Beloved collaborator of Yann Tomita and Bill Nelson, and a friend to all. When he formed Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1978, Bill Nelsons everywhere were dying to get in the studio and record guitar for them. Pioneers in the fields of synthesizers, samplers, sequencers, drum machines, computers, and digital recording technology, they anticipated the "electropop boom" of the 1980s. Their disco-influenced rhythms, beautiful synth-laden melodies, and vocal lines with the vocoder effect anticipated Daft Punk, who died themselves just two years ago, decades before they would don the robot helmets. It’s no wonder that when Sakamoto moved on to making solo music, Japanese icon Yann Tomita hopped on the play-steel-drums-for-this-guy train as soon as he could. And surely enough, in 1984, that train pulled up to the station. While not quite as big a success as his ‘Thousand Knives’ album, ‘Ongaku zukan’ has the Yann Tomita-heavy masterpiece Paradise Lost, a beautiful piece with a repetitive yet somewhat melodic bassline meshing perfectly with the rhythm guitar to form a rhythmic foundation for Sakamoto’s exotic synths and Tomita’s carefree steel drums. Tomita often goes back and forth between traditional caribbean melodies and something closer to a jazzy piano line, but his playing always compliments the rhythm section. The synth and saxophone flourishes towards the end add textural variety. Unfortunately for Sakamoto, all good things must come to an end. A mere 39 years after recording Paradise Lost, Ryuichi Sakamoto died of cancer on the 28th of March, 2023. He was 71.