1/  Before Long                                (Sakamoto)                    1.19
  2/  Neo Geo (Traditional)                      (Sakamoto,Laswell)            5.03
  3/  Risky                                      (Osterberg,Sakamoto,Laswell)  5.24
  4/  Free Trading                               (Nomi,Hagiwara)               5.24
  5/  Shogunade                                  (Sakamoto,Laswell)            4.31
  6/  Parata                                     (Sakamoto)                    4.17
  7/  Okinawa Song--Chin Nuku Juushii            (Mita,Asa)                    5.14
  8/  After All                                  (Sakamoto)                    3.05

          Recorded at the Power Station
          Additional Recording at Quad Sound, Magic Venture, CBS Sony Roppongi,
            Lahaina Sound Recording and Onkio Haus
          Engineered by Kinji Yoshino, Robert Musso and Tamotsu Yoshida
          Assistant engineers: Ambrose Kamehameha, Dave O'Donnell, Fred Kinny, Hidemi 
            Nakatani, Peter Sturge, Steve Boyer, Tetsuya Morioka & Yoshikazu Sasahara 
          Mixed by Jason Corsaro
          Produced by Bill Laswell and Ryuichi Sakamoto
          Associate Producer: Aki Blackbat Ikuta
          Mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound
Ryuichi Sakamoto: keyboards, computers; Bill Laswell: bass; William "Bootsy" Collins: Star bass; Tony Williams & Sly Dunbar: drums; David van Tieghem: percussion; Emmett Chapman: Chapman stick; Harry Kubota: guitar; Eddie Martinez: 12-string guitar; Jeff Bova: synthesizer programming; Clive Smith: Fairlight CMI programming; Hiro Sugawara (Sistema) & Masa Sekijima (Top): synthesizer and Fairlight CMI programming; Yukio Tsuji: shakuhachi, kayagun; Lucia Hwong: pipa; Iggy Pop, Yoriko Ganeko, Misako Koja & Kazumi Tamaki: vocal; Junemei Wu: voice of Shanghai.

          1987 - CBS/Terrapin/Sony (USA), BFE 40994 (Vinyl)
          1987 - CBS (UK), CBS 460095-1 (Vinyl)
          1987 - Terrapin/Sony (Japan), 28AH2200(Vinyl)
          1987 - Terrapin/Sony (Japan), 32dh700 (CD)
          1987 - Epic/Sony (USA), EK 40994 (USA)


Sakamoto's all-star blend of Western and Eastern music styles is a triumphant success for the composer, and a consistently good listen. On the title track he takes a traditional Japanese folk song and blends it into a funk groove provided by Bootsy Collins, Bill Laswell, and Sly Dunbar. Unlike Byrne and Eno's My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, this blend of cultures is coming from the opposing angle and stays truer to the source material. But that track is only one of Sakamoto's approaches, and on several other tracks he joins with Laswell to create a crisp, techno-cultural hybrid that sounds like nothing except like pure Sakamoto. On "Risky," a subdued Iggy Pop lends vocals and lyrics, and doesn't come across as an interloper. And on "Okinawa Song," Sakamoto seamlessly integrates the southern island culture into his grand scheme.

3 stars out of 5

Ted Mills (courtesy of the All Music Guide website)