By Marc Weingarten
Updated April 02, 1999 at 05:00 AM EST

Texture and atmosphere trump songcraft on nearly all of Sylvian’s albums. On Dead Bees on Cake, this longtime cult figure and former member of the band Japan envelops his gooey romanticism within the silky folds of gently bobbing arrangements. But Sylvian isn’t just another New Age somnambulist; his chill-out aesthetic also finds a place for knotty jazz arrangements that echo Bitches Brew-era Miles as well as some tantric trance beats from Talvin Singh. Sylvian may ride a mellow vibe, but he’s not asleep at the wheel. B+