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If you’ve ever stepped foot inside a music store, you’ve no doubt seen at least one overly-confident person wailing away at a guitar or piano, just to “test it out” with plenty of people around. While they’re usually better than the rest of us, you also can’t help feeling a bit of embarrassment for anyone who’s getting into it a just a little too much.

But a pair of videos making the rounds in Japan has won a group of three keyboardists plenty of attention — and praise — for their covers of famous Yellow Magic Orchestra songs. Partly because they were performed guerrilla-style in electronics stores!

Yellow Magic Orchestra, or YMO for short, is a legendary Japanese electronic band that helped pioneer the use of electronic instruments like synthesizers and samplers. They also managed to be an international hit before YouTube even existed!

Active on and off since 1977, their impact on the electronic music world is impossible exaggerate, and they’ve even been credited with helping inspire hip-hop. So, if you were going to do an impromptu performance using synthesizers in Japan, there may not be a better band to cover than YMO.

And that’s what this group of three mystery musicians did in Japan! Recorded in a Kojima Electronics store branch in Kumamoto Prefecture that has since closed, the first video shows the group standing at a row of synthesizers and jamming out YMO’s “Tong Poo.” In the description, the group notes they hadn’t practiced that day, though plenty of commenters were still impressed.

In case you’re not familiar with the Japanese electronic music scene of 1978, here’s the original song.

About the cover song, Japanese commenters wrote:

“This is really high-level musicianship!”
“So good! Soooooooo goooooood!”
“This is a great idea! It captures people’s attention. I watched all the way to the end!!”
“This is somehow really cool.”
“They’re really good!”
“This looks fun! I want to jam with them!”

The group has another video, recorded a year ago, that’s gotten people talking. Performed at a Best Denki location somewhere in Japan, the three mystery men again play a YMO song using display synthesizers.

The song, “Rydeen,” was originally released by YMO in 1980, so, again, in case you’re not familiar with it, here’s the original song.

Commenters were also impressed with this video, writing:

“Amazing!”
“That keyboard drummer is seriously talented.”
“This is so cool!”
“This is pretty awesome. So well done!”
“Amazing! Do more!”
“Where are you planning to ‘play and run’ next? I definitely want to catch you guys playing!”

What do you think? Are these guys awesome or are they actually just kind of annoying and getting in the way of other customers? Share your thoughts below!

Reference/image: YouTube (Rydeen), YouTube (Tong Poo)
[ Read in Japanese ]