Revisiting Ryuichi Sakamoto's "Back To The Basics" in 'Energy Flow"

There are not many men like Ryuichi Sakamoto orbiting the musical universe anymore. Sakamoto is one of the rare few artists that can say they broke new ground influencing and shaping the most long standing traditions in music as well as being razor sharp on the edge of his experimentations that were responsible for influencing multiple modern genres. His musical career is vast and this has allowed him to collaborate with a wide and varied miscellany of illustrious artists that are as far apart musically as the earth’s poles. Because of Ryuichi’s naturalistic and fundamental understanding of music he has managed to extend his works into every corner of the musical biosphere with great acclaim but it’s in ‘energy flow’ reissued for the 20th anniversary edition of ‘Back To The Basics’ we discover how Ryuichi developed solo piano pieces that went on to be his break through album. The intention of BTTB was to showcase his love for traditional classical compositions while exploring different methods and themes he was passionate about at the time resulting in an scarcely available album outside of Japan that is coveted by fans and collectors alike. 

In ‘energy flow’ we are treated to a composition in the sonata form that’s musical canon is varied in tempo from its introduction to final phrase. BTTB has been described as “delicate and frantic”, in ‘energy flow’ we get to feel the more “delicate” end of things as the movements progress from moments of melancholy, to wonder to hope and back again. The piece is complex and performed with the kind of fragile passion that can only be expressed by an indubitable musical maestro, which Sakamoto is in every sense of the word. If you are a fan of piano music or have a curiosity for classical composition then I would imagine Ryuichi could be the gateway composer that will introduce you to whole new wonderful world.  

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