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.

Continue reading “The Scent of Magnolia”


‘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”