Dare" onwards. Also, a lot of the stuff Vince Clarke was involved with was very positive and happy.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 21:59 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

In the case of YMO, "Service" is a rather dark effort btw.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 22:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

dude! millar to thread!!!!!!!

geeta (geeta), Wednesday, 11 February 2004 22:20 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

'Solid State Survivor' isn't as unique as YMO's last three albums. 'Technodelic' is pretty subtle, but a great album nonetheless. 'Service' has amazing songs, but each track is broken up by skits in Japanese, that are bothersome as they interupt the flow. It would have been nice if the reissue had the songs all in a row (and perhaps a few bonus tracks to make up for only 7 songs). The live album 'After Service' is really great as well. 'Naughty Boys' is extremely catch. And Bill Nelson does guitar work on it. Milton's description of the band really only holds true for their first couple albums. Both periods are good though.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 12 February 2004 04:57 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

>only holds true for their first couple albums.

I will cop to less familiarity with the later period and shouldn't generalize. Looking forward to checking out the reissues.

(Jon L), Thursday, 12 February 2004 05:24 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
Naughty Boys is my favouritest thing ever EVER now kind of. Solid State Survivor is also near-flawless motorik glee. The first album is bop-poppin-blip-cracklin' aceness. Technodelic is a tiny bit harder work but still luscious and unfurly. But Naughty Boys and the instrumental disc are both 100% perfect. My world is completer for YMO (it is too late to be articulate about why but YAY)

Alex in Doncaster (Alex in Doncaster), Wednesday, 12 May 2004 21:55 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If anyone is interested there is a bloke on Ebay.com who sells YMO DVD releases pretty cheaply, about £7 each plus p&p (there's about 8 I think, in total) it's mainly live stuff and videos, they seem to have kept a pretty extensive archive of concert films. I bought a couple and they are very watchable, kinda gives an extra edge to the music when you see the kindof *Devo* live setup they had.

mzui, Thursday, 13 May 2004 08:03 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

How did I miss this? When I'm a millionaire I plan to open a bar in manhattan called "RYDEEN" that plays nothing but YMO, Telex and Kraftwerk all day and night. Like that bar that plays nothing but Turbonegro, but less leather, more pomade and robots.

my YMO 10 right now

1. Taiso
2. Rydeen
3. Firecracker
4. Tighten up
5. Tighten up (I can do this!)
6. You've got to help yourself
7. Light in darkness
8. Nice Age (perverse!!!!)
9. Day Tripper
10. Absolute Ego Dance

B-2 Unit is indeed an excellent record. I'll have to check out 1000 Knives. I've been tetchy with Sakamoto solo releases as he's rather ...inconsistent. Haruomi Hosono's Monad Box isn't really worth it either.

I have still not ponied up for any Sketch Show releases! *forehead slap*

Ally's mom in the car when Tighten Up came on the stereo: "They sound like they're making fun of japanese people!"

TOMBOT, Thursday, 13 May 2004 13:43 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
YMO so good so so good. like john hughes movie fills but... yeah!

cºzen (Cozen), Friday, 10 September 2004 19:02 (twelve years ago) Permalink

there was a copy of ryuichi sakamoto's 'esperanto' at Amoeba SF in the used section for $7.95 tonight.

(Jon L), Saturday, 11 September 2004 06:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...
I love "Chaos Panic" right this second. Thanks very much.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 27 April 2005 13:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"Would you like to have some coffee?"
"Ah, yes please..."

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 27 April 2005 14:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

RAP RAP EVERYBODY RAP.

I can gmail/YSI you guys sick Yamantaka eye remixes also!

Open your eyes; you can fly! (ex machina), Wednesday, 27 April 2005 15:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

please do mr williams

milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 27 April 2005 17:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i heard something off "1000 knives" at the record store yesterday. sounded like gong's "a sprinkling of clouds" crossed with kraftwerk's "home computer". i think i'll have to get it.

vahid (vahid), Wednesday, 27 April 2005 18:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"absolute ego dance" is the business (like the rainbow island video game theme music tripping on something wonderful)

joseph (joseph), Thursday, 28 April 2005 01:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
The new Senor Coconut album is called Yellow Fever and you can guess what group gets reworked this time out. But all three YMO guys are on it individually, so that's nice. And I gotta say the take on "Rydeen" is utterly wonderful.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 25 May 2006 19:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

"Firecracker," "Simoon" and "Behind the Mask" not far behind.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 25 May 2006 19:38 (eleven years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
Ok, so I've gone YMO bonkers these last few weeks and held off reviving this thread as long as I could.

Solid State Survivor's so outstanding I can't believe I didn't happen upon it earlier, the perfect synthesis of their pop orientalism and mastery of electronic texture -- the "Japanese Kraftwerk" thing really plays here, with "Behind the Mask" (bizarre history notwithstanding) something of an antidote to "The Model" (there's an absolutely hideous YouTube clip of Sakamoto playing this in the 90s that makes me shivver to even think about). "Insomnia," too, with the noirish vocoder melody that appears in the last third.

I'm only digging into BGM now, but Technodelic seems to get seriously short shrift -- the sound develops by leaps and bounds here, with "Taiso" birthing Nick Rhodes perhaps even more than Richard Barbieri ever could. Transitional, but not the worse for it. Shades of the Beatles, which would show up later on with "Lotus Love."

With Service and Naughty Boys, the music becomes extremely...digital, more symphonic. Some great stuff -- "Limbo," "Wild Ambitions" (featuring Bill Nelson's eBow pretty prominently), "Kai-Koh." These records almost sound like a different band, featuring little of the wit or bounce that kind of defines early YMO songs like "Absolute Ego Dance" and "Firecracker," with much more of an opaque Ippu-Do thing going on.

Still digging in, but with such a diverse profile, it's hard to believe these guys were left with such a niche reputation.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 2 November 2006 05:54 (ten years ago) Permalink

I've only got BGM. How much better is, say, Naughty Boys, relatively? I liked some of the songs off of BGM a lot, but I didn't feel that any of them really compared to....well, ok. I always heard them referred to as "The Japanese Kraftwerk". Kraftwerk is probably one of my favorite bands ever, so it's a lot to live up to, but - nothing off of BGM compared to Kraftwerk to me (Or if it did, only to Electric Cafe-era Kraftwerk).

Zachary Scott (Zach S), Thursday, 2 November 2006 06:22 (ten years ago) Permalink

I think Naughty Boys is the album where YMO really found their sound. It's also a lot more cohesive than the grab-bag of BGM. I don't think of them as sounding like Kraftwerk at all by '83 and '84. It's shiny, happy synth-pop.

Patrick South (Patrick South), Thursday, 2 November 2006 07:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

Technodelic seems to get seriously short shrift

It's great! "Epilogue" should reduce many a grown man to sobbing.

LC (Damian), Thursday, 2 November 2006 12:06 (ten years ago) Permalink

Zachary, you should check out "Insomnia" off Solid State Survivor. Patrick's right in that by Naughty Boys (and Service before it), the band doesn't really have the Japanese Kraftwerk thing going on at all, though I'm not sure with his belief that it's their "best" era or where they found their sound. It's just different, more overtly pop.

with "Taiso" birthing Nick Rhodes perhaps even more than Richard Barbieri ever could

Clearly I meant "Light in Darkness" here.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 2 November 2006 13:20 (ten years ago) Permalink

Also, does anyone know a good comp of theirs with rarities (single mixes, etc.)? I was eyeballing Overseas Collection with some envy, but that's utterly impossible to find for anyone outside of Japan. Likewise for Techno Bible...

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Thursday, 2 November 2006 16:52 (ten years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

can someone recommend some other Haruomi Hosono projects aside from YMO (solo or otherwise)?

amateurist, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 14:49 (seven years ago) Permalink

Haruomi Hosono

damo tsu tsuki (r1o natsume), Tuesday, 4 August 2009 14:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Paraiso is really good. Tropical music with a bizarre electronic twist. Very odd and affecting, and quite catchy as well.
Cochin Moon is an early electronic classic. Really neat stuff.
His Nokto de la Galaskia Fervojo soundtrack is chilling, it's minimal (as is a lot of Hosono's stuff) but very cold and moving. Love it.

frogbs, Monday, 15 November 2010 19:26 (six years ago) Permalink

so glad this was revived. just found a mediafire folder with all the albums and needed some guidance.

brotherlovesdub, Monday, 15 November 2010 21:58 (six years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

really loving these stripped down live versions YMO have been playing this year

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NTnIJ61z1w

missingNO, Saturday, 25 December 2010 03:16 (six years ago) Permalink

Love the synth trumpet!

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 26 December 2010 17:47 (six years ago) Permalink

Whoah, YMO doing "Thank You For Talkin' to Me Africa"!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWPbDsPYxZM&feature=related

Naive Teen Idol, Sunday, 26 December 2010 17:48 (six years ago) Permalink

xp thanks! Don't know these at all. Pretty new to this stuff in general. This thread has been awesome / devastating in this regard

Wimmels, Sunday, 12 March 2017 16:15 (four months ago) Permalink

^^^

It might be my favorite ILM thread

Karl Malone, Sunday, 12 March 2017 16:16 (four months ago) Permalink

City pop in a non vaporwave, irony free way has definitely been making some kind of small comeback among Japanese musicians and producers it seems.

Toki Asako's new record Pink for instance is pretty upfront about it, using producer Tomi Yo who is regarded a a big City Pop stan.

MaresNest, Sunday, 12 March 2017 16:18 (four months ago) Permalink

Okay I always try to resist mentioning mine and my friends little radio show and sounding like a shill but I've caved in, mainly because we do play a lot of late 70s early 80s stuff of this stripe and the inevitability of a YMO connection is at the running joke stage, particularly Hosono.

It seems the more we keep digging the more great stuff we find that they've had a hand in somehow, be it mentoring, producing, releasing, guesting, it's madness and unending.

MaresNest, Sunday, 12 March 2017 16:23 (four months ago) Permalink

Kate NV's album "Binasu" has that Hosono-produced Miharu Koshi vibe all over it (did I already mention this upthread. If so - sorry).

The YMO-produced rabbithole can be a great one to fall into. For me the Akiko Yano albums that had YMO - or iterations of - playing with Sakamoto producing are the top example of how wonderful this stuff can be.
Hosono-produced stuff can go from shiny, glorious synth/sample based pop to fairly standard commercial production. As the '90s loomed the guys seemed to fall in love with cheesy "rave" sonics and lost much of their charm. I like the glitchy "clicks-n-cuts" approach of HASYMO and the Hosono/Takahashi collabs of the early '00s but - again - they seem to have gotten stuck in this sound, or at least Sakamoto has, for the last 10 years or so.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 12 March 2017 16:40 (four months ago) Permalink

more ppl need to hear binasu

clouds, Sunday, 12 March 2017 16:42 (four months ago) Permalink

I will confess I am struggling a bit with Hosono's singing voice. Assuming I'm alone on this one?

Wimmels, Sunday, 12 March 2017 16:46 (four months ago) Permalink

it took me a while but now i love his weird voice

clouds, Sunday, 12 March 2017 16:53 (four months ago) Permalink

There's a ... a...."Sesame Street" quality to his voice that I find comforting.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 12 March 2017 16:55 (four months ago) Permalink

Kate NV's album "Binasu" has that Hosono-produced Miharu Koshi vibe all over it (did I already mention this upthread. If so - sorry).

frogbs mentioned it earlier:
RFI: Yellow Magic Orchestra

and i fucking love that album. it's one of my favorites of 2016 in retrospect

Karl Malone, Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:01 (four months ago) Permalink

Oh yeah! Thanks frogbs - I discovered "Binasu" through that post!

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:07 (four months ago) Permalink

me too! i have found very little about NV elsewhere. i have no clue who she is but whatever she releases next is my most anticipated release

Karl Malone, Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:09 (four months ago) Permalink

Never had a problem with Harry's voice, it took me a long time to get used with Yukihiro's excessive Bowie/Ferry/Sylvian style though.

MaresNest, Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:10 (four months ago) Permalink

Oh man, this thread has got me looping Hosono's 'Pleocene' over and over, it's truly the best thing ever.

MaresNest, Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:12 (four months ago) Permalink

Recent Kate NV interview. there's a cool solo live set up on YT as well - just her and a couple of instruments doing "Binasu" stuff. And she's gorgeous.

http://thequietus.com/articles/19916-nv-glintshake-kate-shilonosova-interview

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:24 (four months ago) Permalink

Actually meant to post this recent interview. Other link is a year old.

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/a-glimpse-of-alternative-russia-through-the-music-of-kate-nv

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:26 (four months ago) Permalink

Binasu is the only time I've gotten the Hosono vibe from an album that he wasn't directly or indirectly involved with. It's such an odd thing to replicate - all of Hosono's work feels surreal and strange to me, even when he's not trying to be. He's kind of on another planet.

Never heard Hiroshi Sato before, kind of amazing there are YMO-related albums I haven't heard yet given my decade-plus obsession with tracking everything down. So much good stuff there. Glad Akiko Yano was mentioned b/c her stuff is seriously amazing, even outside the YMO-collab period. She can really sing too. This song - so freakin great. Plus that has got to be one of the best album covers ever.

https://youtu.be/-MK9V7S3XuQ?t=12m

I have dug around for YMO-related albums for years and I can tell you the three I think are the best.

god, I couldn't even imagine paring it down to three. Hosono's Paraiso would definitely be the first one though.

frogbs, Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:26 (four months ago) Permalink

How do you guys rate Pacific?

Wimmels, Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:30 (four months ago) Permalink

Hosono-produced stuff can go from shiny, glorious synth/sample based pop to fairly standard commercial production. As the '90s loomed the guys seemed to fall in love with cheesy "rave" sonics and lost much of their charm. I like the glitchy "clicks-n-cuts" approach of HASYMO and the Hosono/Takahashi collabs of the early '00s but - again - they seem to have gotten stuck in this sound, or at least Sakamoto has, for the last 10 years or so.

yea this is pretty much spot on. so weird hearing Hosono do straight techno stuff in the mid 90's, still kind of strange though. Medicine Compilation (not actually a compilation) has some great stuff on it. N.D.E. I never got into. Sakamoto fell into some bad habits in the early 90's too, trying to do overly commercial pop stuff that IMO just wasn't very good. not surprising that the YMO reunion album was kind of a dud. for what it's worth Takahashi had a bit of a career renaissance in the 90's; his late 80's period is where he really fell off, but from like '95 on he really seemed to find himself again. he has a song that's like a half-cover of Underworld's "Jumbo", it's incredible.

really wish Sketch Show would've gone beyond the two albums. I thought Loophole was really special.

frogbs, Sunday, 12 March 2017 17:43 (four months ago) Permalink

Pacific is bad smooth ez jazz "fusion" (speaking as someone who likes that kind of stuff) BUT the early version of "cosmic surfing" (the only electronic song on the album) is vital to the YMO story

a but (brimstead), Sunday, 12 March 2017 19:51 (four months ago) Permalink

Love "Loophole". To me the last great YMO tune was this
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=mnPkiVRbJts

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Sunday, 12 March 2017 20:10 (four months ago) Permalink

omg no pacific is the best kind of library jazz

clouds, Sunday, 12 March 2017 20:51 (four months ago) Permalink

to each his own, it gets much too "sweet" for my tastes

a but (brimstead), Sunday, 12 March 2017 20:56 (four months ago) Permalink

yeah, was hoping more for American Garage circa Metheny vibes but listening now, it's nowhere near as awesome as that. Not hating it though, it might perfectly slot into my life at a late date, but right now there's too much other stuff on this thread to binge on

Wimmels, Sunday, 12 March 2017 22:53 (four months ago) Permalink

I'd highly recommend asami kado's la fleur bleue. takahashi produced that one & it's basically the optimal ver of his more sentimental style. great record.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LFIJtZjISWo

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Sunday, 12 March 2017 23:09 (four months ago) Permalink

he does backing vocals on this too right? definitely sounds like a number of YT tunes.

I'm guessing most of you have heard this, but if not - Akiko Yano's "Rose Garden" is on another planet. Up there with anything YMO themselves did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRSm1osRINo

frogbs, Thursday, 16 March 2017 14:14 (four months ago) Permalink

sure sounds like it but I've never been able to find a physical copy for a reasonable price :-/

tadaima is so great.

anyone familiar with her stuff from the 90s on? I caught her live a few years ago and it was she was def in jazzy singer songwriter mode. it was fun but I for sure gravitate towards her electronic records & I get the sense that's the style for much of her later material. but I'd be interested in some highlights if anyone knows this stuff.

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Thursday, 16 March 2017 14:31 (four months ago) Permalink

mega dated 90s fun with photoshop techno cover for go girl is making me want to start there:
https://www.discogs.com/Akiko-Yano-Go-Girl/release/3731210

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Thursday, 16 March 2017 14:41 (four months ago) Permalink

These Miharu Koshi records may be of related interest too, if you didn't already know them.

there are some really cool music videos of her on youtube

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Thursday, 16 March 2017 14:45 (four months ago) Permalink

You may want to check out the yanokami records then - a collab between her and Rei Harakami. sadly Harakami passed on at a rather young age. Here's a cover of Sylvian/Sakamoto's "Bamboo Music", with Yoshinori Sunahara (ex-Denki Groove, now in METAFIVE) taking over Harakami's role:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2WnjiGYxsRI

the other song I found from that performance is great too:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG8OjWhFMlE

For the most part I don't know her 90's stuff too well - I think I've heard her 91 album Love Life and it was incredibly pretty, as is basically everything she's done. But if you're looking for more stuff like Tadiama that ain't it. Her latest (Welcome to Jupiter) is full of younger collaborators and seems very interesting, but I've only heard a couple tracks (which were great). In general she seems like the sort of artist who has a lot of great stuff but you have to know which albums are which since there are a lot of solo piano and covers discs in her catalogue.

frogbs, Thursday, 16 March 2017 14:49 (four months ago) Permalink

mega dated 90s fun with photoshop techno cover for go girl is making me want to start there:
https://www.discogs.com/Akiko-Yano-Go-Girl/release/3731210

that reminds me, there is a sort-of guide here - not updated since 2005 though
http://technopop.info/ay.html

Go Girl

(@) 99.8.4 Epic cd: ESCB 2006

This one has sort of high tech album art. While not at all old fashioned, its not the sort of techno collage music the cover looks like. It was recorded with American musicians and Jeff Bova (the Hammonds) co-produces about half the album with her (she the other half, he shows up on most tracks). Her son Futa Sakamoto sings backup on a track. Enjoyable, plenty of synths, though no, as I like to call them, synth thrills.

frogbs, Thursday, 16 March 2017 14:51 (four months ago) Permalink

Why hasn't more Japanese music spread on digital paysites? I did see P-Model's Perspective and Another Game was released two years ago on mp3.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 16 March 2017 15:00 (four months ago) Permalink

I'd guess it's bc japan's record industry has been slow to adapt to streaming services in general. there was almost nothing on spotify a few years ago unless labels outside of japan put out the records (e.g. sakamoto). but I've been noticing that newer acts are frequently on there lately. noticed just about all of the suiyoubi no campanella catalog went up when their first major label record dropped, presumably bc they are being marketed towards a younger demographic? (catalog acts like ymo, yano, etc. are still largely absent.)

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Thursday, 16 March 2017 15:11 (four months ago) Permalink

and thank you for the yanokami rec! familiar w/yano & harakami (r.i.p.) but not this collaboration. cool!

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Thursday, 16 March 2017 15:14 (four months ago) Permalink

it's been strange to see things pop up on the US iTunes store that has no Western presence whatsoever - the new Denki Groove album just went up on there, I also found the latest by Yasuyuki Okamura (!!) and Ryukyudisko (!!!). strange because this is not stuff you'd normally find on file sharing services, or even what.cd when that was up. it's funny to search through all the usual channels and come up empty and then to be like...oh, it's on iTunes

frogbs, Thursday, 16 March 2017 15:50 (four months ago) Permalink

The Denki Groove album is on amazon too.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Thursday, 16 March 2017 16:13 (four months ago) Permalink

And for supreme Hosono production beauty you can't pass up Chiemi Manabe. It's criminal how much this album goes for on Discogs. This def. needs a quality vinyl reisssue.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4BcacNcpQ3c

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Thursday, 16 March 2017 16:32 (four months ago) Permalink

Rei Harakami's own records are all pretty great too, particularly 'Lust'

anyone familiar with her stuff from the 90s on? I caught her live a few years ago and it was she was def in jazzy singer songwriter mode. it was fun but I for sure gravitate towards her electronic records & I get the sense that's the style for much of her later material. but I'd be interested in some highlights if anyone knows this stuff.

I love 2004's Honto No Kimochi, a really great mixture of styles even getting close to some raucous Number Girl style guitar pop, also featuring Harakami on a couple of tracks.

MaresNest, Thursday, 16 March 2017 16:37 (four months ago) Permalink

that sounds great. will check it out soon, thank you!

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Friday, 17 March 2017 05:03 (four months ago) Permalink

how is the new denki groove? they're all p good, so I imagine that it's at least p good

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Friday, 17 March 2017 05:12 (four months ago) Permalink

XP - Welcome, ping an mail to my profile address (not the webmail link) and I'll send it to you.

MaresNest, Friday, 17 March 2017 12:29 (four months ago) Permalink

I'm saving it for a bit later :) but the samples I've heard have been good. the album title seems to give away the album's overall sound

I'm probably not the guy to ask though since I love pretty much everything they've done, so I'm just gonna say that yes, it's excellent.

frogbs, Friday, 17 March 2017 13:51 (four months ago) Permalink

cool :)

and xp - appreciate that but I have a copy. gave it a cursory listen yesterday. 行かないで is beautiful. will need to spend some more time w/it.

also randomly tried out yano's elephant hotel, and wow, some really great songs on here. super eclectic; working in a large variety of styles & sounds. sounds like a lot of session players to me. very nice.

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Saturday, 18 March 2017 23:42 (four months ago) Permalink

here's something I happened across - a cover of Hosono's "Sports Men" by Kimonos, a duo featuring Leo Imai. covering Hosono's stuff is tough but I think they nailed it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7gi8futLRbM

frogbs, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 13:55 (four months ago) Permalink

Sports Men is one of my favourite Hosono solo tracks and that's a really fantastic cover

ufo, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 14:42 (four months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

just want to say that I totally love the two yanokami albums & thanks for the rec frogbs

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Wednesday, 17 May 2017 03:12 (two months ago) Permalink

no problem - they're definitely very cool albums

by the way I've been really digging the new Denki Groove...it's longer and less refined than anything they've done since their comeback, with a number of extended tracks and a lot of great melodies (as usual). definitely going on my year end list.

frogbs, Thursday, 25 May 2017 13:28 (one month ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Another great member of the YMO family is Masayoshi Takanaka:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xv_YC56zq4c

He was the guitarist on YMO's first (and best, I think) album. The song above has Sakamoto on keys, and while discogs doesn't credit him for writing or arrangement, it's clear he co-wrote the song. Compare it to Tong Poo and Sakamoto's influence is unmistakable.

Here's another with Sakamoto on keys.

Here's a rare example of all four YMO members coming together on a non-YMO album. Even Matsutake is on this one:

Rajie - Giraffe Landscapes (1979) -- you can hear Tong Poo again, Behind the Mask, the elements are there. Unmistakably YMO.

3×5, Friday, 30 June 2017 14:54 (three weeks ago) Permalink

Lucky you, that's the best YMO album. That pre-Jpop YMO is so embedded in every anime and NES soundtrack. Japanese to the core.

3×5, Friday, 30 June 2017 15:00 (three weeks ago) Permalink


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