Former Japan band member and regular David Sylvian collaborator Steve Jansen releases his astonishing solo album on Samadhisound this Autumn. On Slope, tension underlies the crisp rhythms and intricate programming, while a collection of distinctive vocalists draw out the sentiment and expression in his songwriting. As Jansen explains, 'with this album I approached composition attempting to avoid chord and song structures and the usual familiar building blocks. Instead I wanted to piece together unrelated sounds, music samples, rhythms and 'events' in an attempt to deviate from my own trappings as a musician.' The album features guest contributions from Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Thomas Feiner, Anja Garbarek, Nina Kinert, David Sylvian, Theo Travis and Joan Wasser (Joan As Policewoman). Presented as ever in a beautiful digipak featuring exquisite artwork from Australian artist Dan McPharlin and designed by Chris Bigg.
This debut from former Japan drummer Steve Jansen is as intriguing as it is unclassifiable. Featuring guest vocalists who include his brother and long-time collaborator David Sylvian, and the delightful Nina Kinert, Slope is an extended experiment in forms: electronic minimalism, blues, jazz, even pop. Jansen doesn't sing, nor is he a notable lyricist (he tends to leave the words to his brother). But he is a remarkable programmer and sampler, an electronic composer as interested in formlessness as he is in form, in the value of silence as much as he is in sound. - Guardian
Steve Jansen (programming); Tim Elsenburg (vocals, guitar, fender rhodes); Theo Travis (wind instruments); Nina Kinert (vocals); Anja Garbarek (vocals); Thomas Teiner (vocals, mandolin, samples); David Sylvian (vocals, guitar); Joan Wasser (vocals, violin); Bratislava Movie Orchestra