Having been with Psyche rockers Apryl Fool and Folk rockers Happy End during the late 60s and early 70s, a then successful but still pretty conventional singer song-writer, Haroumi Hosono, famously put together the Yellow Magic Orchestra, recruiting session players Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi, and in doing so changed the face of Japanese popular music. Such was the grip of the YMO and it`s founding members on Japanese music in the 80s that you would be hard pushed to find a record from that time that doesn`t bear a credit for at least one of them. Young Japanese people, understandably, rebelled and dismissed them as the establishment. Many of my generation are now re-evaluating this decision, but I am sure that younger generations are completely unaware of the innovations made by the group, particularly in the area of electronics. Hosono`s solo and production work is pretty varied, but I think that all of it – the ballads, the complex but funky electro, and the ambience, both orthodox and tone poems – display a real sonic playfulness and betray his love for the Exotica of Arthur Lyman, Martin Denny, and Les Baxter. A complete belief in the need for fantasy and the other worlds that music can take you to.
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