|Studio album by|
|Released||November 21, 1981|
|Recorded||March 21 – October 13, 1981|
|Studio||Alfa Studio "A", Shibaura, Minato, Tokyo|
|Yellow Magic Orchestra chronology|
|Singles from Technodelic|
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. 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.
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. 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 and Logic System 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 American post-punk group Talking Heads. The video, which visually takes inspiration from that of Talking Heads' own "Once in a Lifetime", features the members of YMO performing calisthenics against various chroma key backdrops, parodying real-world televised calisthenics broadcasts in Japan.
|1.||"Pure Jam" (ジャム; "Jam")||Yukihiro Takahashi|
|2.||"Neue Tanz" (新舞踊; "Shin buyou")||Yellow Magic Orchestra||YMO||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|
|1.||"Taiso" (体操; "Taisō")||YMO||YMO||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|
Yellow Magic Orchestra – Arrangements, Electronics, Sampler, Mixing engineers, Producers