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 (thirteen 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 (thirteen 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 (eight years ago) Permalink

Haruomi Hosono

damo tsu tsuki (r1o natsume), Tuesday, 4 August 2009 14:52 (eight 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

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 (six 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 (six months ago) Permalink

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

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

two months pass...

YMO user's guide in Wire issue 404

willem, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 15:18 (one week ago) Permalink

Cool, I might keep an eye out for that.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 15:45 (one week ago) Permalink

Me too, I bought an old Wire mag from Ebay with a really nice Hosono interview recently.

MaresNest, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 15:58 (one week ago) Permalink

I think I hit the motherlode today.

Kamiya - Mu (1980) The whole album is amazing.

Osamu Shoji - Night Flight (1979) Also amazing all the way through.

Himekami - 年 全辑 (1981) This album is great and the one after is pretty good too.

None of these are in the YMO family but the sound is exactly right for what I want. Hope you enjoy.

3×5, Thursday, 14 September 2017 21:59 (one week ago) Permalink

wow @ the Kamiya one, I can't figure out which tune from the YMO s/t that's modeled after because it basically sounds like every one of them

the other ones sound a lot better to me, will definitely be checking both those out

frogbs, Thursday, 14 September 2017 22:07 (one week ago) Permalink

Good to see this thread being revived again. I've been obsessively listening to Sakamoto's Illustrated Musical Encyclopedia this week. Such a wonderful album.

kitchen person, Thursday, 14 September 2017 22:49 (one week ago) Permalink

i started listening to a youtube playlist after the Kamiya song, and it eventually led to this, which i think is great:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQRza12FLW4

especially the part after the breakdown, around 2 minutes in. siiiiick
1983, i think.

Karl Malone, Thursday, 14 September 2017 23:02 (one week ago) Permalink

Right on, 3x5!

brimstead, Friday, 15 September 2017 00:16 (one week ago) Permalink

love Night Flight.

<3 been on a major YMO kick this year too. i want to hear "Simoon" on a constant loop for the rest of my life

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 15 September 2017 13:07 (one week ago) Permalink

awesome will check those recs.

These days, my main YMO jam is Technodelic, which some seems more fun to me than BGM, and the songs are a little less obscured by the recording/technology. It's weird that a lot of people lump YMO into the "sounds like Kraftwerk" bucket, because they were really a different thing altogether. I almost want to look at them as a (fairly radical) extension of exotica composers like Les Baxter and Martin Denny, but using modern technology.

Dominique, Friday, 15 September 2017 13:19 (one week ago) Permalink

totally and the reclaiming of "Firecracker" is the gateway.

id also put The Ventures in that list.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 15 September 2017 13:48 (one week ago) Permalink

posting here bc i think y'all will enjoy it + the production is v honoso i(y)mo

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=17OeCznSm5I

clouds, Friday, 15 September 2017 13:55 (one week ago) Permalink

xxp yea I think a comparison like that makes more sense if you consider them to be an offshoot of what Hosono was doing from 76-78, though they quickly evolved into their own thing. it's nuts that the self-titled and Technodelic were only three years apart.

I agree that Kraftwerk comparisons are mostly bogus, if only because these guys were actual musicians and the stuff they wrote was a lot more melodically complex than anything Kraftwerk could do. That said I don't really mind the label, it gets people interested

right now one of my favorite YMO things is this tune from Akiko Yano from when YMO was essentially her backing band. it's 8 minutes long and feels a bit like a showtune medley. there's an amazing electronic drum freakout about halfway through. I feel like this album is up there with anything YMO did.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk8NScB_R7Q&t=2675s

frogbs, Friday, 15 September 2017 13:57 (one week ago) Permalink

there's such a richness/depth to their compositions, they obviously know a lot about classical and tin pan alley (ha) type stuff

brimstead, Friday, 15 September 2017 14:48 (one week ago) Permalink

xpost One of my absolute favorite albums. Pretty much perfect straight through. Was listening to this and Tadaima before bed last night.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 15 September 2017 15:02 (one week ago) Permalink

Love the "choir" vocals (throughout both those albums) and tonal shifts in that tune.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 15 September 2017 15:04 (one week ago) Permalink

I've somehow ignored YMO until recently (maybe because I confused them with ELO, who I also don't listen to?), but finally ended up here after going down a Youtube hole of Haruomi Hosono stuff, all of which is just insanely ahead of its time.

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 15 September 2017 16:20 (one week ago) Permalink

ya Tadaima is maybe even better, though it's just a single instead of a double. gotta love when a skilled and generally tasteful musician just goes off the deep end.

frogbs, Friday, 15 September 2017 16:44 (one week ago) Permalink

I think it's pretty difficult, and rare, to get the YMO sound right. Honestly, I think YMO stopped getting YMO right towards the end of their careers, and all the solo and Yen records stuff that came after misses the mark and goes into the generic J-pop bin, for me.

For me, the YMO sound is their early sound: self-consciously electronic, self-consciously Japanese, informed by their disco/fusion/lounge sensibilities.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CE2DQQhGam4

Jazzy chord progressions with a pentatonic melody over the top. Perfect.

3×5, Friday, 15 September 2017 17:16 (one week ago) Permalink

hell yeah

brimstead, Friday, 15 September 2017 18:20 (one week ago) Permalink

Ehhh see I disagree. I think they began losing it after Technodelic. The earlier stuff is kitschier and has Hosono's sensibilities reigning heavily over everything. I think BGM and Technodelic sound like no one else at that time.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 15 September 2017 20:49 (one week ago) Permalink

But it's all great and I don't want to come across like Turrican or something lol.

Acid Hose (Capitaine Jay Vee), Friday, 15 September 2017 20:49 (one week ago) Permalink

I agree that Kraftwerk comparisons are mostly bogus, if only because these guys were actual musicians and the stuff they wrote was a lot more melodically complex than anything Kraftwerk could do.

This is unfair. Hütter, Schneider and Bartos were all classically trained. Kraftwerk's minimalistic style was a deliberate aesthetic choice.

Vast Halo, Friday, 15 September 2017 20:54 (one week ago) Permalink

brimstead knows what I'm talking about

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLUgH6ztFes

3×5, Saturday, 16 September 2017 16:25 (one week ago) Permalink

84 maxell commericial, music by sakamoto. there is a longer version available on two different comps of his commericial/tv work

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZ25BzokNNU

brimstead, Saturday, 16 September 2017 23:16 (one week ago) Permalink

i love the wireless headsets they used in this performance

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i4JwpaTnz2U

Karl Malone, Wednesday, 20 September 2017 23:34 (four days ago) Permalink

This doesn't sound much like YMO, though it's also from the same time, also from Japan, also weird electronic pop. Basically I just came across it, love it, wanted to share.

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

mfktz (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Friday, 22 September 2017 15:05 (two days ago) Permalink

It's weird that a lot of people lump YMO into the "sounds like Kraftwerk" bucket, because they were really a different thing altogether.

It's not weird at all - I mean, I can see why people have a tendency to lump YMO in with Kraftwerk, even though at the same time I can see why they shouldn't be lumped together.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 23 September 2017 09:44 (yesterday) Permalink

I agree that Kraftwerk comparisons are mostly bogus, if only because these guys were actual musicians and the stuff they wrote was a lot more melodically complex than anything Kraftwerk could do.

Kraftwerk were also "actual musicians" and were indeed more than capable of writing melodically complex music, but they made a conscious decision to simplify and limit themselves.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 23 September 2017 09:48 (yesterday) Permalink

I don't want to come across like Turrican or something

I don't think you've got anything to worry about.

more Allegro-like (Turrican), Saturday, 23 September 2017 09:50 (yesterday) Permalink

Guess I was unaware of Kraftwerks musical prowess...haven't really heard them play

frogbs, Saturday, 23 September 2017 12:59 (yesterday) Permalink

The prog/fusion musicianly aspect of YMO is the part that interests me least.

The Doug Walters of Crime (Tom D.), Saturday, 23 September 2017 13:57 (yesterday) Permalink

Kraftwerk being able to play makes sense and seems evident in a lot of their earlier jammy stuff. "Autobahn" is a 22 minute long song. you can't really sustain a single song for that long if you don't know how to play.

melodic complexity is overrated. it's fine if you have it but it's entirely unnecessary compared to rhythmic invention at least in the modern/pop sphere imo.

YMO seems born out of Japan studio pros, almost more like a synth Led Zeppelin

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Saturday, 23 September 2017 16:03 (yesterday) Permalink

Yeah I don't know I always thought kraftwerk came from the academy whereas the ymo guys had been woodshedding in bands and jazz combos or something

brimstead, Saturday, 23 September 2017 19:14 (yesterday) Permalink

Not that a group can't do/be both

brimstead, Saturday, 23 September 2017 19:14 (yesterday) Permalink

Hosono was in Happy End who were very successful, kinda like Japan's answer to The Band or CSNY, Takahasi was the drummer for Sadistic Mika Band who had a fair amount of reach into the west, only Sakamoto came from an academic background, studying music composition.

MaresNest, Saturday, 23 September 2017 19:24 (yesterday) Permalink


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