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World Music CD Reviews Asia & Far East

Ryuichi Sakamoto

By Judson Kilpatrick
Published April 3, 2007



On this follow-up to his acclaimed Chasm, the veteran Japanese composer/musician enlists a host of underground producers to craft alternate versions of that album’s songs. “War & Peace” notably featured a sonic collage of philosophical questions asked by many different voices, and Cornelius lays these voices over lush keyboards and squeaky beats while Aoki Takamasa’s broken-beat remix backs them with a quirky stutter step. Craig Armstrong’s version of “20 mSec.” contrasts cold computer blips with warm human humming. On “Ngo/Bitmix,” Slicker wraps a disconcerting mélange of found sounds around Sakamoto’s jazz piano. Riva Noto takes a similar approach with “Undercooled,” cutting it up so much you’ll think there's something wrong with your CD player, while Skuli Sverrisson’s melodic take layers beautifully chiming guitars. For funkier stuff, check out the gulping beats of Rob Da Bank & Mr. Dan’s “Word” as well as Steven Jansen’s lengthy, hypnotic remix of “Break With.”