Yellow Magic Orchestra, Technodelic. Released in 1981. Still sounds like the future. Yay, Japanese musicians.
I’m feeling nostalgic and, as I’m sure you know, nostalgia and YouTube make for hours of memories. Whoo, boy. I have been looking at all kinds of music videos. In the early to mid 1980s, I was all about the New Wave and I loved, loved, loved David Sylvian’s band Japan. Japan were British – duh – and not at all popular stateside. But, I thought they were really interesting.
Here is, I think, my favorite song by Japan, “Visions Of China”:
Japan sounded so different than anything else back then, incorporating all those odd rhythms and the Asian flourishes. I loved the whole album this came from, Tin Drum. I still listen to it.
I can also recommend David Sylvian’s solo albums – well, most of them. They are far more “stripped down” (in terms of both synthesizers and make-up, ha ha). Start with 1987’s Secrets of the Beehive. Every song on that album is subtle and haunting. Here’s one of my favorites, called “Orpheus.” Listen to this convoluted, beautiful melody:
Throughout his career, Sylvian has collaborated with a bevy of “new music” luminaries including Ryuichi Sakamoto (Yellow Magic Orchestra), Bill Frisell, Marc Ribot, Robert Fripp (King Crimson), Holger Czukay (Can), Kenny Wheeler, Jon Hassell, Derek Bailey, Arve Henriksen, Christian Fennesz, Evan Parker, Sachiko Matsubara, Toshimaru Nakamura, tabla player Talvin Singh and Sylvian’s ex-wife, the singer Ingrid Chavez.