Yellow Magic Orchestra

Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) is a Japanese electronic music band formed in Tokyo in 1978 by Haruomi Hosono (bass, keyboards, vocals), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums, lead vocals) and Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards, vocals).[4] The group is considered influential and innovative in the field of popular electronic music.[4][5] They were pioneers in their use of synthesizers, samplers, sequencers, drum machines, computers, and digital recording technology,[4][6][7] and effectively anticipated the "electropop boom" of the 1980s.[8] They are credited with playing a key role in the development of several electronic genres, including synthpop, J-pop, electro, and techno, while exploring subversive sociopolitical themes throughout their career.[9]

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Background information
Also known as
  • YMO
  • YMO
  • Not YMO
  • Human Audio Sponge
  • HAS
OriginTokyo, Japan
Years active
  • 1978–1984
  • 1992–1993
  • 2002–2004
  • 2007–present
Associated acts
  • Ichiko Hasimoto

YMO was initially conceived by Hosono as a one-off exploration of computerized exotica and parody of Western conceptions of the orient. The three members were veterans of the music industry before coming together as YMO, and were inspired by eclectic sources, including the electronic music of Isao Tomita and Kraftwerk, Japanese traditional music, arcade games, funk music, and the disco productions of Giorgio Moroder. They released the surprise global hit "Computer Game" in 1978, reaching the UK Top 20 and selling 400,000 copies in the US. For their early recordings and performances, the band was often accompanied by programmer Hideki Matsutake.[10] The group would release several albums before pausing their activity in 1984. They have briefly reunited several times in subsequent decades.

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