also by David Sylvian:
An ambient album that basically does what ambient is meant to - music based around slow, organic growth of pure sound rather than conventional tunes. His collaborators are the familiar Robert Fripp and percussionist Frank Perry. It's probably a beardy cliché, but these pieces really do fill their spaces well, without feeling the need to keep on changing. "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" is based on one chord perpetually humming away in the background, while gentle pings echo around. Some off-key strings and muted industrial clangs weave in and out on occasion to make the atmosphere more sinister. "Approaching Silence" the track, is a masterfully slow ebb and flow of soft noise, swelling up every minute or so to be punctuated by a bell clang. The short track in the middle seems to take one theme from each of the big tracks.
As an aside, this made me think about the process of discovering new music. I only bought this album because I am a fan of Sylvian's. It's similar to the earlier pieces he did with Holger Czukay (Plight and Premonition, Flux and Mutability). There must be plenty of composers writing experimental ambient like this other than Sylvian, Robert Fripp and Brian Eno, and I don't know about them. It's one of the drawbacks of being a completist, and makes me feel I should explore music in a more horizontal direction. When I've finished writing all these reviews...
April 22, 2004