Sylvian - Let's start with the word

David's solo career interviews

Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby ScottR on Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:12 pm

bitter... no.

manafon bitter ... yes. its like a bad nut. i immediately wanted to yak when I first heard it.

bat, you are doing your very best to convince us all on how great this thing is, and you seem to think its your duty to smack everyone that feels otherwise. we all have a right to our opinion, right?

I may be new to this forum but I've been a fan for many many years. I have spent a small fortune on DS & related artists so I feel like I am pretty educated on the subject. I would say the vast majority of us think manafon is a dog. very few of us take the time to express it. what I read from this interview is that it is and will be a challenge to sell it(manfon). It may actually bring the label down.

limted editions do sell well. ask anyone trying to find a copy of trophies.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby Foales Arishes on Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:12 pm

missouriman wrote:If ScottR is interested I have a cd of myself playing one note on a kettle drum.



Sounds great, can I have a copy please? :lol:

I surprised how much bitterness [or whatever you like to call it] there is surrounding this release - thank goodness true artists don't listen to their critics or their fans :wink:

Anyway, another good read...David does do good -interesting- interviews...always enlightening.
Last edited by Foales Arishes on Thu Nov 05, 2009 9:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby baht habit on Wed Nov 04, 2009 6:36 pm

ScottR wrote:
bat, you are doing your very best to convince us all on how great this thing is, and you seem to think its your duty to smack everyone that feels otherwise. we all have a right to our opinion, right?

I would say the vast majority of us think manafon is a dog.


I am doing no such thing. I know that every body has different tastes and opinions and I especially respect opinions when they are reasonably expressed. I have read plenty of negative opinion on Manafon which is entirely justified, but most importantly, a lot of these reasonable people often point out that the type of music which Sylvian has opted to utilize for this latest release is just not appealing to them. They don't show animosity towards Sylvian for making this music. They don't wish disappointing sales on the cd nor somehow hope that it hurts SamadhiSound. They simply conclude that it isn't their cup of tea and will probably move on and listen to music that fits their sensibilities.
But when someone proceeds to believe that their opinion is the one viewpoint which should obviously prevail only on the basis that it is their opinion based upon their individual perceptions, then I feel somewhat obligated to interject. When someone feels that they can speak for a majority of others, I have to point out that this is quite irrational.
So once again, thanks so much for attempting to speak for the masses :twisted: Thankfully, not all art has been obvious and structured to be a work of beauty. That would be unfortunate if all music had to fit one specific definition of what constitutes beauty in order to move the listener.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby missouriman on Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:55 pm

Baht nailed that one. Art does not mean beauty. Art and Music can be ugly. BUT it succeeds if it gets you to think and form an opinion. Manafon isn't pretty at times, but by God it makes my head go around.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby tracycowell on Thu Nov 05, 2009 2:41 am

missouriman wrote:Baht nailed that one. Art does not mean beauty. Art and Music can be ugly. BUT it succeeds if it gets you to think and form an opinion. Manafon isn't pretty at times, but by God it makes my head go around.




Yes and it gives me for one, a damn headache! Bring back melody! ;-) (I didn't actually say gosh golly jee whiz by the way) :mrgreen:
Ask yourself: Do I know who I am? Perform sincere self-inquiry, and find the permanent solution to all of life’s problems. — Amma
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby ScottR on Thu Nov 05, 2009 11:35 am

So once again, thanks so much for attempting to speak for the masses :twisted: Thankfully, not all art has been obvious and structured to be a work of beauty. That would be unfortunate if all music had to fit one specific definition of what constitutes beauty in order to move the listener.


I would agree. Most of the music in my collection pushes boundaries of one sort or another. I think anyone following DS related artists feel this way. But Manafon is like I said, misguided at best. The emperor has no clothes and someone needs to say it. btw, I have many friends that are DS fans. I couldn't find a one that actually like the record enough to even comment. Most, like myself, haven't given it a second listening. So once again, thanks for doing Manafon critic beat down patrol.:)

They don't wish disappointing sales on the cd nor somehow hope that it hurts SamadhiSound.


I guess maybe your right on this one. A lesson needs to be learned. The pocketbook can motivate many.

I will say this about Manafon, DS's vocals have never been better. That gives me much hope for the future.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby Despair on Thu Nov 05, 2009 4:10 pm

Most, like myself, haven't given it a second listening

Really ??? You`ve only listened once ??

We`re only two months since the release of the album, and true, this one has really set the cat amongst the pigeons. But i am genuinely suprised that people are giving a definitive opinion on this release, without living with it for any period of time.
I was really uncomfortable with it on the first few listens. Apart from Small Metal Gods which i loved immediately, the rest i struggled with.
Department Of Dead Letters, the instrumental, broke the ice for me. And then gradually the whole album is now a coherent body of work. Its still not been fully digested yet, and im still not keen on The Rabbit Skinner, but there are some truly lovely moments on it, that could never be revealed after 10 or 12 listens, let alone only 1 !!

Had the pleasure of listening to Manafon and SLOPE back to back today in the car. What a talented pair of siblings, the Batt brothers are !!!!
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby ScottR on Thu Nov 05, 2009 5:23 pm

Really ??? You`ve only listened once ??


yep

... without living with it for any period of time.


nope cant do it... its not worthy. I put it in the stack of unlistenables, along with Scott Walkers Tilt. Its like you are witnessing something you shouldn't be. Far to personal for public consumption.

I do agree with you on Slope. This to me is the perfect blend of melody and experimentation. Much more interesting to my taste. I really liked the Nine Horses stuff too.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby baht habit on Thu Nov 05, 2009 6:51 pm

Fair enough, Scott. I do not want you to feel as if I am beating up on you. I just hope you understand that you nor I speak for all Sylvian fans. I have read plenty reviews full of accolades regarding Manafon. I have read an equal number of negative responses. Just because Sylvian has created music which you are personally not fond of, that doesn't mean he is making unworthy music or has lost his abilities. If you really feel this, then your ego is a little out of check for thinking that your opinion and your opinion alone should be looked upon as fact, wouldn't you agree? An audience for this release does indeed exist. Do you feel that we should be treated with derision for enjoying Manafon?
I will let it go at that, for I don't want to come across as beating up on you when I am only attempting to make a counterpoint.
Plus, knowing that you only gave Manafon the opportunity of one listen makes me think that a reasonable debate cannot be had in this situation. Please forgive me if my assumption is incorrect.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby ScottR on Thu Nov 05, 2009 7:12 pm

Just because Sylvian has created music which you are personally not fond of, that doesn't mean he is making unworthy music or has lost his abilities.


Quite the contrary. I know exactly what he is capable of, hence my disappointment. I understand that he is trying stretch musical boundaries blah blah blah. Like I said, this would have been much more appropriate as a one off ep. Not the grand elaborate Manafon that it is(nt).

For the record I spent months, actually years trying to 'get' Blemish. I still dont. The time I have to listen to music is not infinite why waste it on something that offends my ears? :/ There is much better stuff out there right now. Sufjan Stevens, Grizzly Bears, Andrew Bird just to name a few.

I was glad to read in the interview that he has not abandoned form. Form is good :) He knows exactly what he needs to do next. And I will be waiting patiently...
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby Adrian on Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:46 am

my opinion (for what it's worth) is that Manafon is an amazing album, but then it's something I've been waiting for someone to do for years - ever since I got into 'lower case improv' or whatever the term is - also it's rekindled my interest in that particular field of music (and the Erstwhile label - Jon, watch out for an order from me probably today!).
Anyway, Sylvian's vocal music besides Blemish, although still incredible, sounds more or less dated to my ears. The instrumental work holds up better, but even there it's Mothlight and Naoshima that tickle me.
And no, Manafon is not my album of the year (which came as a shock to me) - it's number 2.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby digimarsh on Fri Nov 06, 2009 9:37 am

I must say it seems rather harsh to allow an album just 1 hearing before consigning it to the 'unlistenable' bin . Being as you have been a DS fan of many years ,it would seem natural to me you have had to exercise a lot of patience over the last twenty odd years,in order to enjoy some of his work.Maybe you have liked everything pre Blemish at first exposure who knows.
Opinion on Manafon is fairly divided and thats to be expected considering it's content, i feel that after intial difficulties i have reaped reward for some perseverance. I personally love the album and listen to it as much as any other DS work.
I do get the feeling from reading comments from some people that they want to hear a return to the days of sotbh ect and in some ways there lies the root of the frustration, but i think this is unlikely to happen, Manafon is the artist David Sylvian is today and i don't see him revisiting the past to cover what is essentially old ground.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby Blemished on Fri Nov 06, 2009 2:27 pm

ScottR wrote:I put it in the stack of unlistenables, along with Scott Walkers Tilt.


I'm very familiar with Tilt and I think Manafon is far more accessible.

I'm sure there's plenty of fans who don't like the album but my impression is that there are many - like me - who do. I was struck by DS's comment in the interview about how SOTB was panned on release. There was a dire review from the generally Sylvian-friendly Melody Maker which accused him of having 'used up his coupon' then! Times change, music evolves.

I think Manafon is a radical synthesis of ideas and will be revealed over time to be massively influential. I imagine the influence will be less about the improvisation and more about the textures, sounds and organic-meets-digital feel.

Mark Hollis is a near-neighbour and I am dying to ask him if he's heard it, should I get the chance. I think Manafon is a darker twin of Laughing Stock or Hollis's solo album and more than deserves to be regarded as an equal of those records.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby Sylvie on Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:34 pm

Blemished wrote:
Mark Hollis is a near-neighbour and I am dying to ask him if he's heard it, should I get the chance. I think Manafon is a darker twin of Laughing Stock or Hollis's solo album and more than deserves to be regarded as an equal of those records.


have to disagree on that one. i am sure Manafon is a great record, just can't find myself getting into the mood of listening to it a lot. but equal to MH's solo album? no. no. no.
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Re: Sylvian - Let's start with the word

Postby neonico on Fri Nov 06, 2009 3:43 pm

Sylvie wrote:
Blemished wrote:
Mark Hollis is a near-neighbour and I am dying to ask him if he's heard it, should I get the chance. I think Manafon is a darker twin of Laughing Stock or Hollis's solo album and more than deserves to be regarded as an equal of those records.


have to disagree on that one. i am sure Manafon is a great record, just can't find myself getting into the mood of listening to it a lot. but equal to MH's solo album? no. no. no.



i have a tip when you are so tired that you cant sleep anymore but also cant keep your eyes open anymore then listen to manafon plug in your ear phones and sleep...

ive tried this a couple of times and im so relaxed that i can sleep.

just wonderful....


perhaps this helps i love this cd...
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