Osiris & Yellow Magic Orchestra

6 April 2009

Today I have pretty much solely been listening to Osiris and the Yellow Magic Orchestra, so I thought I would write about them on my blog.

Osiris are an arab prog rock band from Bahrain in the Persian Gulf, influenced by English prog-rock and arab folk music. Formed in 1979, their sound is considered neo-prog because there are some synths/keyboards violently competing with Mohamed Al Sadeqi’s guitar on the lead. The guitars sound is dirty, the songs are well crafted and dynamic and it has some of the phattest drum production I’ve heard on a rock record.

The band released three albums in the eighties, ‘Osiris‘ in 1981, ‘Myths & Legends‘ in 1984 and ‘Reflections‘ in 1989. In 1991 they released a live album, and in 2007 they released a concept album called ‘Visions from the Past‘ which consisted of more Bahraini orientated music.

It really is strange to hear something so typically English being played authentically by a bunch of arabs who manage to infuse the sound with eastern key signatures and interesting rythms. I’m surprised I didn’t hear of Osiris sooner as their blend of prog-rock and arab folk influence is really distinctive and interesting.



Yellow Magic Orchestra were similarly formed at the end of the 70s, and are a renowned influence in Japanese popular music, as the seminal technopop group. They scored a high-profile advertising deal with Fuji Cassettes and the group pioneered the technopop genre which some compare to the fuss given to The Beatles and Merseybeat in Britain in the 1960s.


YMO are highly regarded as pioneers in electronic music, utilising the synths, samplers and sequencers that were becoming available at the time. They split up in 1984 but continue to work together as solo artists.

After months of listening to their extensive back catalogue, I have decided that ‘Solid State Survivor‘ is the best of their nine studio albums. 



One Response to “Osiris & Yellow Magic Orchestra”

  1. n01d Says:

    I can’t believe noone has commented this.


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