The best of David Sylvian’s solo work is compiled on a new 2xCD compilation, A Victim of Stars, 1982-2011.
The comp is to be released by EMI on February 27, 2012, and features 30 tracks – one of which, ‘Where’s Your Gravity’, is new. Sylvian first rose to fame as the hollow-cheeked frontman of Japan, most fondly remembered for their chilling, minimalist 1982 single ‘Ghosts’, which reached #5 in the UK singles chart but wasn’t enough to stop the band splitting up a few months later. It would subsequently be sampled by Goldie and Doc Scott for Rufige Kru’s early jungle classic ‘Ghosts Of My Life’, cited by Tricky as an influence on his early work and featured on King Midas Sound’s acclaimed FACT mix.
Following the break-up of Japan, Sylvian embarked on a solo career that would mark him out as one of the most adventurous and experimentally-minded “pop” artists of his generation. Following his 1984 debut Brilliant Trees, he released the Eno-esque instrumental LP Alchemy – An Index Of Possibilities. Gone To Earth followed in 1985, combining that ambient sensibility with some of his most affecting songwriting and vocal performances; lavish orchestral arrangements were favoured on 1987’s Secrets Of The Beehive.
Sylvian has always sought to collaborate with interesting musicians, and his solo career benefited significantly from the input of such figures as Ryuichi Sakamoto, Bill Nelson, Kenny Wheeler, Can’s Holger Czukay (with whom he helmed two magnificent ambient LPs, Plight & Premonition and Flux + Mutability) and Jon Hassell. He continued to release albums throughout the 1990s and 2000s, notably teaming up with Robert Fripp for ’93’s The First Day. 2009 saw him push himself yet further as an artist, writing songs around the improvisations of Fennesz, John Tilbury, Keith Rowe, Evan Parker and others. His most recent album, 2011’s Died in The Wool, is made up of variations on Manafon.
The release of A Victim Of Stars, 1982-2011 heralds Sylvian’s Implausible Beauty European tour, which includes a date at London’s Royal Albert Hall. Full tour dates and tracklist below.
The Ink In The Well
Taking The Veil
Let The Happiness In
Every Colour You Are
Heartbeat (Tainai Kaiki II)
Jean The Birdman
A Fire In The Forest
The Only Daughter
Late Night Shopping
The Banality Of Evil
Snow White in Appalachia
Small Metal Gods
I Should Not Dare
Where’s Your Gravity?
Implausible Beauty tour 2012:
March 1st PADOVA Gran Teatro Geox
March 2nd MILANO Conservatorio Sala Verdi
March 4th ROMA Auditorium Della Verdi
March 5th BOLOGNA Teatro delle Celebrazioni
March 7th KÖLN Tanzbrunnen
March 8th BRUSSELS AB
March 9th AMSTERDAM Rabozaal (Melkweg)
March 11th COPENHAGEN Vega (Main Hall)
March 12th OSLO Sentrum Scene
March 14th STOCKHOLM Filadelfia Church
March 16th BERLIN Uni Der Kunste
March 18th EINDHOVEN Fritz Philips Music Centre
March 19th FRANKFURT The Gibson
March 20th STUTTGART Theaterhaus
March 23rd MANCHESTER Bridgewater Hall
March 24th LONDON Royal Albert Hall
March 26th BIRMINGHAM Symphony Hall
March 27th NOTTINGHAM Royal Concert Centre
March 28th GLASGOW Royal Concert Hall
April 13th PARIS Banlieues Bleues Festival