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David Sylvian - Approaching Silence CD (album) cover


David Sylvian

Crossover Prog

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Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is a release of music that was originally composed as part of an art installation, and as such was not intended to stand alone. It is very ambient and largely unfocussed, and is not particularly rewarding to listen to closely. It is, however, wonderfully atmospheric, and if you like some of Eno's ambient pieces you'll probably like this as well. The Frippertronics add a lush texture and odd snippets picked up from short wave radio occasionally lend a slightly darker tone to the proceedings. This is a great album to play at low volume as you drift off to sleep.
Report this review (#33198)
Posted Sunday, February 27, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Another collaboration between Sylvian and Fripp is this soundtrack for an artistic audio- visual performance. It consists of two mammoth ambient pieces and one short, of the sort one could find in early TANGERINE DREAM albums on Ohr label, or on later Eno's works. Yes, it is basically a "sound curtain" and a noisy platform so developed that some may find it hard to call "music". Still, the 38-minutes title track is strangely captivating with its cyclical theme, which fades in and out, interrupted by what sounds like a huge bell, thus creating a sense of an "audio lighthouse" effect or a naval radar. Remember, this is not a proper musical album, but rather a soundtrack. With that in mind, I can say that "Approaching Silence" is a worthy piece for certain limited scope, and a way of listening only for certain situations. **1/2
Report this review (#113931)
Posted Thursday, March 1, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
1 stars "Approaching Silence" is the ninth full-length studio album by UK experimental rock artist David Sylvian. The album was released through Virgin in 1999.

"Approaching Silence" is in a completely different musical style compared to the "Dead Bees On a Cake (1999)" album which was released earlier the same year. "Approaching Silence" features three ambient experimental tracks. Sound collages if you will. "The Beekeeper's Apprentice" and "Epiphany" was recorded in 1990 and are taken from the 1991 multi-media installation soundtrack "Ember Glance: The Permanence of Memory" while the third track "Approaching Silence" was recorded in 1994 for the 1994 multi-media installation "Redemption - Approaching Silence" in collaboration with Robert Fripp. This is the first time "Approaching Silence" is released. Two of the tracks are respectively 32:56 and 38:17 minutes long while the last track "Epiphany", with itīs 2:32 minutes long playing time, works like a bridge between the two longer tracks.

As all three tracks were made for multi-media installations, which I assume means that the music was either accompanied by pictures or movies (or maybe something else?) they are very atmospheric/ambient but unfortunately also very repetitive. Maybe they would have been more interesting if I had experienced them with the other part of the multi-media installation but as music alone I find the music on "Approaching Silence" very longdrawn and quite frankly boring. I hate to use the word boring in a review but I really fight to keep my eyes open here. Ambient music can be very interesting if the composer aim at entertaining his audience but on the other hand ambient music can also be extremely tiring, tedious and exhausting if itīs as introvert as itīs the case on "Approaching Silence". Theresīs nothing wrong with the production or the performance of the pieces but for me this is closer to muzak than it is to music. A 1 star (20%) rating is warranted.

Report this review (#256031)
Posted Monday, December 14, 2009 | Review Permalink

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