Thursday, January 19, 2017

YMO - Technodon - 1993

This is an entry in my "pleasantly surprised" category.  Yellow Magic Orchestra has been around since 1978.  They are an extremely influential Japanese trio who have made electronic music that has impacted nations from all over the world.  I've known about them for years, since some time in the mid-90s, but have never bothered to listen to them.  I've always dismissed them, for reasons unknown even to me.

So, while working on my Techno week, (oh, that dreaded week that no one liked...) I kept coming across them in my searches.  I found the above yellow cover while looking for remixes by Alex Paterson, and thought it was beautiful.  It really captured that "Techno" feel from the early 90s, and I loved it.  I thought I'd give it a listen. Yes, yes yes!

I've been listening to this particular set almost non-stop for the past month (Once or twice a week, really.)  It's tunes are addictive.  It has a strong Electronic base, but there is so much more.  Imagine the Art Of Noise, crossed with the Shamen, with a hint of Orb and a dash of 808 State.  And, they come from Japan (one of my favorite countries and cultures.)  It's instrumental music, with a smattering of English vocals thrown into the mix to give it some structure.  It's all very entertaining.

The thing I like most about it, is the uplifting and positive style of the music.  It's feel-good music with no angst or manic.  Just light and airy. 

This cover, unfortunately, is the only one of theirs that I think is cool, though, from that particular album session.  I've always been a sucker for that look.  It took me a while to find the best looking one I could, and even that wasn't so great.  It took me about 6 or 7 hours to repair it, as the scan was far from perfect, and with a higher resolution, the imperfections were obvious.  So, if you have an art program and take a look at it closely (zoom right in), you will see there are still some areas that I couldn't quite get fixed.  As it is, I think it turned out well.

If you like the Orb, Shamen, Art Of Noise, or if you already know YMO, you are going to love this.  It's a great GREAT set.


  1. I've tried YMO a bunch of times, never could get into them. Gonna give this one a try and see... who knows, this may be the one that does it mf me.

  2. Two things :

    1. This is good stuff, but you are aware that this was a "reunion" album, made 10 years after they originally split? I would highly recommend visiting the original era, most especially the BGM and Technodelic albums. (But it's all great.) For that matter, all three of them have solo careers that are absolutely gigantic. For the most "pop", similar to YMO sound though, Takahashi's Neuromantic and Murdered By The Music are highly recommended.

    But again - solo and group combined, you're looking at way over 100 albums out there, almost all great. When I'm in the mood, I can present an argument for them being, in terns of sheer talent possessed by each member, the greatest pop group ever, regardless of location. The closest UK equivalents would probably be 10cc, Queen or Genesis. But even those are not quite the same deal.

    2. Maybe you know this already also, but since you weren't specific I will be - those remix covers are by The Designers Republic, from pretty much THEIR golden period in the early 90s. My personal favorites are the ones they did for Pop Will Eat Itself, particularly all of the singles. There were a few people who were blatantly ripping off their style around then too, but the originals usually stand out and are easy to spot.

    1. Everyone reading this.... See? They are THAT GOOD. And for you, ANONYMOUS... Thank you. I will be posting one of Ryuchi's solo albums later next month, so stick around...

    2. Actually, you might have slightly misunderstood me. They are not merely "that good". They are, in fact, far better than that. :D

    3. I heartily stand corrected!

  3. Many thanks for this YMO, just read a review on, so was pleasantly surprised to find it here!