As a body of work I think it’s the best that David and I have produced together in our joint history, which is to say that the last thing we did together was our best work. Possibly then a good note to end on? It eclipses anything else by a long stretch but that’s from the perspective of someone who has progressed musically and isn’t harking back to material for nostalgic reasons or to music catering to the individual expression of band members. We knuckled down to making music that represented our state of mind and it was never about individual performances. Friedman was a great curve ball on that project and is immensely talented both creatively and as a technician.
In working with me David probably feels a certain liberation and is less compelled to explore the darker corners of his own creativity, as am I, because it’s too personal for collaborations (we touched on that with Playground Martyrs from my solo album ‘slope’ but it was a sentiment we shared as school children), therefore this comparatively lighter approach makes for a more accessible music and I can certainly see why people would find that easier to digest than the more abstract albums. But then they are never meant to be compared as they are saying very different things.
I sometimes feel the need to point out that 9H is not a Sylvian album, and that material contained on that record I’d written for my solo album, as was also the case for Friedman, so it was indeed a true three-way collaboration. That needs to be taken onboard and to not then compare 9H with ‘David’s stuff’ because it actually isn’t his stuff, he played his part in it.