Yellow Magic Orchestra took up most of Hosono’s time, so it was only when the band hit pause in 1982 that he could think as a solo artist again. He established Yen Records, producing and playing on nearly every release on the imprint. He also made his first solo album in five years, Philharmony. He leaned heavily on the wonders of the Roland MC-4 MicroComposer and the E-mu Emulator, utilizing an early form of sampling to structure the bewildering songs, chopping up vocals, breath, and gong tones to achieve a heady effect. “Samplers allowed musicians to explore beyond simply creating music, and develop more of an editing sensibility,” he said. Philharmony stands as one of the most fascinating early electronic documents as a result of Hosono’s ever-curious sensibilities.

Andy Beta