Sylvian/Czukay – Plight & Premonition Flux & Mutability 2LP

Front panel
Released at June 22, 2018

Release date:

June 22, 2018 





Originally released separately, they were packaged in a 2CD / 2LP set. This is the 2LP set.

LP one
Plight (the spiralling of winter ghosts)
Premonition (giant empty iron vessel)

LP two
Flux (a big, bright, colourful world)
Mutability (a new beginning is in the offing)

Grönland Records is proud to announce the reissue of one of ambient music’s hidden gems, by two unique musicians whose paths originally crossed in the early-eighties while working on Sylvian’s debut solo album, Brilliant Trees. In 1986, David Sylvian – of British Art-Pop band Japan – and Holger Czukay – founding member and bassist in legendary German Kosmiche band Can – were ostensibly reconvening for Sylvian to record a vocal for Czukay’s forthcoming album Rome Remains Rome. But on arriving at Czukay’s studio – a former cinema in Köln – Sylvian began playing freeform, improvising on readily available instruments located in the studio itself. No sooner had Sylvian, on whatever instrument he’d been applying himself, start to structurally define/refine the performance than Czukay would stop the recording he’d surreptitiously been making. Czukay had attempted to capture the process of creation without a musician’s inclination for refinement. This process, drawn out over two nights, gave birth to the duos first, full-fledged, collaboration, Plight and Premonition.

Having been out of print for some time, the parallels between the original release 30 years ago and now are quite stark; at the time of recording the Cold War was lifting – but still very real – after a bitter winter. The names Plight & Premonition and Flux & Mutability themselves hint at an instability. In Sylvian’s words, the sessions seemed to touch on something: “A form of music that seemed to have been created while we were absent by instruments abandoned to the earth and the woods, sounded by the coarse winter elements.”

The version of Plight & Premonition included here is a remix by Sylvian from 2002. All the recordings have been fully remastered. The packaging has been redesigned by Chris Bigg with art direction by Sylvian with new, previously unseen, photographs by Yuka Fujii, accompanied by an extensive essay by David Toop.


Art Direction – David Sylvian
Composed By, Mixed By, Producer – David Sylvian (tracks: 1-1, 1-2), Holger Czukay (tracks: 1-1, 1-2)
Coordinator [Grönland Edition Coordinated By] – Mareike Hettler
Design – Chris Bigg
Electronics by Karl Lippergaus* (tracks: 1-1, 1-2)
Electronics by Holger Czukay (tracks: 1-1, 1-2)
Engineer by Holger Czukay (tracks: 2-1, 2-2)
Engineer [Technical Advice And Assistance] – Rene Tinner (tracks: 2-1, 2-2)
Flugelhorn – Markus Stockhausen (tracks: 2-1)
Flute [African Flute] – Jaki Liebezeit (tracks: 2-2)
Guitar – Michael Karoli (tracks: 2-1)
Guitar, Bass, Effects [Radio, Dictaphone], Voice – Holger Czukay (tracks: 2-1)
Guitar, Keyboards – David Sylvian (tracks: 2-1), David Sylvian (tracks: 2-2)
Liner Notes – David Toop
Mixed by David Sylvian (tracks: 2-1), Holger Czukay (tracks: 2-1), Rene Tinner (tracks: 2-1)
Mixed and composed  and produced by David Sylvian (tracks: 2-1, 2-2), Holger Czukay (tracks: 2-1, 2-2)
Photography by Yuka Fujii
Piano, Piano [Prepared Piano], Harmonium, Vibraphone, Synthesizer [Synthesizers], Guitar – David Sylvian (tracks: 1-1, 1-2)
Sounds [Infra-Sounds] – Jaki Liebezeit (tracks: 1-1, 1-2)
Voice – Michi (tracks: 2-1)

LP 1 first issued 2002 on the bonus CD with Camphor. The original versions of these tracks were released on Plight & Premonition
LP 2 first issued 1989 on Flux + Mutability

This release is announced as being remastered, but has no credit for on it.
Track durations do not appear on the release.

  • Front panel

  • Inner panels

  • Back cover

  • Sleeve Plight/Premonition front

  • Sleeve Plight/Premonition back

  • LP1, side A Plight

  • LP1, side B Premonition

  • Sleeve Flux/Mutability front

  • Sleeve Flux/Mutability back

  • LP2, side A Flux

  • LP1, side A Mutability

  • The Wire October 2018 review

  • Wire Sylvian Czukay ad


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