Jul 7, 2013

Sundaze 1327

Hello, as i suspected yesterday the Lisicki girl had no chance against the Corsican tank, Bartoli, I think it's a female trait to submit to dominance, men have a much more fight to the death attitude something that will show tomorrow in the men's final. Meanwhile in the Tour the France the deck has been shuffled and it comes as no surprise that Froome is on top, he looks like the man to beat, another Brit winning the tour what is the world coming to. I say Brit but the man has never lived in the UK, another Brit on top today is Hamilton who starts on pole for the German F1 grand prix, could be an interesting race as the Ferraris choose a very different strategy and Vettel, well it seems he's never won a race in July despite being the champ these last 3 years. I will have to wait till 6 GMT when the beeb broadcasts it, until then i will have to evade the news, good thing there's a 5 mountains Tour stage to distract me.

We had Richard Barbieri, Steve Jansen, Mick Karn and I won't deny you the man in the foreground, the singer and poet noire for whom keeping his cool is a lifestyle. David Sylvian (David Batt, 23 February 1958) came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan. His subsequent solo work encompasses not only solo projects but also a series of fascinating collaborative efforts in a variety of musical styles and genres, including jazz, avant-garde, ambient, electronic, and progressive rock. Here is my last contribution at Sundaze on their collective discography.

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Japan became an alternative glam rock outfit in the mould of David Bowie, T.Rex, and The New York Dolls. Over a period of a few years their music became more sophisticated, drawing initially on the art rock stylings of Roxy Music. Their visual image also evolved and the band was tagged with the New Romantic label. Indeed, it could be argued that Japan was at the forefront of the entire New Romantic movement, even though the band never associated itself with it.

Japan recorded five studio albums between March 1978 and November 1981. In 1980, the band signed with Virgin Records, where Sylvian remained as a recording artist for the next twenty years. The band suffered from personal and creative clashes, particularly between Sylvian and Karn, with tensions springing from Sylvian's relationship with Yuka Fujii, a photographer, artist and designer, and Karn's former girlfriend. Fujii quickly became an influential figure in Sylvian's life. She was the first person to introduce Sylvian seriously to jazz, which in turn inspired him to follow musical avenues not otherwise open to him. She also encouraged Sylvian to incorporate spiritual discipline into his daily routine. Throughout his solo career, Fujii maintained a large role in the design of artwork for his albums.

In 1982, Sylvian released his first collaborative effort with Ryuichi Sakamoto, entitled "Bamboo Houses/Bamboo Music". Followed by the UK Top 20 song "Forbidden Colours" (Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence). Sylvian's debut solo album, Brilliant Trees (1984), met with critical acclaim. The album included contributions from Ryuichi Sakamoto, trumpeter Jon Hassell, and former Can bassist Holger Czukay. In 1985, Sylvian released an instrumental mini-album Alchemy: An Index of Possibilities, in collaboration with Jansen, Hassell and Czukay. The next release was the ambitious two-record set Gone to Earth (1986),  featuring one record of atmospheric vocal tracks and a second record consisting of ambient instrumentals. The album contained significant contributions from noted guitarists Bill Nelson and Robert Fripp .

Secrets of the Beehive (1987) made greater use of acoustic instruments and was musically oriented towards sombre, emotive ballads laced with shimmering string arrangements. The album yielded one of Sylvian's most well-received songs, "Orpheus," and was later supported by his first solo tour, 1988's 'In Praise of Shamans.' Sylvian then collaborated with Holger Czukay. Plight and Premonition, issued in 1988, and Flux and Mutability, recorded and released the following year, also included contributions from Can members Jaki Liebezeit and Michael Karoli.

Sylvian reunited with the former members of Japan for a new project, Rain Tree Cow. Unlike their past work, Sylvian decided to use methods of improvisation like those he explored in his work with Czukay. Ingrid Chavez, an artist signed to Prince's Paisley Park Records, sent Sylvian a copy of her first album. He liked what he heard and thought her voice would fit well with some material that both Ryuichi Sakamoto and he were working on for a new Sakamoto release. Chavez and Sylvian quickly developed a bond and decided to travel together throughout the UK and the USA, where they eventually settled after marrying in 1992.

In the early 1990s, guitarist Robert Fripp invited Sylvian to join a new version of King Crimson. Sylvian declined the invitation, but he and Fripp recorded the album The First Day released in July 1993. To capitalize on the album's success, the musicians went back out on the road in the autumn of 1993. A live recording, called Damage and released in 1994.

A period of relative musical inactivity followed, during which Sylvian and Ingrid Chavez moved from Minnesota to the Napa Valley. Chavez had given birth to two daughters, Ameera-Daya (born 1993) and Isobel (born 1997), and pursued her interest in photography and music. In 1999, Sylvian released Dead Bees on a Cake, it gathered together the most eclectic influences of all his recordings, ranging from soul music to jazz fusion to blues to Eastern-inflected spiritual chants, and most of the songs' lyrics reflected the now 41-year-old Sylvian's inner peace resulting from his marriage, family, and beliefs.

Next Sylvian released a pair of compilation albums, a two-disc retrospective, Everything and Nothing, and an instrumental collection, Camphor. Both albums contained previously released material, some remixes, and several new or previously unreleased tracks which Sylvian finished especially for the projects. Sylvian parted ways with Virgin and launched his own independent label, Samadhi Sound. He released the album Blemish. A fusion of styles, including jazz and electronica, the tour enabled Sylvian to perform music from the Nine Horses project, as well as various selections from his back catalogue.

A new solo album entitled Manafon was released on September 14, 2009 the a;lbum features contributions from leading figures in electroacoustic improvisation such as saxophonist Evan Parker, multi-instrumentalist Otomo Yoshihide, Christian Fennesz, Sachiko M and AMM alumnists guitarist Keith Rowe, percussionist Eddie Prévost and pianist John Tilbury.

In 2010, Sylvian's Samadhisound imprint released Sleepwalkers, a 16-track compilation of his collaborations from the 2000s, including his Nine Horses project and World Citizen with Sakamoto. It also included one new song, "Five Lines," a collaboration with Dai Fujikura. In 2011, Sylvian released Died in the Wool (Manafon Variations). It featured reworkings -- more than remixes -- of some tracks from Manafon, and included six new cuts. The double digipack also included the cd for Sylvian's audio installation, when we return you won’t recognise us.

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Alchemy: An Index of Possibilities is David Sylvian's second solo album, released in 1985 on cassette only and produced by Sylvian and Nigel Walker. It was reissued in its original form on CD in Japan in 1991.

The opening suite "Words with the Shaman" is a three-part EP recorded with John Hassell in 1985. The first section is rhythmic, mysterious, and features wailing female vocals in a foreign tongue. The shorter second section is much like the first, but when the rhythm shifts, horns and an electric guitar kick in. The third and final section starts as a gentle Gamelan piece but grows more intense, like the fall of spring rain on tin rooftops.

In 2003, the album was remastered and included two additional songs: "The Stigma of Childhood (Kin)", originally recorded for the theatre play Kin it's a ravishing fragment of a longer piece written for Gaby Agis' modern ballet of the same title back in 1987. It sounds like a long, ambient, arabesque outtake from the instrumental half of Gone To Earth. Sylvian refuses even now to release the entire score, saying only that this song represents the strongest material from the project.  and "A Brief Conversation Ending in Divorce". Both songs were originally released on the EP Pop Song. A skeletal version of the final song on this compilation, Steel Cathedrals was written for the Japanese documentary mentioned earlier. Finishing touches were added in London with the help of Ryuichi Sakamoto (of YMO), King Crimsoner Robert Fripp, Masami Tsuchiya (Japan's tour guitarist), and Kenny Wheeler among others. This is a long, atmospheric, slightly unsettling composition.

David Sylvian - Alchemy (An Index Of Possibilities) (334mb)

Words With The Shaman (Songs From The Treetops)
01 Pt. 1 Ancient Evening 5:14
02 Pt. 2 Incantation 3:28
03 Pt. 3 Awakening 5:16

04 Preparations For A Journey 3:40
05 The Stigma Of Childhood (Kin) 8:28
06 A Brief Conversation Ending In Divorce 3:28
07 Steel Cathedrals 18:52
Xtra (with Ryuichi Sakamoto)
08 Forbidden Colours 4:41
09 Bamboo Houses 5:26
10 Bamboo Music 5:39

David Sylvian - Alchemy (An Index Of Possibilities) (ogg 141mb)

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David Sylvian is a brilliant rock & roll guitarist and vocalist. He is also a great electronic minimalist. Sadly, he tries hard to do both together. Gone to Earth has moments of brilliant instrumental ambience with deep samples and misplaced vocals. The instrumental virtuosity grabs listeners immediately. Sylvian surrounds himself with some of the greats -- Bill Nelson, Robert Fripp, and Mel Collins among them. The sound is dynamic and gentle at the same time. There is an ambient version of Gone to Earth, which is a better disc and right here as well, remastered in 2003.

David Sylvian - Gone To Earth (464mb)

01 Taking The Veil 4:40
02 Laughter And Forgetting 3:18
03 Before The Bullfight 9:20
04 Gone To Earth 3:06
05 Wave 9:11
06 River Man 4:54
07 Silver Moon 6:19
08 River Man (Remix) 4:24
09 Gone To Earth (Remix) 1:56
10 Camp Fire: Coyote Country (Remix) 3:46

11 The Healing Place 5:34
12 Answered Prayers 3:10
13 Where The Railroad Meets The Sea 2:52
14 The Wooden Cross 5:04
15 Silver Moon Over Sleeping Steeples 2:22
16 Camp Fire: Coyote Country 3:51
17 A Bird Of Prey Vanishes Into A Bright Blue Cloudless Sky 3:16
18 Home 4:33
19 Sunlight Seen Through Towering Trees 3:02
20 Upon This Earth 6:30

David Sylvian - Gone To Earth (ogg 196mb)

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The fractured, stark yin to Dead Bees on a Cake's tranquil, sensuous yang, Blemish is an unforeseen detour taken by David Sylvian, who has made eight of his most bare, anguished, and intense songs, all of which are neither pleasant nor the least bit settling. For half of the album, Sylvian is completely alone, accompanied only by his own guitar and electronic treatments. On the others, he is joined by either Derek Bailey or Christian Fennesz, two guitarists with indispensable roles. The opening title track sets the tone, with heavily echoed noise fibers warping and reverberating for nearly 14 minutes. The effects swell and recede at a disquieting but sunken volume, while Sylvian's upfront voice -- more stripped and vulnerable than it was in Japan's "Ghosts" -- slips in lines like "I fall outside of her," "Give me one more chance to do things right," and "Life's for the taking, so they say -- take it away." Throughout the album, clues are dropped about the events that transpired and the circumstances surrounding them, but it's all left to be pieced together and interpreted by the listener, who will have to sift through the hedged lines, meticulously organized sounds -- from rattling shopping carts to handclaps to delicate fragments of guitar -- and numerous disfigurations of clear-cut linear thought. Blemish is the kind of record that provokes many longtime followers to throw up their arms in aggravation -- it's very much a "final straw" record. A work of beautiful, desolate fragility, Blemish is also the kind of record that will have the opposite effect on a select few.

David Sylvian - Blemish (345mb)

1 Blemish 13:42
2 The Good Son 5:25
3 The Only Daughter 5:28
4 The Heart Knows Better 7:51
5 She Is Not 0:45
6 Late Night Shopping 2:54
7 How Little We Need To Be Happy 3:22
8 A Fire In The Forest 4:14
09 The Only Daughter (Remixed By Ryoji Ikeda) 5:49
10 Blemish (Remixed By Burnt Friedman) 4:50
11 The Heart Knows Better (Remixed By Sweet Billy Pilgrim) 5:29
12 A Fire In The Forest (Remixed By Readymade FC) 5:05
13 The Good Son (Remixed By Yoshihiro Hanno) 4:33
14 Late Night Shopping (Remixed By Burnt Friedman) 2:51

David Sylvian - Blemish (ogg 167mb)

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earlier, Sundaze 1106 now in flac

David Sylvian - Camphor (473mb)

David Sylvian - Damage (reissue) (393mb)

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Anonymous said...

Alchemy - Nice - Thanks

Music Lover said...

Another Great post!

Thank you very much for "Alchemy: An Index of Possibilities". I have maneged to get only "Words with the Shaman" and never heard this album in full. It's the best weekend present :-)

Ausland said...

can you please re upload Alchemy?

Ausland said...

can you please re upload Alchemy?

Anonymous said...

Hi. Would you mind re-upping Blemish please? Thanks.