Plight & Premonition

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Plight & Premonition
Sylvian & Czukay - Plight and Premonition.jpg
Studio album by
Released1 March 1988
Recorded1986–1987, Can Studio, Cologne
GenreAvant-garde, ambient
ProducerDavid Sylvian, Holger Czukay
David Sylvian chronology
Secrets of the Beehive
Plight & Premonition
Flux + Mutability
Holger Czukay chronology
Rome Remains Rome
Plight & Premonition
Flux + Mutability
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic4/5 stars[1]
Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[2]

Plight & Premonition is the first of two collaborative albums by English musician David Sylvian and German musician Holger Czukay. It was released in March 1988.[3]

Czukay had come to prominence in the 1960s with the experimental rock group Can, while Sylvian was the former the frontman of the UK new wave group Japan before embarking on a solo career.

The music on Plight is ambient, making extensive use of 'found sounds' from a variety of non-traditional sources. It consists of two instrumental tracks, both of which are over 15 minutes long. The album peaked at no.71 in the UK albums chart.[4]

Although recorded late in 1986, Sylvian and Czukay completed Premonition together quite soon after the session in February 1987. The compositions were not released until March 1988 by the low budget subsidiary of Virgin that specialised in experimental compositions, Venture Records.

The tracks were later remixed by Sylvian and issued on a limited bonus disc with his 2002 compilation album Camphor. These remixes were used for a 2018 re-release by Grönland Records of a double album set combining this album and Flux + Mutability, their subsequent 1989 release.[5]


Sylvian said about the album 2012: [6]

"We didn't plan to make an album together. Holger Czukay actually invited me to Cologne to put a vocal on a track for an album that he was recording. And the first night that I arrived it was late in the evening. He suggested we have dinner, and we came back to the studio and I just sat down and started playing. And I just walked around the room from instrument to instrument and I wasn't always aware of what he was recording, and that's really the way that he likes it.

As soon as the performance became too self-conscious, he'd wait for me to start up with something else. It was created over a period of, I think, two nights, possibly three. I never got to record the vocal for him because it was time for me to leave at the end of that period, but we'd come up with something far more interesting, I think, in the process."[7]

Track listing[]

  1. "Plight (The Spiralling of Winter Ghosts)" – 18:30
  2. "Premonition (Giant Empty Iron Vessel)" – 16:21


Album produced by David Sylvian and Holger Czukay.

  • Yuka Fujii – design, photography (assisted by Icon, London)
  • Mekon – artwork


  1. ^ Plight & Premonition at AllMusic
  2. ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press.
  3. ^ "". 1 April 2021.
  4. ^ David Sylvian the official charts
  5. ^ "Grönland Records Announce Reissue of Seminal Ambient Records by David Sylvian & Holger Czukay". Retrieved 25 September 2018.
  6. ^ "david-sylvian-interview". 1 April 2021.
  7. ^ "david-sylvian-interview". 1 April 2021.

External links[]

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