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29 juillet 2005

David Sylvian : Blemish


Artist: David Sylvian (Samadhi Sound)

Reviewer: Chua Cher Toong

The enigmatic David Sylvian has always stubbornly crafted an idiosyncratic path when it comes to making music. Ever since his pioneering days with avant-garde popsters Japan in the early 80s, Sylvian has consistently kept to and expanded upon his innate experimental aesthetic, stretching the boundaries of pop music as far as humanly possible. In doing so, he created esoteric, intriguing and wondrous works that elevated him to the status of one of the boldest experimental rockers of the late 20th century.

Of course, all this has the expected, lamentable ramification of zero commercial success for Sylvian, despite his erstwhile track record of some modestly charting singles with Japan. Notwithstanding any obvious lack of mainstream chart recognition and the accompanying coterie of Lear jets, limousines and groupies attached to rock royalty like U2 and the Rolling Stones, Sylvian's oeuvre remains one of the most engaging and fascinating in rock-music history, along with the works of fellow avant-gardists like Scott Walker, Jon Hassell and Ryuichi Sakamoto (a frequent collaborator).

With masterful albums like the jazz-inflected Brilliant Trees, the epic prog-rockish Gone to Earth, and the spare, avant-poppish Secrets of the Beehive, Sylvian has helped to set the benchmark for cerebral, avant-garde pop and also championed the cause of oddball art-rock.
Blemish is Sylvian’s fifth studio album in a 20-year solo career, his tardiness following in the footsteps of great (and infuriating) musical perfectionists like Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel...

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