Ryuichi Sakamoto

Chasm

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On CHASM, Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto blends together his favorite styles of music without limiting himself to one genre. CHASM is a mixture of avant-garde and Western pop and a vehicle for uncompromising electronic experimentation.

CHASM opens with "Undercooled," a composition that combines rap with an Asian melody. This piece is followed by "Coro," a track made up of harsh audio static. The title track is composed of electronically altered piano notes, which swell up and down and loop mechanically. This piece has a haunting, almost underwater, feel to it. Towards the end of CHASM, we come across "Song," an abstract work that combines a Spartan electronic backbeat with loud white noise. However, Sakamoto makes a sharp left turn for the album's closer "Seven Samurai - Ending Theme." This piece reflects the composer's Japanese heritage in its extensive use of Asian modalities. But more notably, it embraces tonality and lyricism. Here, Sakamoto replaces clever gadgetry with unerring melodic splendor.

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