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Yellow Magic Orchestra|BGM

BGM

Yellow Magic Orchestra

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BGM stands for "background music," and one could be mistaken for thinking that this is an album of ambient-sounding tracks. Instead, it's a continuation of YMO's techno aesthetic, focusing more on Takahashi's distorted vocals and similarly liquid synth sounds, which give much of the album a melancholic air. There's also the sense of a group rushing to put out another album (close on the heels of Xoo Multiplies). One of Sakamoto's efforts ("1000 Knives") comes from his 1978 solo album, revisited here as a twisted blurp of an instrumental; the other ("Happy End") is all atmosphere and no substance. And YMO's attempt to understand rap ("Rap Phenomena") is as plodding as it is embarrassing. However, there are some standout tracks on side two: "Cue" by Hosono and Takahashi is a very assured ballad, given sufficient frisson by its galloping synth line and strangely programmed drums; "U•T" is a Kraftwerk-ian instrumental charged with menace and speed; and "Loom" finally gets to a calm resting place of dripping water, floating electronics, and a Eno-esque atmosphere. If only the first half was a good as the second.
© Ted Mills /TiVo

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BGM

Yellow Magic Orchestra

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1
Ballet
00:04:34

Yukihiro Takahashi, Composer - Yellow Magic Orchestra, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Haruomi Hosono, Producer - Peter Barakan, Lyricist - Hideki Matsutake, Mixing Engineer - Mitsuo Koike, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Re-Mastering Engineer - Y.M.O., Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Hiroshi Yuasa, Mastering Engineer - Yoshifumi Ito, Engineer - Yukihiro Takahshi, Lyricist

(P) 1981 Alfa Music, Inc.

2
Music Plans
00:04:33

Unknown, Producer - Ryuichi Sakamoto, Composer, Lyricist - Yellow Magic Orchestra, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Barakan, Lyricist - Hideki Matsutake, Mixing Engineer - Mitsuo Koike, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Re-Mastering Engineer - Y.M.O., Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Hiroshi Yuasa, Mastering Engineer - Yoshifumi Ito, Engineer

(P) 1981 Alfa Music, Inc.

3
Rap Phenomena
00:04:32

Unknown, Producer - Yellow Magic Orchestra, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Haruomi Hosono, Composer, Lyricist - Peter Barakan, Lyricist - Hideki Matsutake, Mixing Engineer - Mitsuo Koike, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Re-Mastering Engineer - Y.M.O., Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Hiroshi Yuasa, Mastering Engineer - Yoshifumi Ito, Engineer

(P) 1981 Alfa Music, Inc.

4
Happy End
00:04:33

Unknown, Producer - Ryuichi Sakamoto, Composer - Yellow Magic Orchestra, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Hideki Matsutake, Mixing Engineer - Mitsuo Koike, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Re-Mastering Engineer - Y.M.O., Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Hiroshi Yuasa, Mastering Engineer - Yoshifumi Ito, Engineer

(P) 1981 Alfa Music, Inc.

5
1000 Knives
00:05:23

Unknown, Producer - Ryuichi Sakamoto, Composer - Yellow Magic Orchestra, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Hideki Matsutake, Mixing Engineer - Mitsuo Koike, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Re-Mastering Engineer - Y.M.O., Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Hiroshi Yuasa, Mastering Engineer - Yoshifumi Ito, Engineer

(P) 1981 Alfa Music, Inc.

6
Cue
00:04:32

Unknown, Producer - Yukihiro Takahashi, Composer, Lyricist - Yellow Magic Orchestra, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Haruomi Hosono, Composer, Lyricist - Peter Barakan, Lyricist - Hideki Matsutake, Mixing Engineer - Mitsuo Koike, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Re-Mastering Engineer - Y.M.O., Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Hiroshi Yuasa, Mastering Engineer - Yoshifumi Ito, Engineer

(P) 1981 Alfa Music, Inc.

7
U T
00:04:33

Unknown, Producer - Ryuichi Sakamoto, Composer - Yukihiro Takahashi, Composer - Yellow Magic Orchestra, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Haruomi Hosono, Composer - Hideki Matsutake, Mixing Engineer - Mitsuo Koike, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Re-Mastering Engineer - Y.M.O., Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Hiroshi Yuasa, Mastering Engineer - Yoshifumi Ito, Engineer

U T

8
Camouflage
00:04:34

Unknown, Producer - Yukihiro Takahashi, Composer - Yellow Magic Orchestra, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Peter Barakan, Lyricist - Hideki Matsutake, Mixing Engineer - Mitsuo Koike, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Re-Mastering Engineer - Y.M.O., Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Hiroshi Yuasa, Mastering Engineer - Yoshifumi Ito, Engineer - Yukihiro Takahshi, Lyricist

(P) 1981 Alfa Music, Inc.

9
Mass
00:04:32

Unknown, Producer - Yellow Magic Orchestra, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Haruomi Hosono, Composer, Lyricist - Peter Barakan, Lyricist - Hideki Matsutake, Mixing Engineer - Mitsuo Koike, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Re-Mastering Engineer - Y.M.O., Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Hiroshi Yuasa, Mastering Engineer - Yoshifumi Ito, Engineer

(P) 1981 Alfa Music, Inc.

10
Loom
00:05:20

Unknown, Producer - Ryuichi Sakamoto, Composer - Yukihiro Takahashi, Composer - Yellow Magic Orchestra, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Haruomi Hosono, Composer - Hideki Matsutake, Composer, Mixing Engineer - Mitsuo Koike, Engineer, Mixing Engineer, Re-Mastering Engineer - Y.M.O., Arranger, Mixing Engineer - Hiroshi Yuasa, Mastering Engineer - Yoshifumi Ito, Engineer

(P) 1981 Alfa Music, Inc.

Album Description

BGM stands for "background music," and one could be mistaken for thinking that this is an album of ambient-sounding tracks. Instead, it's a continuation of YMO's techno aesthetic, focusing more on Takahashi's distorted vocals and similarly liquid synth sounds, which give much of the album a melancholic air. There's also the sense of a group rushing to put out another album (close on the heels of Xoo Multiplies). One of Sakamoto's efforts ("1000 Knives") comes from his 1978 solo album, revisited here as a twisted blurp of an instrumental; the other ("Happy End") is all atmosphere and no substance. And YMO's attempt to understand rap ("Rap Phenomena") is as plodding as it is embarrassing. However, there are some standout tracks on side two: "Cue" by Hosono and Takahashi is a very assured ballad, given sufficient frisson by its galloping synth line and strangely programmed drums; "U•T" is a Kraftwerk-ian instrumental charged with menace and speed; and "Loom" finally gets to a calm resting place of dripping water, floating electronics, and a Eno-esque atmosphere. If only the first half was a good as the second.
© Ted Mills /TiVo

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