Yellow Magic Orchestra – BGM (1981) (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) [FLAC 24bit/96kHz]

Yellow Magic Orchestra – BGM (1981/2019)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/96 kHz | Time – 47:03 minutes | 992 MB | Genre: Electronic
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Sony Music Direct

On their fourth album BGM (1981), YMO continued where they left off with Xi Multiplies, by venturing further into synthesizers, drum computers and experimentation with rhythm, sequences and speeds. “1000 Knives” and “Cue” are the most famous; ‘The Hand Clap’ on “1000 Knives” is probably one of the most used samples in the ’80s, early ’90s.

“BGM stands for “background music,” and one could be mistaken for thinking that this is an album of ambient-sounding tracks. Instead, it’s a continuation of YMO’s techno aesthetic, focusing more on Takahashi’s distorted vocals and similarly liquid synth sounds, which give much of the album a melancholic air. There’s also the sense of a group rushing to put out another album (close on the heels of Xoo Multiplies). One of Sakamoto’s efforts (“1000 Knives”) comes from his 1978 solo album, revisited here as a twisted blurp of an instrumental; the other (“Happy End”) is all atmosphere and no substance. And YMO’s attempt to understand rap (“Rap Phenomena”) is as plodding as it is embarrassing. However, there are some standout tracks on side two: “Cue” by Hosono and Takahashi is a very assured ballad, given sufficient frisson by its galloping synth line and strangely programmed drums; “U•T” is a Kraftwerk-ian instrumental charged with menace and speed; and “Loom” finally gets to a calm resting place of dripping water, floating electronics, and a Eno-esque atmosphere. If only the first half was a good as the second.” (Ted Mills, AMG)

01. Ballet (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) (4:34)
02. Music Plans (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) (4:34)
03. Rap Phenomena (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) (4:33)
04. Happy End (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) (4:33)
05. 1000 Knives (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) (5:23)
06. Cue (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) (4:33)
07. U T (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) (4:34)
08. Camouflage (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) (4:34)
09. Mass (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) (4:32)
10. Loom (2019 Bob Ludwig Remastering) (5:21)

Digitally remastered