The biggest names in Japanese pop music are set to gather for this once-in-a-lifetime concert on Sunday, June 26, spanning genres and generations. Electro-pop pioneers Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) return for their first Los Angeles show since 1979, plus a Cibo Matto reunion, rare U.S. appearances by Buffalo Daughter and DJ Towa Tei, traditional kabuki dance, taiko drumming, visuals, and more!
Returning to Los Angeles for the first time since 1979, Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) is an iconic Japanese group whose innovations included the integration of exotic sounds and techno elements in their so-called “computer music.” YMO has been one of the central figures in the techno/new wave movement starting in the late 70s, along with Kraftwerk and DEVO, and have influenced countless techno/hiphop/pop/rock musicians throughout the world.
Their Hollywood Bowl performance coincides with a new “Best of” compilation from Sony which will be released mid-June. The compilation features handpicked songs from the band members themselves, spanning the entire YMO catalog. The songs have been re-mastered and the compilation’s aim is to introduce YMO’s music to a younger generation, as well as please the long time fans with a fresh take on the band’s extensive repertoire.
Upon agreeing to perform as part of Big in Japan at the Hollywood Bowl, Cibo Matto was inspired to take their reunion a step further. They recently announced the Yeah Basically Cibo Matto national tour that begins June 21 in Seattle, and are working on music for a new album due out in early 2012. Big in Japan marks the first time Cibo Matto has performed at a major concert venue in 10 years.
Buffalo Daughter consists of members suGar Yoshinaga, Yumiko Ohno and moOog Yamamoto, often augmented by a drummer and other guests. Buffalo Daughter’s latest album, The Weapons of Math Destruction is available on June 14.
Their sound is heavily influenced by German progressive rock and techno pop, but also includes bits of dub, club, shoe gaze and post-rock influences. Buffalo Daughter is often considered part of the Japanese 90s pop movement known as Shibuya-kei. This versatile group has collaborated with a wide range of artists including the French group Air, former member of techno-pop pioneers The Plastics, idol Ami Suzuki, veteran Mari Natsuki, Takako Minaka, Cornelius, Naoko Yamano of Shonen Knife and Cibo Matto.
Towa Tei debuted as a member of Deee-Lite in 1990 and solo debuted with the album Future Listening in 1994. As a music producer, he has been involved in producing music for other artists, TV commercials and movie soundtracks. As a DJ, his regular party “Motivation” in Tokyo and Kyoto attract a huge crowd, and his concept party “Hotel H” is becoming a new social spot for industry people. In April 2011, Towa Tei released his 6th original album, Sunny.
Preconcert Festivities (free with a concert ticket)
Big in Japan celebrates Japanese culture with preconcert activities on the Hollywood Bowl grounds at 4:30pm. The festivities include:
Taiko drumming demonstration – Taiko Center of Los Angeles
Kabuki dance costume and make-up display – Fujima Kansuma Kai
Karate demonstration – Monterey Park Karate Club
Kimono display – LA Kimono Club
Origami folding and folk storytelling – Kuniko Yamamoto
Sake tasting (21 and over only) – The Joy of Sake
Yellow Magic Orchestra
Taiko Center of Los Angeles directed by Rev. Tom Kurai
Eric J. Lawrence, host
Yellow Magic Orchestra recordings available:
- In North America: Yellow Magic Orchestra, Solid State Survivor, Uc Ymo: Ultimate Collection of Yellow Magic Orchestra, Naughyt Boys
- In Europe: Yellow Magic Orchestra, Solid State Survivor, Naughty Boys, Uc Ymo, Multiplies, Bgm, Euymo: Live in London 2008
2301 North Highland Avenue
Los Angeles, California
For tickets and information, visit hollywoodbowl.com
Author: World Music Central News Department
World music news from the editors at World Music Central