RYUICHI SAKAMOTO
Shining Boy & Little Randy

[Warner Music Japan, www.wmp.jp]

Chasm
[Kab America, www.kab.com]

Bricolages
[Kab America, www.kab.com]

What has intrigued me about Ryuichi Sakamoto's music over the years is his sense of surprise.  Though each record he produces retains that specific Sakamoto touch - the coolness in the air, warm trajectory and rich themes - each one is unique and each one has the capacity to wow and surprise.
"Shining Boy & Little Randy" is actually a soundtrack to a movie by Shunsaku Kawage.  Poignant numbers that express every little nuance in the film are sharply illustrated.  With roomy scenery bringing images of Far East to mind, the soundtrack swerves without missing a beat from one motif to the next.  Bamboo flute, percussion and stunning piano playing by Sakamoto himself, the music is in a world of its own.  Masterfully conducted string section brings the images of the movie close to mind.  The best part is that Stevie Wonder-like harmonica solo on "Elephant Show".  As spine-tingling as Stevie's early 60's output, the number puts a sunny face into a sombre surrounding.  Neither classical nor world music per se, this rich music sits comfortably in a sub-category Sakamoto has specifically created.  This is stunning music of the highest order as always from the master of the soundtracks.
Sakamoto's first solo outing in seven years; "Chasm" is a different animal altogether.  Clocking in at just over 76 minutes, Sakamoto brings all that he loves in today's music and lays it all down in front of the listener.   Everything from ambient, noise, experimental, classical to a unique take on pop end up on the record.  It's nearly as if Sakamoto wanted to overwhelm the listener with as much music as possible.  I'm not sure if that's a good thing or bad.  I mean, the haunting wondrous beauty of "World Citizen" [which features David Sylvian on vocals] works well as does the frozen stillness of the title track but there are a few failed numbers.  I'm not sure why the noise-shronk "Coro" was included?  Was Sakamoto trying to say that he's up to date on his Voicecrack collection?  Same goes for the opening piece "Undercooled".  Does featuring Japanese rapper MC Sniper add anything to this click'n'tick track or actually take away from it?  Otherwise, the pieces are rich in imagery and go over easy on the ears.  The tender simplicity of "Break With" fits in well with the overall mood of the record, while "Ngo/Bitmix" [which features Carsten Nicolai's audio bits] feels like a tender piano solo from jazz's heyday broken to bits and shredded for posterity.  Other than a couple of weak links at the very beginning of the record, the whole fits like a glove.  With this much to say - with new influences crowding his mind - it's great to have Sakamoto back producing music that will ultimately stand the test of time.
A remix album is not just a remix album if it has a stellar cast that offers radical reworks of original material.  "Bricolages" is one such instance where the original pieces are overshadowed by their substantially renewed offspring.  What I find most stimulating on the release is a simple fact that all artists work the pieces from scratch and re-envision  their creation from the ground up.  Originally found on Ryuichi Sakamoto's "Chasm", the pieces go from strength to strength and really show off the eclectic taste their creator has had over the years.  Fennesz does a terrific buzz, static-filled take on "20 Msec.", while Steve Jansen's bare-boned interpretation of "Break With" is a real joy to listen to.  The real surprise arrives with Taylor Deupree's redoing on "World Citizen".   Perhaps it's because I was expecting a radical reworking or because of the man's previous work, I was expecting this mix to sound alien, distant and unrecognizable.  Far from it.  These are six minutes of some of the most intimate, warm sounds you can get your ears wrapped around on.  As David Sylvian wistfully sings his way through the track, you wonder how is it possible the remix album has a better version than the original mix on "Chasm".  Go figure!   What's more important is the release retains a relaxed, nearly ambient atmosphere about it.  Check out the field-recording-like approach that Rob Da Bank & Mr. Dan take on their re-doing of "Word".  Mesmerising, haunting and full of a million ideas that gel, Bricolages" is that one shining pearl amongst the pile of swine.

- Tom Sekowski


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RECENZJE

+ Brasil - Wander Till Spring
+ Dom - Edge of Time
+ Ribot/Taylor/Campbell/Grimes - Spiritual Unity
+ Ananda Shankar - Ananda Shankar
+ Orkiestra pw. św. Mikołaja i Roman Kumłyk i Czeremosz - Huculskie Muzyki
+ Uusitalo - Tukenkantaja
+ Dawid Szczęsny - Unheard Threats
+ Like A Stuntman - Stan Place
+ Shinto - Sekai
+ Guido Schneider - Focus On
+ Sasse - Made Within The Upper Stairs Of Heaven
+ My Robot Friend - Dial O
+ The Raconteurs - Broken Boy Soldiers
+ Savas Pascalidis - Saigon Nightmare
+ On/Off - We Are On
+ OMR - Superheroes Crash
+ Monolake - Plumbicon Versions
+ Jeff Mills & The National Orchestra Of Montpellier - Blue Potential
+ Lofty znalezione w sekendhendach
+ Living Things - Ahead Of The Lions
+ The Liars - Drum's Not Dead
+ Lesbians On Ecstasy - Lesbians On Ecstasy
+ The Lasergun Compilation Vol. II
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ Inch-Time - As The Moon Draws Water
+ The Hacker - A.N.D. N.O.W.
+ Guther - Sundet
+ Renato Figoli - Serotonin Smile
+ Eccentris: Skin Is In
+ The DFA - Remixes
+ Vath & Rother - Springlove
+ DAT Politics - Wow Twist
+ Codec & Flexor - Killermachine
+ Casiotone For The Painfully Alone - Etiquette
+ One Second Bridge - One Second Bridge
+ Blood Music - Sing A Song Fighter!
+ Birdy Nam Nam - Birdy Nam Nam
+ Benni Hemm Hemm - Benni Hemm Hemm
+ Aux 88 - Aux 88
+ Split EP 2

- - - - - - - - -

+ JASPER LEYLAND - Margin
+ WILL HOLSHOUSER TRIO - Singing to a Bee
+ OUTPUTMESSAGE - Nebulae
+ MARCO FERNANDES / HANS FJELLESTAD / HACO / JAKOB RIIS - Haco Hans Jakob Marco
+ SPUNK - En Aldeles Forferdelig Sykdom
+ BRIAN LEBER - Till
+ THE NETHER DAWN - Whiskey Mute-Down
>> RYUICHI SAKAMOTO - Shining Boy & Little Randy / Chasm / Bricolages
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - Creative Outlaws:  US Underground 1962 - 1970
+ THEME - Our Angels Dislocated
+ VARIOUS ARTISTS - From the Closet to the Charts: Queer Noises 1961 - 1978
+ FUMIO YASUDA - Las Vegas Rhapsody - The Night They Invented Champagne
+ JUANA MOLINA - Son
+ TOMAS PHILIPS / DEAN KING - Á Travers Le Bord
+ SISSY - All Under
+ WIESENDANGER / WEBER / ULRICH - We Concentrate.
+ MORRISSEY - Ringleader of the Tormentors
+ EXPERIMENTAL AUDIO RESEARCH - Worn to a Shadow
+ ADEM - Love and Other Planets / PSAPP - The Only Thing I Ever Wanted
+ JEHRO - Jehro
+ EXTRA GOLDEN - OK-Oyot System
+ GIOVANNI MANCUSO - Alphabet Music / LABORATORIO NOVAMUSICA EXPERIMENTAL UNIT - Compressione Dialettica alla Mente / GIOVANNI MANCUSO - Black Film
+ DAC CROWELL / KURT DOLES - Mercury
+ PETER WRIGHT - Pariahs Sing Om
+ KTU - 8 Armed Monkey / MEAT BEAT MANIFESTO - At the Center / BEANS - Only
+ THE SOUND DIMENSION - Jamaica Soul Shake, Vol. 1
+ INCH-TIME - As The Moon Draws Water
+ POLWECHSEL - Archives of the North
+ TIVOL - Interstellar Overbike
+ LYCIA - The Burning Circle and Then Dust
+ VITOR JOAQUIM - Flow
+ PAULINE OLIVEROS - The Roots of the Momente / Primordial Lift

- - - - - - - - -

WYWIADY / RELACJE

+ Otwarta formuła - Rozmowa z gitarzystą zespołu Plum - Rafałem Piekoszewskim.
+ Pierwotne emocje - Rozmowa z Muńkiem Staszczykiem, wokalistą zespołu T.Love
+ Muzyka dla outsiderów - Rozmowa z wokalistą i gitarzystą zespołu Komety - Lesławem