Malachi Lui

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 20, 2021  |  First Published: Aug 20, 2021  |  0 comments
Concluding our multi-part exploration into pioneering Japanese synthpop group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), this week we’ll analyze the trio’s work from 1983’s Naughty Boys to the present day. We’ll only focus on the core catalog albums; as good as non-album tracks like “Chaos Panic” and “M-16” are, coverage of those would interest only maniacal completists. Those who aren’t yet caught up can view the series’ previous features below:

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 13, 2021  |  First Published: Aug 13, 2021  |  5 comments
Continuing our multi-part exploration of Japanese synthpop group Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO), this week we’ll analyze Yukihiro Takahashi, Haruomi Hosono, and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s solo LPs and side projects from 1980-1982. For brevity’s sake, we’ll exclude the artists’ production work for other acts, focusing only on Takahashi, Hosono, Sakamoto, and Hideki Matsutake-led projects (apologies to fans of Kenji Omura’s Spring Is Nearly Here). In addition, releases only reviewed digitally here won’t feature sound scores. Below are links to this series’ previous features:

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 06, 2021  |  First Published: Aug 06, 2021  |  4 comments
Introduction

This is the part one of a multi-part exploration of Japanese synthpop pioneer Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) previewed in the recent “Yellow Magic Orchestra: Prologue”. This week, I’m dissecting the group’s albums from the 1978 self-titled debut through November 1981’s Technodelic. While I did as much research as possible, in the English-speaking world little verifiable information about YMO exists. Earlier this year, Ryuichi Sakamoto associate Eiichi Yoshimura published YMO 1978-2043: Definitive Story Of Yellow Magic Orchestra, but no English translation exists (and I’ve not yet learned Japanese). Much of what’s on Wikipedia has no traceable citation; to avoid inaccuracies any info from there will be mentioned as “supposed” or “presumed”.

Malachi Lui  |  Aug 01, 2021  |  First Published: Aug 01, 2021  |  11 comments
This week, AnalogPlanet begins a multi-part exploration of Japanese synthpop pioneers Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO). Through reviews of their core releases and YMO-era side projects, we’ll dissect how, by incorporating elements of exotica, video game music, musique concrete, and more, the trio of Haruomi Hosono, Yukihiro Takahashi, and Ryuichi Sakamoto transformed electronic music. They gained massive success in Japan but are also credited for influencing hip-hop and Detroit techno. First, however, we’ll explore the individual members’ pre-YMO work.

Malachi Lui  |  Jul 24, 2021  |  13 comments
Glaring errors in music criticism, whether out of ignorance, misunderstanding, rushed deadlines, personal happenings, or whatever else, are at some point in the fields unfortunately commonplace; at some point in the field, you’re bound to make mistakes. When revisiting my past reviews, I balked at my original review of The 1975’s 2020 double LP art pop extravaganza Notes On A Conditional Form. Back then, I called it “frontman Matty Healy’s overblown vanity project [...] a miserably scattered, fake deep musical torture session.” How did that happen? Before dissecting my oversight, however, I’ll provide extended context and a much-needed reassessment.

Malachi Lui  |  Jul 12, 2021  |  First Published: Jul 12, 2021  |  36 comments
(Review Explosion is a recurring AnalogPlanet feature covering recent releases for which we either don't have sufficient time to fully explore, or that are not worthy of it. Curated by AnalogPlanet contributing editor Malachi Lui, Review Explosion focuses on the previous few months' new releases. This particular Review Explosion discusses Vinyl Me, Please’s Essentials releases from February-May 2021.)

Malachi Lui  |  Jul 02, 2021  |  6 comments
In 2014, Swedish cloud rap artist and Drain Gang collective leader Bladee (Benjamin Reichwald) emerged with the lo-fi cloud rap single “Into Dust.” The song’s shallow lyrics (“I’m gonna bleed in the club/I got weed in my lungs/I don’t need any love/I can’t feel when I’m drunk”) and rudimentary video (a sunglasses- and sweater-clad Bladee stumbling through a forest with “WHYY” superimposed over the footage) are often memed, though he’s shifted styles several times since then.

Malachi Lui  |  Jun 30, 2021  |  8 comments
As jazz vinyl sees a great resurgence, new labels issuing archival material and recent recordings contribute to a now-overwhelming catalog of available records. Run by former ECM producer Sun Chung, Red Hook Records bills itself as “a place for encounters, where musicians have opportunities [to] carve new adventurous ways of creative wayfaring [and] dissolve musical boundaries.” Red Hook’s release focus and target audience remains unclear; not all jazz buyers are audiophiles, and not all audiophiles accept newer recordings. The label’s inaugural release is Hanamichi,
Malachi Lui  |  Oct 30, 2020  |  First Published: Oct 30, 2020  |  5 comments
(Review Explosion is a recurring AnalogPlanet feature covering recent releases for which we either don’t have sufficient time to fully explore, or that are not worthy of it. Curated by AnalogPlanet contributing editor Malachi Lui, Review Explosion focuses on the previous few months’ new releases.)

Malachi Lui  |  Oct 30, 2020  |  4 comments
Shortly after their 1970 sophomore album Fun House’s release, Detroit proto-punk legends the Stooges played the Goose Lake Festival in Jackson, Michigan, 80 miles west of Detroit. Intended to be a Midwest Woodstock of sorts, with acts like the Small Faces, Jethro Tull, and Chicago (among many more) the 3-day festival drew 200,000 attendees over a stifling weekend. The environment became tense; in this LP’s liner notes, Jaan Uhelszki writes of 500 people attending the Open City LSD bad trip rescue tent, with countless others also being stoned on PCP masquerading as cocaine. Still, the festival itself was well-organized. Bands played on a rotating stage, were limited to 45-minute sets without exception, and a six-foot fence and trench blocked performer/crowd interaction.

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