Composer Ryuichi Sakamoto dead at 71

I found Ryuichi Sakamoto through the Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence theme that turned up on late-90s Pure Moods-type albums, drawing me to the Yellow Magic Orchestra. Yesterday his March death was reported, not long after his final performance.

At around the same time YMO started, Sakamoto began releasing his own solo work, beginning with 1978's "Thousand Knives of Ryuichi Sakamoto." More experimental in nature, Sakamoto spent the late '70s and much of the '80s tinkering with electronic sounds and global traditions, with songs such as 1980's "Riot In Lagos" influencing New York rappers, Detroit techno creators and many more. At the same time, he remained an in-demand pop producer in Japan, working with major performers.