Ryuichi Sakamoto – Futurista (1986)

FrontCover1Ryuichi Sakamoto (January 17, 1952 – March 28, 2023) was a Japanese composer, record producer, and actor who pursued a diverse range of styles as a solo artist and as a member of Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO). With his bandmates Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi, Sakamoto influenced and pioneered a number of electronic music genres.

Sakamoto began his career while at university in the 1970s as a session musician, producer, and arranger. His first major success came in 1978 as co-founder of YMO. He concurrently pursued a solo career, releasing the experimental electronic fusion album Thousand Knives in 1978.

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Two years later, he released the album B-2 Unit. It included the track “Riot in Lagos”, which was significant in the development of electro and hip hop music.[2][3][4] He went on to produce more solo records, and collaborate with many international artists, David Sylvian, Carsten Nicolai, Youssou N’Dour, and Fennesz among them. Sakamoto composed music for the opening ceremony of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and his composition “Energy Flow” (1999) was the first instrumental number-one single in Japan’s Oricon charts history.

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As a film-score composer, Sakamoto won an Oscar, a BAFTA, a Grammy, and 2 Golden Globe Awards.[6] Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence (1983) marked his debut as both an actor and a film-score composer; its main theme was adapted into the single “Forbidden Colours” which became an international hit. His most successful work as a film composer was The Last Emperor (1987), after which he continued earning accolades composing for films such as The Sheltering Sky (1990), Little Buddha (1993), and The Revenant (2015).

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On occasion, Sakamoto also worked as a composer and a scenario writer on anime and video games. In 2009, he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from the Ministry of Culture of France for his contributions to music. (wikipedia)

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Futurista (未来派野郎, translates literally as “Futurist Bastard”) is a 1986 album by Ryuichi Sakamoto with themed references to the Futurist Movement. “Parolibre” and “Milan 1909” include voice recordings of Futurist Filippo Tommaso Marinetti “G.T. II” contains samples from the song “Legs” by Art of Noise. (wikipedia)

Exceptional record. A piece of art. It is loosely structured around the Futurism art movement. 20 some years later and it is still thrilling and one of many many great Sakamoto records (by bluecats50)

Ryuichi Sakamoto is hot or cold for me. I’m either thrilled or bored to tears. There’s no in-between. As such, going into his vast discography can be a bit of a nail biter, time wise. Do I have the time to slog through contemplative jazz piano lps? Ambient new age clouds?

But to not take the chance would be to miss out on some wild stuff – like Futurista.

This album is mid-80’s synthpop fed through an avant garde / art pop grinder. It’s fuckin’ nuts. It’s maximal synth & sample.

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Gigantic, slamming, sampled drums go to war with a bank of synths and movie samples. Dinky little digital pianos, fretless jazz funk bass and smooth American English vox R&B their way over unwavering mechanistic rhythms, noise metal guitars and Japanese vox.

It’s goofy mid-80’s pop wearing electro industrial armor and, frankly, it’s fantastic. Not sure how this played in Japan but it never made it over here outside the import market and to no surprise; It has as much in common with Cabaret Voltaire or Maffia as it does Debarge.

Wild, as much of Sak’s 80’s work is. (by Mars Hottentot)

For me a very unfamiliar, foreign music … but of course an important part of music history … many fantastic colors !


Ryuichi Sakamoto (various instruments, sampling, background vocals on 03.
Caoli Cano (vocals on 07.)
Bernard Fowler (vocals on 01., 03. + 04.)
Haruo Kubota (guitar on 01., 03., bass on 04.)
Maceo Parker (saxophone on 01.)
Kenji Suzuki (guitar on 01., 04., bass on 03.)
Minako Yoshida (background vocals on 02., 03., .04.)

The CD backcover:

01. Broadway Boogie Woogie (Sakamoto/Barakan) 4.28
02. Kodo Kogen (Sakamoto) 5.25
03. Ballet Mechanique (Sakamoto/Barakan/Yano) 5.10
04. G.T. II° (Sakamoto/Barakan/Yano) 4.04
05. Milan, 1909 (Sakamoto) 4.18
06. Variety Show (Sakamoto) 3.56
07. Daikokai – Verso Lo Schermo (Sakamoto/Cano) 5.26
08. Water Is Life (Sakamoto) 1.47
09. Parolibre (Sakamoto) 3.31
10. G.T. (Sakamoto) 4.28



Taken from he official website:

The official website:
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Gil Scott-Heron – Live in Bremen (1983)

FrontCover1Gilbert Scott-Heron (April 1, 1949 – May 27, 2011) was an American jazz poet, singer, musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken-word performer in the 1970s and 1980s. His collaborative efforts with musician Brian Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues, and soul, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron. He referred to himself as a “bluesologist”, his own term for “a scientist who is concerned with the origin of the blues”. His poem “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”, delivered over a jazz-soul beat, is considered a major influence on hip hop music.

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His music, most notably on the albums Pieces of a Man and Winter in America in the early 1970s, influenced and foreshadowed later African-American music genres such as hip hop and neo soul. His recording work received much critical acclaim, especially for “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. AllMusic’s John Bush called him “one of the most important progenitors of rap music”, stating that “his aggressive, no-nonsense street poetry inspired a legion of intelligent rappers while his engaging songwriting skills placed him square in the R&B charts later in his career.”

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Scott-Heron remained active until his death, and in 2010 released his first new album in 16 years, entitled I’m New Here. A memoir he had been working on for years up to the time of his death, The Last Holiday, was published posthumously in January 2012. Scott-Heron received a posthumous Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. He also is included in the exhibits at the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) that officially opened on September 24, 2016, on the National Mall, and in an NMAAHC publication, Dream a World Anew. In 2021, Scott-Heron was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as a recipient of the Early Influence Award.

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Scott-Heron died on May 27, 2011 in New York City following a trip to Europe.[1][52] Scott-Heron had confirmed previous press speculation about his health, when he disclosed in a 2008 New York Magazine interview that he had been HIV-positive for several years, and that he had been previously hospitalized for pneumonia. (wikipedia)

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One of the most important progenitors of rap music, Gil Scott-Heron’s aggressive, no-nonsense street poetry is equal parts politically conscious activism, cultural awareness, polemic, and social commentary, inspired a legion of intelligent rappers. His engaging songwriting skills — often with longtime musical partner Brian Jackson — placed him on the jazz charts, and later in his career, the R&B charts as well. Early recordings, such as 1971’s Pieces of a Man and 1975’s Winter in America, showcased his spoken word poetry and commentary, and more conventional songwriting chops that scored him a deal with the then-fledgling Arista Records run by Clive Davis. With Jackson and the Midnight Band, Heron delivered seminal jazz-funk outings including 1975’s First Minute of a New Day, It’s Your World (1976) and Bridges (1977), all of which placed in the upper half of the Top 200; in all, between 1974 and 1980, they placed nine albums on that chart.

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The group also delivered a par of R&B radio singles in “Angel Dust” and “Shut ‘Em Down.” That group split in 1980 and Scott-Heron formed the Amnesia Express, which functioned as both his live and studio outfit. He continued releasing albums for Arista until 1982 and Moving Target. After a dozen years of recording inactivity, personal problems, and only occasionally playing live, Scott-Heron returned to the studio in 1994 and issued Spirits. After another 15 years, he signed with Richard Russell’s XL Recordings and delivered the acclaimed I’m New Here in 2010. A remixed version in collaboration with Jamie xx titled We’re New Here, was issued in 2011, just a month before Scott-Heron’s passing. (by John Bush)

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One of the great figures in the history of soul and funk music captured live in Germany in 1983. This is a double LP set of Gill Scott Heron and his eight piece band. Amnesia Express was a fine collective with reeds, trumpet, bass, percussion, drums and Gil Scott-Heron himself on Fender Rhodes piano and vocals. The album opens with a breathtaking solo performance of “We Almost Lost Detroit” and includes, among others, another masterpiece, “Winter in America”. No words, just deep soulful and politically conscious music at its best.

Recorded live at the Kulturzentrum Schauburg, Bremen, Germany; April 18, 1983.
Very good to excellent FM broadcast.


Alonzo Bailey (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Ed Brady (bass)
Ron Holloway (saxophone)
Vernon James (saxophone, flute)
Larry McDonald (percussion)
Kenny Powell (drums)
Glen “Astro” Turner (keyboards, harmonica)
Gil Scott-Heron (vocals, keyboards)

Alternate front+backcover:
Alternate Front+BackCover


CD 1:
01. Intro 1.24
02. We Almost Lost Detroit (Scott-Heron/Jackson) 5.43
03. Intro 2.13
04. Angola Louisiana (Scott-Heron) 5.20
05. Intro 4.11
06. Three Miles Down (Scott-Heron/Jackson) 4.35
07. B Movie (Scott-Heron) 16.29
08. Intro 1.03
09. A Legend In His Own Mind (Scott-Heron) 5.15
10. Intro 0.31
11. Winter In America (Scott-Heron) 7.50
12. Band Intro 3.27
13. Intro 1.26
14. Shut ‘em Down (Scott-Heron)  6.21

CD 2:
01. Intro 1.23
02. Washington D C (Scott-Heron) 4.39
03. Intro 1.30
04. The Bottle (Scott-Heron) 14.01
05. Intro 1.09
06. Better Days Ahead (Scott-Heron) 11.07
07. Intro 4.39
08. Johannesburg (Scott-Heron) 7.21
“Ohne Filter” German TV March 1984 (broadcast date):
09. Winter In America (Scott-Heron) 4.33

(SAT1 – German TV; 1994);
10. Not Needed/Statement from “Keynote” (Scott-Heron) 4.13

Dana Bryant, Jazzfest Berlin, Tränenpalast, Oct 28 1993 (FM recording):
11. The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (Scott-Heron) 5.16



The official website:

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Pic of the day: On April 01, in 1969 four young men known as …

,,,“The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section” signed a lease to rent a building at 3614 Jackson Highway in Sheffield, Alabama.

Muscle Shoals Sound Studio

They decided to call the new studio Muscle Shoals Sound Studio and David Hood, Roger Hawkins, Jimmy Johnson and Barry Beckett made music history. The first hit was “Take a Letter Maria” by R.B. Greaves and the rest of the story is magic. (Ken Shelton)