Manafon, the new album from David Sylvian, won’t be out until September 14th, but advance listens to the songs indicate that it’s yet another step in his de-evolution from the 80’s glam-pop of his original band Japan through the moody, atmospheric soundscapes of solo albums such as Secrets of the Beehive, arriving at a most minimalistic state. The new songs include some musical accompaniment, but it’s almost like the players are simply breathing in and out, playing at the speed of nothingness, and Sylvian’s unmistakable voice is the mellow focal point, as always.
The concept in play is free improvisation, and Sylvian has made use of instrumentalists versed in this kind of minimalist note-playing for Manafon. The process itself became part of the story of the recording, and a documentary about it, Amplified Gesture, is included in the deluxe edition of the album. Curious? here’s the trailer for the doc, plus a video for “Small Metal Gods.”