The former Japan man's best work since 1984's Brilliant Trees

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David Sylvian – Blemish

This was unexpected. On this album, Sylvian essentially improvises eight songs as he goes along, and is mostly alone, emotionally naked. Throughout, a grievous if unspecified sense of loss is expressed (encapsulated in the 14-minute title track). Astonishingly and brilliantly, three tracks find him working with improv guitar god Derek Bailey, whose gnarled pluckings are given a startling new environment in which to flourish (“The Good Son”). “Late Night Shopping” is a blissful ode to non-existence, while Sylvian’s musings on life, love and death are beautifully resolved by the coda “A Fire In The Forest”, where Christian Fennesz’ electronics encourage Sylvian to reconnect with the world. An extremely moving and potentially radical record.