Review : Willits & Sakamoto - Ancient Future
GhostlyAncient Future is the second collaboration between composer and visionary pianist Ryuichi Sakamoto and electronic pioneer Christopher Willits. Built around a series of piano pieces that Sakamoto sent to Willits after the release of the duo's first record together, 2008's Ocean Fire, the six tracks that make up Ancient Future are entirely instrumental—and yet, they speak about the very essence of what it means to be human.
As a whole, Ancient Future functions as a piece about the creation, acceptance and completion of one's fate and all of life's experiences, following a trajectory through inner conflict, resolution and, ultimately, acceptance. The six-song cycle moves through a narrative of sorts, each piece with a story to tell and an aspect of life to explore.
The album opens with the restless energy of "Reticent Reminiscence", an energy that subsides into the introversion of "Abandoned Silence" and "I Don't Want to Understand" and, eventually, the cold disassociation of "Levitation". A certain warmth returns with "Releasing", its guitar arpeggios like washes of sunlight, and the album's journey finally resolves into closing track "Completion", a piece that's full of quiescent tranquility, perhaps reflecting the experience of finally coming to know oneself.
Despite its conceptual coherency, contradictions lie at the heart of Ancient Future, as the album title might suggest. Even within the confines of each track, opposing forces are at play—loops of static and feedback provide the backing for delicate melodies that develop and evolve like ripples on a placid lake. And yet the contradictions never feel like conflicts—instead, the diverging elements come together to create something with its own internal logic, perhaps reflecting the way that we are all the sum of our experiences, both light and dark, positive and negative....full text
PitchforkHere's "Reticent Reminiscence", a cut from Ancient Future, the new release from Christopher Willits and Ryuichi Sakamoto. The LP's out August 7 (a day before in the UK and Europe) via Ghostly; head here to read Grayson Currin's writeup on Ancient Future cut "Completion"....full text
PopmattersRyuichi Sakamoto has a way with collaborators. His reflective and emotional piano compositions are timeless and seem tailor-made for an array of electronic treatments. Which is why, for an artist who began his career in the 1970s, he has remained so vital in this new musical era. Following successful collaborations with Alva Noto and Fennesz, in which each artist provided his signature sonics to a suite of piano melodies, Sakamoto moved to Ghostly International to work with label mainstay Christopher Willits, a graduate of Mills College’s prestigious electronic music program and a product of the 2000s lap-pop movement.
Willits and Sakamoto don’t initially seem like perfect fits for each other. Although Willits is quite skilled at combining acoustic and electronic instruments (and though his sounds are largely appealing), I’ve always thought he played well-executed fluff, with a pop sensibility that could occasionally be too ingratiating. But when he and Sakamoto got together for this record, something remarkable happened. Willits supplied the textures and filigree in the music; Sakamoto imbued it with depth and meaning. Such a statement simplifies what these two musicians from vastly different backgrounds were able to accomplish, but it begins to explain why this collaboration works so beautifully. Willits, it seems, had discovered his match, the piece of the puzzle that gives his art a sense of completion. And Sakamoto found in Willits someone who enhances his melodies with a light enough touch as not to overtake them or muddle their natural power....full text
Willits & Sakamoto Album Reviews
Sweetslyrics Top 20 Artists
Willits & Sakamoto Lyrics
- 1. Completion
Do you have a phone?