Ryuichi Sakamoto - async
Critic Score
Based on 14 reviews
2017 Ratings: #32 / 923
User Score
Based on 211 ratings
2017 Ratings: #95
Liked by 13 people
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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


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.


A melancholic yet gentle ambient record, good but unfortunately still feels a bit lacking.

Best Track: solari
Worst Track: fullmoon


A gentle and mostly dark album, with Sakamoto making an unusual different approach on creating async, trying to forget all the rules and forms and just hear a sound or music surrounding him. Reflecting on life and the fear of death, since he was diagnosed with a throat cancer back in 2015, Sakamoto put out a truly piece of art that maybe it is not accessible for many.


I feel like you could tell Ryuichi Sakamoto has gone through some shit by just listening to this. You don't have to know who he is at all.
Not really an album that stands out as a favourite of mine, but it consistently comes up while I'm just listening to ambient as something I want to listen to. The compositions really manage to bring out the goosebumps in a lot of cases. Solari in particular is really moving. Sakamoto is, among all his former Yellow Magic Orchestra bandmates, incredibly ... read more



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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