The unravelling motif. The default position… repeating, repeating. Let’s ramraid the Lazer Guided Shack of Melodies; the variety of record store where nothing held in racks is for sale, and more likely than not I’ll have booby-trapped the front door, Raiders Of The Lost Ark style. You can’t be too careful, these days; as early-nineties pop philosophers Voice Of The Beehive once said: There are monsters, there are angels, there’s a peacefulness and a rage inside us all. Very wise words, as I’m sure you’ll agree. And no, I’m not going to explain why that particular lyric has lodged inside my mind like a borrowing beetle thing.
It’s one of those irrefutable facts that David Sylvian has a voice like cherry blossom. Even very early Japan records – back when the band were searching for something to hang their sound upon that wasn’t a confused interpretation of cheap Roxy Music motifs – are haunted by his drifting, rich-yet-ethereal baritone.
By my dodgy maths it’s nearly thirty years since Japan spilt, since when Sylvian has ploughed a most esoteric of furrows. Like Mark Hollis after him, he’s perennially pursued an individual vision that doesn’t always translate – personally I can take or leave some of his more ambient, minimalistic jazz noodlings – but even then the sublime twist of voice is always apparent – when combined with other acts of interest, the result is invariably something very special.
Chris Vrenna probably came to my attention as Trent Reznor’s drummer back when I still considered mascara on a boy to be an enticing look, but it’s as the driving force behind Tweaker that’s held my interest since. His is a subtle, stripped back electronica, the genus of sound that reverberates around perception long after the needle has hit the run-out groove. On both Tweaker albums (The Attraction To All Things Uncertain from 2001, and 2004’s 2.am Wake-Up Call) the environment is augmented (but never consumed) by differing vocal interpretations – so when that interpretation is courtesy of David Sylvian, I’m guaranteed to find the end result irresistible.
Tweaker featuring David Sylvian / Pure Genius