The Scent of Magnolia

‘unorthodox with a lot of movement’

When David Sylvian’s career-to-date retrospective album Everything and Nothing appeared in 2000, it turned out to be a compilation with a difference. Among the familiar songs from twenty years of his musical history were some never-before-heard tracks spanning the entire period. The artist was clear, however, that these were not inferior and therefore discarded out-takes.

‘There was a fair amount of unreleased material lying in the vaults and I really thought this was an appropriate time to get to it,’ Sylvian told Robert Sandall in an internet-hosted interview. ‘For a number of a reasons, primarily because the industry is changing, there’s no real security when working with the major labels. I’ve been with Virgin for twenty years, but whether I will be with them three months from now, we don’t know. So let’s say I was not to be with them in three months from now, I would no longer have access to this material at all. And as the material was unfinished it would never be released, so basically a lot of good material would have been lost. Also, I would no longer have had access to my earlier work, the back catalogue, in all probability.

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Linoleum

‘fear, anger and paranoia’

In 1995 Trent Reznor’s Nine Inch Nails won a Grammy award for their live performance of the song ‘Happiness in Slavery’ as captured on Woodstock ’94. The category was ‘Best Metal Performance’. I’m not sure anyone watching the recording – with its military assault on the senses and body-surfing audience – would have seen a possible David Sylvian collaboration on the horizon for one of the musicians.. ..but that was how things panned out. Chris Vrenna had been a performing member of NIN since 1989, contributing powerful drums to their hard-edged live industrial rock sound. Continue reading “Linoleum”