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David Sylvian - David Sylvian & Holger Czukay: Plight & Premonition CD (album) cover


David Sylvian

Crossover Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars In the late 80s, David Sylvian released 2 albums in collaboration with former Can bassist Holger Czukay. Although they were released a year apart, both this album and 'Flux and Mutability' were recorded - very quickly - at the same sessions. This, the first to come out, is a pleasant piece of electronic ambient experimentation. The pieces are both slow, statley and largely rhythm free, but like Fripp and Eno's 'No Pussyfooting', a surprising amount of development takes place as the music unfolds. Defintely non essential, but if you like Tangerine Dream's Zeit this has a similar atmosphere.
Report this review (#33191)
Posted Sunday, February 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars I'm not familiar with David Sylvian music. I've listened to this album because it features the legendary electronic alchimist Holger Czukay (ex-CAN). We can easily perceive his signature in this galactic journey through floating-haunted synthesised waves and burgeoning dronescapes. The result is astonishing and constantly fascinating, almost at the same musical level to Czukay's ultimate pre-ambient masterpiece Canaxis. The album is made of two epic-majestic cinematic soundscapes. It delivers a cascade of drone chords sustained by ephemeral-angelic-melancholic harmonies and sometimes spaced out esoteric moods in the genre ever developed in early electo-krautrockin' excursions and in glory subaquatic-primordial ambient hymns (Steve Roach, Vidna Obmana...) Plight & Premonition is not a revolutionary effort but it is a top class introspective-brainey experience. It can be conceived as one of the summits of nebulous ambient music. Moreover it is constantly accessible and relaxing without being new age. This is a must have for neophytes and kosmische kraut lovers.
Report this review (#282901)
Posted Friday, May 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Seeing as we're going through a mini heat-wave here in Scotland, I thought I'd give this album an airing for the first time in 7 years. And you know, I'd forgotten how good this sounds compared with the tidal wave of ambient recordings that have been released since 1987.

Plight and Premonition is an excellent and instantly identifiable album that should be listened to on dark swelteringly hot nights. Entirely instrumental, but unlike its successor - this one is far more atmospheric and has a lot more depth and feel to it. And unlike most collaborations this sounds split 50/50 right down the middle in terms of input and resulting sound. It's a bit like a slightly more lively 'Atem' by Tangerine Dream. It floats along in a majestic manner as foreign radio snippets (clearly Czukay inspired) make brief appearances. Reverbed piano and prolonged spooky keyboard chords only add to the happiness I feel when I hear this.

Very different to Sylvian's first two vocal albums and a million miles from "Japan". It is short however, and you won't get any bonus tracks on the cd, which is probably a good thing as it's perfect in length and atmosphere just the way it is.

Report this review (#758673)
Posted Friday, May 25, 2012 | Review Permalink

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