1993's Sylvian and Fripp's The First Day surprised many with its hard-hitting sound.
Perhaps closer in spirit to the mid-1990s King Crimson to come than Sylvian's past work, the album boldly fused the accessible and the experimental, and in the exquisite Bringing Down The Light offered the first recorded example of Fripp's contemporary Soundscapes approach.
Robert Fripp guested on David Sylvian's 1986 album Gone to Earth. Sylvian/Fripp evolved as an extension of that collaboration, initially with gigs as a trio with future King Crimson member Trey Gunn on stick, followed by a full length studio album with the addition of Jerry Marotta on Drums, Marc Anderson on percussion & vocalist Ingrid Chavez. The album was recorded by David Bottrill in Woodstock NY and New Orleans.
The album entered the UK Top 30 on release in summer 1993, its eclectic mix featuring short songs, extended, looped funk and rock hybrids surprised and pleased fans of both artists with, perhaps, only the beautiful closing track Bringing Down The Light with its Soundscapes over ambient backdrop washes coming close to that which might have been expected prior to release. A single, Jean the Birdman, was issued shortly after the album and the releases were supported by a full band tour.
Song driven yet leaving ample room for instrumental exploration, The First Day is a great advert for such occasional meetings insofar as it manages to showcase the individual strengths of both artists while drawing something new and unexpected from their joint work.
As such, it is one of the best remembered of the many collaborative recordings by both artists.
1. God's Monkey (4:58)
2. Jean The Birdman (4:09)
3. Firepower (10:25)
4. Brightness Falls (6:05)
5. 20th Century Dreaming (A Shaman's Song) (11:50)
6. Darshan (17:17)
7. Bringing Down The Light (8:31)
- David Sylvian / guitar, keyboards, vocals, producer, tape, performer, mixing
- Ingrid Chavez / vocals
- Robert Fripp / guitar, producer, performer, electronics
- Trey Gunn / stick, vocals - Marc Anderson / percussion
- Jerry Marotta / percussion, drums