If you’ve been to this site before, then you are probably aware of my fondness for the music of David Sylvian. Sleepwalkers was and is a compilation that came out years ago. A few months ago a new updated version was announced, and I decided to get it. Here are some pictures of the release.

There is only one additional track on this new version, but, even so, I think it was still worth getting.

Uncommon Deities

This is undoubtedly my favourite album of all time. It is a work of tremendous and rare beauty, and every time I listen to it I am stunned by just how complete and unique it is.

I listen to it only when I have the time to devote myself entirely to listening to it without distraction, as it just isn’t the kind of music that you can listen to in the background. At least that’s my opinion.

However, I’ve recently just sat down and read the poems that are an integral part of Uncommon Deities. On their own they are incredibly beautiful. As a part of the whole they’re even better. But even so, I really enjoyed reading them in isolation.

Record Store Day 2018

Last year I skipped record store day as I’d been queuing at Sister Ray Records in Soho for about 3 hours and at the end of the process I’d got 1 7″. That was all. I wasn’t terribly happy about that at all, as you can imagine. So I said to myself that I wouldn’t do it any more. I’d give it up. And I did, I didn’t go in 2017. Then I saw the list for this year, and on it was a David Sylvian album that I really wanted to get, and that I knew I would be really annoyed not to own.

So I decided to do it again. However, as I was going to be out late in London the night before I thought that the most civilised way to accomplish the task was to get a hotel room nearby and stay in town. So I did. I stayed at a very nice hotel on Brick Lane which was very reasonably priced too. It meant I could get up really early and walk down to Rough Trade East before 6am.

And my forward thinking paid off. I was probably around the 100 mark in the queue and got inside at about 8:30am. Not bad. I also got everything that I wanted too.

The most important of course being “Dead Bees on a cake” by Sylvian.

So maybe I will go again next year, at least I’ll give it a chance anyway.

A signed copy of Steve Jansen’s ‘Slope’

I already have this album, I got it when it first came out, but when I heard that Steve Jansen was selling off the last remaining stock and signing them I thought I ought to buy it again. It’s always lovely to have a signed copy of things and this album especially so.

I hope he releases some more stuff from Bandcamp in the not too distant future.

Ok, so I’ve listened to Playing the Schoolhouse now

David Sylvian's Playing the Schoolhouse - Inside
David Sylvian’s Playing the Schoolhouse – Inside

So I bought it, I’ve got it, I’ve listened to it. It’s about 15 minutes long, it’s only one track and that’s it.

So what did I think? Well it certainly isn’t the best thing by Mr Sylvian that I’ve heard. Calling it music might even be a stretch. I think it is more appropriate to say it is sound art. Treated as such I’m assuming that it may have been more interesting to watch it live than to hear it as a recording.

Having said that, there were moments where it was interesting. In some ways it isn’t too different from listening to “When Loud Weather Buffeted”, which I have enjoyed. All in all I can say that I’m glad that I got this on the second run from the label rather than trying to get hold of an 1st run copy from eBay, some of which were going for over £100.

Will I be listening to it a lot? No, I don’t think so, or at least I can’t see that happening.

I do hope that he does some more even slightly accessible music at some point soon. That would be most welcome. However, sadly, I think it is unlikely.

David Sylvian’s “Playing the Schoolhouse”

David Sylvian's Playing the Schoolhouse - Front of tin
David Sylvian’s Playing the Schoolhouse – Front of tin

David Sylvian's Playing the Schoolhouse - Inside
David Sylvian’s Playing the Schoolhouse – Inside

David Sylvian's Playing the Schoolhouse - Back
David Sylvian’s Playing the Schoolhouse – Back

So I finally got myself a copy of this. Not on the first run. I missed that, and even though I did have a look on eBay for them I decided not to pay the huge prices there. Instead I got one on the second run, for just £8 in the end.

I haven’t heard good things about this. A lot of people seem to have been disappointed by it, but I’ll give it a listen and post again when I have.

Listening to David Sylvian’s music … Manafon

David Sylvian, Manafon
David Sylvian, Manafon

Another problematic album to listen to, but it’s actually very good when you give it a chance and listen to it with focus and care it is well worth it. There’s a huge amount of depth and beauty in these songs. There’s always something new to find in each one, but it does require patience and that’s not always easy. Neither are these pieces, but just because they’re not easy does not mean that they’re not good. They are.