David Sylvian


Grönland • 2010

If the label »chameleon of pop music« were not forever associated with David Bowie, it would also suit David Sylvian. As the singer and songwriter of the band Japan, he was one of the spearheads of chart-ready synth-pop in the early ’80s, which was subsumed under the New Romantic movement, before Sylvian, as a solo artist, let off steam in various genres such as ambient, electro, jazz, avant-garde and modern classical music, although no longer as suitable for the masses, but all the more variable and artistically challenging. This resulted in both long-standing friendships and unique collaborations with artists as diverse as Christian Fennesz, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Arve Henriksen and Dai Fujikura. The pieces from these many spin-off projects were first compiled on »Sleepwalkers« in 2010 –  now the collection is being re-released in remastered, reworked form with the previously unreleased track »Modern Interior«, which is about the tsunami in Fukushima. David Sylvian’s vocals are almost the only constant, and although they have become deeper and warmer over the years, they have lost none of their spacey elegance and theatricality. His voice doesn’t quite fit with some songs, like the cool soul number »Money For All«, and the track list doesn’t make for a consistent album either, but jumps wildly between moods and genres. However, this inconsistency is intentional, which David Sylvian sums up with a quote from Aldous Huxley: »Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life«.