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Camphor [Extra tracks, Import]

David Sylvian Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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The David Sylvian that fronted new wave pop band Japan wore luminescent hair and glam make-up; on the cover of his solo debut, 1984's Brilliant Trees, he was stylish and refined, a gentleman popster. But the illustration that introduces 2003's Blemish sends a different message: he's bedraggled and unshaven, his far-off expression turned haunted. The new millennium has seen a more ... Read more in Amazon's David Sylvian Store

Visit Amazon's David Sylvian Store
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Product details

  • Audio CD (15 Oct 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Extra tracks, Import
  • Label: Virgin
  • ASIN: B000066AE0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,225,622 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
After the release of Everything And Nothing, word was that a companion compilation of instrumental pieces was to follow. Though its release was necessarily delayed while Sylvian toured for the first time in five or six years, hopes were high, particularly since many listeners' favorite Sylvian instrumentals have either never been released on CD or have never been widely available.
Camphor, the new compilation, is something of a mixed bag. It will definitely not please everyone.
As a whole, the album sounds great. There is a warmth throughout that was not always apparent on the original releases, and, unlike most records released today, the music here has not been compressed to death in the name of maximum loudness. The Rain Tree Crow tracks benefit the most from the remastering - hardly a surprise, given the circumstances under which that album was originally completed.
The selection is where things get sticky. In this respect, Camphor is neither a best-of disc nor a a rarities collection. Conspicuous in their absence are such tracks as "Preparations for a journey", "The women at the well", "Steel cathedrals", "Words with the Shaman", "Blue of noon", and the four tracks left off of Gone To Earth to enable its release on a single disc. Given that this was Sylvian's last project for Virgin, it seems odd that he wouldn't have taken the opportunity to make some of these pieces more widely available.
There are new tracks available on Camphor. The title track will be familiar to anyone who attended any of the shows on Sylvian's recent tours, or who bought a copy of the tour programme. "The song which gives the key to perfection" will be familiar for the same reasons, though its inclusion over one of the above-mentioned instrumental pieces is a bit of a letdown.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
By Jason Parkes #1 HALL OF FAME
Format:Audio CD
Camphor showcases the instrumental side of David Sylvian's oeuvre, being a compilation of various instrumental directions from 1986 to 2000 (when he parted company with Virgin) As with all compilations, there are many tracks left off, fans will have the majority of tracks here & the various stand-alone albums (Plight&Premonition, Alchemy, Flux&Mutability, Approaching Silence, the second disc of Gone to Earth etc) all work completely...but Camphor does hold together well and showcases Sylvian's ambient-credentials.
As with Everything&Nothing, there are a few new tracks- the title track and Song Which Gives the Key to Perfection- both lovely and probably worth the cost of admission alone (along with the lovely cover, the tinkering Sylvian did as he was about to lose control of his masters & the way Sylvian tries to fashion something new from the catalogue of nostalgia) Perhaps this compilation isn't long enough- nothing from Approaching Silence, The First Day (eg Bringing Down the Light), Words with the Shaman, Bamboo Music, Flux&Mutability, The Stigma of Childhood (Kin) or the wonderful Ingrid Chavez-collaborations on the I Surrender singles...(& it would have been nice to have tracks like Zero Landmine & Linoleum also...)
To repeat myself, the compilation does work very well- perfect ambient music with hints of jazz and world music; Big Wheels in Shanty Town sounds like Peter Gabriel's Passion meets Japan (from the Japan-reform album Rain Tree Crow), while opener All of My Mother's Names is extremely Bitches Brew.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Expect the unexpected 4 Jun 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is the eagarly awaited instrumental retrospective that complements David Sylvian's "Everything and Nothing" perfectly. The two disc limited edition rounds out a remarkable career (thus far) with a set of ambient/instrumental tracks, familiar and unfamiliar, that demonstrate Sylvian's flair for soundscapes. Instead of compiling a disc worth of his most accessible material, he mixes and remixes a program that will surprise and delight, with early melodic material from "Gone to Earth" blending beautifully with the percussive, almost free-form of "Rain Tree Crow", and then into the ether of "Plight and Premonition". The re-mastering works wonders with the latter material, and the newer work simply puts the icing on the cake (so to speak). Thank you Mr Sylvian...not what I expected...much better. This is essential listening.
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Format:Audio CD
This is a wonderfull mainly instrumental issue apart from two vocal pieces that are very intimate and touching. It features from Sylvians backcatalogue but stands on its own feet, and appears as completely new. Several pieces are remixed and gives new perspectivation to the whole plus the several instrumental versions of earlier vocal pieces. It shows Sylvian as musician,
composer and producer.
And a very good one in all 3 categories.
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