- David Sylvian "When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima"


When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima, an illusion artfully and arduously spun, represents David Sylvian’s footprint in the remote island in the Japanese archipelago. Sylvian weaves acoustic patterns and voices into a detailed, frantically wound landscape that mirrors the islands sense of place and time while simultaneously transforming it into something radically other.

Such is the albums strength: everything is treated from the beginning as a function of its endless reproduction; fresh sounds and others which are being reheated - Sylvian incorporates previously released material from Arve Henriksen, Christian Fennesz, Akira Rabelais, and Clive Bell - are used as tactical elements rather than ends onto themselves, and so compositions are equally elemental, alien, and aleatory.

Though not without some initial discordance, the interplay between the instrumentation and field recordings reaches a curious agreement. As subject and object, respectively, they occasionally merge in a ritualistic manner, dissolving into a distantly undulating crescent of atmospheric noise, or else the former endeavors to transform the other into its shadow.

These elements of the recording lend it a more elastic and varied mood and manner. More than creating an aural Biosphere, then, Sylvian’s juxtaposition and integration of natural sounds with old recordings skillfully plays with conceptions of nature and one’s relation to it - at one moment it disappears, at another it’s advanced (or reduced?) to the status of subject, and at yet another it’s given a bad conscience or made utterly tranquil. Strange, that.


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Website design and build: Rebels In Control, after cover art by Chris Bigg. Art direction: David Sylvian. Banner images from the Hypergraphia book.