This is Miyu. She was one of the very first people born in the new millennium, and she just turned 23 in the year 2023, and for her birthday, her sister gave her a record player. Here, on the sad day of the passing of one of the most influential music innovators of our lifetime, Yukihiro Takahashi of legendary YMO and Sadistic Mika band, Miyu buys her 10th record, YMO’s seminal Soul State Survior.

I can’t help but think about how YMO music was one of the first things to pique a deeper interest in me about potentially staying longer in Japan, taking more of it in. I clearly remember enjoying a sorta Lost-in-Translation moment, hanging out in some nondescript bar in Hatagaya, with very new Japanese friends who had taken me under their wings, everything delightfully foreign. There playing there on the TV that was precariously hanging from the ceiling in the corner was a video of YMO’s mezmerizing 1980 performance of Rydeen at the infamous Budokon. Until then, I might have thought all electronic music was made in a sorta hermetically way, sitting intently focused in front of giant immovable synthesizers and studio console mixers, but here it was, being rocked out on stage as hard and soulful as any Robert Plant or Jimmy Page. Despite all my interest in all kinds of music, I had never seen this sound, created and performed this way. I was transfixed …and picked up the record the very next day on yellow wax for ¥100 (haha!), and have listened to it 1000 times, since.

It’s nice to think that this music found a huge new fan in me 20 years after it was created. And here, with young Miyu, it’s discovering a new audience another 20 years after that! Now that’s longevity, or maybe you call should just call it a “Soul State Survivor”!

Yellow Magic Orchestra イエロー・マジック・オーケストラ – Solid State Survivor ソリッド・ステイト・サヴァイヴァー
Label: Alfa – ALR-6022
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Repress, Stereo, 5th Version
Country: Japan
Released: 1980
Genre: Electronic
Style: Electro, Synth-pop

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