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click opera - Horrorpop!
February 2010
 
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Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 02:43 pm
Horrorpop!

Fuck me, this is terrifying! I've come by The Drift, the new Scott Walker album. Don't ask me how. It's on 4AD. I used to be on 4AD, but that's by the by the by the by. But the thing is, this isn't a pop record, it's a nightmare. It's a horror film, part Cocteau, part Jodorowsky. It's a donkey being slaughtered, it's a sudden screaming orchestra, it's Elmer Fudd jumping out from behind a pillar and turning into a cloud of bees and stinging your face with a million ghoulish obscenities!

In fact, at the first listen that's the main thing you notice. That things jump out at you, like jump cuts in a horror film. Completely unexpected things, things you've never heard on a pop record before. Everything is ghostly, drifty, abstract, croony, brooding -- and suddenly it all erupts into noise, sheer livid horror. Here, in the words of Robert Lowell,

One swallow makes a summer
The moon rises, luminous with terror
We are like a bunch of spiders, all clinging together in a corner and crying


Don't listen to "The Escape" alone late at night! You will die! Don't listen to "Jolson and Jones" while driving! My face is still sticky with web!

If this is a horrific record, it's also an incredibly bold and original one. The clarity of Walker's voice, the strangeness of his arrangements (he claims in this interview for BBC's The Culture Show that he doesn't do arrangements any more, just puts "blocks of sound" here and there) and the startling poetry he comes up with combine to make you think "What the fuck are the rest of us doing with this medium? Why aren't we treating it like sculpture, the way Scott is? There are no rules! Anything is possible!"

The only points of comparison I can think of (apart from Scott's last couple of albums, but even those don't pack this punch) are David Sylvian's Blemish, if it was crossed with horror film "The Ring", or perhaps some people in the francophone tradition; early Brigitte Fontaine or late Leo Ferre, say. To hear it the same evening I saw Barney's "Drawing Restraint 9" was simultaneously perfect and way over the top.

All is strangeness! Spring dies screaming! Art is reborn!

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pirateman
pirateman
Pirateman
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 06:52 pm (UTC)

Whoa! That sounds awesome. I've definitely got to go pick it up... Especially because it would perfectly complement this book I just started reading called Wisconsin Death Trip. That book is crrrreeeeepy. Yeesh!


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(Anonymous)
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 06:55 pm (UTC)

Are you going to do a post on "Drawing Restraint 9?"

Also, how do regular schlubbs (say the ones living in rural Newfoundland) go about seeing Barney's movies? Can you rent/buy these things?


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 06:58 pm (UTC)

I put my impressions of DR9 here. I liked it. Not sure when it'll be available on DVD, but it will be sooner or later. Just don't watch it on an iPod or YouTube, please! You need Dolby 5:1 and a big screen for this.


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sarmoung
sarmoung
The Empire Never Ended
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 07:06 pm (UTC)

I was having a read of ILM earlier and thinking that Momus is a jammy so-and-so for getting his hands on a copy early. I've been having a series of dreams with famous musicians in them recently and Scott turned up last night. Or rather, true to his "low key" status, he didn't. I'd been hired as a mandolin player for his comeback concert in Budapest, but couldn't find the venue anywhere. The dream ended with me seeking a bed for the night and being offered the inside of a furnace. "It's a Jordanian furnace, sir, one of the very finest..."

I can't imagine anything like a mandolin appears on The Drift though. The idea of an album that may make Tilt sound like lounge music has me trembling in both fear and anticipation...


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fortglacial
fortglacial
winter now
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 07:23 pm (UTC)

Am I ever jealous you heard this already! I cannot wait for this to come out. I also hope he'll consider performing this, since it's been such a long time, and (from your descriptions) this could make for a really beautiful live experience.


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jemly
jemly
jem
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 07:49 pm (UTC)

i started my day listening to tilt, actually.

i've been disoriented all day.


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bricology
bricology
bricology
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)

What a marvelous interview! The man seems totally unpretentious.


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cheapsurrealist
cheapsurrealist
Dave Nold
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 08:22 pm (UTC)

The man seems totally unpretentious.

I agree and that's interesting because pretentious is a word that is often used to describe Scott Walker. I have to admit that I have always thought of him as petentious. I'll have to revisit him now.

I'm curious about the song Jesse. Read about it here. The writer talks about America being "unmasked" on September 11, 2001. That's been a Click Opera theme recently and It's a pretty good description of what happened to the US on that day.


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nhennies
nhennies
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 08:20 pm (UTC)

It's truly one of the greatest albums made in the last I-don't-know-how-many years. One thing people never seem to mention about "Tilt" and probably won't about this album too is that the 'horror' is almost always somehow filtered through modern society. In the case of "The Drift", there's 9/11, Elvis Presley's stillborn younger brother, Mussolini's mistress... oh and there's a donkey getting slaughtered.

Absolute genius. I never thought he'd make something better than "Tilt" but here we are. No question about it, it's a masterpiece.


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iamcoreyd
C.T. Dalton
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 08:58 pm (UTC)

Nick, I love you. I got ahold of this album too, and I just -- wow. Album of the fucking year.


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monocat
monocat
monocat
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)

well - I've never bought Scott Walker - but now i'm rather interested - which is the point of the post...


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she_ghost
she_ghost
she_ghost
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC)

oh thanks for the link to the culture show - i was gutted i'd missed that interview. it's delightful to see scott so vibrant..what a nice fellow.
i always imagined he would be more serious and surly than that.
whilst i appreciate everything he has ever recorded, i must admit to longing for those glorious arrangements.
i'm not looking forward to the donkey death.
i wouldn't mind a whole LP in waltz time.

p.s - i would like to thank you for yr smashing contribution to the fotolog book. i was happy (and amazed) to be given a whole chapter (stringbeanjean) and was so chuffed when i found out you'd be part of it too.


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klasensjo
klasensjo
klasensjo
Mon, Apr. 3rd, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC)

Oh, I've been waiting for this one for years. At one point Liz Fraser was going to be on it...no more.
I liked that, in the interview, he threw away the rumours of insanity and the inevitable recluse status. He seemed very sane and in control to me.

First Jandek coming up from nowhere to play live with both guitar and solo piano performances and now this thing comes as a welcome surprise.

When hearing the tiny excerpt on the BBC interview I came to think of another artist, Robbie Basho. Although working more in the primitive guitar field, he possessed a haunting and extremely beautiful voice. I can very much recommend pieces like "Salangadou" and "Pavan Hindustan".
Can't wait for "The drift". I liked your short little piece on it. Very enthusiastic.


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beketaten
beketaten
Juliet
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 12:08 am (UTC)

Hell yes. I've been so excited by this for so long I'm at the point of rapturous insanity.


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dmt81
dmt81
Lorenzo
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 12:52 am (UTC)

Epiphany :-) It will be interesting to see how your own music changes in response to this album.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 12:59 am (UTC)

Well, I've finished "Ocky Milk", so no impact there... except that weirdly enough "abstract / absurdist torch" ended up being the dominant genre of this album, and that's very much the field Scott is in (making travels with a donkey, by the sound of it).

The difference is that I still love melody and couldn't eject it as wholeheartedly as Scott has. He gets away with it because his voice is already so beautiful that he can do torch without any tune to carry; I can't.


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cityramica
cityramica
cityramica
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 06:13 am (UTC)

Fuck me, that is terrifying!


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 07:59 am (UTC)

i'm guessing this aint the same dude....
http://www.emusic.com/album/10866/10866616.html


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lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 09:13 am (UTC)

Hence my initial confusion.


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imomus
imomus
imomus
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 02:22 pm (UTC)

Ha ha ha! The funny thing is that it doesn't sound far from the early Scott Walker, when he did pretty variety-style arrangements! If you slowed it down and angsted it up, and got Mike Flowers to sing instead of Scott, well, Bob's your uncle...


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lord_whimsy
lord_whimsy
whimsy
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 05:42 pm (UTC)

Makes me wonder what one would wind up with if we gave our man George Formby a similar sort of treatment...


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rearwindow
rearwindow
panic in detroit!
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 09:31 am (UTC)

gosh...


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orlog
orlog
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 10:54 am (UTC)

Sounds like fun! When I saw your subject heading though I was startled, because Ive been working on "Horror-Hop"! Sigh.


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tassellrealm
tassellrealm
XWSF Tassell
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 11:07 am (UTC)

What the fuck are the rest of us doing with this medium? Why aren't we treating it like sculpture, the way Scott is? There are no rules! Anything is possible!"


Yes we have no bananas.


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(Anonymous)
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 11:34 am (UTC)

Now I can hardly wait to get this album to my hands...

http://www.phinnweb.org/retro/scott/

Best,
pHinn


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d_g_m
Insert
Tue, Apr. 4th, 2006 01:01 pm (UTC)

Does Drawing Restraint Nine mean that there will be eight more of them like with Cremaster?


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cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
cap_scaleman
Wed, Apr. 5th, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)

Mr. Bungle?


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panarchist
panarchist
Designated Sleeper
Sun, Apr. 9th, 2006 05:45 am (UTC)

I feel that 11 year time-blocs between his albums are not enough - I am still trying to wrap my head around "Tilt". Listened to "Drift" (while driving, actually) and absolutely agree with your euphoric-mortified assessment: I don't think I've heard anything as Massive, as Bone-crushingly Gorgeous as this for a very long time. It is light-years from "Tilt", yet the atmosphere reminded me of his soundtrack to Carax' "Pola X" - particularly that scene in the warehouse squat with 5,000 guitar players led by Sharunas Bartas.


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(Anonymous)
Sat, Aug. 25th, 2007 10:35 pm (UTC)
Friends come? thanks

enter text? test, sorry

dfdf767df




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