Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Beautifully Difficult - David Sylvian

In case you missed it (blink and it was gone from their front page. The Quietus had an interview with David Sylvian on his latest compilation Victim of Stars which you can find here

In the interview he revisits his lps and his comments of Secrets of the Beehive are interesting in that he feels it is incomplete and something of a failure. I think it is bar the best thing he has ever done , so i do wonder what the lp would have been like if it had ended up as he wanted to.

The feature on The Quietus also contains a number of tracks to listen to as well as 2/3 videos (when he still made singles)

Victim of Stars takes in all of  David Sylvian's career and you can buy it here.  However for me the better buy is Everything and Nothing (make sure you get the double cd though) which also has a load of unreleased tracks on which you can get here for a cheap as chips £4:99.

Here is one of my favourite track from Secrets of the Beehive performed live on Italian tv


  1. I have to agree that all the stars aligned for me on Secrets of the Beehive. It is the best moments of his instrumental and lyric work.
    Ride, one of E&N unreleased tracks is from that period and if it had been included on SotB would have enhanced it certainly...wonder if there are even more tracks still not fully fleshed out...
    At first I didn't see the purpose of Victim of Stars-especially since that track, recorded with Hector Zazou, is not even included. But it is a comprehensive example of the changes and progression of Sylvians "pop" work and it's eventual deconstruction.
    If I was to give you my 5 favorite tracks Sylvian has recorded they would also span a great deal of his career...
    In no order:
    1. Ghosts
    2. Before the Bullfight
    3. Nostalgia
    4. When The Poets Dream of Angels
    5. Thalheim

  2. I listened to SOTB recently and was amazed at how contemporary it sounded; it has aged beautifully.
    There are so many re-issues from the prolific Sylvian that it's hard to keep a pace of just where he is at the moment. I wrestled with (and have grown to love) 'Died in the Wool' (terrible title) and a lot of the (many) remixes work well; but the albums that I cherish are 'Snow Bourne Sorrow' by Nine Horses and 'Everything and Nothing' which I was turned onto by BJ Cole (who features prominently on disc 2) who raved about the musician and the man.
    I really like the 'Victim of Stars' because of the freshness of the re-jigs; but mainly because it has me reaching for the original albums.

  3. The 9 horses lp as well as the one he did with the reformed japan as rain tree crow are both fantastic although SOTB is still my highlight
    Apparently there was meant to be a big centre piece track on SOTB which some have suggested was a version of Ride as it would have fitted in so well
    What I liked about Everything and Nothing v Victimn was the inclusion of the unreleased tracks most of which i struggled to think why they didnt make the final cut although I can see why Victim as a straight chronological run through also has a place.

    I'm not sure i could do a top 5 but here goes

    Ink in the Well
    Wonderful World

    with September / silver moon / I surrender / sons of pioneers bubbling under

  4. Well listed!! Definitely love Nightporter (I have actually played it while watching "his coolness" Dirk Bogarde creep me out and pull me in), Ink in the Well, I Surrender and September. What I love about I Surrender and much of Dead Bees On A Cake is the conviction that Sylvian and then wife Ingrid Chavez had and the joy it produced. It is one of the best albums of love songs and life songs ever produced.

  5. For me, "Secrets Of The Beehive" is Sylvian's masterpiece. Every track is great ("Orpheus" is probably my favorite Sylvian song), and as Trevor commented above, it has aged gracefully. I think Sylvian and EMI did a decent job compiling "Victim Of Stars" - more straightforward than "E & N" so not much for longtime followers, but a handy starter for new fans.

  6. you make a good point dj re the new lp If I had "lost touch" with DS then this would have been perfect where as E and N was for teh "completist"


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