Yellow Magic Orchestra

Formed 1978.
Yellow Magic Orchestra

Biography

Yellow Magic Orchestra (abbreviated as YMO) is a Japanese electronic music band consisting of principal members Haruomi Hosono (bass, keyboards, vocals), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums, lead vocals) and Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards, vocals). For their early studio albums and live performances, the band was often accompanied by music programmer Hideki Matsutake.

They are often considered influential innovators in the field of popular electronic music. They contributed to the development of synthpop, ambient house, electronica, electro, contemporary J-pop, house, techno, and hip hop music. More broadly, their influence is evident across various genres of popular music, including electronic dance, ambient music, chiptune, game music, pop, rock, and melodic music.

YMO were pioneers in their use of synthesizers, samplers, sequencers, drum machines, computers, and digital recording technology in popular music, during a time when these technologies were seen as novelties. The band is considered "ahead of their time," for anticipating the global trend towards drum machines and sampling, for having anticipated the "electropop boom" of the 1980s, their "pro-technological viewpoint," their use of video game sounds and bleeps, and for experimenting heavily with computers and electronic instruments.

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