David Sylvian

David Sylvian — aka David Batt (born Feb. 23, 1958) — is an English musician, singer, and composer from Beckenham, Kent, best known as the frontman of art-rockers Japan, which he formed with brother Steve Batt (Jansen) in 1974. Between 1978 and 1983, the band released five studio albums and a live double-LP. Upon their disbandment, Sylvian issued two singles circa 1982/83 in collaboration with YMO mastermind Ryuichi Sakamoto.

As a solo artist, Sylvian debuted with the album Brilliant Trees on Virgin in 1984. During the next two years, he issued the cassette EP Alchemy and the half-vocal/half-instrumental double-album Gone to Earth, recorded with guest appearances from Robert Fripp and Bill Nelson. In 1987, Sylvian issued Secrets of the Beehive, followed by two collaborative albums with ex-Can bassist Holger Czukay.


  • “Bamboo Houses” / “Bamboo Music” (1982 • Sylvian – Sakamoto)
  • “Forbidden Colours” / “The Seed and the Sower” (1983 • David Sylvian & Riuichi Sakamoto)
  • Brilliant Trees (1984)
  • Words With the Shaman (EP, 1985)
  • Gone to Earth (2LP, 1986)
  • Secrets of the Beehive (1987)
  • Plight & Premonition (1988 • David Sylvian & Holger Czukay)
  • Flux + Mutability (1989 • David Sylvian & Holger Czukay)

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