Honor Has a New Name

April 29, 2021

Netflix anime series YASUKE Soundtrack Album Debuts Tomorrow – Score by Flying Lotus

The new original anime series YASUKE has premiered today on Netflix. The 6-episode series is loosely based on the historical figure of the same name, a warrior of African descent who served under Japanese daimyo Oda Nobunaga during the Sengoku period of samurai conflict in 16th century Japan. In the series, he was a peaceful boatman once known as the Black Samurai who is pulled back into conflict when he takes a little girl with mysterious powers under his wing. Created by LeSean Thomas and animated by Japanese animation studio MAPPA, the series stars LaKeith Stanfield as the titular character.

A digital soundtrack album will be released tomorrow, with a vinyl edition scheduled for later this year. The album features selection of the original music from the show composed by Flying Lotus (aka musical artist Steven Ellison), who is also one of the executive producers of the project. In an interview with theverge.com, Lotus explained that, while preparing the film’s musical score, he mostly knew what he didn’t want the show to sound like. “I knew that people were going to be like ‘Oh, Flying Lotus is involved, he’s going to do a hip-hop thing, so it’s going to be like AFRO SAMURAI, it’s going to be like SAMURAI CHAMPLOO, maybe it’ll be like COWBOY BEBOP if he does a jazz thing,’” he told theverge’s writer Andrew Webster. “I… wanted to do something that’d surprise me, and be true to what I’m looking at.” Lotus began composing music once the actual animation became available, described Webster. He’d watch the episodes with his keyboards and a few Japanese and African percussion instruments close at hand, then experimented with sounds to fit the visuals, with ethnic percussion mixed over a synthesizer-inspired sound, and the process began to flow. Read TheVerge’s full article here.

Lotus’ opening theme for the series, “Black Gold,” is performed by Thundercat and the end theme is “Between Memories” by Flying Lotus, Niki Randa, and Thundercat.

– via filmmusicreporter and other sources

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