The innovative Japanese musician and YMO collaborator shares stories from her lifelong journey of materializing imaginative sounds.
Akiko Yano is a treasure of our audible universe. Starting her career as a teenager immersed in Tokyo’s creative jazz scene, she soon emerged as one of the most unique voices in the country. Her 1976 album Japanese Girl stands as a seamless document of cultural fusion. Half the album was taped in Los Angeles with funk-infusers Little Feat as her backing band, and she recorded the other half in Tokyo with collaborators Haruomi Hososono, Moonriders and Kisaku Katada. She spent 1979 and 1980 as a touring member of Yellow Magic Orchestra and then collaborated with the band for her synth-showered 1981 masterpiece Tadaima. Yano has released over 27 albums to date and collaborated with an incredible roster of talents. On this special episode of Open End, Akiko Yano joins Frosty to reflect on her singular outlook and the moments that helped shape her sound; she also offers up a playlist of songs that inspire her. Frosty opens and closes the show with selections from Guatemala, the Netherlands, Guadeloupe, Cameroon, Jamaica, Taiwan, Mauritius, Brazil and beyond.