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Influential musician, drummer and vocalist Yukihiro Takahashi, who founded the Yellow Magic Orchestra, has died. The Japan Times reports. Takahashi underwent surgery to remove a brain tumor in August 2020. The following year, he revealed that he was suffering from additional health problems. Takahashi was trying to recuperate at his home in Karzuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, but contracted pneumonia in early January and it worsened, Japanese publication Sponichi reported. Takahashi was 70 years old.

Born on June 6, 1952, Yukihiro Takahashi was drawn to music through the influence of his older brother, Nobuyuki. He learned to play drums by playing at parties with college musicians when he was still in junior high school. When he turned 16, Takahashi began working professionally as a studio musician, recording drum parts for television commercials and began landing gigs in other bands.

Takahashi first gained mainstream attention in Japan in the 1970s as a drummer in the Sadistic Mika Band. As a drummer, dance music from the US was a “big influence” at the time, and he gravitated towards pop, soul and Motown. After the group disbanded, Takahashi hired Ryuichi Sakamoto to produce Sarawa! His debut solo album from 1977 was inspired by French pop. That same year, Harumi Hosono hired the two to record on his own album, Paraiso, credited to Harry Hosono and the Yellow Magic Band. In 1978, the three musicians officially formed the Yellow Magic Orchestra together.

Yellow Magic Orchestra released their self-titled debut album in 1978 after forming. The use of computer technology, synths, and video game samples was immediately unique, generating both national and international interest in the band. Yellow magic band widely regarded as a pioneering album of the synthpop genre, it sold over 250,000 copies in Japan, entering both Billboard 200 and Billboard R&B Albums Chart and its single “Computer Game/Firecracker” becomes a UK Top 20 hit

Yellow Magic Orchestra followed up with their breakthrough debut in 1979 Solid State Survivor. The band released a total of seven albums during their initial run, including the 1980s ×∞ Multiplying1981 BGM: and: Technodelicand 1983 Naughty boys and: Service:. When Yellow Magic Orchestra first reunited in 1992, they began working in the studio writing and recording what would become their 1993 comeback album. Technodon, although problems with the label prevented it from being released under their original moniker. It was the first of many records to be released under names such as YMO (punctuated by a large “x”), Human Audio Sponge and HASYMO moving forward.



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