When I discovered METAFIVE my first question was, how does a star-studded supergroup like this even find time to get together? It’s headed by Yukihiro Takahashi, a musician and producer formerly of Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) and Sadistic Mika Band.
The METAFIVE project came together in 2014 when Takahashi recruited Towa Tei, Cornelius, Yoshinori Sunahara (from Denki Groove) and Tomohiko Gondo, who were all from a similar generation. The one outlier is vocalist Leo Imai. Still in his mid-30s, Imai is half Japanese and half Swedish and transitions smoothly between Japanese and English. It’s Leo’s intensity that gives the band its needed edge and keeps me coming back for more.
After a one-night concert in 2014 the band put out their first full album in early 2016 and then another mini-album in late 2016. In an interview back in 2014 Takahashi, now 65 attributed the project to his biological clock ticking. “I don’t have that much time left,” he said, “so I feel like I want to try out lots of different things.”