RIP – Yukihiro Takahashi

Reports are coming in that seminal Japanese musician Yukihiro Takahashi has died.

The musician had an operation to remove a brain tumour in 2020; he revealed further health issues in 2021. Initial reports from Japan indicate that Yukihiro Takahashi has passed away – the story is developing.

Born in Tokyo in 1952, Yukihiro Takahashi helped re-framed Japanese music, embracing technology and forging a new path for electronic pop. A vital component of Yellow Magic Orchestra, the group’s output presaged City Pop and lit a path for others to follow.

Drummer and vocalist with the group, Yukihiro Takahashi forged the character of their catalogue, with their initial run – from 1978’s self-titled debut, through to 1983 album ‘Service’ – breaking boundaries.

Becoming a rich source of hip-hop samples, Yellow Magic Orchestra’s influence would permeate rap and other strands of club music. Cited as a formative influence by first wave Detroit techno artists, the group remain a perennial touchstone for electronic voyagers.

Entering the soundtrack realm, Yukihiro Takahashi worked on a flurry of solo projects throughout the 90s, while the Millennium brought the duo Sketch Show.