As various unspecified, unsettling noises usher Manafoninto life, your first thought may be that this time David Sylvian has gone too far. His last, 2003’s Blemish, was often extraordinary but made for profoundly uneasy listening. This latest album moves Sylvian’s new sculpted improvisation modus operandi on one stage further, and it takes at least two listens before it makes any real sense. Over time, however, Manafon’s spidery soundworld begins to reveal moments of beauty – from the soaring vocal melody of ‘Small Metal Gods’ to the spine-tingling, Evan Parker-assisted instrumental section of ‘Emily Dickinson’. Definitely worth the effort.
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