Yukihiro Takahashi, of Yellow Magic Orchestra, Dead at 70

Yukihiro Takahashi, co-founding member, drummer, and lead vocalist of the influential Japanese group Yellow Magic Orchestra, has died at the age of 70

According to local media reports, Takahashi passed away from brain cancer.

Takahashi co-founded Yellow Magic Orchestra alongside Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono in 1978. The group is considered pioneers in the electronic music genre for its use of synthesizers, samplers, sequencers, drum machines, computers, and digital recording technology.

YMO released eighth studio albums between 1978 and 1993, including widely acclaimed LPs such as Solid State Survivor and BGM. Their biggest crossover hit came with 1980’s “Computer Game,” which peaked at No. 60 in the US.

YMO’s legacy undeniable. The roots of synthpop, techno, and house music can be all traced back to the Japanese group’s music, and Western acts such as Duran Duran, Depeche Mode, and Ultravox have specifically credited them as a foundational artist. Other musicians including Eric Clapton, Mariah Carey, Orbital, and Afrika Bambaataa have covered, sampled, or remixed YMO’s music.

Following their initial breakup in 1984, YMO reunited on several occasions through 2012.

Beyond his work in YMO, Takahashi was an early member of Sadistic Mika Band and released a number of solo albums. He also scored several films and video games.

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