Electronic Musician

RYUICHI SAKAMOTO

Tokyo-born Ryuichi Sakamoto first came to prominence as co-founder of pioneering synth pop trio Yellow Magic Orchestra in the late 1970s. Despite scoring major success in his country of origin and shaping the direction of the burgeoning techno and electro genres, Sakamoto became uncomfortable with his public persona and tired of adopting Western modes of musical expression. He therefore departed to create radical electronic solo works such as Thousand Knives (1978) and B-2 Unit (1980).

By the mid-eighties, Sakamoto had become integral to the formation of what would commonly become known as the ‘world music’ genre, releasing a catalog of albums fusing eastern and western musical topographies on classic albums such as Neo Geo and Beauty. He also delved into the world of film soundtrack, both writing and acting alongside David Bowie in the Nagisa Oshima-directed Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence. Sakamoto subsequently recorded more than 30 TV/film soundtracks, notably including Academy Award-winning The Last Emperor(1987) and Alexander González Iñárittu’s The Revenant (2015).

Driven by a sense of playfulness, modest dissatisfaction with his life’s work and continued motivation to disregard existing musical forms, Sakamoto’s more recent solo outings are littered with innovative experimentation. His acclaimed 2017 ambient album explored the world of textured acoustics and digitally manipulated spoken word passages. Collaborations with

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