Technodelic

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Technodelic
Studio album by Yellow Magic Orchestra
Released November 21, 1981
Genre Electronic, dance, Electro, proto-techno, , experimental, avant-garde, new wave, synthpop
Length 43:29
Label Alfa Records
Producer Haruomi Hosono, YMO
Yellow Magic Orchestra chronology
BGM
(1981)
Technodelic
(1981)
Naughty Boys
(1983)
Singles from Technodelic
  1. "Pure Jam"
    Released: 1982
  2. "Taiso"
    Released: 1982
Alternative cover
The first press (1981)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]

Technodelic is the fifth studio album by Yellow Magic Orchestra, released in 1981. The album is notable for its experimental and heavy use of samplers which were not commonly used until the mid-to-late 1980s, resulting in a more minimalist sound compared to their previous work.

It is considered the first released album to feature mostly samples and loops, influencing the heavy use of sampling and looping in popular music.[2] Yellow Magic Orchestra's approach to sampling music was a precursor to the contemporary approach of constructing music by cutting fragments of sounds and looping them using computer technology.[3]

Production[edit]

Most of the sampling was made with an LMD-649 - a hand-made sampler developed by Toshiba-EMI engineer Kenji Murata, and a much cheaper alternative to the Linn LM-1 drum machine and Fairlight CMI sampling synthesizer available at the time. Notable samples used include Indonesian kecak chanting (Neue Tanz), gamelan and short looped vocals ("paa", "fuku", "chiki") for percussion in "Seoul Music," and the final two tracks feature factory noises. The album also features use of speech through a two-way radio, a prepared piano, Prophet-5 synthesizers, and a TR-808 drum machine. In another departure from previous albums, Haruomi Hosono has a more prominent role playing the bass guitar as opposed to playing bass lines on synthesizers (this trend appears again on the album Service).

As with many of YMO's releases, song titles are printed in both Japanese and English. For "Seoul Music", the kanji "京城" are used, referring to Gyeongseong (경성; known as Keijou in Japan), the name of Seoul when Korea was under Japanese rule. "灯" simply translates to "Light". "Neue Tanz" is German for "New Dance", while "Taisō" is Japanese for "gymnastics" or "calesthenics".

Track listing[edit]

Side one
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Pure Jam" (ジャム; "Jam") Yukihiro Takahashi,
Peter Barakan
Takahashi 4:30
2. "Neue Tanz" (新舞踊; "Shin buyou") Yellow Magic Orchestra Yellow Magic Orchestra 4:58
3. "Stairs" (階段; "Kaidan") Takahashi, Barakan Takahashi 4:14
4. "Seoul Music" (京城音楽; "Keijou ongaku") Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takahashi, Barakan Sakamoto, Takahashi 4:46
5. "Light in Darkness" (灯; "Tomoshibi")   Takahashi, Sakamoto 3:40
Side two
No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "Taiso" (体操; "Taisō") Yellow Magic Orchestra Yellow Magic Orchestra 4:21
2. "Gradated Grey" (灰色の段階; "Grey no dankai") Haruomi Hosono Hosono 5:33
3. "Key" (手掛かり; "Tegakari") Hosono, Takahashi, Barakan Hosono, Takahashi 4:32
4. "Prologue" (前奏; "Zensou")   Sakamoto 2:31
5. "Epilogue" (後奏; "Kousou")   Sakamoto 4:21

Personnel[edit]

Sample of electro track "Pure Jam" from the album Technodelic, demonstrating a more minimalistic approach.

"Seoul Music" made extensive use of looped samples, using the custom-built LMD-649 sampler, as well as Indonesian kecak and gamelan elements.

Problems playing these files? See media help.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Carter, Monica (June 30, 2011). "It’s Easy When You’re Big In Japan: Yellow Magic Orchestra at The Hollywood Bowl". The Vinyl District. Retrieved 22 July 2011. 
  3. ^ Condry, Ian (2006). Hip-hop Japan: rap and the paths of cultural globalization. Duke University Press. p. 60. ISBN 0-8223-3892-0. Retrieved 12 June 2011. 

References[edit]