Listen: Ryuichi Sakamoto – “Thousand Knives” [1978]

Even though I like to think I know a good bit of “classic” Japanese music (I don’t), I’m always slapped across the face with even more classics that I’ve been too ignorant to check out. Case in point: the title track of this Ryuichi Sakamoto album, “Thousand Knives”. I heard it for the first time the other night while waiting for Jessy Lanza to come on and it totally blew my brain apart. It was the first time in a while I had to shazam (caveat – when have we been out to hear songs in the wild? I do not know every song).

It’s one of those great songs too that totally make you forget about its near 10-minute length. A robotized spoken intro makes way for a carbonated, peppy groove that makes up the base for the rest of the song. Just beautiful textures and sounds creaking and dripping out of every little nook of this song’s production – like a well-oiled machine (but one having a good time). Once this groove is established, different instruments take the lead and offer a different solo on the song, each with its own flair. Some marching-band like tom drums rattle in, an ominous, obviously very-influential-to-video game-composers synth tone, and of course an absolutely ripping guitar solo. I was bobbing my head like crazy hearing this for the first time. Each following part had me shaking my head and muttering “god damn!” to myself.

If you haven’t, you should.

About Very Warm

Usually cool dude stuff.
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