YELLOW MAGIC ORCHESTRA
Yellow Magic Orchestra can be considered one of the most important Japanese acts in the history of pop music and one of the influencial electronic bands from the 70’s.
Yellow Magic Orchestra was formed in 1978 by Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums), and Haruomi Hosono (bass). Although the band was supposed to be a one-off studio project started by Hosono, Satakamoto and Takahashi joined as session musicians to fusion orientalist exotica with modern electronics under the influence of Kraftwerk and traditional Japanese music. The result was the debut album “Yellow Magic Orchestra” which, unexpectedly, became so popular that launched the international career of the band.
Yellow Magic Orchestra’s second album “Solid State Survivor” was an international success which turned the band into one of the most influencial synth pop bands in the world and a precedent of the classic Japanese video-games music from the 80’s. During the early 80’s the band released several works, including “BGM” (1981), “Technodelic” (1981), “Naughty Boys” (1983) and “Service” (1983).
Yellow Magic Orchestra broke up in 1984 and Ryuichi Sakamoto left to pursue a sucessful solo career in acting and composing for films. He has also released several solo works oriented to electronica, ambient, and piano music, including “Thousand Knives” (1978), “B-Unit” (1980), “Esperanto” (1985), “Future Boy” (1986), “Playing the Orchestra” (1988), “Heartbeat” (1992) and “Chasm” (2004).
Yellow Magic Orchestra reformed eventually in 1993 to release the studio album “Technodon” and then they split up again. In 2002, Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takehashi rejoined in a new project called Sketch Show, recording the albums “Audio Sponge” (2002), with the collaborations of Ryuichi Sakamoto and Towa Tei, and “Loophole” (2003).
Some of the electronics artists that were influenced by Yellow Magic Orchestra are Juan Atkins, Orbital, Tetsu Inoue, Ultramarine, David Bowie, and Surgeon.