Manafonistas

on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2012 26 Okt

Abrasive guitars, digital keyboards and thick silences

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“I’m a pessimist, in that I know it’s not going to end well,” he says, with a laugh. “But most of my songs are spiritual at the core. I try not to be too cynical about things, because it’s too difficult otherwise. You have to be able to work your way through it – you have to be able to see what’s there, and deal with it.”

„Unsurprisingly for a long-­term exile from his native America, Bish Bosch is a great melting pot of clamouring voices and languages, swift scene-­‐changes (the album’s geographic reach covers Denmark, the Alps, Hawaii, the ancient landscapes of Scythia, Greece and Rome, and Romania), time-­‐travelling jump-­‐cuts, and metaphors from medical science and molecular biology that seize you by the throat.

If „The Drift“ was a dark place, full of scorching orchestral textures and ominous rumblings, Bish Bosch is a tauter but more colourful experience, with greater emphasis on processed, abrasive guitars, digital keyboards and thick silences. Scott’s regular producer Peter Walsh, and his regular core of musicians, Ian Thomas (drums), Hugh Burns and James Stevenson (guitars), Alasdair Malloy (percussion) and John Giblin (bass). Guests include trumpeter Guy Barker and pedal steel guitarist BJ Cole, who worked on three of Scott’s mid-­‐seventies LPs.

Musical director Mark Warman plays a prominent role, both as conductor and keyboardist. “If I use the big orchestra I’m using it for noises or textures, or big pillars of sound, rather than arrangements,” Walker explains, adding that the sonic richness was achieved by means of a novel recording technique. “What we did was record the drums, bass, percussion, strings and vocals in digital and analogue simultaneously. Because we knew there were a lot of silences in it, especially in something like ‘Zercon’. And in the endings – the ending of ‘Tar’, where you don’t know what’s going on. So in those spots we just cut off the analogue, and where we had the silences we just used the digital. And then we turned on the analogue again when everyone was playing together. Everything was recorded that way, so it’s about eighty per cent analogue.”“ (Rob Young again)

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