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David Sylvian

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David Sylvian David Sylvian & Holger Czukay: Flux + Mutability album cover
3.20 | 34 ratings | 6 reviews | 12% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1989

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Flux: A Big, Bright, Colourful World (16:56)
2. Mutability: "A New Beginning Is In The Offing" (20:59)

Total Time: 37:45

Line-up / Musicians

- David Sylvian / guitar, keyboards, composer, co-producer
- Holger Czukay / guitar, bass, electronics, voice (1), composer, co-producer

- Michael Karoli / guitar (1)
- Marcus Stockhausen / flugelhorn (1)
- Michi / voice (1)
- Jaki Liebezeit / percussion (1), African flute (2)

Releases information

Artwork: Yuka Fujii with David Buckland (photo)

LP Venture ‎- VE 43 (1989, UK)

CD VENTURE ‎- CDVE43 (1989, UK)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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DAVID SYLVIAN David Sylvian & Holger Czukay: Flux + Mutability ratings distribution

(34 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(12%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(24%)
Good, but non-essential (50%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)

DAVID SYLVIAN David Sylvian & Holger Czukay: Flux + Mutability reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The second Czukay/Sylvian album is the more immediately engaging of the two, and offers two contrasting pieces. 'Flux' is propelled by a gentle, naggingly insistent guitar motif (presumably played by Michael Karoli) and some very understated percussion by Jaki Liebezeit. A variety of sounds and sample weave their way through, under and over this simple framework, making for a hypnotic and oddly compelling 17 minutes. Of the 4 long pieces on the two albums they made together, this is the one that is most recognisably in Czukay's style. The second piece, Mutability, is more ambient, although Czukay's samples lend a slightly unsettling tone in places. Definitely the better of the two albums, and definitely the one to start with.
Review by Seyo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Although this title is credited to "David Sylvian and Holger Czukay", it is practically David Sylvian and CAN as backing band, since Liebezeit and Karoli were both present. It's a fine ambient minimalist music, which consists of two long pieces. Eerie electronic soundscapes, guitar effects and vocals/speech samples draw much resemblence from Krautrock as well as from Brian Eno works. It is an extremely pleasant album to listen to as a background, but nothing awsome or original that would induce repeated listening.
Review by Kazuhiro
3 stars The joint work with Holger Czukay might have been indeed an act of nature for David Sylvian. David Sylvian is made remarks that the part of the transition was felt in the directionality that should be aimed at this time. The method of the challenge and the expression to music with oneself who has them revolutionize it from "Rock Star" to "Artist" to say nothing of those thought might be contained. The music that became the artist of Solo from the band by him and was expressed will have been self's exactly opening. His secret part was originally a part that was already as an expression of the activity as Solo. Of course, there was a fact to which the gap that the listener had caused with the band as an expression that he did between Solo was understood, too. However, he carried and the expression of the self in the parts other than work with various musicians and music carried enough out the function as the expressionist indeed including the idea.

Zeal to music and the expression was never lost at this time said that he was facing the transition period in the expression method. It was an act exactly done as one of the methods of the expression of the self and the joint work with Holger Czukay might have polished in the method of his expression further.

It might have been a work from which the methodology of Holger Czukay had come out a little strongly though it was an album of the joint work in "Plight&Premonition". The secret element might have given a little difficult part for the listener as an impression. However, wavelength each other was indeed reflected in the work. And, the width of the methodology that they should express is expanded further and it has coming in succession of the sound and the calculated flow in this album. And, if it is considered that the method of expressing David Sylvian has been considerably appointed in the composition of the tune and the part of production, it will be music with high quality that this album was exactly completed at the end of the joint work in this album. The composition of the overall tune is calculated indeed and has succeeded in getting rid of from a simple ambient.

The keyboard of Sylvian and Percussion of Jaki Liebezeit contribute in "Flux". The calculation of the sound and the processing of the space are given to the flow it is secret and with the anacatesthesia well. Coming in succession of guitar with transparent feeling in which tune is not obstructed. Or, the element of Flugelhorn of the wave. And, it is partial of the song. Flow of perfect guitar by Michael Caroli. These elements are expressed in union.

"Mutability" might be a tune of which the taste of the expression of David Sylvian has gone out strongly. Development where the melody not to make the listener get tired of the flow with the anacatesthesia is consecutive might be splendid. The secret expression that David Sylvian thinks about is expressed enough though doesn't sing.

It might be true that there was a revolution in the method of expressing Sylvian in work with Holger Czukay at this time. And, these expression method will be satisfactorily demonstrated in the album of the work and Rain Tree Crow with Robert Fripp.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars My conscience won't let me give this 4 stars despite enjoying a lot of this. We get two side long suites with David Sylvian adding guitar and keys(no vocals!) and Holger Czukay adding guitar, bass, electronics and vocals. Fellow CAN members Liebezeit(percussion, flute) and Koroli(guitar) help on track one. We also get flugelhorn on track one and samples. The thing is we get a lot of ebb and flow throughout both tracks that I like but man it's so samey, especially track two where there is virtually no change in the sound for 21 minutes. I just found myself getting annoyed long before it ends.

"Flux: A Big, Bright, Colourful World" opens with electronics and samples before percussion and manipulated vocals arrive along with spacey guitar. The vocals come and go along with some picked guitar. A pretty good sound here, kind of drifting with the spacey guitar, electronics and percussion. Some flugelhorn after 4 minutes. The flugelhorn is back after 6 minutes. Koroli before 6 1/2 minutes as his "sound" is unmistakable. He will come and go too. Some various vocal samples after 9 minutes. Flute at 10 1/2 minutes then more vocals and Koroli before 12 minutes. At 15 minutes it sort of dies but not quite as the spacey sounds start again but slower this time.

"Mutability: A New Beginning Is In The Offing" has these melancholic spacey guitar sounds along with an electronic atmosphere that pulses slowly and I'm sure there's more. It is an otherworldly sound but it continues for the whole 21 minutes.

Glad I finally got to spend some time with it and it comes across as an Electronic album more than anything else. Not a fan of the cover art either and 3 stars is all I got.

Review by Neu!mann
3 stars The more accessible half of Holger Czukay's two ambient collaborations with David Sylvian followed closely in the footprints of its sibling album "Plight & Premonition", released one year earlier. Both recordings created a delicate, dreamlike aura bathed in lush yet understated atmospherics. But the additional support here by Czukay's bandmates from CAN turned this session into an unofficial Inner Space reunion (the finished album hit the market exactly one month before the final Can LP "Rite Time").

Like its predecessor the new album was more of a sustained mood piece than a true compositional effort, with every instrument and effect layered carefully and creatively into a fragile web of musical clairvoyance. Sylvian's primary contribution had to be the drifting heat-haze synth bed. Czukay provided the distinctive pinpoint guitar accents and his patented sampling cues: stray Middle Eastern radio signals; a snippet of Latin high mass, and so forth.

All beautiful stuff, well beyond the Peak of Normal. And the overall effect is more spellbinding than the similar abstract doodles of Sylvian's many other off-trail solo soundscapes. But because the music was more obviously grounded here than on the mirror-image "Plight" album, it lacked the same air of timeless mystery. My own assessment was in fact completely turned around after revisiting the music two decades later. This one had more of an immediate impact than its older brother, but in the long run didn't have the same legs.

Author and professor David Toop said it best, in his liner notes for the recent (and recommended) double-disc compilation of both albums in one package: the later album is "perhaps more satisfying for those who like to have a road to follow."

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl,Neo & Post/Math Teams
3 stars The seecond collaboration between Sylvian and the Krautrocker Holger Czukay confirms the format of Plight and Premonitions: a vynil with one track per side. Of course the side A is "Flux" and side B is "Mutability". There are also a couple of guests more respect to the previous album. Flux is an ambient track which, despite some dissonant sounds in the background, has a strong newage flavor. In particular the flugelhorn played by Marcus Stockhausen reminds to the trumpet of Mark ISHAM in his excellent "Tibet". David's guitar is very in background and the track is built around a lazy percussion. Background voices, speeches and what seem mantras, the African flute played by Jaki LIEBEZEIT (from CAN as Czukay) add an oriental touch to the suite. I think I can name it as "meditative music". Liebezeit is also the only guest appearing on side B.

Mutability is missing the percussive element so it's even more relaxing and meditative. Guitar softly sliding over a keyboards carpet. This track can be compared to some of the works of ALIO DIE. Apparently it goes nowhere and sounds like a fluid exercize about harmonies. A good soundtrack for uncommented images. I would use it to comment coloured landscapes, gardens, waterfalls, nature in general. Maybe somebody has done it already, who knows?

Take it if you are in a meditation mood.

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