Ryuichi Sakamoto - async
Critic Score
Based on 9 reviews
2017 Ratings: #67 / 716
User Score
Based on 113 ratings
2017 Ratings: #46
April 28, 2017 / Release Date
LP / Format
Milan / Label
Ambient / Genres
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Your Review



async is a luxurious, picturesque recording. It showcases that Sakamoto's unique ability to create genuine beauty with a varied — at times abrasive — palette.


Unlike other expressions of mortality like David Bowie’s Blackstar or Touché Amore’s Stage Four, Sakamoto isn’t raging against the dying of the light. The tracks on async are more often gentle sighs of relief suffused with a reawakened wonderment at the beauty of simple sounds created by man made instruments and the natural world.

Under The Radar

The musical language of Ryuichi Sakamoto is esoteric and also innately relatable. Ultimately, it is beautiful.

Resident Advisor

async is a humble record about appreciating the little things in life and taking in the fullness of sound, even at its most delicate.


Async is certainly not one of Sakamoto's most accessible albums, but if the listener is willing to devote several listens until it all makes sense, it ends up being quite powerful.


What you find on his latest album, async, is a dark, sparse work that, while gorgeous, is a collection of very deliberate moves that are highly creative but not necessarily celebratory.


The Japanese composer's first solo album after eight years and a battle with throat cancer is marvelous, using a bounty of textures, moods, and ambience from his esteemed four-decade-long career.

A.V. Club

Viewed solely as Sakamoto’s homage to an artist he admires—and as an extension of his years of scoring films like The Last Emperor and The RevenantAsync is a beautiful experiment, one that yields its own meditative, cinematic pleasures.

There is a level of mastery here undeniable, and once you look up Ryuichi Sakamoto, it affirms everything heard here.

An acclaimed artist, with a full life, a full discography. You would be a fool to miss this collective piece of art.

Favourite song: full moon (follows the words of writer Paul Bowles) fun fact the book was made into a film called The Sheltering Sky, a film that Ryuichi Sakamoto scored and won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score off of. It all comes full circle ... read more
Concebido como la banda sonora de una película ficticia de Tarkovsky, Ryuichi Sakamoto crea un trabajo extremadamente poético y bello, con la participación de personajes de caudal importancia en el mundo musical alternativo (véase David Sylvian).
this really puts me in the zone. at least, it did until the title track happened, which just sounds like a bunch of instruments being violently smashed with a hammer. way to kill the mood.
best ambient album ive ever listened to as of this review

favorite tracks: solari, fullmoon, "Life, Life"

least favorite tracks: async (it just sticks out like a sore thumb compared to all of the other calm tracks)
A gently sad and reflective collection of mood pieces that appear to meditate on time and the human condition.

The tracks weave together in such a way as to become far more than the sum of their parts, and the overall effect can be deeply moving if you invest enough of yourself in the experience.
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Track List

  1. andata
  2. disintegration
  3. solari
  4. ZURE
  5. walker
  6. stakra
  7. ubi
  8. fullmoon
  9. async
  10. tri
  11. Life, Life
  12. honj
  13. ff
  14. garden
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Added on: March 15, 2017