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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Studio album by
ReleasedNovember 21, 1981
RecordedMarch 21 – October 13, 1981
StudioAlfa Studio "A", Shibaura, Minato, Tokyo
Yellow Magic Orchestra chronology
Naughty Boys
Singles from Technodelic
  1. "Pure Jam"
    Released: 1982
  2. "Taisō"
    Released: 1982
Alternative cover
Cover used on most reissues
Professional ratings
Review scores
The Guardian[2]

Technodelic is the fifth studio album by Yellow Magic Orchestra, released in 1981. The album is notable for its experimental approach and heavy use of digital samplers which were not commonly used until the mid-to-late 1980s, resulting in a more minimalist and avant-garde 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.[3] 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.[4]

In 2008, Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore provided a cover of "Gradated Grey" for the Haruomi Hosono tribute album Strange Songbook (Tribute To Haruomi Hosono 2). In 2016, the Canadian post-punk group Preoccupations covered the track "Key" as a part of a 7" vinyl that came with pre-orders of their self-titled album alongside a cover of The Raincoats' 1979 track "Off-Duty Trip".


Most of the sampling was made with an LMD-649, a custom-built digital sampler developed by Toshiba-EMI engineer Kenji Murata. The LMD-649 was the first PCM digital sampler, capable of playing and recording PCM samples with a 12-bit audio depth and 50 kHz sampling rate, stored in 128 KB of dynamic RAM memory. It also had sampling drum machine capabilities.[5] 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 LMD-649 was later used by other Japanese synthpop artists in the early 1980s, including YMO-associated acts such as Chiemi Manabe[6] and Logic System[7] in 1982.

The album also features use of speech through a two-way radio, a prepared piano, a Roland TR-808 drum machine (previously used in BGM), and Prophet-5 synthesizers. 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" refers to the light of a lantern. "Neue Tanz" is German for "New Dance", while "Taisō" is Japanese for "gymnastics" or "calisthenics".

For its single release, the track "Taisō" was given a music video directed by Haruomi Hosono and Norimasa Okumura.[8] The video features the members of YMO, dressed in uniforms designed by Yukihiro Takahashi, along with Takahashi's then manager Hiromi Kanai performing calisthenics against various chroma key backdrops, parodying real-world televised calisthenics broadcasts in Japan.[9]

Track listing[edit]

Side one
1."Pure Jam" (ジャム; "Jam")Yukihiro Takahashi
Peter Barakan
2."Neue Tanz" (新舞踊; "Shin buyou")Yellow Magic OrchestraYMO4:58
3."Stairs" (階段; "Kaidan")Takahashi, BarakanTakahashi4:14
4."Seoul Music" (京城音楽; "Keijou ongaku")Ryuichi Sakamoto, Takahashi, BarakanSakamoto, Takahashi4:46
5."Light in Darkness" (灯; "Tomoshibi") Takahashi, Sakamoto3:40
Side two
1."Taiso" (体操; "Taisō")YMOYMO4:21
2."Gradated Grey" (灰色グレイの段階; "Grey no dankai")Haruomi HosonoHosono5:33
3."Key" (手掛かり; "Tegakari")Hosono, Takahashi, BarakanHosono, Takahashi4:32
4."Prologue" (前奏; "Zensou") Sakamoto2:31
5."Epilogue" (後奏; "Kousou") Sakamoto4:21


Yellow Magic OrchestraArrangements, Electronics, Sampler, Mixing engineers, Producers

Guest musicians



  1. ^ a b Bush, John. "Yellow Magic Orchestra - Technodelic". Allmusic. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Sweeting, Adam (8 January 2004). "Yellow Magic Orchestra, Technodelic". The Guardian. Retrieved 29 June 2018.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ Rockin'f, March 1982, pages 140-141
  6. ^ Chiemi Manabe – 不思議・少女, Discogs
  7. ^ Logic System – Orient Express, Discogs
  8. ^ Winter Live 1981 (2020). Notes from Blu-ray liner notes. Sony Music Direct (Japan) Inc.
  9. ^ Doe, John (3 April 2020). "Yellow Magic Orchestra — Taiso (HD Remaster)". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-13. Retrieved 16 February 2021.