Ryuichi Sakamoto is releasing a new solo album in January

The Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto

Out on January 17, 12 is Ryuichi Sakamoto’s first solo full-length in six years.

Ryuichi Sakamoto has today (21 November) announced his next album. The forthcoming record, entitled 12, will release on Milan Records on 17 January. It’s the follow-up to 2017’s async, and the release date falls on Sakamoto’s 71st birthday. The upcoming record was recorded in Tokyo across 2021 and 2022 as the pioneering composer, writer and pianist battled with stage four throat cancer, with Sakamoto chronicling this period in his life through music. This was the second time that Sakamoto had been diagnosed with the disease.


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A post shared by Ryuichi Sakamoto (@skmtgram)

Sakamoto shared the news about the upcoming album in an Instagram post shared over the week (20 November). In the post, which you can read above, Sakamoto said “….after I finally ‘came home’ to my new temporary housing after a big operation, I found myself reaching for the synthesiser. I had no intention of composing something; I just wanted to be showered in sound. I’ll probably continue to keep this kind of ‘diary.’” [sic]

Sakamoto is set to play a solo piano concert on 11 December, which will be the composer’s first live performance in two years. In a separate Instagram post discussing the performance, which is set to feature “carefully recorded footage of Sakamoto performing a few pieces of music each day over the course of a week”, Sakamoto said, “I don’t have the energy to do live concerts… This might be the last time you see me perform in this manner.”

Earlier year, he scored sci-fi anime Exception, directed by Yuzo Sato, alongside sharing a recording in support of Ukraine and scores for Parolibre and MUJI2020.

In December, a new Sakamoto tribute album, entitled To The Moon and Back, will be released on Milan Records. The album features contributions from Dev Hynes, Electric Youth, Thundercat and more.

Find the tracklist for 12 and the album teaser below.

01. 20210310
02. 20211130
03. 20211201
04. 20220123
05. 20220202
06. 20220207
07. 20220214
08. 20220302 – sarabande
09. 20220302
10. 20220307
11. 20220404
12. 20220304

Read: A Guide to Ryuichi Sakamoto’s Cinematic Storytelling Through Sound.