on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2012 30 Nov

Another praise for Bish Bosch

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Comments off

The title of Scott Walker’s new album alludes playfully to both the nonsense poetry of Edward Lear and the apocalyptic paintings of Hieronymus Bosch, describing the exuberant experimentation of his fourth solo album in four decades. The final part of a loose trilogy of Tilt (1996) and The Drift (2006), it’s also the best of the maverick singer-songwriter’s solo career, achieving his most successful mishmash of words and music in a stream-of-consciousness collage, equal parts sound poem and art music.

Walker’s protean and layered songs combine acoustic instrumentation, dissonant electronica and found sounds (clashing machetes, wailing shofar, tumbling marbles) with fragmented melodies and elliptical locutions, all held in exquisite dynamic tension by his signature dramatic croon. Bish Bosch is jarring and lyrical, at once beautiful and uncompromising. (Jocelyn Clarke, The Irish Times)

What is the title Bish Bosch trying to communicate? Is Scott Walker trying to suggest that this material was tossed off in an afternoon? Or maybe it’s ironic, as it is so onerously and meticulously stitched together. No, this reeking pot of liquor, boiled down bouillon of farts and gonad (seriously, check the lyrics), is a playful beast, and not at all miserable. Bish Bosch (Bosch doubling as reference to the 15th century painter of phantasmogoria) is the sound of ones shit being slapped up on a wall writing the words ’Har fucking har’. It’s Lear at the height of his infantile madness in the wind and rain. Walker is a man out of time, utterly free of financial confine (we truly hope) and here he commits the lyrical ravings of a brain in liquid suspension, committed to spinning questions around itself into infinity, utterly lost in a reverie of its own logic. A brain with no body, the utter defeat of Cartesian mind body duality. The elements are very discrete and simple, a percussive thump and disconnected bowed tones, silence, loud and quiet volumes (think you know dynamic range….well check this for VERY LOUD then VERY QUIET). This can very happily be filed alongside Diamanda Galas, Stockhausen or Harrison Britwhistle which is where Walker surely sees himself. Not that we think he cares. An living enigma. (Julian Tardo, bowlegsmusic)

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