Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Sakamoto Perpetuo

Yellow Magic Orchestra - Radio Junk

As promised we are delivering this tight anniversary concert, which doubles as a memorial to two of the guys in this band, who passed away earlier this year just two months apart.

They should need no introduction, as their late leader was widely recognized as both one of the most revered figures in all of Japan's music, as well as a pioneer of global electronic music in general.

These fellows didn't invent what we now term Electropop, but 40 years ago they did help refine it into the dominant force it is now.

Called Yellow Magic Orchestra -- YMO for short -- they were at their core three men.

Only one -- bass player Harry Hosono -- is still with us.

Their drummer, Yukihiro Takahashi, left this plane in January.

Their founder -- Ryuichi Sakamoto -- followed quickly after him, and died in March after a career redefining what electronic music could be.

I've been waiting for the anniversary of this genre-destroying show -- taped in Paris exactly one year after they premiered in Tokyo in 1978 -- so I could memorialize them both together, so here it is at last.

This is as pristine-sounding as bootlegs get, and may hail from a performance professionally recorded for their live album Public Pressure, which comes from this tour but contains none of this Paris show.

Yellow Magic Orchestra
Théâtre Le Palace
Paris, France

01 Castalia
02 Rydeen
03 Behind the Mask
04 Radio Junk
05 Insomnia
06 La Femme Chinoise
07 Rocket Factory
08 Technopolis
09 Kang Tong Boy
10 1000 Knives
11 Tong Poo
12 Daytripper
13 The End of Asia
14 Firecracker

Total time: 1:13:35

Ryuichi Sakamoto - vocals, Vocoder, Polymoog, ARP Odyssey, Roland VP-330 & Prophet-5 synthesizers
Haruomi Hosono - vocals, Vocoder, bass, ARP Odyssey, Moog Multimoog synthesizers
Yukihiro Takahashi - drums, Model Syndrum 478 Pollard & ULT-SOUND DS-4 drum machines
Hideki Matsutake - Moog IIIc, Roland MC-8A, Kiko Yano, Voices Eight Oberheim, & Prophet-5 synthesizers
Akiko Yano - keyboards & vocals 
Kazumi Watanabe - guitar

soundboard capture of indeterminate origin, possibly from an unreleased concert film
4 of these tracks appear on the 1991 live album "Faker Holic," but extensively overdubbed and altered
declipped by EN, October 2023
465 MB FLAC/direct link

I didn't do anything to this one but declip it. Everything else sounded indistinguishable from an official release.

Four of these songs do appear on an out-of-print live CD, but they are extensively remixed with whole aspects of them altered.

Anyway I will try to be back in 48 hours with another letter altogether, but for now the letters that matter are the pioneers called YMO!--J.

             6.6.1952 - 1.11.2023          1.17.1952 - 3.28.2023