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 serving as their lead singer. WIth their heavy use of synths, samplers, drum machines and sequencers, the band were at the vanguard of the burgeoning synth-pop movement.
One of the band’s biggest hits, Behind The Mask, would later be covered by both Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton. It had originally been produced in 1978 for a Seiko watch commercial.
Yellow Magic Orchestra disbanded in 1984, but reformed at various points over the next three decades. Takahashi also released multiple solo albums and, in the early 2000s, 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 are up there with the greatest of the pop electronic 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 over lockdown. https://t.co/yf2IknPAk5 https://t.co/33orktGjlwJanuary 14, 2023
Saddened to hear about the passing of Yukihiro Takahashi of Yellow Magic Orchestra and beyond. It was an honor to cross paths on occasion throughout the years. pic.twitter.com/J2uLJwnmooJanuary 14, 2023