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Ryuichi Sakamoto


The legendary Japanese composer was diagnosed with throat cancer in June of 2014, undergoing rigorous treatments that sidelined most of his endeavors and made for the biggest rest in his musical career. When Sakamoto did return to music, he made what he thought would be his last solo effort. The album features austere electronic soundscapes, Satie-esque piano miniatures, the synth wizardry of his early days with YMO, homages to cinematic heroes like Andrei Tarkovsky, and more. When recording the score for The Sheltering Sky, Sakamoto also recorded author Paul Bowles, using his voice here to profound effect: “Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well.” As such, async revisits the many touchstones of his career, with Sakamoto hovering over it all like a ghost revisiting his past.

Andy Beta

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