Thursday, November 03, 2005

Nine Horses

Nine Horses is a one-off collaboration involving David Sylvian, his brother (and former Japan drummer) Steve Jansen and electronic experimentalist Burnt Friedman. It also features contributions from Ryuichi Sakamoto and Stina Nordenstam. The resulting album is a beautiful set of tracks that are some of the most commercially accessible music Sylvian has done in a while - since at least the first couple of solo LPs. Don't think for a second that I mean it has the chart busting appeal of the old Japan hits, although this is the closest he's been in years. This is still very artful stuff, but there are more traditionally structured songs on here, with beats and hooks, and even a few slightly rockist (!) moments. Lyrically Sylvian surveys both personal (the end of his marriage) and political relationships (the world post 9/11) and their ups and downs. It's a nice blend of David's mournful croon, Jansen's shifting rhythms and Burnt's electronics. Serotonin is a shuffling, burbling art funk tune that sounds very much to me like what Japan would sound like today if they were still recording - think Art Of Parties and you're not too far removed. It's a lovely record. It's interesting to me that some twenty five years on from when I first encountered David Sylvian, his work is still capable of moving me. It's great to see such creative longevity.

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