Ryuichi Sakamoto 'async' (Milan)
Let’s not beat about the bush: Ryuichi Sakamoto is an electronic music god. His early tunes such as ‘Firecracker’ (with Yellow Magic Orchestra) and ‘Riot In Lagos’ influenced the birth of hip hop, electro and techno, and still sound fresh enough to be played by the most cutting-edge DJs. His film soundtracks, right up to his recent work on The Revenant, are hugely influential, and he’s made some of the greatest abstract/ambient electronica out there. His first solo album in seven years is no less special: it’s full of church organs, hazy reverb, rippling synths and poetry about mortality and eternity, as well as Sakamoto’s distinctive piano, sonar bleeps and unforgettable melodies.
It’s arguably the most beautiful record you’ll hear this year.