Exposé Online banner

David Sylvian — Approaching Silence
(Shakti 72438-48177-2-5, 1990/1999, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2000-10-01

Approaching Silence Cover art

After a decade of “ambient” silence, Virgin subsidiary label Shakti has released a set of mysterious instrumental pieces by composer David Sylvian. This is the artist’s third collection of textural, non-vocal excursions, chosen from two Japanese multi-media presentations (1990 and 1994). The first track, “The Beekeeper’s Apprentice,” is a re-release from the limited edition Emberglance (a book of fine art plus CD) which was done with graphic designer Russell Mills. The tone of the track is cold and metallic with swelling bells and a vague sense of hazy disturbance. As is consistent with most drone compositions, a layer of backdrop is present over which eerie interjections of bells and gongs (by co-writer, percussionist Frank Perry) are applied like a subtle brushstroke. The title track is a joint working title with Robert Fripp who supplies Frippertronics as well as philosophical statements on the almost forty minute murmur. The sound collage suggests a mood of serenity as well as structure in watery ether, while the short connecting track, “Epiphany,” is Sylvian’s haiku of collected voices over a short train ride. Despite missing the visual aspect of the presentations, the trio of washes lead you to conjure stark imagery as well as curious backdrops shrouded by elusive optimism. Compared to Sylvian’s joint collaborations with Holger Czukay, this set of pieces matches the intensity of Flux and Mutability despite relying on a drone base.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 20, 1999 releases, 1990 recordings

Related artist(s): Robert Fripp, David Sylvian

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Caged / Uncaged - A Rock / Experimental Homage to John Cage – Produced by John Cale, Caged / Uncaged was created as the 'soundtrack' for the exhibition "Il Suono Rapido delle Cose" in Venice in 1993, and is – as the subtitle states...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues