Exposé Online banner

Ryuichi Sakamoto — Playing the Piano / Out of Noise
(Decca 2717100, 2009, 2CD)

by Alessandro Michelucci, Published 2010-07-01

Playing the Piano / Out of Noise Cover artSome thirty-five years ago Japanese rock music was still an unknown subject, the only exception being percussionist Stomu Yamash’ta. Then came the Yellow Magic Orchestra, which marked the beginning of a peaceful invasion: today groups and composers from the Land of the Rising Sun are commonplace. Ryuichi Sakamoto, YMO founder and keyboardist, is still one of the most interesting composers from that country. Japanese artists, as everybody knows, have always been sensible to European culture. Sakamoto is too, but a strong Japanese flavor can always be perceived in his works. This is confirmed by his new CD, the deluxe version of which includes Out of Noise, his previous CD, which had not been circulated outside Japan. The Japanese composer’s discography includes several CDs which are released by his own label, Commmons (three M’s – no mistake), but are hard to find outside Japan. Playing the Piano is a collection of old tracks in piano solo versions, including “The Sheltering Sky” and world-renowned “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence” (also known as “Forbidden Colours,” the title of David Sylvian’s sung version). The second CD, Out of Noise, is more experimental. It was conceived as part of a live performance that could only be purchased through iTunes. The twelve instrumental tracks range from experimentalism (“Tama”) to minimalism (“Hibari”). The final piece, “Composition 0919,” reaches atonality. “In the Red” is a dream-like electronic piece where voices and sounds melt with piano. “Hwit” and “Still Life” take us back to the soundtrack Sakamoto.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 38, 2009 releases

Related artist(s): Ryuichi Sakamoto

Latest news

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santan, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more

2020-04-23
Shindig Festival Goes Lock-Down – Here's what they're saying: It's A Happening Thing! The Shindig! Magazine Lockdown Festival. In our days of no large gatherings of people, maybe it's still possible to have a music festival. Shindig! Magazine is giving it a go with a multi-artist streaming extravaganza on Saturday April 25. » Read more

2020-03-24
Bill Rieflin RIP – The sad news reaches us today of Bill Rieflin's death. Rieflin was best known as a drummer in bands ranging from post-punk to industrial to indie-rock to progressive rock, including work with The Blackouts, Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Swans, Land, and King Crimson. Rieflin had been battling cancer for several years, and succumbed to it on March 24. He was 59. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Porcupine Tree - Metanoia – This hard-to-find treat was released after the live album Coma Divine but prior to the latest album Stupid Dream as a limited edition gatefold double 10" vinyl-only release. Recent interviews...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues