CD (Unkown Label)

Available from 04/10/2010

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DAVID SYLVIAN RELEASES NEW COMPILATION SLEEPWALKERS: FEATURES HIS GREATEST COLLABORATIONS FROM THE '00S, INCLUDING "WORLD CITIZEN" WITH RYUICHI SAKAMOTO, THE NINE HORSES PROJECT, AND THE NEW SONG "FIVE LINES," A COLLABORATION WITH DAI FUJIKURA. In the '00s, David Sylvian produced two of his strongest and most solitary statements, Blemish and Manafon. But those records don't tell the whole story. In the same period, Sylvian created a more playful body of work: a series of collaborations and side projects with leading talents of pop and improv, electronic and contemporary classical music. The best of these recordings are gathered here on Sleepwalkers, meticulously sequenced and remixed: the fruits of one-off meetings and lifelong partnerships, they jump from bliss to intrigue, romance to sensuality, as arch experiments lead into the lushest pop. The single "World Citizen - I Won't Be Disappointed," written with Ryuichi Sakamoto, is a sublime example, with an impeccable melody and lyric warmed by Sylvian's gorgeous tenor. Sylvian has worked with Sakamoto for close to three decades. By contrast, on "Pure Genius," a collaboration with Chris Vrenna aka Tweaker, he sounds like he's walked into a heist flick, singing the part of a delusional, dangerous bedroom genius. As Sylvian explains, tracks like this "give me a chance to write in a way that's completely non-personal, playful. It's an exercise of some kind, working within the parameters of a given assignment." Intrigue of a different kind drives "Sugarfuel," with music by Jean-Philippe Verdin, aka Readymade FC. The lyrics offered "an opportunity to grapple with a more overt sexual theme than anything I'd attempted previously, as suggested by a vocal sample in the original track provided, a threateningly insistent 'I'm on your side.' So I took that as my point of entry and ran with it. I would love to write more on this subject should I find the right context. You're always aware of walking a thin line exploring sexuality with language alone. The failings of the great and the good are strewn all around." Sylvian's longest-running partnership is with his brother, drummer and electronics artist Steve Jansen, and two of their projects find their way here: the Nine Horses trio with Burnt Friedman, and Jansen's debut album (and samadhisound release) Slope. "Wonderful World" strolls in on a black tie bass line and the echoing coos of Swedish chanteuse Stina Nordenstam, whose high chirps brush hands with Sylvian's lead; while on "Ballad of a Deadman," his voice and Joan Wasser's (Joan As Police Woman) roll together over the tune's dusty blues. But Sylvian is alone again with the bitter memories of "Playground Martyrs," while Jansen's exquisite music recalls the orchestrated ballads of Secrets of the Beehive. Sleepwalkers also spotlights the innovators who contributed to Manafon and Blemish. Christian Fennesz hangs a crackling, shimmering curtain behind the vocal on "Transit," matching his signature mass of sui generis sounds to Sylvian's stately performance. And the title track began with an instrumental handed to Sylvian by Martin Brandlmayr of Polwechsel, soon after the first recording session for Manafon. Spite crackles in the gaps between the percussion, and onkyo artists Toshimaru Nakamura and Sachiko M set the stage for the scathing lyrics in the chorus. It cuts close to the bone, and so do the two spoken word cuts, "Angel" and "Thermal," produced by samadhisound recording artist Jan Bang and Erik Honor‚ (and featuring Arve Henriksen on trumpet). Sylvian describes the latter work as a "love poem" to his daughter. "'Thermal' reflects on a period when our time in Sonoma, CA was coming to an end. We'd stayed in temporary accommodation which had lulled us into a false sense of security. We had pear, apple, lemon, and figs trees growing in the yard. A small but exotic paradise.

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