Thursday, December 6, 2012

Scott Walker Bish Bosch

Bish Bosch is the third in Scott Walker’s late career trilogy of nightmarish sound constructions produced over the last couple of decades.  Seemingly born in some dark dimension dominated by European literature, 20th century classical, opera, and art film, one whose gods are Beckett, Penderacki, Bosch, Fellini, and  Brel, but is probably actually conceived somewhere in Ohio.  While Walker started in pop these recent creations are closer to 20th century classical and literature.  This album like the other two (The Drift and Tilt) is dominated by difficult and mutating soundscapes filled with lyrics of horror and apocalyptic imagery with an element of farce (rooms full of mice and haunted Jacuzzis make appearances here.) That thin line between complete farce and nightmare, Walker manages to be an equal owner of with David Lynch. Images of shocking violence offset with moments of self-conscious goofing, almost auditory slapstick. When he intones with absolute seriousness on the song “Dimple”, “Dinka Dinka Do”, I actually laughed out loud, maybe at the relief of the tension. All the albums in this trilogy have been the most uncomfortable headphone listening with tense pauses and half heard sounds that should definitely not be heard while half asleep. A rock element is added on this album with stoner metal riffs occasionally descending on a song at moments, all adds to tension and disorientation. This album like its other two companion albums is not for easy or background listening filled creepy atmosphere, gloomy and disturbing images, and discordant sounds, nothing taking the easy route. Many reviewers found this album more comic and carnivalesque then Tilt or The Drift, I laughed occasionally but still found it disquieting. These albums should be approached like literature or film, find time for it, there is nothing else even close to them on this planet. Singular experiences that should be treasured.

No comments:

Post a Comment