Never to be taken seriously or even lightly, Yello are back with a new album that’s going to be called Toy. At the IMS Electronic Music Pioneer Awards celebration in Ibiza, Dieter Meier and Boris Blank announced the release of their 13th studio album “Toy” on September 30, 2016, that takes up the sound of the legendary albums with which they revolutionized electronic music in the early eighties.
Traditionally Yello’s albums are a wild cocktail of musical influences — funk, big band jazz, African rhythms and reggae. Dance is the central element, and as one of the world’s foremost electronic bands, they’re seen as one of the Godfathers of today’s dance music. An important aspect of Yello’s music is the fact, quite simply, that it’s fun and funky. To achieve this, Blank and Meier have formed the perfect musical marriage. Blank’s infectious rhythms get people moving and, together with his sound paintings, form the perfect backdrop for Meier’s bizarre vocals. The latter are often half or fully spoken, and usually narrate scenes or stories which might have come from a Hollywood B-movie. When Yello started out in 1980, Meier was in many ways one of the first rappers to make it to the world’s centre stage, even though his free-flow word-waterfalls lacked the strong rhythmic punctuation typical of the emerging US rapping style. As melodrama and pastiche are intrinsic aspects of their style, some think that Meier and Blank are simply parodying aspects of rap and dance music. But it’s more likely that their off-beat approach is simply the product of the wild imagination of some truly original guys.
And of course we are equipped with a brand new teaser video that you can watch below:
But perhaps even more interesting is that Yello will perform live for the first time ever, and what could be more suitable then doing their first IRL performance at the legendary event center Kraftwerk in Berlin. This will take place on 26th and 28th of October 2016. The dup will be joined on stage by guest singers Malia and Fifi Rong as well as many of the live musicians who helped to record Toy. Here’s the confirmation directly from the source:
Dieter Meier: “With the decision to play live for the first time ever at the Kraftwerk Berlin, a new era for Yello begins. Get out of cyberspace – and into the live experience, with operatic staging in the aesthetics of the Yello videos.“
Boris Blank: “At the center of our show are more than 20 Yello songs that I have ‘reloaded’ for live performance. Of course, we will play the Yello hits, but also tracks from the new album “Toy”: to the future through the past. The world of Yello – live on stage.”
Tickets for both shows are AVAILABLE NOW (http://www.eventim.de/
As commonly known some of the most inventive and catchy electronic music of the 1980s, came from Yello. Yello’s sound is mainly characterized by unusual music samples, a heavy reliance on rhythm and Dieter Meier’s dark crooning voice. Yello has been instrumental in spreading and developing the use of sampling, along with Art of Noise, Paul Hardcastle and Depeche Mode, especially in the construction of rhythm tracks, such as one of their signature tunes The Race from 1988. Other sound sources that Yello uses are almost as numerous as his samples, a rich mixture of analogue and digital, with special favorites being the ARP Odyssey, Sequential Circuits Pro One, OSCar, Waldorf MicroWave (“good for basses”), Oberheim Matrix 12, Wavestation SR, Ensoniq SQR, Emu Procussion, Korg DW8000, Roland D50, JD800 and JD990, and the Yamaha SY77.
Yello prefers analogue rather than digital programming and have stated previously: “The JD800 is my favourite of the digital keyboards to work with for that reason. But I love both analogue and digital keyboards. It’s like a painter sometimes working with acrylic and sometimes with oil, and sometimes using them together. I make a conglomerate of all kinds of sounds, real acoustic samples from the Fairlight together with the old ARP Odyssey. I take different colours and textures out of all my synths.” A particular favorite is the Kurzweil K2000. Blank elaborates: “I play with synthesizers like a child plays with toys, and I really love the K2000. You always wonder what will come out of it. I use it a lot for arpeggios that are triggered by a single note from the sequencer. You can change those arpeggios inside the K2000 and add waveforms or samples and suddenly get a completely different sound picture. It gives me many surprises and strange effects.”
The Race was released in 7″, 12″ and CD formats throughout the world, and additionally as a cassette single in some places. The limited edition single contained a remix by Paul Dakeyne. The following year, the track was remixed again by Carl Segal and released as a couple of promotional-only 12″ singles, coupled with Emilio Pasquez’s versions of “Blazing Saddles”. Yello rarely use samples from previously released music; nearly every instrument has been sampled and re-engineered by Boris Blank, who over the years has built up an original sample library of over 100,000 named and categorized sounds.
In 1992, “The Race” was released as a single a second time, to coincide with the greatest hits collection, Essential Yello.
“Oh Yeah” is a single released in 1985 and featured on their album Stella. In 1986, it reached No. 51 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100, and No. 36 on the US dance charts.The single peaked at No. 9 in Australia in October 1988. The song features a mix of electronic music and manipulated vocals. The song gained popularity after being featured in the films Ferris Bueller’s Day Offand The Secret of My Success. Its 1987 re-released version features the extra lyrics: “such a good time / a really good time”. A remix of the song, entitled, “Oh Yeah Oh Six” went to No. 1 on the US dance charts in 2006
Writing about the use of the song in 1986’s Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Jonathan Bernstein said, “Never a hit, this slice of Swiss-made tomfoolery with its varispeed vocal effects and driving percussion was first used by John Hughes to illustrate the mouthwatering must-haveness of Cameron’s dad’s Ferrari. Since then, it has become synonymous with lust. Every time a movie, TV show or commercial wants to underline the jaw-dropping impact of a hot babe or sleek auto, that synth-drum starts popping and that deep voice rumbles, ‘Oh yeah . . .'”.
The story of Yello starts in 1979, when Blank — former TV repair-man and truck driver — chanced upon Carlos Peron, a fellow sound fanatic. Together they started creating an outrageous mixture of music and sound collages. When they needed an equally outrageous front man, the diverse talents of Dieter Meier — bon viveur, professional gambler, film director and writer of children’s books — fitted right in. The combination proved electric and Yello soon released their first album, Solid Pleasure (1980). Their nonsensical name took its inspiration from children’s toys such as Lego and Meccano, and was an apt banner for the throwaway, playful spirit of their musical experiments. It was all terribly un-Swiss — apart from one thing: their organised chaos was, and still is, produced in glossy, precise detail, sounding really smooth and succulent.
Over the years there has been little change in Yello’s sound (notwithstanding Peron’s departure to pursue a solo career), though guest singers like Rush Winters (on Stella, 1984), Billy Mackenzie (on One Second, 1987, Flag and Baby), and, most famously, Shirley Bassey on the song ‘The Rhythm Divine’, from One Second, gave Blank the opportunity to come up with more melody-, rather than rhythm-based tracks.