Adventurous but dark ambient head-trip
Former Japan head-honcho Sylvian has really gone out on a limb here. He’s always been a master at creating atmosphere, but many of the songs on Blemish border on pure ambience, with only his instantly recognisable voice nudging the pieces towards conventional song structure. The title track begins and ends with treated, pulsing guitars, with Sylvian’s rich baritone rising high above the hypnotic swirl at points to impart grim, mantra-like lyrical passages. It’s a formula that’s followed throughout the disc, which will likely make it a demanding listen for the uninitiated. At its best though, the results are as captivating as they are sometimes unsettling. Take The Only Daughter for instance; its claustrophobic, humming electronic textures frame an airtight space that Sylvian’s voice punctures with sinister lines like this your one and only warning / please be gone by morning. If you’re up for it, Blemish will take you on a strangely addictive journey.
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