David Sylvian-Brilliant Trees

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Talk Talk seem to get all the props for 80's ambient pop but for me this is the pinnacle..

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Brilliant Trees 9
The Ink in The Well 5
Red Guitar 5
Nostalgia 2
Pulling Punches 0
Weathered Wall 0
Backwaters 0


sonnyboy, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 21:57 (ten years ago) link

Gotta go with "Gone to Earth" especially sides 3 & 4.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 10 May 2011 22:00 (ten years ago) link

"Nostalgia." I'm sure he hired Hassell to reduce the chances of getting sued for plagiarizing Fourth World, Vol. 1: Possible Musics.

ginny thomas and tonic (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 10 May 2011 22:09 (ten years ago) link

gone to earth is not an option here!

voting ink in the well

akm, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 22:19 (ten years ago) link

I went for Red Guitar. I do like this album a lot but Secrets of the Beehive is by far my favourite album he's done even including Tin Drum and Gentlemen Take Polaroids.

Kitchen Person, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 22:43 (ten years ago) link

Red Guitar Vs Brilliant Trees for me. This album had a massive impact on my life.

jed_, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 23:36 (ten years ago) link

I went for Red Guitar. I do like this album a lot but Secrets of the Beehive is by far my favourite album he's done even including Tin Drum and Gentlemen Take Polaroids.

― Kitchen Person, woensdag 11 mei 2011 0:43 (55 minutes ago) Bookmark

Couldn't agree more. And I rate most of his albums, from early period to nowadays, really high. But 'Secrets' is mind-blowing.

Whiney G makes me wanna smoke crack (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 10 May 2011 23:41 (ten years ago) link

I'm going for the closer on this one btw. I'd hate it ending up without any votes.

Whiney G makes me wanna smoke crack (Le Bateau Ivre), Tuesday, 10 May 2011 23:42 (ten years ago) link

Ink in the Well over Red Guitar--this album is one of my dearest old loves

Iago Galdston, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 23:50 (ten years ago) link

Brilliant Trees.

jed_, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 23:51 (ten years ago) link

nostalgia

sisilafami, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 00:26 (ten years ago) link

OK then, Brilliant Trees.

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 01:25 (ten years ago) link

Red Guitar started playing first when I read the topic, so that.

I'm on the same page as KP and Le BI - I'm a huge, huge fan of his work. That VOICE! Just a half-inch below "Secrets" is "Rain Tree Crow", that's totally slept on and just as incredible.

FYI, he's got a remix/remake of his last album coming out soon.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 01:30 (ten years ago) link

tempted to go with "Pulling Punches", just cuz it fits so well with all the late period Roxy type stuff I've been obsessing over lately -- classy & sophisticated adult funk

the suit he wears on the front cover is some kind of blueprint for living, anyway

Snámh dá Én (missingNO), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 01:33 (ten years ago) link

"red guitar"

whole album is fucking great though

ilxor running, w/ laptop in hand, checking ILX as he sprints (ilxor), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 02:01 (ten years ago) link

tempted to go with "Pulling Punches", just cuz it fits so well with all the late period Roxy type stuff I've been obsessing over lately -- classy & sophisticated adult funk

how are you defining "adult funk"? I know what you mean ("Same Old Scene"?) but "adult funk" is pejorative to my ears: britishes who have no business approximating funk saying fuck it and playing it wrong.

ginny thomas and tonic (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 02:07 (ten years ago) link

I like "Pulling Punches" fine, but like its ancestor "Art of Parties" it's a constipatory version of funk -- it flails around, bloodlessly.

ginny thomas and tonic (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 02:08 (ten years ago) link

i guess "adult" relates more to the classy & sophisticated part of my sentence, rather than "funk". but don't doubt the authenticity of "Pulling Punches" -- it has Wayne Braithwaite on bass and Ronny "Head" Drayton on guitar! admittedly Steve Jansen's drums are kinda broken and angular, but the bass groove is undeniable

feel like "Weathered Wall" might be a contender here, the wistful verses into a gloomy bass pulse, Richard Barbieri's synths seem to breathe. it's maybe the highlight of side 2? i feel like he didn't really perfect that style of controlled improvisation until Gone To Earth

Snámh dá Én (missingNO), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 02:31 (ten years ago) link

britishes who have no business approximating funk

dunno about this tho

Snámh dá Én (missingNO), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 02:36 (ten years ago) link

How would you guys rank the post-1999 albums?

ginny thomas and tonic (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 02:56 (ten years ago) link

i think somebody on here called Blemish & Manafon minor classics and I tend to agree. Blemish is maybe his best album overall, imo

Dead Bees On A Cake I'm not massively into, though "Darkest Dreaming" is one of his best songs so I should give it another try

When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima is beautiful ambient field recordings

the samples I've heard of the new album sound pretty great -- Manafon vocals over Secrets Of The Beehive style arrangements. i wonder how much of his decision to release Manafon w/ new arrangements is an attempt to appease the section of his fan base who vehemently hate his 00s albums?

Snámh dá Én (missingNO), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 03:48 (ten years ago) link

I voted for "The Ink In The Well". Such a beautiful album.

Winky Dinky Dawgz (Capitaine Jay Vee), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 03:51 (ten years ago) link

Went for 'Red Guitar" but it could of been any of them...I love the British White funk tracks...in fact it's one of my favourite genres...I agree 'Secrets Of The Beehive' is a fantastic even better than BT but I love the funk undertow of BT...

sonnyboy, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 12:37 (ten years ago) link

Which is superior – SOTB or Gone to Earth? I lean towards the latter.

ginny thomas and tonic (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 13:16 (ten years ago) link

As much as I love a lot of his work I find his solo work to be really frustrating and uneven. Secrets of the Beehive, Gone to Earth, Brilliant Trees and Dead Bees on a Cake are all pretty solid but others I've tried left me cold. I think the last one I actually bought was Blemish which I didn't get into at all apart from the last track A Fire in the Forest which is stunning. I think Dead Bees is really underrated, I'll definitely agree with the love for Darkest Dreamin,g that's one of my favourite songs of all time.

If anyone else can recommend any of his other albums to try I'd give them a go.

Kitchen Person, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 13:24 (ten years ago) link

Also I'd like to add this as one of my favourite songs he's done. I know it from the excellent Everything & Nothing compilation.

http://youtu.be/MfBHZfuNEVc

Apparently he wrote in response to Virgin asking him to write a hit.

Kitchen Person, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 13:26 (ten years ago) link

I haven't heard any other of his solo albums besides the ones you mention but I heartily recommend spending more time with Blemish, boy does it open up once you've found the door.

willem, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 13:56 (ten years ago) link

I heartily recommend spending more time with Blemish, boy does it open up once you've found the door.

Completely agree, that album bloomed like a gorgeous flower. David's voice is the anchor while the music is odd but not too far out there (like "Manafon", which I haven't connected with yet). The scratchy blips move from odd to soothing over time, and the entire work has a rainy, late night vibe.

Regarding his post-1999 work:
1999 - Dead Bees On A Cake: agreed that this is underrated, those expecting "Secrets Part II" were disappointed but approached on it's on it's very rewarding.
2000 - Everything & Nothing: compilation; a great introduction and the only thing a casual fan would need, chock full of rare collaborations and new versions.
2002 - Camphor: The sister compilation to "E&N", it's all instrumentals, enjoyable but I prefer his vocal work.
2003 - Blemish
2005 - The Good Son Vs. The Only Daughter: "Blemish" remixes, superfluous as far as I'm concerned
2005 - [Nine Horses] Snow Borne Sorrow: Excellent pop album
2007 - [Nine Horses] Money For All: A mini-album with some new tracks and remixes, the title track is superb
2007 - When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima: Haven't heard it, instrumental
2009 - Manafon
2010 - Sleepwalkers: A collection of his 21st century collaborations and guest appearances, a bit disjointed but full of outstanding material
2011 - Died In The Wool: Due out in a couple of weeks, new tracks and "Manafon" remixes

These are critical, in order of rank: 1) Blemish, 2) Snow Borne Sorrow, 3) Dead Bees On A Cake, 4) Sleepwalkers. "Everything & Nothing" is all 20th century material, and the rest of the releases listed are more for hardcore fans (yes, "Manafon" as well, I have high hopes that "Died In The Wool" will help me re-approach it).

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 14:18 (ten years ago) link

Starting to regret selling Blemish a while back now, I will have to give it another go at some point.

Thanks for the round up of his other material Gerald. I wil give some of the albums you mentioned a listen. That Sleepwalkers collection sounds really interesting I might start with that.

I listened to the Everything & Nothing collection again today, there's some great stuff on there. I didn't realise songs like the Scent of Magnolia were outtakes, that really should have been on Dead Bees. Ride and Some Kind of Fool are also really great tracks.

Kitchen Person, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 18:14 (ten years ago) link

manofon is the only one I have a hard time getting into, hoping to like dyed more. the nine horses album is sublime. lots of people disliked 'dead bees' but it was one of the most anticipated albums in my memory; those were the days before things leaked online months ahead of time. I checked back with the record store weekly until they got an import in. I think that anticipation shaded the actual record and led to some disappointment. it's overly long and there are definitely some kind of weak jazzy adult alternative moments on it. but over the years I've warmed to it, it's better than it's reputation.

akm, Wednesday, 11 May 2011 18:42 (ten years ago) link

four weeks pass...

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Wednesday, 8 June 2011 23:01 (ten years ago) link

Everything and Nothing's dog w/eyebrows cover still freaks me out

MaresNest, Thursday, 9 June 2011 10:59 (ten years ago) link

"It looks like his eyebrows are following me!"

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 9 June 2011 11:12 (ten years ago) link

There he goes..
http://www.leninimports.com/david_sylvian_everything_2_trk_cd_p.jpg

MaresNest, Thursday, 9 June 2011 12:19 (ten years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Thursday, 9 June 2011 23:01 (ten years ago) link

hey wow

jed_, Friday, 10 June 2011 00:14 (ten years ago) link

Wow...didn't see that one coming...but great choice nevertheless...

The Pastiche Liberation Front (sonnyboy), Friday, 10 June 2011 06:36 (ten years ago) link

ten years pass...

oh now this is some good shit

things repeat forever and there never is a remedy (Austin), Friday, 16 July 2021 01:29 (two weeks ago) link

JON HASSELL

!!!!!!

things repeat forever and there never is a remedy (Austin), Friday, 16 July 2021 01:40 (two weeks ago) link

This is a real treat.

mr.raffles, Friday, 16 July 2021 02:24 (two weeks ago) link

Interesting to see the use that Holger Czukay made of the Dictaphone, I was never certain about what sounds on the record came from that.

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 16 July 2021 03:31 (two weeks ago) link


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