Ambient Sunday: 1

Ryuichi Sakamoto “async”

I’ve always wanted to share some of my favorite ambient albums, but it’s such an odd thing to share, right? It’s really hard to talk about – Ambient music is, one tends to lots of new age sounding adjectives, and so I will mostly just post the album and encourage anyone who wants to search it out and listen to it.

I learned today that Ryuichi Sakamoto died. He’s one of my top four, for sure, musical artists. He’s on constant rotation for me, partly because he has dozens and dozens of great albums – from early Yellow Magic Orchestra, his poppier solo work, and his own Ambient, soundtracks and piano albums, to his many, many albums created with other artists. It breaks my heart to know he’s no longer with us, but he definitely left us with lots of amazing music with which to remember him.

Note that sometimes albums I call Ambient are called electronic or some other genre elsewhere. It’s a hard one to nail down, for me they range from classic Ambient, such as Brian Eno’s Ambient 1: Music for Airports (which I always assumed would be my first Ambient post), to more experimental Ambient music that moves beyond the soft mellow chill of classic Ambient. This one shows up as electronic on my Apple Music, I would call it experimental Ambient. I just happened to be listening to it yesterday when he passed. I love this record.

It’s called “async”, by Ryuichi Sakamoto.


2 thoughts on “Ambient Sunday: 1

  1. Amazing post
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about Ryuichi Sakamoto and his amazing music. Your post makes me curious to listen to “async” as I am always looking for new music to explore. Can you share a little bit about what makes this album special to you and how it differs from Sakamoto’s other works?

    1. This sort of music is just so hard to describe, right? It’s really is Ambient, like the music playing in the other room for Eno with his broken leg, and so to describe it is really just describing how you feel about it. async is amazing for me because it was such a joy from Ryuichi Sakamoto at the time. I just sort of needed something new from him and this came out and thrilled me. It’s about the gentleness of the music, but also the cleverness of what he added to it. He’s just so talented – or was, sadly. He’s always both soothes and challenges us. I love that. I hope that makes some sort of sense? Thank you so much for your comment!

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