Précurseurs de la Techno et de la musique numerique, YMO donne ici toute l'ampleur de son imagination et de sa créativité déjantée. Un disque fou et moderne, alliant l'originalité des musiques aux sonorités les plus surprenantes, un travail exemplaire sur chaque titre et une lecon de folie pour l'ensemble. Un disque que les amateurs de musiques nouvelles devraient avoir comme album de référence, (avec les trois autres de la grande période YMO : Femme Chinoise, Xoo Multiplies, BGM et le fabuleux Technodelic). Pour tous les amateurs de sonorités numeriques, YMO reste unique, même si d'autres s'en approchent (808state, Art of noise, Brian Eno, ect) et n'a jamais été imité par personne, ne serait ce que par l'aspect "japonais traditionnel" de certains morceaux. Un alliage subtil et réussit. Heureusement leur énorme succes au Japon en fait un disque encore disponible, pour longtemps, j'espère. A découvrir absolument. Bizarre et beau, donc :indispensable !
Excellent album qui fait suite au mitigé "Multiplies", les mélodies de Sakamoto, Hosono et Takahashi se "complexifient" et les sonorités s'enrichissent. Les titres sont moins electro pop que sur Solid State Survivor, mais on sent une sorte de maturité dans les pistes de cet opus, comme dans Cue, Happy Ends ou Music Plans.
Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Loved it in 1981, love it now21 juillet 2005
E. J Petersen
- Publié sur Amazon.com
A friend from Japan introduced me to YMO back in 1981 with a recording of 'Nice Ace' off the Multiplies album. I was hooked. I traveled to Japan that year and picked up BGM while I was there. Man, that synth solo in "1,000 Knives" is insane. I had some friends that used it to breakdance to back in the early 80s. The other tracks I love are "Cue", "Ballet", "Camouflage" and "Happy End". I used part of "Loom" along with a bit from Kate Bush's "Hounds of Love" album (a non-song part between "Jig of Life" and "Hello Earth") to make a cool phone machine message.
Anyway, YMO was good at the type of music they produced (synthpop). I highly recommend BGM, Multiplies, and the others, along with Yukihiro Takahashi's solo works Murdered by the Music and Neuromantic.
Eric - CA
6 internautes sur 6 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
My favourite YMO album13 février 2007
- Publié sur Amazon.com
I can't remember when I bought this album. It must have been some time in the early 1980s. I was listening to the music of John Foxx, Japan, Ippu-Do, Bill Nelson, David Sylvian, Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Harold Budd, Fad Gadget, S.P.K., Sandii & The Sunsetz, Cabaret Voltaire, Kraftwerk and Deutsche Amerikanische Freundschaft at the time. Yellow Magic Orchestra were unique, and they are, still.
BGM is not really an album of songs, it is really an album of instrumental pieces and "soundscapes", partly instrumental and some with vocals, and some with fragments of singing and spoken words. The music is all quite atmospheric and rich in instrumental lines and textures. Some of the pieces could be easily arranged for and played by an orchestra. "Mass" and "U.T." sound like orchestral music over a drum machine. There is some acoustic drumming here from Yukihiro Takahashi (a very fine drummer) and, possibly, Ryuichi Sakamoto (he drums in the video clip of "Cue"). The keyboard playing is, of course, sublime and it is clear that the three members of the group let their imagines run free on this album. They were superstars by this stage and they could more or less do whatever they liked .... and they certainly did!
I loved to contrast the music of D.A.F. with Y.M.O. - DAF were the quintessential "Minimalist" Punk band - one keyboard line and drums; YMO could have been described as "Maximalist", in comparison, with their multi-layered and contrapuntal music. Like Kraftwerk and Cabaret Voltaire, YMO didn't always rely on words and lyrics alone to carry the meaning of their songs, the sounds, instrumental timbres, harmonies, melodies, rhythmic contures and song structures provided their music with internal rhetoric.
BGM, overall, is a "moody" and atmospheric album. I have recently seen some of the songs performed live on YouTube (I never saw any promotional videos at the time!) and I am [still!] impressed with the intensity and power of YMO live. In some ways, all the music on this album would have sounded even better live, I'd be willing to wager! Alas, YMO never toured Australia.
BGM is quite unlike anything else Yellow Magic Orchestra recorded and it is very unlike anything else anyone else recorded before or since. Hmmm, okay, maybe "Radio Fantasy" by Ippu-Do owes something to this album - "Magic Vox" and "Radio Japan" could easily be played back-to-back with any of the tracks from BGM and not cause the listener to flinch.
It is a pity "Radio Fantasy" is not readily available on CD.
However, If you want to get an insight into YMO - check out the video of "Cue" (one of the their best songs) on YouTube. Stunning!
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Catchy, Futuristic, Funky & Smart18 septembre 2006
- Publié sur Amazon.com
Great to see YMO's stuff out on CD - I had this (and a pair of their other releases) on vinyl when I was in middle school, and after many years, it's still great stuff. YMO stood alongside some of the Krautrock groups (especially Kraftwerk and Can) as something way ahead of their time, and Ryuichi Sakamoto has crafted an extremely fascinating solo career over the last 2 decades.
In any case, the shimmering electro-pop here was immaculate - catchy, futuristic, funky and smart.
Check 'em out.
An obscure favorite19 janvier 2011
- Publié sur Amazon.com
YMO's glory time was their first two albums, and the giddy fast-paced synthesizer music, some of which included sounds inspired by video arcade games of the time. When you get an anthology, it always includes this pop music. And I love that music.
But BGM is where YMO REALLY got interesting. Instead of crisp, tight arrangements and sounds, the music got more abstract and "wobbly" sounds, at times bleak and sterile, at other times quite organic and natural. They started using unusual sounds for rhythm. It tends to be slower than their pop songs.
I enjoy listening this album from beginning to end. You will often find a few tracks from this album on YMO collections, but it did not generate many "hits". If you hear them and they take you at all, you can expect the rest of the album to follow the same off-beat path.
Part of what is going on is that the individual musicians, having made commercially successful music, now felt free to pursue the directions of their muses. Ryuichi Sakamoto, who does a lot of the more involved compositions, had been busy with solo efforts, including "The 1000 Knives of Ryuichi Sakamoto". That album has an alternate version of "1000 Knives", very different from what's here. Takahashi and Hosono were also doing solo work.
This album also influenced many musicians; I have heard sounds from this album (not direct samples, but apparently inspired by this) on a wide range of other artists.
I think this album is the least-dated sounding album they did. Give it a good listen. A few listens: the first one may not completely take you. I hope you get to enjoy it as much as I have.
Incidentally, while I have seen many editions of this album, they all have the same track listings in the same order. Sound quality is quite good on the inexpensive edition, so you may as well by that instead of an expensive import and save some bucks.
3 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile
Still One of the Best7 mai 2005
- Publié sur Amazon.com
What can you say about YMO that hasn't already been said? The little group that started out as a self-professed Japanese rip-off of Kraftwerk quickly took on a life and fandom of their own that is literally unparalelled in the history of international pop music.
BGM is one of their most groundbreaking efforts, a mixed bag of ultra-high technology (for the early 1980's), atmospheric ambient noodling, and unselfconsciously overblown corniness. YMO was always more diverse and much more imaginative than their German inspiration, and BGM is a case in point. Kraftwerk built a legacy of bland, yet mindnumbingly catchy similitude, every song essentially a variation, both stylistically and musically, of 'Autobahn' and 'Trans-Europe Express'. The Japanese trio, however, were never afraid to shake loose from the self-imposed, neo-gothic duldrums of European electronic music. It is no wonder that YMO was, and still is, cited by the more creative forces in 90's techno and and ambient trance, like Orb and 808 State, as a stronger influence than the mighty Kraftwerk.
Ironically enough, this album, along with its 1981 co-release 'Technodelic', is their most Teutonic sounding effort. Execept for the despicably kitschy 'Rap Phenomena', which from its very intro makes me nauseous with nostalgia, this is a rather dark little collection of "songs", rising from the depths of some electronic unconscious like a sonic, cybernetic raven. The back of the album displays the list of electronic wizardry (and gimmickry) that Harry, Ryuichi, and Yukihiro used to create this modern classic, complete with then state-of-the-art PC's, sequencers, and of course YMO's trademark arsenal of digital samplers. The most impressive array of electronic instrumentation I have ever seen or heard yet, on either side of the 21st century.
The "music", for lack of a better description, produced by all these gizmos is magnificent. Everywhere there are the digitally sampled and regurgitated echoes of helicopters, machine guns, drills, chainsaws, and disembodied human voices. Yukihiro Takahashi's loping percussion holds it all together, more efficiently and precisely than any pre-programmed drum machine (although a couple of those are employed as well, apparently for good technological measure).
'Ballet' is an OK tune, with a catchy little rhythm. Takahashi's droning voice is a tad on the annoying side, but again his laidback, always on-time drum work cannot be "beat" (sorry!). The digital samplers are in full effect from bar one; the song starts off with what sounds like a steam train whistle. It sets the stage for what is to come, with its impenetrably wierd and somewhat morose melody.
'Music Plans' is a Sakamoto original, replete with synthesizers that sound as if they're gasping for air from beneath a swirling, pseudo hip-hop rhythm track. More bizarre, almost undecipherable English lyrics, most likely courtesy of long time YMO collaborator Peter Barakan. Superlative use of electronics throughout, and one of the strangest and catchiest techno-pop songs ever, with its strained, robotic, vocoder chorus.
The aforementioned 'Rap Phenomena' is better left ignored. This is not one of YMO's brightest ideas, and I'm almost ashamed to admit, is the brainchild of my favorite Yellow Magician and electronica pioneer, Haruomi Hosono. "Rap, rap - everybody rap" .... Ouch ... Because of this misfire alone, I give the album four instead of five stars. Better press the skip button and move on to track #4.
'Happy End' is another Sakamoto effort. Tinny, hollow, and full of sampled reverb, this is a faux "ambient" piece that is a somewhat clumsy pretense of minimalism, sort of like a brillaint experiment that goes slightly awry and then abruptly straight down the tubes. Somehow, though, it still manages to trump Brian Eno at his own game ...
'1000 Knives' is a mind-blowing caucophony. It is one-quarter proto-industrial, one-quarter pure techno, and two-quarters overly sampled mayhem. YMO's cover of Sakamoto's 1978 classic from his first, pre-YMO solo album, it is a mosaic of clean, simple, even beautiful synth lines skirting a miasma of static, skittering whines and buzzes, and percolating drones, with one of the most inventive rhythms I have heard. A great, utterly original tune and easily one of the precursors of the techno and electronica grenres as we know them today.
'Cue' is pure synth-pop. Upbeat, catchy, a little kitschy, with a dark, droning electronic bassline, imagine the Beatles fused with the Pixies, and then fed through a Sequential Circuits Prophet-5. Nice, but nothing groundbreaking.
'UT' is another amazing piece of work. Manic, mechanical, and dark, with something akin to a breakbeat for its rhythm track, it nearly rages with wafting, almost angelic synthesizer. The YMO boys carry on a bizarre, stuttering, non-sensical coversation (in Japanese) in the midle of the song, with bass synths churning in the background. So wierd it's almost undescribeable, it is pure YMO all the way.
Yuki Takahashi's 'Camouflage' is the masterpiece of the album. With a classic, almost iconic, status among the second wave of European (especially British) electronica sages of the late 80's, it is easy to read the blueprint of modern techno in its overpowering synths and driving, sometimes frenetic (for the early 80's) drums. It is, despite Takahashi's singing, in two words: Incredible. Stunning.
Hosono's 'Mass' is more strangeness. With its simple, yet downright haunting melody, and powerful beat, it is also the perfect antidote for the truly terrible 'Rap Phenomena'. As its name may imply, it ends up sounding like a robotic pipe organ from some imaginary cathedral. An excellent, truly original example of "techno-pop".
'Loom' is more ambient aspiration - short, tranquil, and a suitably bizarre end to the album. It sounds oddly out of place though, like a rainbow in the middle of a tornado. It is, unfortunately, not nearly as memorable or entertaining as most of the other tunes on the disc.
All in all, BGM is a classic of early electronic pop music. It is daring, unique, at times light years ahead of their European competition, with its mix of excess and success. In that sense it is the consummate YMO album, a musical resume of their all too short time together as a cohesive unit.