Ryuichi Sakamoto has a long career of composition in many forms, from bands to solo work and scores for film. Probably most well known for the Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence theme and most recently his work on the Revenant soundtrack. Both previous tracks of the week.
His latest album async has a strong overarching theme of mortality. Whether this is caused by his age or the battle with cancer Ryuichi Sakamoto is clearly interested in the themes of life and death and on this mostly instrumental and minimal album he explores them with great talent and finesse.
The album starts with the track andata which demonstrates what Sakamoto does best. Sparse elements with strong emotional themes that are given room to breathe whilst also remaining faithful to the original idea behind the track as it moves from a grand piano to a cavernously reverb enriched piano.