Nine Horses: Snow Borne Sorrow

Nenad Georgievski By

Sign in to view read count
Nine Horses: Snow Borne Sorrow There is something amazing, intangible, and inexplicable about David Sylvianâs work. Ever since the demise of his initial band, he has crafted a very successful career by blending his deep and soulful voice with studio sorcery and a bevy of jazz and electronica influences. For Snow Borne Sorrow he assembled a band called Nine Horses, consisting of his brother and a long-time collaborator, drummer Steve Jansen, and Burnt Friedman, an electronic artist with enormous background within that domain.

Snow Borne Sorrow is light years away from his last recording, Blemish, a work that saw him dwelling into the territory of noise, improvisation, and minimalism, but is much closer to its twin sister, Good Son Vs Only Daughter. Snow Borne Sorrow lacks the plethora of artists who participated on the seminal recording Dead Bees On A Cake, as well as its color, but the approach is somewhat similar. It's also similar to another recording, Brian Enoâs Another Day on Earth; it seems that both artists have decided to put their own sound inventions within the familiar, ubiquitous pop format.

Snow Borne Sorrow is a carefully constructed album with great attention to detail. Sylvian is as adventurous as ever, yet relentlessly sober about his experiments, creating detailed and colorful sound worlds pervaded by emotional lyrics—which ultimately give birth to an eclectic mix of unknown sounds that blur any stylistic boundaries. But all of these aspects function perfectly and the structures are organically knit together without any hint of what is played and what is sampled.

While the dense and colorful electronics lay the sonic foundation, the drumming (and electronic beats) are what breathe life into these compositions. Drummer Steve Jansen adds another dimension and different feel to these compositions with his precise and subtle playing and programming. The guest list features Ryuichi Sakamoto, Stina Nordenstam, Arve Henriksen, Morton Gronvad, and more, each and everyone contributing significantly to the overall picture.

The opening track, "Wonderful World," is an emotionally loaded, characteristically accomplished masterwork. "Banality of Evil" is a gorgeous lounge-jazz journey with beautiful deep rhythms and jazzy saxophones in the background played by Thomass Hass and Theo Travis. "A History of Holes" is another standout track. The way the instrumental music on this song serves as a canvas for Sylvianâs soulful vocals is pure genius. "Serotonin" is a strangely cratfted track with nice beats and floaty, echoing melodies. The album closes with "The Librarian," a dreamy, imaginative track with strong and exceptional vocal delivery by Sylvian.

As with Sylvianâs previous work, the story unfolds slowly, but it gets better with every new listen. In the end, Sylvian has delivered an album of rare and meticulous maturity, a work of art literally dense with ideas from the first to the last track. One of the strongest albums of his extraordinary career.

Track Listing: Wonderful World; Darkest Bird; The Banality Of Evil; Atom And Cell; A History Of Holes; Snow Borne Sorrow; The Day The Earth Stole Heaven; Serotonin; The Librarian.

Personnel: David Sylvian; Steve Jansen; Burnt Friedman.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: SamadhiSound | Style: Contemporary/Smooth


More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Los Guachos V" CD/LP/Track Review Los Guachos V
by Budd Kopman
Published: July 1, 2016
Read "Blooming Tall Phlox" CD/LP/Track Review Blooming Tall Phlox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2016
Read "Trajectoire" CD/LP/Track Review Trajectoire
by Barry O'Sullivan
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Aritmia" CD/LP/Track Review Aritmia
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Signature" CD/LP/Track Review Signature
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 17, 2016
Read "District Six" CD/LP/Track Review District Six
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 3, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!