1/  Melting Pot                                (Laswell,Yamashita,Skopelitis)7.13
  2/  Chasin' The Air                            (Yamashita,Sakamoto)          4.42
  3/  Asian Games                                (Laswell,Yamashita,Skopelitis)6.50
  4/  Ninja Drive                                (Laswell,Yamashita,Skopelitis)7.46
  5/  Napping On the Bamboo                      (Yamashita,Sakamoto)          5.45
  6/  A Parade of Rain, The Moon and A Bride     (Yamashita)                   2.41

          Tracks 1,3,4 and 6 recorded at Kampo and Platinum Island Studios, New
            York City, 1988
          Tracks 2 and 5 recorded at Runt Tokyo
          Tracks 1,3,4 and 6 engineered by Robert Musso
          Tracks 2 and 5 engineered by Ryuichi Sakamoto
          Assistant at Kampo: Dimitri Jakimowicz
          Assistant at Platinum Island: Oz Fritz
          Assistant at Runt: Hiroaki Sugawara
          Mixed at Platinum Island by Robert Musso
          Tracks 1,3,4 and 6 produced by Bill Laswell
          Tracks 2 and 5 produced by Ryuichi Sakamoto
          Executive Producers: Roppei Iwagami and George Kinoshita
          Mastered by Howie Weinberg at Master Disk
Yosuke Yamashita: piano, keyboards; Bill Laswell: bass, prepared bass, sitar, sounds; Nicky Skopelitis: fairlight, sounds; Aiyb Dieng: congas, gongs, tambourine, spring, cymbals; Ryuichi Sakamoto: keyboards.

          1993 - Forecast/Verve (Europe), 518 344-2 (CD)
          1994 - Forecast/Verve (USA), 518 344-2 (CD)


The usually technophobic Yamashita teams up with tech-heads Bill Laswell and Ryuichi Sakamoto and comes up with an oddly bland record. The setup sounds awkward: Yamashita didn't really trust working "with machines," but Sakamoto designed a studio system of synthesizers and samplers to put the more analog jazzman at ease. Recorded in 1988, a few of the tracks bear strong similarities to Sakamoto's Neo Geo of that same year, particularly "Melting Pot" and "Ninja Drive." The former includes samples of the same Lebanese singer -- Dunya Yusin -- and song used on Brian Eno and David Byrne's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and New Order's "Angel Dust." It's a good track, with Laswell's bass keeping things simultaneously funky and intellectual. But many of these pieces here sound like a piano improviser lost in the middle of a sampledelic soundscape, with neither musician connecting (the question to ask is whether these tracks would not work without the piano -- the answer unfortunately says much about the album).

Ted Mills courtesy of the All MUsic Guide website)