Japanese musician Yukihiro Takahashi, who was one third of the groundbreaking Yellow Magic Orchestra, has died at the age of 70.
Takahashi formed YMO in 1978 with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Haruomi Hosono, playing drums and lead singer. With their heavy use of synthesizers, samplers, drum machines, and sequencers, the band was at the forefront of the burgeoning synth-pop movement.
One of the band’s biggest hits, Behind The Mask, would later be covered by Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton. It had originally been produced in 1978 for a commercial for Seiko watches.
Yellow Magic Orchestra disbanded in 1984, but reformed at various points over the next three decades. Takahashi also released several solo albums, and in the early 2000s, he reunited with Haruomi Hosono to form Sketch Show.
British electronic music duo Orbital were among those paying tribute to Takahashi on social media.
RIP: Yukihiro Takahashi (1952 – 2023) Paul Hartnoll “Yellow Magic Orchestra ranks right up there with the best electronic pop bands that help define the sound of ORBITAL” @ryuichisakamoto @ymo#electronicmusic #electronicpop #ymo #ORBITALhttps:// t .co/C7APYpU2uDJanuary 15, 2023
RIP.. Yukihiro’s version of Drip Dry Eyes was a personal obsession of mine with confinement. https://t.co/yf2IknPAk5 https://t.co/33orktGjlwJanuary 14, 2023
Sad to hear about the passing of Yukihiro Takahashi of Yellow Magic Orchestra and beyond. It was an honor to cross paths on occasion over the years. pic.twitter.com/J2uLJwnmooJanuary 14, 2023