1. Ryuichi Sakamoto - Bamboo Music (Remix)
Not much else to say about this guy. One of the masters, along with David Sylvian (he was also heavily associated with the production of Brilliant Trees) in recent years he's got thought a near nuclear melt down and throat cancer. Async, his latest is well worth checking out. He's also acted along side David Bowie in Goodnight Mr. Lawrence. Shall i go on?
2. Yukihiro Takahashi - Curtains
Fellow YMO band member, from the 1983 album - Neuroromantic. Amazing tonalities, so subtle - yet distinctly a prime example of Japanese electronic music. Roxy Music's Phil Manzara features on this one and the YMO lads chipped in a bit too...
3. Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) - Ballet
The Kraftwerk of the west. They never really get much credit but have shaped alot of what we hear in electronic music. They were huge in Japan, selling out stadiums in Japan, not so much here. They did appear on Soul Train in the US and the footage of this on youtube is something to be seen.
4. Mirah - Shinzo No Tobira
I think it was Ross from I am the Cosmos who turned me on to this and it seems that Optimo came across this while shopping for records in Tokyo. Again, its the use of electronics - so balanced and distinct.
5. Kinyiuko Takahashi - Asia
Beautiful - like drifting, came across this one in London as a re-release in Rough Trade. My 2 1/2 year old daughter, Meabh likes this one.
6. Harry Hanso - Platonic
A mesh of sounds worlds all together, as you can see each member of YMO have really distinct voices. His earlier records are quite cool too, like Harry Nielson meets surf music.
7. Midori Takada - Music for Commercials
Similar to Mirah's work but has a great sense of stillness yet the melodies revolve around the vocal. Not sure where or how i came across this one.
8. Hiorshi Yoshimura - Water Copy
Eno at play in here for sure, but still sounds distinct - has that meditative and enchantment feel that you get when you go to Japan (which i got to tour with Redneck Manifesto in 2011). Decided to end it with this track as it leaves you with this sense of unknowing - sleep, eat, work, or make some tea I guess.