Yoshihide Otomo

born on 1/8/1959 in Yokohama, Honshu, Japan

Yoshihide Otomo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Yoshihide Otomo ( tomo Yoshihide?, born August 1, 1959 in Yokohama, Japan) is a Japanese composer and multi-instrumentalist.

He first came to international prominence in the 1990s as the leader of the noise rock group Ground Zero, and has since worked in a variety of contexts, ranging from free improvisation to noise, jazz, avant-garde and contemporary classical. He is also a pioneering figure in the EAI-scene, and is featured on important records on labels like Erstwhile Records. He plays guitar, turntables, and electronics.


Early life and career

Otomo studied at the Meiji University from 1979, where he studied ethnomusicology, concentrating on the Japanese pop music of World War II and the development of musical instruments during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Samples of instruments and music from this period are found in several of his works.

He played in rock bands while at college, but turned to improvisation after discovering free jazz and free improvisation musicians like guitarist Derek Bailey, saxophonist Kaoru Abe and guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi (from whom he took lessons).

In 1981, Otomo began improvising in the first Japanese house club in Tokyo (Jazu Kissa), performing on guitar and also using tapes and synthesizer devices, like Roland drum machines. He is considered the father and the pioneer of house music in Asia.

Ground Zero

For much of the 1990s his main project was Ground Zero, a large group founded in 1990 with an ever-changing lineup. They played music in a variety of styles, perhaps best described as noise rock with an experimental edge and a heavy emphasis on sampling. In Consume Red (1997), for example, a sample of Korean musician Kim Seok Chul playing the hojok is continuously repeated throughout the single hour-long track while the band improvise around it, becoming louder, and eventually swamping the sample out.


Ground Zero was disbanded in 1998. Towards the end of that group's life, Otomo formed two electronic free improvisation groups: Filament with Sachiko M, and I. S. O. with Sachiko M and Yoshimitsu Ichiraku. These groups abandoned the frenetic postmodern pastiche of Ground Zero, and emphasized small gestures and low volume. The music contained no samples, being made of sine waves and electronic clicks and hums. Though he continued using turntables, Yoshihide largely stopped using gramophone records as a sound source, instead manipulating the turntable itself with a wide variety of objects and contact microphones.

New Jazz Ensemble

At the end of the 1990s he founded tomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Ensemble, a group that played more traditional jazz (albeit with added sine waves from Sachiko M and noisy passages), which released Flutter and Dreams on the Tzadik label. In Japan, a more consistent lineup of the group, using the name tomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Quintet, has released ONJQ LIVE (2002), a collaboration with Tatsuya Oe (Captain Funk) entitled ONJQ+OE (2003), and Tails Out (2003). 2005 saw a release credited to the tomo Yoshihide New Jazz Orchestra (ONJO), featuring top European improvisors Axel Dörner, Cor Fuhler, Mats Gustafsson, Alfred Harth. It is his largest group thus far.

Other works

tomo has also released duo albums with early experimental turntablist Christian Marclay (Moving Parts, 2000) and another Japanese electronic musician, Nobukazu Takemura (Turntables + Computers, 2003).

Records released under his own name include Cathode (1999), which includes pieces that are sine wave-based or made from samples, and Anode (2001), a group improvisation where the players are constrained by certain pre-determined rules (similar in some respects to John Zorn's game pieces). Featured in both pieces are Gagaku instruments, such as the Sh, futozao-shamisen, and koto.

tomo has worked with Jon Rose, Yamatsuka Eye of Boredoms (as MC Hellshit & DJ Carhouse), Butch Morris, Alfred Harth, Voice Crack, Keith Rowe, Peter Rehberg, Toshimaru Nakamura, Bill Laswell, David Sylvian, Fennesz, Derek Bailey, Sachiko M, Hoppy Kamiyama, Mats Gustafsson, The Thing, John Zorn, Hikashu, Philip Jeck, Martin Tétreault, Sabuhiro Toyozumi, Thermo and poire z.

tomo was also part of an Australian / Japanese industrial outfit called Peril.

In 2003, Otomo worked with Bill Laswell and Yasuhiro Yoshigaki to record a four song LP Soup. Then in 2004 a 2CD live set was released as Soup Live.

In 2006, Otomo and Laswell again teamed up this time with Tatsuya Yoshida to release Episome.

Otomo also has a quartet with three other musicians from different parts of Asia. Called FEN (Far East Network), the quartet comprises Otomo, Yuen Chee Wai (Singapore), Ryu Hankil (South Korea) and Yan Jun (China). FEN debuted in Mimi Festival in Marseille 2008 and has been performing regularly in many countries.

There is also an album by Kenny Millions & Otomo Yoshihide, Without Kuryokhin, released in 1998 and dedicated to the memory of Russian jazz and experimental musician Sergey Kuryokhin.



  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Modulation with 2 Electric Guitars and 2 Amplifiers.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Modulation with 2 Electric Guitars and 2 Amplifiers: Alternative Version.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Multiple Otomo. DVD + CD.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Guitar Solo: 12 October 2004 @ Shinjuku Pit Inn, Tokyo + 1.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Turntable Solo.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Digital Tranquilizer Ver. 1.01. 3" CD. F.M.N.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Turntables Solo Live, 28 Feb 2002 in Tokyo.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Re/cycling Rectangle. 7" single.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Digital Tranquilizer Ver. 1.0. 3" CD. F.M.N.
  • Marclay, Christian / Otomo, Yoshihide. Split 7".
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Guitar Solo Live 1. 50 Limited CD-R Edition Series 1.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Sound Factory (1997).
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Melted Memory. DAT.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Vinyl Tranquilizer.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Solo Live in Kyoto 93. Audiocassette.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. The Night before the Death of the Sampling Virus.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Memory Disorder. Videocassette.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Turntables Solo. Videocassette.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Terminal-Zero. Audiocassette.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Ground-0, No. 0. Audiocassette.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Live at Aketa-no-mise in Tokyo, July 28, 1989. Audiocassette.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Otomo Yoshihide. Audiocassette.


  • Otomo Yoshihide. Ensembles 09: Pre-opening Live at Shinjuku Pit Inn. DVD.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Ultra Miracle Love Story.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Core Anode.
  • Otomo Yoshihide Invisible Songs. Sora.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. PrisonerA Film by Adachi Masao: Original Soundtrack.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Music(s). 2-DVD-R set.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. We Insist?
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Masahiko Shimada. Miira ni Naru made: German Version.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Ensemble Cathode.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Anode.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Music for DanceArt Hong Kong's "Memory Disorder".
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Cathode.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Otomo Yoshihide Plays the Music of Takeo Yamashita.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Lupin the Third: Ending Theme. 12" single.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Memory Defacement. 2-LP set.
  • Les sculpteurs de vinyl. Memory & Money.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Otomo + Mao. 7" single. FMN Sound Factory,
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Early Works 1: 81-85. Audiocassette.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. We Insist?
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Who is OTOMO Yoshihide? Audiocassette.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide. Problem. Audiocassette.


  • Isohata, Shinichi, and Otomo Yoshihide. Guitar Duo x Solo.
  • Ferrari, Luc, and Otomo Yoshihide. Les Archives Sauvées des Eaux.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Seiichi Yamamoto. Guitar Duo. F.M.N.
  • Oki, Itaru, and Otomo Yoshihide. Encounter.
  • Tétreault, Martin, and Otomo Yoshihide. 1. Grrr 2. Tok 3. Ahhh + 4. Hmmm. 4-CD set.
  • Tétreault, Martin, and Otomo Yoshihide. 4. Hmmm.
  • Tétreault, Martin, and Otomo Yoshihide. 3. Ahhh.
  • Tétreault, Martin, and Otomo Yoshihide. 2. Tok.
  • Tétreault, Martin, and Otomo Yoshihide. 1. Grrr.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Nobukazu Takemura. Turntables and Computers.
  • Günter Müller, and Otomo Yoshihide. Time Travel.
  • Tétreault, Martin, and Otomo Yoshihide. StudioAnalogiqueNumérique . 3-miniCD set.
  • LENGOW & HEyeRMEarS, Otomo Yoshihide, and Sachiko M. Warholes or All Andy Would Enjoy (And Fear) / Warhol Memory Disorder.
  • Marclay, Christian, and Otomo Yoshihide. Moving Parts.
  • Millions, Kenny, and Otomo Yoshihide. Without Kuryokhin.
  • Tétreault, Martin, and Otomo Yoshihide. 21 Situations.
  • MicroCosmos. Pilgrimage.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Steve Beresford. Museum of Towing & RECOVERY. 10" vinyl.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Eye Yamatsuka. 7" single.
  • Otani, Yasuhiro, and Otomo Yoshihide. Duo Improvisation. Audiocassette.
  • DJ Car House (Otomo Yoshihide) and MC Hell Shit (Eye Yamatsuka). Live!!
  • DJ Car House (Otomo Yoshihide) and MC Hell Shit (Eye Yamatsuka). Live! 3" CD.
  • Hirose, Junji, and Otomo Yoshihide. Duo. Audiocassette,
  • Hirose, Junji, and Otomo Yoshihide. Silanganan Ingay. LP.


  • Sim, and Otomo Yoshihide. Monte Alto Estate.
  • Bailey, Derek, Tony Bevan, Paul Hession, and Otomo Yoshihide. Good Cop Bad Cop.
  • Choi, Joonyong, Hong Chulki, Sachiko M, and Otomo Yoshihide. Sweet Cuts, Distant Curves.
  • Joy Heights. Country Kill.
  • BusRatch, and Otomo Yoshihide. Time Magic City.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, Bill Laswell, and Tatsuya Yoshida. Episome.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Yuki Saga. See You in a Dream. 2-CD set.
  • eRikm, Martin Tétreault, and Otomo Yoshihide. Trace Cuts.
  • Rowe, Keith, Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura, and Otomo Yoshihide. ErstLive 005. 3-CD set.
  • Fennesz, Christian, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide, and Peter Rehberg. ErstLive 004.
  • Coleman, Gene, Franz Hautzinger, Sachiko M, and Otomo Yoshihide. Concert in St. Louis.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, Bill Laswell, and Yasuhiro Yoshigaki. Soup Live. 2-CD set.
  • Akiyama, Tetuzi, Toshimaru Nakamura, Otomo Yoshihide, and Taku Unami. Compositions for Guitars Vol. 2.
  • Korber, Tomas, eRikm, Toshimaru Nakamura, and Otomo Yoshihide. Brackwater.
  • Sachiko M, Toshimaru Nakamura, and Otomo Yoshihide. Good Morning Good Night. 2-CD set.
  • Intonarumori Orchestra. Intonarumori Orchestra.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, Bill Laswell, and Yasuhiro Yoshigaki. Soup.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, Park Je Chun, and Mi Yeon. Loose Community.
  • Hayashi, Eiichi, Otomo Yoshihide, and Yoshisaburo Toyozumi. The Crushed Pellet.
  • Rowe, Keith, Oren Ambarchi, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide, and Robbie Avenaim. Thumb.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, Taku Sugimoto, and Sachiko M. Les Hautes SolitudesA Philippe Garrel Film: Imaginarry Soundtrack.
  • Jeck, Philip, Otomo Yoshihide, and Martin Tétreault. Invisible Architecture #1.
  • Almá Fury, Yasuhiro Otani, Otomo Yoshihide, and Xavier Charles. Ajar.
  • Screen: Festival Concepts of Doing 1999.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Voice Crack. Bits, Bots and Signs.
  • Okura, Masahiko, Günter Müller, Taku Sugimoto, and Otomo Yoshihide. Metal Tastes like Orange. Secret Recordings 1.
  • Baker, Jim, Aeron Bergman, Todd Carter, Brent Gutzeit, Michael Hartman, Ernst Long, Otomo Yoshihide, and R. Wilkus. Television Power Electric. Enhanced CD.
  • Tétreault, Martin, Yasuhiro Otani, Otomo Yoshihide, and Sachiko M. Four Focuses. .
  • Bond, Justin, Bob Ostertag, and Otomo Yoshihide. Panty Christ.
  • Seed Mouth and Otomo Yoshihide. Session 18 Oct. 1997. Audiocassette. 1998.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, Sachiko M, and Yoshimitsu Ichiraku. Live at OTIS! Audiocassette.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Masahiko Shimada. My Dear Mummy.
  • Nomura, Kiwao, Keiki Midorikawa, and Otomo Yoshihide. Ututu: Doppo Jukyo-at no Ho e Atelier El Sur
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Bob Ostertag. Twins!!
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Jon Rose. Tatakiuri.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Carl Stone. Monogatari: Amino Argot.
  • Sasaki, Hideaki, and Otomo Yoshihide. Balance of Power: Variety. Videocassette.
  • King, John, David Moss, and Otomo Yoshihide. All at Once at Any Time.
  • Peril. Multiverse.
  • Peril. Peril.
  • Katsui, Yuji, Hiroshi Higo, and Otomo Yoshihide. Visions of Japan.
  • No Problem. No Problem. Audiocassette. 1990.


  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Orchestra. Live Vol. 2: Parallel Circuit. 2-CD set.
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Orchestra. Live Vol. 1: Series Circuit. 2-CD set.
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Quintet. ONJQ Live in Lisbon.
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Orchestra. Out to Lunch.
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Orchestra. Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Orchestra (ONJO).
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Quintet. Tails Out.
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Quintet, and Tatsuya Oe. ONJQ + OE: Short Density. LP.
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Quintet, and Tatsuya Oe. ONJQ + OE.
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Quintet. Pulser. LP.
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Quintet. Live. .
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Ensemble. Dreams.
  • Otomo Yoshihide's New Jazz Quintet. Flutter.

With Filament

  • Filament with Musikelectronic Geithain. 4 Speakers. miniCD.
  • Ikunishi, Yasunori, Yasunori Kakegawa, Tetsuya Nagato, and Filament. Dark Room Filled with Light. DVD.
  • Filament. Filament BOX. F.M.N.
  • Filament. 2909-2000.
  • Filament, and Günter Müller. Filament 2: Secret Recordings.
  • Otomo, Yoshihide, and Sachiko M. Filament 1.

With I.S.O.

  • I.S.O. I.S.O.
  • I.S.O. I.S.O.
  • I.S.O. Live.
  • I.S.O. Gravity Clock.

With Ground Zero

  • Ground-Zero. Live 1992 +.
  • Ground-Zero. Last Concert.
  • Ground-Zero. Consummation.
  • Cassiber. Live in Tokyo.
  • Ground-Zero. Conflagration.
  • Ground-Zero. Consume Red.
  • Ground-Zero. Plays Standards.
  • Bästard / Ground-Zero. Pinball Tenacity / Live Mao '99.
  • Ground-Zero. Revolutionary Pekinese Opera, Version 1.50. 7" single.
  • Ground-Zero. Revolutionary Pekinese Opera, Version 1.28. ReR, GZ1, 1996 (UK);
  • Ground-Zero. Revolutionary Pekinese Opera, Tokyo 1995: Unofficial Live Video. Videocassette.
  • Ground-Zero. Revolutionary Pekinese Opera.
  • Ground-Zero. Null & Void. Tzadik,
  • Ground-Zero. Ground-Zero.

With P53

  • P53 (1996, CD, Recommended Records, U.K.)

With The Thing

  • Shinjuku Crawl (2009)

External links

This page was last modified 01.10.2011 00:10:42

This article uses material from the article Yoshihide Otomo from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.