Ryuichi Sakamoto - Thousand Knives Of
Ryuichi Sakamoto's first solo album originally released in 1978 on the sought-after Better Days label. Sakamoto was a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra at the time but the group hadn't released their first album yet. Featuring Sakamoto on a wide range of synthesizers and keyboards programmed by Hideki Matsutake, and accompanied by a few musicians including Haruomi Hosono and Pecker, "Thousand Knives" was a blueprint for the YMO sound and includes cult classics that were to become live favourites. Save for a small-scale release in 1982, this is the first time the album is being released on vinyl outside of Japan. Remastered from the original tapes by renowned producer and engineer Seigen Ono, the LP edition comes with original artwork including OBI and 4p insert with a new introduction by Paul Bowler.
1978 was a key year for Japanese music. Haruomi Hosono, one of the country's most innovative musicians had just formed Yellow Magic Orchestra pursuing the sonic experimentation he had started with his solo album "Paraiso." The album, credited to "Harry Hosono and The Yellow Magic Band," had been recorded between December 77 and January 78 and featured both Ryuichi Sakamoto and Yukihiro Takahashi. Hosono quickly invited both musicians to form YMO but before the group could release their first album, Sakamoto entered the Nippon Columbia studios in April 1978 with a plan.
Sakamoto had become an in-demand session musician after studying composition at the Tokyo University of Art and had played in many key albums of the time: Taeko Ohnuki's "Sunshower" and Tatsuro Yamashita "Spacy" to name just two famous albums. This led to an invitation by Hosono to feature on "Paraiso". A penchant for avant-garde and improvisation had gotten Sakamoto interested in Electronic Music early on and with “Thousand Knives”, he decided to get Hideki Matsutake on board as he had mastered the art of synth programming following a stint with Electronic Music pioneer Isao Tomita. “Thousand Knives” took several months to record as Sakamoto would be busy during the day with his session work and would only record at night.
Named after Belgian-born poet Henri Michaux’s description of a mescaline experience, the album is a reflection on how synthesizer technology might come to change the face of music.
1. Thousand Knives
2. Island Of Woods
4. Das Neue Japanische Elektronische Volkslied
5. Plastic Bamboo
6. The End Of Asia
Artist: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Format: Vinyl LP
Cat Number: WWSLP24
Released: 8th November 2019