Although the entire internet was well and truly rocked to its foundations a few months back by the triumphant return of Tokyo-born “composer, performer, producer, and environmentalist” Ryuichi Sakamoto to the hallows of original music-hood after an eight year hiatus and illness battle, it remained a mystery at the time as to precisely what FORM the experimental musician’s album-making-muse would take: 24-hour opera about a fictitious meeting between Claude Debussy and the Dalai Lama?? Lo-fi EP of live Rolling Stones covers???
But as of TODAY, all that (admittedly super-fun) speculation can cease, because Sakamoto has just announced that his new album is a 15-track affair titled async. It’s coming April 28 via Milan Records (with a March 29 release in Japan), and its concept stemmed from the creation of “a soundtrack for an Andrei Tarkovsky film that does not exist” (guess I wasn’t too far off).
Let’s just take that in first, shall we? Breathe…breathe…Now, are you at least half-ready for more of the details? Cuz here comes a bunch:
The album, which “plays with ideas of a-synchronism, prime numbers, chaos, quantum physics and the blurred lines of life and artificiality/noise and music,” was conceived and primarily recorded around New York City, while also folding-in various “field or location recordings” and elements from “museums around the world.” The pallet consists of the usual suspects of piano and orchestra, but also “a deep selection of unique acoustic and electric sounds both programmed and organic.”
Oh, but that’s not all: dollops of inspiration were also scooped from “everyday objects, sculpture, and nature,” with Sakamoto attempting to simply compose, arrange, and play with “the sounds/music that he most wanted to listen to” and to pay special attention to the “essence of each track,” as well as to the careful balancing of sounds “with a less-is-more perspective” until the resultant pieces represented “singular expressions of Sakamoto’s current mindset” comprising “one of his most personal albums.”
The worldwide premiere listening event will be held at this year’s Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, TN March 23-26, in glorious, 5.1 surround sound. Additionally, Sakamoto will also be appearing April 25-26 at New York’s Park Avenue Armory Veterans Room, just days before async’s release.
Hey, speaking of its release, head over here to pre-order the album, and make the next WHOLE HOUR of your day less harried and terrible by enjoying a delightful smattering of this man’s prodigious recorded output down below… because: CONTENT.
11. Life, Life
15. water state 2 (vinyl only bonus track)