Review

David Sylvian & Stephan Mathieu

Wandermüde

Grönland • 2012

The solo album »Blemish« from 2003 is one of David Sylvian’s most experimental and personal works to date. It was written during a time when the former Japan frontman was suffering a personal crisis, and he himself describes it as »cathartic«. Ten years later, German electroacoustician Stephan Mathieuedited Sylvian’s instrumental tracks. »Wandermüde« was created in real time as a remix album, entirely without multi-track recordings, overdubs, new arrangements or other technical production aids. What the software spat out, fed with the original recordings, was either adopted exactly as it was or discarded completely. Now, another ten years later, »Wandermüde« has been released again featuring the almost nine-minute bonus track »I Can’t Pretend To Care« and remastered by Mathieu. The sound spaces, which are also created in this case with the help of musician friends like Christian Fennesz and Derek Bailey and mostly consist of guitar drones, feedback and other noise, are atmospherically dense, ghostly and, as on »Dark Pastoral«, almost haunting. This means that »Wandermüde« continues to fit very well into our present time, shaken as it is by many crises: A little escapist, then again disconsolate, speechless and at the same time evoking dark forebodings, the 65 minutes can serve both as a soundtrack for the current status quo and as a means of escaping the world.