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Sylph (1992)

Credits: 

Words and music by Jeff MacKey
except Silence Broken by Daniel Johnson and Jeff MacKey
Mixed and produced by Christopher Colbert and Writ on Water
Engineered by Christopher Colbert, David Hackbarth and Greg Kemble
Mastered by Doug Doyle
Original Art direction by Matthew Fletcher
Re-issue art direction by Daniel Johnson
Special thanks to James E. Fox and Charles Fox

Jeff MacKey: Vocals, guitars, piano, keyboards, drum programming, bass
Daniel Johnson: Bass, guitars, vocal, tape manipulation, bottle smashing
Miles Williams: Guitars
Joel Hughes: Drums, guitars

Band Notes: 

Sylph was recorded in the summer of 1992 as our first—and only—release for Blonde Vinyl. We found out only recently that this proved to be the final album released by Blonde Vinyl prior to its untimely demise. We are thankful that it found its way out just in the nick of time.

September 1999 – Opus

“...one of the best post-punk records I’ve ever heard. Perfectly blending the edginess of Joy Division with the somber atmospheres of The Cure a la ‘Faith’ or ‘Disintegration,’ it’s a shame that this album has not been more widely acclaimed than it has. Other comparisons include shoegazing bands like Pale Saints, as well as the classic 4AD sound, back when they were putting out stuff like This Mortal Coil... At times, it wanders into brief avant-garde experimentation, but even that is well done, building up tense atmospheres. As a whole, the album is beautiful, in a dark way that doesn’t come off as being ‘woe is me’ or existentially nonsensical. Very nice.” (View the full review here.)

November 2000 – Flaming Fish

“Writ on Water is a somber drenching of guitar distortion. The lyrics are meloncholy yet hopeful. There are many influences to be seen from The Cure to Cocteau Twins and even Slowdive. The album begins with an ambient guitar instrumental. Then voices are added on the second song. Then the tempo begins to build. The music builds to the middle of the album with a post-punk crescendo of screaming and noise guitar a la Wire. The album then slowly calms down and ends with another ambient guitar instrumental. It is simply beautiful.”

Amazon.com editorial review

“One of the best post-punk groups, this band comprised of Jeff MacKey, Daniel Johnson, Joel Hughes, and Miles Williams, provides a perfect blending the edginess of Joy Division with the somber atmospheres of The Cure a la ‘Faith’ or ‘Disintegration’ (this album certainly deserved greater acclaim than it received).”