David Sylvian’s Manafon , the austere follow up to his 2003 album Blemish , is the most complete step in the maverick songwriter’s journey from New Romantic poster boy through ambient artist to post-rock poet. Recorded in improvisational sessions from 2004 to 2007, and wrought over the last two years in Sylvian’s Pennsylvania home studio, it both develops and refines the free-form impulses of Blemish, emphasising silence, space and sound over melody and rhythm. With unusually expressive contributions by saxophonist Evan Parker, guitarists Keith Rowe and Christian Fennesz, pianist John Tilbury and electronic artists Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide, Sylvian shapes the musical dynamics with his signature croon. Manafon is an exquisite assemblage of musical styles, which finds the Sylvian at his most experimental yet.
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