180 Gram Reissues Announced For David Sylvian’s ‘Blemish’ And ‘Manafon’

The records have been out of print on vinyl since each had very limited initial pressings in the format in the early 2000s.

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David Sylvian 'Blemish' artwork - Courtesy: samadhisound/UMC

samadhisound and UMC have announced the September 2 vinyl reissues, in high-resolution 180 gram editions, of David Sylvian’s Blemish and Manafon albums.

The records have been out of print on vinyl since each had very limited initial pressings in the format in the early 2000s. Blemish, as a single LP, and the 2LP Manafon have been recut for vinyl by the highly experienced engineer Tony Cousins at Metropolis Studios.

Almost 20 years into his distinguished solo career, which started with 1984’s gold-selling, widely lauded Brilliant Trees, Sylvian released Blemish as his first solo album to appear on his samadhisound label. The album first appeared digitally in 2003, with the vinyl version that followed in 2004 now a collector’s item.

A Fire In The Forest

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Blemish saw Sylvian working mainly solo to create an impromptu suite of songs for guitar, electronics and voice. The compositions grew out of improvisational sessions with the acclaimed free jazz guitarist Derek Bailey, on three tracks, and Austrian guitarist-producer Christian Fennesz on “A Fire In A Forest.” “I wanted to get into those difficult emotions, and penetrate them as deeply as I felt I was capable of doing,” said Sylvian at the time, “in the security of that working space.

“So, although there were elements of my life that were bringing all these negative emotions to the fore, what I was doing in the studio was taking them further – whereas in life we try to restrain them, we hold them back. We don’t allow ourselves to go too far with it because they feel dangerous, they feel threatening. Living through these emotions was very difficult, but finding a voice for them was so cathartic. After that six-week period, I felt I’d worked through some very difficult emotions. I felt an enormous amount of release.”

David Sylvian - Small Metal Gods

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Manafon, released in 2009, was Sylvian’s second solo album for samadhisound, described by the artist as “a modern kind of chamber music. Intimate, dynamic, emotive, democratic, economical.” It was recorded during sessions in London, Vienna and Tokyo, bringing together such leading improvisers as Evan Parker, Keith Rowe, Christian Fennesz, Sachiko M, Otomo Yoshihide, John Tilbury, and members of Polwechsel, working in small ensembles. “It’s still a path I intend to pursue musically,” said Sylvian, “working with improvisation in some form or another. So you just follow whatever you feel is right for you. You follow your instinct and that’s all you can remain true to.”

Pre-order Blemish and Manafon, which are released on 180 gram vinyl on September 2.

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