I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Yellow Magic Orchestra -- Neue Tanz

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.

The above statement is straight from the Wikipedia article on "Technodelic" (テクノデリック) and I couldn't have agreed more. I didn't listen to any of the album until many years later and so my impression of Yellow Magic Orchestra had always been that of a band which liked to add their cool synthesizers to some old-style music such as surf rock and exotica since their debut in 1978.

Therefore, it was with some irony that I had fully embraced the early melodic YMO oeuvre in the same year that the band went further into techno and away from the usual pop. One of the best examples of this was the track called "Neue Tanz" which I actually first heard from a video of one of their concerts as shown below.

Listening to "Neue Tanz" (New Dance), I felt that YMO was either referring back to their German comrades-in-arms, Kraftwerk, or going ahead in time. For a number of their past hits, there was a certain playful tongue-in-cheek nature but "Neue Tanz" is, as that Wiki paragraph stated, pretty darn experimental. It's something that would be heard backing some sort of weird performance art video. What was definitely affecting for me was that "ch-ch-ch-chatter" which had been provided through samples of Indonesian kecak chanting. In fact, according to the J-Wiki article on "Technodelic", the song had been temporarily titled "Kecak".

The album peaked at No. 4 after its release in November 1981.

I couldn't quite help but include this video of "Neue Tanz" that was cleverly arranged with various scenes from the anime "K-ON!!" Techno moe, indeed.

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