New Sylvian release this year

From Brilliant Trees through Died In The Wool...

Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Foales Arishes on Sat Jan 09, 2016 3:39 pm

Tin Bird wrote:
1.Just curious..how do Beehive and Brilliant Trees rate for you?

2.While I might agree that Beehive was much more mainstream that Manafon, I don't think BT was.

3.How about the collabs with Czukay esp Plight and Premonition?



1. Its taken a while, but I love them both, esp. Beehive, which I listen to a lot... Of his earlier solo works Beehive is my favourite, closely followed my Dead Bees, and then maybe BT after that.... hmm maybe.

2. I would agree BT is not particularly mainstream (esp. for the time) but, compared to Manafon, Blemish, Died and Loud Weather etc. its another world. Maybe upon release it seemed as left-field as Manafon does, but listening now it seems largely of its time.... Not that I seek non mainstream for the sake of it, its just what I like [I do have U2 and Coldplay in my collection]

3. I don't have this yet, so can't comment fully*... I do have a few gaps that I'm trying to plug, and this is one.... *I've heard some bits and pieces, and thought it sounded interesting, if a little dated, but I will pick up a copy if the price is right.

For me Manafon is the peak of his vocal output... it lacks the slightly odd warble in the vibrato he affected in earlier work, and seems to me his voice is at its most natural in Manafon. The later readings in Uncommon Deities again seemed affected and stilted... though I do like the album overall. Its all subjective, but artistically and technically Manafon is his peak.
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Tin Bird on Sat Jan 09, 2016 5:53 pm

I can appreciate your comments about his voice. Most of my friends actually don't much care for his pseudo-talking of the last few albums and much prefer his mannered crooning of yesteryear. I pretty much always like his voice, so I'm cool w hearing it any way I can get it. :-) I did think on Do You Know Me Now? his voice had a nice grizzle to it that seemed slightly weathered and battered...it fit the song quite a bit. Also, he seems to put much less reverb on his voice these days then say Gone to Earth era.
I think at the time that BT came out, it was viewed kind've like a Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno, Robert Fripp, or Bill Nelson record. It was still considered pop music for sure...like world music sort of I guess.... Manafon is certainly in a very different genre...

You should get Plight...it's a very nice soundscape.
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Foales Arishes on Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:48 am

Tin Bird wrote: I did think on Do You Know Me Now? his voice had a nice grizzle to it that seemed slightly weathered and battered...it fit the song quite a bit.

You should get Plight...it's a very nice soundscape.


I forgot about DYKMN... I love that song, and think its one his finest. If DS made an album of songs along the same lines as that track it could be utterly amazing... its quite stripped back, but has bags of atmosphere, and that grizzled vocal delivery is perfect.

I'll certainly pick up P&P and some point.
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Simonp on Sun Jan 10, 2016 10:55 am

Interesting you say Plight sounds a little dated now, Foales. Out of all his work it's the one I'd say is unlikely to date unlike perhaps Brilliant Trees which only suffers because of the production

Foales Arishes wrote:
Tin Bird wrote:
1.Just curious..how do Beehive and Brilliant Trees rate for you?

2.While I might agree that Beehive was much more mainstream that Manafon, I don't think BT was.

3.How about the collabs with Czukay esp Plight and Premonition?



1. Its taken a while, but I love them both, esp. Beehive, which I listen to a lot... Of his earlier solo works Beehive is my favourite, closely followed my Dead Bees, and then maybe BT after that.... hmm maybe.

2. I would agree BT is not particularly mainstream (esp. for the time) but, compared to Manafon, Blemish, Died and Loud Weather etc. its another world. Maybe upon release it seemed as left-field as Manafon does, but listening now it seems largely of its time.... Not that I seek non mainstream for the sake of it, its just what I like [I do have U2 and Coldplay in my collection]

3. I don't have this yet, so can't comment fully*... I do have a few gaps that I'm trying to plug, and this is one.... *I've heard some bits and pieces, and thought it sounded interesting, if a little dated, but I will pick up a copy if the price is right.

For me Manafon is the peak of his vocal output... it lacks the slightly odd warble in the vibrato he affected in earlier work, and seems to me his voice is at its most natural in Manafon. The later readings in Uncommon Deities again seemed affected and stilted... though I do like the album overall. Its all subjective, but artistically and technically Manafon is his peak.
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Foales Arishes on Sun Jan 10, 2016 12:17 pm

Simonp wrote:Interesting you say Plight sounds a little dated now, Foales. Out of all his work it's the one I'd say is unlikely to date unlike perhaps Brilliant Trees which only suffers because of the production


I've only listened to bits of it via YouTube on my PC, so perhaps I need to hear it properly... I'll try and find a reasonably priced CD and grab it. I agree about BT's production which really does sound like 1984.
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Tin Bird on Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:08 pm

What about it sounds like 1984? The fretless bass? I don't think a track like Nostalgia sounds of any time really... I can tell it's an older recording by the fidelity of it, but I do not think that it sounds like 1984 at all. Not that I view 1984 as a bad time or anything..in fact, I pretty much view music from say 1976 to 1986 as the best time for music...followed by the 60s and maybe perhaps today. I hated the 70s and 90s..classic rock/AOR (70s) grunge (90s).
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Tin Bird on Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:15 pm

Just to add..when I think of say 1991, I think of Nirvana, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Janes Addiction, The Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Weezer..etc etc. hated ALL of that crap...
I remember getting in an argument with some dude I worked with at the time that told me that Mike Watt was a better bass player than Paul McCartney! I tried to explain that it's not how fast you play, it's the notes and the creativity and how the bass flows in the track ..etc...anyway, sorry for the tangent...
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby javier on Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:14 am

Tin Bird wrote:What about it sounds like 1984? The fretless bass? I don't think a track like Nostalgia sounds of any time really...

Personally, I don't like Brilliant Trees. Never did. Even by the late 80s it sounded really dated to me.

As you point out, Nostalgia hasn't dated so much, nor Brilliant Trees (the song), I think due to the Hassell ambience and slow washes of music. But tracks like Red Guitar, Pulling Punches etc - the instrumentation is so incredibly dated - from that awful few years of preset identikit sounds that I cannot bear listening to.
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Patswe on Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:13 am

Ha ha ha dated?
it's because of how they've recorded it and the sounds we love David Sylvian
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Foales Arishes on Mon Jan 11, 2016 6:33 am

javier wrote:
Tin Bird wrote:What about it sounds like 1984? The fretless bass? I don't think a track like Nostalgia sounds of any time really...

- the instrumentation is so incredibly dated - .


Yes, this... its mostly the instrumentation... but it is what it is, and you can't get away from when and how it was made. I'm not saying its bad, it just sounds of its time in a way some other albums from around same period, or even earlier do not.

Talk Talk's The Colour of Spring, which was only made around a year later has very little to give away the era it was made, and is truly timeless, sonically and creatively... yet their previous two were deeply rooted in the sound of their time.

BTW I'm very fond of that 80's sound and vibe for the most part.

The worst aspect of BT for me is the way DS pronounces nostalgia :twisted:
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Tin Bird on Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:58 am

I agree that Colour of Spring is a good album. However, I would argue that it sounds way more dated than anything on BT..those Simmons drum pads are hurting. Too bad they didn't make the switch to real, acoustic drums an album earlier. Still love the record though.
I guess I can see the tracks Pulling Punches and red Guitar being of their time...frankly, I often skip over them and get to the good stuff... :-) Red Guitar was a single, so I suppose was meant to get some airplay..hence the somewhat dated production...to me tracks like Weathered Wall, Brilliant Trees, and Nostalgia are absolute classic DS though....
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Blemished on Mon Jan 11, 2016 7:59 am

Foales Arishes wrote:
Yes, this... its mostly the instrumentation... but it is what it is, and you can't get away from when and how it was made. I'm not saying its bad, it just sounds of its time in a way some other albums from around same period, or even earlier do not.

Talk Talk's The Colour of Spring, which was only made around a year later has very little to give away the era it was made, and is truly timeless, sonically and creatively... yet their previous two were deeply rooted in the sound of their time.



Whoa, whoa, whoa...hold your horses there. BT dated? More dated than the (very wonderful) Colour of Spring? Not sure agree with that. COS is very eighties in its production and some of the sounds. Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock are truly timeless. Personally, I don't think BT has dated that badly (apart from Pulling Punches) as it's relatively acoustic and not using lots of effects and reverb. Gone to Earth is much more obviously dated to my ears.
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Tin Bird on Mon Jan 11, 2016 10:12 am

Blemished wrote:
Foales Arishes wrote:
Yes, this... its mostly the instrumentation... but it is what it is, and you can't get away from when and how it was made. I'm not saying its bad, it just sounds of its time in a way some other albums from around same period, or even earlier do not.

Talk Talk's The Colour of Spring, which was only made around a year later has very little to give away the era it was made, and is truly timeless, sonically and creatively... yet their previous two were deeply rooted in the sound of their time.



Whoa, whoa, whoa...hold your horses there. BT dated? More dated than the (very wonderful) Colour of Spring? Not sure agree with that. COS is very eighties in its production and some of the sounds. Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock are truly timeless. Personally, I don't think BT has dated that badly (apart from Pulling Punches) as it's relatively acoustic and not using lots of effects and reverb. Gone to Earth is much more obviously dated to my ears.


I agree. Gone to Earth has a very in-tune w the 80s sound. Lots of reverb on the drums and vocals, chorus pedal galore on the guitar...still like the album, but not as important as Brilliant Trees in my opinion. I always thought of GTE as the muso/VH1 push for a wider audience and credibility. Like trying to cross over into the King Crimson audience w Fripp...By Secrets of the Beehive, he had returned to his (more) acoustic roots mixed with minimalist electronics and jettisoned the prog/muso tendencies and settled into a more comfortable sound.
With obvious notable exceptions, I think for most diehard DS fans, BT, GTE, SOTB represents the pinnacle of his work. Certainly for many of us, other albums rate highly, (Dead Bees, Nine Horses, RainTree Crow...etc), but I think those first three solo records pretty much encapsulate what David is about. My least fave of the three is GTE, but I've met many a fan that think it's his best work. Anyway..just my two cents... I think it's totally cool that new fans came aboard w Blemish and Manfon... a bit odd, because I don't view those works as being representative of his body of work as w whole, but cool nonetheless....
I've made this comparison before w friends (and maybe even on this forum), it's kind've like Depeche Mode fans discovering them after Exciter or Delta Machine and viewing those albums as their pinnacle above Black Celebration or Some Great Reward...to me that seems absurd because I've been there throughout their entire history and know how they developed through the years and which albums were breakthroughs and which were mediocre efforts....
But, at the end of the day, I'm very happy that David continues to make music and i greatly appreciate his willingness to try new things.... whether this recent improv-style will ultimately be a detour or a swan song, remains to be seen. :-)
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Foales Arishes on Mon Jan 11, 2016 2:03 pm

Blemished wrote:Whoa, whoa, whoa...hold your horses there. BT dated? More dated than the (very wonderful) Colour of Spring? Not sure agree with that. COS is very eighties in its production and some of the sounds. Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock are truly timeless. Personally, I don't think BT has dated that badly (apart from Pulling Punches) as it's relatively acoustic and not using lots of effects and reverb. Gone to Earth is much more obviously dated to my ears.


He-he... we'll probably - and with all due respect - have to agree to disagree. I will grant you some components of COS have overtones of 80's production, with rather hyped, brittle treble... the drums on the opener 'Happiness is Easy' suffers a little in this regard, but overall it stands up remarkably well sonically... and I truly believe far more so than BT. Artistically it will have to come down to personal preference and for me COS succeeds BT and all DS's former and latter work apart from Manafon... I hold Manafon alongside COS, SOE and LT as my favourite albums and would consider all to be timeless.

As for SOE I think it is to this day it is one of the finest sounding album ever made, and nothing like anything else made in 1987 [yes, truly timeless]... it has depth and richness, and great subtlety, combined with huge changes in dynamics... yet it has a transparent sound quality, which is beautiful and remarkable considering what they did to create it [read Phill Browns book for some fascinating insight] ... LS by comparison sounds muddy claustrophobic, but is still an incredible album.

I think I might have taken things way off topic... I hope you don't mind too much?... its all good fun :D
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Re: New Sylvian release this year

Postby Blemished on Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:01 pm

Foales Arishes wrote:I hold Manafon alongside COS, SOE and LT as my favourite albums and would consider all to be timeless.


I love Manafon too and its sound - I wonder how it will stand up in 10 years? - it's great to have something that is challenging rather than comfortable. I do find BT a more emotional record - in its lyrics and in its sense of someone taking a huge leap forward with their music and excited by the possibilities. Those two are probably my favourites.

Foales Arishes wrote:As for SOE I think it is to this day it is one of the finest sounding album ever made, and nothing like anything else made in 1987 [yes, truly timeless]... it has depth and richness, and great subtlety, combined with huge changes in dynamics... yet it has a transparent sound quality, which is beautiful and remarkable considering what they did to create it [read Phill Browns book for some fascinating insight] ... LS by comparison sounds muddy claustrophobic, but is still an incredible album.


Funny, but I much prefer LS - sounds light and beautiful to me, though not the majority opinion I think. Phill Brown's book is fascinating - the fact that he has never been able to listen to 'New Grass' since says so much about how hard that record was to make.
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