Born: August 1, 1959
Improvisational guitarist, turntablist and composer Otomo Yoshihide was born August 1, 1959 in Yokohama, Japan; the son of an engineer, as a child he built his own radio and electronic oscillator, and as a teen began creating sound collages by means of open-reel tape recorders. During high school, Yoshihide performed in a local rock band before moving on to free jazz, influenced primarily by saxophonist Kaoru Abe and guitarist Masayuki Takayanagi; while a university student, he also became fascinated with ethnic music, and in 1981 travelled to Hainan, China to research the area's musical culture. Upon returning to Tokyo, Yoshihide began regularly performing free improvisational sets at the local Goodman club, although he maintained a relatively low profile until 1987, when he appeared in a duo with saxophonist Junji Hirose in addition to concurrent stints in the bands No Problem and ORT. In 1990, Yoshihide joined bassist Kato Hideki's group Player Piano and also formed his own noise rock group, Ground Zero. From 1992 to 1994, he also led the Double Unit Orchestra. Other Yoshihide-helmed groups of the period included Mosquito Paper and Sampling Virus Project; following the 1998 dissolution of Ground Zero, his work moved increasingly towards minimalism in projects including I.S.O. and Filament.