David Sylvian

David Sylvian


Samadhi Sound came into being as one possible blueprint for the future, intuition taking precedence over business sense and game plan.  I don't make long term plans as I surrender that part of my life to guru.  But if I allow myself to dream, I dream of a label that gives freedom to artists and musicians, creating a 'safe house' for the nurturing of ideas.  It will be home to much of my work and the work of my brother, Steve Jansen.  We will also sit at the helm as producers to a small group of artists who, we hope, will find a home at Samadhi Sound.  We'll encourage projects that break new ground and support those that bring a unique slant to an existing field of inquiry.   Aesthetically that field is wide open as is the nature and diversity of the projects. ~ David Sylvian

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David Sylvian/There's a Light that Enters Houses with No Other House in Sight ....import CD $15.99

David Sylvian/There's a Light that Enters Houses with No Other House in Sight ....import CD $15.99

Samadhisound is proud to announce the release of David Sylvian's new long form composition: 'there's a light that enters houses with no other house in sight,' a unique collaboration with American Pulitzer Prize winning poet Franz Wright, featuring contributions from Christian Fennesz and John Tilbury.  'There's A Light....' is one continuous 64 minute performance which combines American Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Franz Wright's words with subtle improvisations from Sylvian, his frequent co-collaborator Christian Fennesz and pianist John Tilbury.  Personnel: Franz Wright: spoken word; Christian Fennesz: guitar, laptop; David Sylvian: piano, sampling, laptop, electronics; John Tilbury: additional piano.

David Sylvian and Stephan Mathieu/Wandermude ....CD $15.99

David Sylvian and Stephan Mathieu/Wandermude ....CD $15.99

David Sylvian's experimental breakthrough Blemish sees a new interpretation in the album Wandermude, by the remarkable electroacoustic musician Stephan Mathieu. Working from the instrumental source material, Mathieu brings us a new experience of the most stirring textures and darkest thoughts from this pivotal album. Mathieu first collaborated with Sylvian at 2011's Punkt festival in Kristiansand, Norway, when he performed a live remix of Sylvian's ambient classic Plight and Premonition. Sylvian recently began work on an iOS application to display a collection of his digital photography. He invited Mathieu to develop an ambient score for the application, using material from 2003's Blemish.   "I've lived with Stephan's work for many years," says Sylvian. "After hearing his remix at Punkt I decided he'd be the right person to ask to rework the Blemish material. The recordings have a beautiful clarity about them due to their simple but sturdy frameworks, and their open ended architecture makes them ideal for a project of this sort."  Although it was born from a different project, Wandermude is its own beast: exquisitely planned but executed in real time, drawn from old pains but breathing with new life.

David Sylvian/Amplified Gesture ....import DVD $29.95

David Sylvian/Amplified Gesture ....import DVD $29.95

When David Sylvian finished work on his new album Manafon he wanted to document the individual philosophies of the various musicians who contributed to the project, to ask what had driven them throughout a lifetime of experimentation and inquiry. The list of players includes Christian Fennesz, Toshimaru Nakamura, Evan Parker, Eddie Prévost, Keith Rowe, John Tilbury and Otomo Yoshihide, among others.  Amplified Gesture, directed by Phil Hopkins and produced by David Sylvian, is the result.  The film bears witness as the musicians discuss their work, influences, the evolution of ideas, their personal philosophies - in essence, how they came to find themselves on the particular paths they've taken. The original intention was to give context to Manafon, but the film grew in scale to become an intimate portrait of musicians pursuing a line of inquiry in their life and work to create innovative, free spirited music of uncompromising integrity.

David Sylvian/A Victim of Stars 1982 - 2012 ....double CD $24.99

David Sylvian/A Victim of Stars 1982 - 2012 ....double CD $24.99

This new collection brings together material from the last 30 years of David Sylvian's prolific solo career. It includes his more recent work originally released on his own label, Samadhisound. Features the newly recorded track, "Where's Your Gravity?" and includes the UK Top 20 1983 collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto, "Forbidden Colours," from the acclaimed film, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (starring David Bowie).

David Sylvian/Died In The Wool ....double CD $15.99

David Sylvian/Died In The Wool ....double CD $15.99

New David Sylvian album.  Variations on David Sylvian's acclaimed 2009 release Manafon,with the addition of 6 new pieces, including collaborations with acclaimed composer Dai Fujikura, producers Jan Bang and Erik Honore and a stellar roster of contemporary musicians and improvisers.  The 2nd CD in this 2 disc set features audio from the installation "when we return you won't recognise us," originally commissioned for Biennial of Canaries 2008-2009.  Presented as a 2 disc digipak in a hard board slipcase, featuring artwork by George Bolster and designed by Chris Bigg.

David Sylvian/Sleepwalkers ....CD $14.99

David Sylvian/Sleepwalkers ....CD $14.99

Features his greatest collaborations from the '00s, including "World Citizen" with Ryuichi Sakamoto, the Nine Horse project and the new song "Five Lines," a collaboration with Dai Fujikura.  In the '00s, David Sylvian produced two of his strongest and most solitary statements, Blemish and Manafon. But those records don't tell the whole story. In the same period, Sylvian created a more playful body of work: a series of collaborations and side projects with leading talents of pop and improv, electronic and contemporary classical music. The best of these recordings are gathered here on Sleepwalkers, meticulously sequenced and remixed: the fruits of one-off meetings and lifelong partnerships, they jump from bliss to intrigue, romance to sensuality, as arch experiments lead into the lushest pop.  The single "World Citizen - I Won't Be Disappointed," written with Ryuichi Sakamoto, is a sublime example, with an impeccable melody and lyric warmed by Sylvian's gorgeous tenor. Sylvian has worked with Sakamoto for close to three decades. By contrast, on "Pure Genius," a collaboration with Chris Vrenna aka Tweaker, he sounds like he's walked into a heist flick, singing the part of a delusional, dangerous bedroom genius.  As Sylvian explains, tracks like this "give me a chance to write in a way that's completely non-personal, playful. It's an exercise of some kind, working within the parameters of a given assignment."  Sylvian's longest-running partnership is with his brother, drummer and electronics artist Steve Jansen, and two of their projects find their way here: the Nine Horses trio with Burnt Friedman, and Jansen's debut album (and samadhisound release) Slope. "Wonderful World" strolls in on a black tie bass line and the echoing coos of Swedish chanteuse Stina Nordenstam, whose high chirps brush hands with Sylvian's lead; while on "Ballad of a Deadman," his voice and Joan Wasser's (Joan As Police Woman) roll together over the tune's dusty blues.  Like 2000's Everything and Nothing, Sleepwalkers is a retrospective of the past decade - but it's also an eye-opening complement to his solo releases with contributions from artists that he continues to work with such as Arve Henriksen, Jan Bang and a new acclaimed young composer Dai Fujikura, presented as ever in a beautiful digipak featuring exquisite artwork and designed by Chris Bigg.

David Sylvian/Manafon ....CD $14.99

David Sylvian/Manafon ....CD $14.99

David Sylvian is a man apart. In a thirty-year career that spans the New Romantic movement, ambient works and progressive rock, and mature and esoteric pop, Sylvian has tested popular styles and bent them to his own vision. But the '00s have seen a more extreme side of his work. While 2003's Blemish startled long-time fans with its emotional rigour, Sylvian has taken the next step with Manafon (his first solo album in 6 years) - a work of nuance and stern musicality, that is also intriguing, suspenseful, and horribly beautiful. On Manafon, Sylvian pursues "a completely modern kind of chamber music. Intimate, dynamic, emotive, democratic, economical." In sessions in London, Vienna, and Tokyo, Sylvian assembled the world's leading improvisers and innovators, artists who explore free improvisation, space-specific performance, and live electronics. From Evan Parker and Keith Rowe, to Fennesz and members of Polwechsel, to Sachiko M and Otomo Yoshihide, the musicians provide both a backdrop and a counterweight to his own vocal performances - which, minus one instrumental, are nakedly the center of each piece. Sylvian's voice has never been so dominant or so striking, and his resonant tenor and deliberate vibrato captivate the listener from the start of "Small Metal Gods." "It's like a one-man monologue in which every change of light and backdrop is crucial to the carrying of the central performance. It's an ensemble work even though there is a central performance." Intuition drew Sylvian to these pieces and these players, and the surprises they bring: a cello visiting like a warm hand on a forehead, the unpredictable use of unadulterated sine waves, the brassy path of Evan Parker's soprano sax solo. Manafon has a forbidding core, but aesthetically, each piece is an engrossing discovery. Presented as ever in a beautiful digipak featuring exquisite artwork from Ruud Van Empel and designed by Chris Bigg.

David Sylvian & Nine Horses/Money For All ....CD $11.99

David Sylvian & Nine Horses/Money For All

This mini album is the follow-up release to the highly acclaimed debut album from Nine Horses, 'Snow Borne Sorrrow.'  Nine Horses is a collaborative project that brings together David Sylvian, his brother Steve Jansen (ex-Japan), and the well respected Burnt Friedman.  They have created a suite of remarkably poignant songs that are part social commentary and part self-analysis.  Sylvian and his collaboartors have never sounded better nor the material more immediate. This mini album includes two new tracks, "Money for All" and "Get The Hell Out," one track previously available in Japan featuring Stina Nordenstam and re-interpretations of previous Nine Horses tracks remixed by Burnt Friedman (eight tracks total).  Presented in a digipak with artwork by acclaimed Japanese artist Atsushi Fukui and design by Chris Bigg, this release continues Samadhisound's commitment to creating beautifully packaged, stunning music.

Nine Horses (Sylvian/Jansen/Friedman)/Snow Borne Sorrow ....CD $14.99

Nine Horses (Sylvian/Jansen/Friedman)/Snow Borne Sorrow

Working under the group name of 'Nine Horses' 'Snow Borne Sorrow' is a collaboration between David Sylvian, his brother and frequent collaborator Steve Jansen and electronic composer / remixer Burnt Friedman.  Lyrically and vocally, 'Snow Borne Sorrow' continues the maturing darkness of Sylvian's last solo release 'Blemish' - songs of struggle, doubt and resolve, Bergman-like glimpses of the realities and difficulties of intimate relationship, flashes of light and humility and, continuing his engagement with the political situation in post- 9/11 America, begun on his 2004 single with Ryuichi Sakamoto, World Citizen, caustic words about the excuses our leaders manage to find not to 'love thy neighbor'.  'Snow Borne Sorrow' was made with a cast of contributors, including Norwegian trumpeter and Supersilent member Arve Henriksen, Swedish vocalist Stina Nordenstam, who adds marvelously elliptical responses to Sylvian's vocal on the opening 'Wonderful World', and Ryuichi Sakamoto on piano.  On the title for the album Sylvian says: "Winter provokes introspection. Even more so the long hard winters surrounded by that cushioning, muted, numbing whiteness. It can also be a time of enormous creativity, of resolutions, resoluteness, clarity and conviction."  'Snow Borne Sorrow's' sound is expanded, maximalist, full, rooted in traditional song structures like some of Sylvian's classic discs including Brilliant Trees, Secrets of the Beehive and Dead Bees on a Cake.

David Sylvian/The Good Son vs. The Only Daughter ....CD $15.99

David Sylvian/The Good Son vs. The Only Daughter

David Sylvian is acclaimed for his work in the world of the singer and songwriter, a world that, despite occasional sonic adventurer's visits, still exists far apart from that of contemporary remixology. Blemish, Sylvian's first release for his new label Samadhi Sound took a brave leap into the unknown collaborating with contemporary improv guitarist Derek Bailey and electronic musician Christian Fennesz, producing a series of powerful new songs that emerge from a swirling formlessness.  On The Good Son vs. The Only Daughter Sylvian takes these recordings, and, in collaboration with a group of remixers including Ryoji Ikeda, Akira Rabelais, Burnt Friedman and Readymade FC, offers a set of radical re-workings of the originals, transforming them into yet unheard of delights.

The sheer minimalism of Blemish offers a vast amount of space for collaborators to work with and transform these songs, and in a number of cases on this disc, actually producing somewhat more familiar song-like structures. Sweet Billy Pilgrim's lovely rebuilding of "The Heart Knows Better" brings out a fiercely pop quality to the song, as does Burnt Friedman's reworking of "Late Night Shopping". Yoshihiro Hanno's work on "The Good Son", with its Rhodes keyboard sounds, hearkens back to the jazzier textures on Sylvian's late-1990s classic, Dead Bees on a Cake, but interrupts them in marvellously abstract ways.  On hearing the re-workings of his songs Sylvian says "I enjoy hearing a distillation of an aspect or aspects of the emotional content (of a composition) explored in a new context. It's not unlike the re-staging of a play."

David Sylvian/Blemish ....CD $15.99

David Sylvian/Blemish

Blemish - a new solo album from David Sylvian, his first since Dead Bees on a Cake. It is the debut release for his own samadhi sound label. David set aside a month to write and record the album while taking a break from the project that he and his brother, Steve Jansen, are currently working on. He has created an impromptu suite of songs for guitar, electronics and voice. The compositions were crafted from improvisational sessions captured live in the studio. Working almost entirely alone David has created an emotionally raw, minimal work, of immediacy and stark beauty. Although there are elements in his previous body of work that hint at the direction taken here, the cd, entitled simply 'blemish,' appears to cover new ground in style, content, intensity of emotion, and in the seemly open ended nature of the compositions themselves. Adding to the intensity and air of experimentation is the presence of Derek Bailey. Three of the pieces included on 'blemish' were written with, and feature, the legendary free-jazz guitarist. The final track of the CD features a haunting electronic arrangement by Christian Fennesz.   The album was recorded in the month of February 03 and mixed in March 03. All aspects of the recording were handled by David himself.


As the lead vocalist and main songwriter for Japan, David Sylvian's solo career has led him to be considered one of the most distinctive and influential artists that emerged from the '80s art-rock scene. The richly-textured, reflective ambience running through Sylvian' work makes these four albums timeless classics of the chill-out genre.  NOW REMASTERED AND PACKAGED AS DELUXE LIMITED EDITIONS (please note that special packaging will convert to gem cases at beginning of 2004).

David Sylvian/Brilliant Trees (remastered) ....CD $14.99

David Sylvian/Brilliant Trees (remastered)

Brilliant Trees was David Sylvian's stunning debut album eloquently fusing rock, jazz and ambient music featuring guest appearances from Brian Eno collaborator Jon Hassell, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Holger Czukay.  Packaging: Clamshell Box containing 6 panel digipak and 24 page booklet. 5th colour gold / metallic color used on box and CD body. Previously unseen photos from Berlin recording session and Chamonix included on digipak and throughout the 24 page photo booklet. Non-standard grey gloss CD tray.

David Sylvian/Gone to Earth (remastered) ....double CD $17.99

David Sylvian/Gone to Earth (remastered)

Featuring King Crimson's Robert Fripp, Bill Nelson, and Mel Collins (flute and saxophone sessionsist for Bryan Ferry, King Crimson, Roger Waters, Dire Straits, etc.), Gone To Earth was Sylvian's ambitious double album project moving between atmospherically textured songs and ambient instrumentals, which has now been expanded to a double disc set including 7 additional tracks.  Previously it was only available on CD in the US as single disc deleting several titles found on the original LP.   Packaging: 8 panel digipak with 5th color metallic sepia / gold on digipak and CD body. With instrumental tracks added and includes remixes of 3 tracks. Previously unseen photos (some treated) by Yuka Fujii and also Alastair Thaine photo. Poster booklet using gloss art paper also included. Non-standard sepia gloss CD tray x 2.

David Sylvian/Secrets of the Beehive (remastered) ....CD $14.99

David Sylvian/Secrets of the Beehive (remastered)

A jazz-infused album featuring what many consider to be Sylvian's finest songs featuring gorgeous Ryuichi Sakamoto string arrangements and stunning production work by Steve Nye (recording engineer for Roxy Music and Frank Zappa and producer for Clannad, Japan and XTC).  Packaging: 6 panel Digipak on art board, using duo tone type 4 colors and 5th colors. Incorporating images from original vinyl plus extra photos. Includes poster booklet, off-white CD body and non-standard brown gloss CD tray.

David Sylvian/Alchemy-An Index of Possibilities (remastered) ....CD $14.99

David Sylvian/Alchemy-An Index of Possibilities (remastered)

This newly compiled collection features the gorgeously ethereal "Words With The Shamen" mini album together with several rarities recorded during this period with Ryuichi Sakamoto.  Packaging: 6 panel digipak with 5th colour gold used throughout the artwork plus extra new photo.  4 colour red CD plus non-standard gold CD tray.

David Sylvian/Approaching Silence ....CD $14.99

David Sylvian - Approaching Silence

Music the former Japan leader recorded with King Crimson's Robert Fripp in 1994 in Tokyo. Contains 'Redemption - Approaching Silence', plus two cuts previously released as a limited edition in 1991 as part of the 'Ember Glance' special box package.

David Sylvian/Dead Bees on a Cake ....CD $13.99

David Sylvian - Dead Bees on a Cake

Dead Bees on a Cake is Sylvian's first full length release since his collaboration with Robert Fripp on The First Day and Damage and his first true solo album since Secrets of the Beehive over a decade ago (hmmm, a 'bee' theme going on here!).  Dead Bees features the talents of Mark Ribot, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Steve Jansen, Kenny Wheeler, Bill Frisell, Steve Tibbets, Ingrid Chavez, and many more.

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