Search - Ryuichi Sakamoto :: Neo Geo

Neo Geo
Ryuichi Sakamoto
Neo Geo
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, New Age, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (8) - Disc #1

Sony budget series release of 1991 album, out of print in the States, features eight tracks with help from Bill Laswell, Iggy Pop & Bootsy Collins.

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Ryuichi Sakamoto
Title: Neo Geo
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Epic
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, New Age, Pop, Rock
Styles: Electronica, Progressive, Electronic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 074644099423

Synopsis

Album Description
Sony budget series release of 1991 album, out of print in the States, features eight tracks with help from Bill Laswell, Iggy Pop & Bootsy Collins.

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CD Reviews

Requiem for 1980's Japan?
Benjamin E Andreu | Port Richey, FL United States | 12/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Whether you care to admit it or not, "Neo Geo" is one of the classics of 1980's Japanese pop music. While this CD is certainly one slick piece of work, showcasing the very latest in musical technology of the day, it is also very substantive, even considering Bill Laswell's subtle yet still insidious influence. And while most American critics panned Sakamoto's prototypical attempts at "world music", the album was a huge critical, if not only a modest commercial, success in Japan at the time. "Neo Geo" means just that - a new earth where disparate cultures blend together and become almost indistinguishable. How better to accomplish such a presumptuous artistic task than with the monumental assistance of midi sequencers and Fairlight CMI digital samplers? As one of the "godfathers" of modern day techno, Sakamoto has never hesitated to use computers to do the work of merely mortal musicians. I first became interested in Ryuichi Sakamoto's music way back in the summer of 1987 after discovering that he was the mastermind behind most of the soundtrack to the avant-garde Japanese animated film, 'Wings of Honneamise'. So, at the ripe old age of 12, I went to the local mall and was amazed to find "Neo Geo" lounging somewhere among the towering cassette tape bins. My musical tastes have never been the same since...To call the title track catchy would be a huge understatement. 'Neo Geo' deftly and, yes, quirkily combines Okinawan, jazz, funk, and Indonesian (more specifically Balinese and Javanese) pastiches into a coherent whole. Slick, indeed, but Sakamoto comes as close to singlehandedly inventing an entirely new genre of pop music as anyone else has since the early 1970's. 'Risky' is superb; Iggy Pop waxing poetic alongside Sakamoto's wafting synthesizer is worth the price of the CD alone. Not too much here in the way of innovation, just a good, jazzy pop tune.'Free Trading' is excellent. This track is another example of how Sakamoto-sensei can innocently, almost naively, defy musical convention and cheese off the Top 40 critics in one fell swoop. How do you categorize a piece like this? Is it jazz? Ambient? J-Pop? Chinese songstress Junmei Wu's beautiful voice seems to tie the whole song together, weaving in and out of Sakamoto's sequencers and Tony Williams' downright artful drumming like a lilting silk thread. 'Shogunade' and 'Parata' are both brilliant instrumentals. While the former is an evenly paced musical side trip that borders on redundant and sounds an awful lot like a more refined version today's video game muisc, the latter is rather loud, disjointed and even a little raucous. With 'Parata', Sakamoto seems to chuck "Art of Noise" style proto-Industrial into the swirling mix, with most satisfying results.'Chin-Nuku Juushi', a faux Okinawan number, seems to belong on a different album altogether. Slow, methodically sequenced, and lushly electronic, the track is nonetheless the capstone to this little sonic experiment. The female Okinawan chorus is very convincing, mostly I would assume, because the singers themselves are actually ethnic Okinawan/Ryukyu islanders."Neo Geo" may not be the most refined example of multi-ethnic, electronic Japanese pop music. For that, you might try Hosono Haruomi, Sakamoto's musical "sempai" ("elder brother") and former band mate. It is, however, a testament to a bygone era of Japanese popular culture, when the economy of that far-off island nation swelled like the historically proverbial bubble and all was right with the Japanese world. "Neo Geo" may be a little too slick and a bit too naive, but then again so was Japan in the 1980's."
Gets better as you listen more music
ohmysohopeless | Nowhere to Go | 01/01/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"First time I got this album was like early-90s when I was just plain curious about Sakamoto the musician. My appreciation of music in general was not very mature at that time, and could not really understand what the deal was with this album. Always a bit of technophile, I plainly liked synth music, and Sakamoto, being a member of legendary Y.M.O., had always an appeal to me as a musician who has the mastery of using synthesizers. But I simply couldn't feel the aesthetics of combining Okinawan music, funk, rock, among others.

Since then I really started listening to a variety of music, and found myself liking the kinds of music I never thought I would enjoy so much---punk, funk, hip-hop, electro, fusion, to name a few. Then I came back to this album and this time I thought, what a creative combination of music! Sakamoto has always had his style of maintaining chic, mellow chordal progressions and it is still there in most of his tracks in the album, yet the whacky noisy production of typical Bill Laswell, throbbing baseline of Bootsy Collins, and that deep vocal from Iggy Pop strike a right balance, adding an intriguing array of new flavors to Sakamoto's classically-trained sophistication.

I haven't heard anyone doing Japanese- or more Okinawan-funk better than this album. I guess East-Asian music are not very known for syncopated rhythms, but they actually sound good. Just listen to Neo Geo and Shogunade."
Sophisti-Noirish Pop from the Late 80's...
Armando M. Mesa | Chandler, AZ | 06/17/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Sakamoto's 1988 project takes the listener to the sophisticated electronic pop-funk sounds prevalent in the late 80's...this was before the existence of raves and techno music, etc...a precursor? Maybe. Versatile comes to mind when Sakamoto can open this set with a near classical soundtrack-like intro and then break out with the electro-neo funk of the title track. One listen to track 3, Risky, and the deep lounge vocals by Iggy Pop conjures up musings of David Bowie and Bryan Ferry (Let's Dance/Avalon/Boys and Girls). Other than that the rest of the cd is creative and, while a little dated by today's standards, still works and sounds a tad fresh in 2003 !..."