DANIEL MILLER’S Mute has added yet another string to its bow with the signing of Sylph, whose debut EP for the legendary imprint, Silver As It Was Before, will be out in late May; you can hear the unveiling track, “Braid” below.
Sylph is the solo project of the former singer with South London post-punks S.C.U.M., Thomas Cohen, who’s been quietly questing away in more electrified fashion for a while now, under cover of darkness, so to speak – at least until today.
The manifesto for the Sylph project? To be both psychedelic and collaborative in nature; to be informed by notions of space and congregation, and built loosely around the concept of ‘mass’; to have thrill and zing and a clubby edge.
This first track to escape to a wider audience, “Braid”, is a collaboration with French techno producer Terence Fixmer, and has a real vivacious electric fizz in its heart, which Thomas wraps strong vocal hooks around, making it a high energy dancefloor banger.
“That track was actually written about meeting Terence for the first time, although I haven’t told him that,” laughs Thomas.
“I think I’m always looking for that in-between space, and that is what I’m trying to bring with the vocal on that track.”
A return to the fold for a formerly post-punk prodigal son was always a welcoming prospect – it was Mute, of course, who released S.C.U.M.’s first album, Again Into Eyes, a decade ago. (A decade? What?)
“On this new project I wanted to fuse the singer-songwriter format of having a verse or a chorus with a harder electronic repetition,” adds Thomas of the Sylph aesthetic.
He’s collaborated with not just Terence Fixmer but Regis, Nicolas Bougaïeff and Rrose for a series of club-tinged EPs for release throughout the year; yep, Silver As It Was Before is just the first knockings.
Sylph’s Silver As It Was Before will be released by Mute on May 21st; you can pre-order your copy now, here.