Daily Dose: ‘Rydeen’ by Yellow Magic Orchaestra

Prepare yourselves, as it’s time for a serious Friday classic, right after this bulletin: did you know that the Japanese had solved music in the late 1970’s? Because I didn’t, until I heard this, but it turns out that it was true. Haruomi ‘Harry’ Hosono (bass, keyboards, vocals), Yukihiro Takahashi (drums, lead vocals) and Ryuichi Sakamoto (keyboards, vocals) just decided one day to forgo their success as veteran independent agents, get together as an experiment, and make this, which is easily one of the best things I’ve ever heard. No, I’m not exaggerating: this sounds like how I would want music to sound, and more importantly, it clearly predates and influences a lot of genres and styles (Chiptune, Hip Hop, I could go on…) that may be how you think music should sound, too. This is taken from an album called Solid State Survivor (great name, and also, 25th September, 1979!), which is genuinely a must listen if you have any kind of affinity with electronic music at all, and probably should be even if you don’t, in my eyes. The fact that they made this album in 1979 boggles the mind. No-one was making subversive, computerised electronic music back then! Techno hadn’t even come close to be being around in the seventies, and Krautrock may have been getting there, but it didn’t have anything of the expressive joy and variety that this has. Synthpop didn’t even really exist because these guys freaking invented it! (Small assist to Kraftwerk, admittedly). Anyway, I have Anna Meredith to sincerely thank for this, because I absolutely love everything about it, and I have been listening to it continually pretty much ever since. Dated! Pah! More like period appropriate! That kooky fusion of eastern and western sounds may be almost intentionally goofy sounding, but my goodness does it sound seriously fun, and that’s a significantly large part of what music is about. That, and silly music videos with lasers, of course. Thank you, YMO. Thank you for this wonderful gift to the world.

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