The first time this listener was introduced to the playing of Clive Bell was as part of Richard Barbieri and Steve Jansen’s short-lived dalliance with overt pop for their 1987 album as The Dolphin Brothers – Catch the Fall. Here Bell adds such exotic sounds as those of the khene and Thai flute to the title track and the seductive ‘Love That You Need’. These traditional wind instruments bring a sense of unspecified Eastern location to the songs, their authentic sounds being reminiscent of those that Barbieri and David Sylvian had worked so meticulously to muster from their analogue synthesisers for Japan’s China-influenced pinnacle, Tin Drum.
Continue reading “Throughout the Frosty Night”
‘this dark emotional experience personified’
As the sun set on an artistically fruitful 1980s and a new decade dawned, collaborative projects would be the primary outlet for David Sylvian. ‘For the past almost three or four years, I’ve being going through quite a powerful emotional change in my life and it took me a long time to come to terms with what was happening. So I thought, rather than just slogging away without getting to grips with it, I should perhaps collaborate and allow myself to work more on the spur of the moment,’ he explained in 1991, as the eagerly awaited reunion project of the former members of Japan – Rain Tree Crow – was first shared with an intrigued audience.
Continue reading “Blackcrow Hits Shoe Shine City”
‘sensitivity to time within space’
From 30 November to 2 December 2016 a symposium entitled On the Edge was staged in Oslo, Norway. Whilst David Sylvian was not present at the event, his influence on the proceedings was significant. The programme was created by Ivar Grydeland, a musician who works in the field of improvisation and a member of the groups Huntsville and Dans les Abres, the latter’s eponymous debut album having been released on the ECM label in 2008.
Continue reading “Playing the Schoolhouse”
‘A life lived bereft of the sun’
In summer 2009 followers of David Sylvian’s music were awaiting a firm release date for his new solo album. A mid-March announcement had been made on davidsylvian.com revealing the title – Manafon – and promising that more information about this ‘powerfully bold, uncompromising work’ would be shared ‘shortly’.
Continue reading “Jacqueline”
‘a complete experimental playground’
ZTT records was established in 1983 by record producer Trevor Horn, businesswoman Jill Sinclair (Horn’s wife), and NME music journalist Paul Morley. In many ways the partnership between Horn and Morley was an unlikely one, with Horn’s early ’80s projects with Buggles and Dollar not the sort of acts that Morley would have lauded in the music press. There was no doubting Horn’s prowess in the studio, however, with ABC’s 1982 smash-hit The Lexicon of Love testifying as much.
Continue reading “p:Machinery”