What are we to make of this continuous, 70-minute track? It's so ... uneventful, as if someone left the microphones open long after the session ended. It's possibly the most avant-garde product made by a pop musician since Metal Machine Music. But David Sylvian needn't worry about record company backlash: he is the record company.
When Loud Weather Buffeted Naoshima is the soundtrack to a Japanese installation, and that's probably how best to appreciate it, stumbling on little fragments of performance by Clive Bell, Akira Rabelais and Arve Henriksen alongside hums, clicks and other shuffling, formless noises. Yet "formless" is not quite correct. Everyday life, in its routine and randomness, has a sonic form that everyone recognises. Sylvian's piece gives it a frame that's both artful and artless. That means creating a self-consciously "beautiful" (but not too beautiful) limited edition CD that Sylvian fans will snap up as a work of art.
JOHN L. WALTERS
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