Orbital, Colin Self and more pay tribute to Yukihiro Takahashi

The Yellow Magic Orchestra co-founder has died aged 70.

News of Yukihiro Takahashi’s passing was confirmed yesterday (15 January) by The Japan Times. The prolific Japanese musician, drummer and vocalist was best known for co-founding the Yellow Magic Orchestra with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono. An exact time and cause of death has not been confirmed but the Japanese news outlet reported that Takahashi underwent surgery for a brain tumour in 2020 and had tweeted that he expected to receive more treatment for this. According to Sponichianother Japanese media publication – Takahashi had caught pneumonia earlier this month and it had worsened.

Born in Tokyo in 1952, Takahashi started out as a session drummer before joining the Sadistic Mika Band in 1972. After the group disbanded, he had enlisted Sakamoto to produce his solo debut album Saravah!. Following this, Hosono got both Sakamoto and Takahashi on board to record on his own record Paraiso. Then in 1978, the trio formed the Yellow Magic Orchestra and released their self-titled debut album that same year.

Takahashi continued to work on solo material alongside his involvement in the Yellow Magic Orchestra – which saw them release seven albums during their initial run. The trio reunited in 1992 and put out Technodon in 1993, a release which marked the first under various different names including YMO, Human Audio Sponge, and HASYMO.

Under his solo work, Takahashi recorded more than 20 studio albums. He was also part of several other collaborative projects including Sketch Show with Hosono, which the duo formed in 2002, and most recently Electropop outfit Metafive.

Following the news of his death, artists and musicians including Colin Self, Orbital and Ryuichi Sakamoto have been paying their dues to the electronic music pioneer. Read a selection of tributes to late musician below.


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