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Title: SCOTT WALKER
Description: Climate Of Hunter LP


timonofathens - December 26, 2010 04:49 PM (GMT)
I have been enjoying the mood of this record the last few days.
I knew that he had been cited as an influence by many,
so i looked this up,
as well as his compilation Classics and Collectibles.
I prefer Climate,
as the mood is more like a darker,
moodier,
Walk Across The Rooftops LP.
His voice sounds somewhere between pop and opera,
like the last of the cabaret torch song crooners,
and out of eight tracks,
I believe only four have titles.
The Classics album is great,
too,
just less of what I am gravitating towards the last few days.
Anyone have a recommendation on his work or the Walker Brothers albums?

ronchito - December 26, 2010 07:48 PM (GMT)
scott 4 is my favorite. it was his first solo album without covers. beautiful orchestration and melodies, and the drama is still there but a bit less distracting & heavy-handed than some of his earlier solo albums.

timonofathens - December 27, 2010 02:19 AM (GMT)
Hey! Thanks!

Rollmo - December 27, 2010 11:09 PM (GMT)
Scott Walker!

I came to know of him in the 90's

I was reading an interview with David Rhodes (guitarist, most notably w/Peter Gabriel) who mentioned in the article that he had recently recorded with Scott (Scott Walker - 'Tilt', 1995)

he said that the sessions were some of the 'toughest' he'd ever attended, largely due to the atypical arrangements (including constructing complex and heavy 'sound blocks') and the strange and depressing nature of the work (I'm paraphrasing)

I was instantly intrigued

I found a copy of 'Tilt' on CD at Tower records shortly thereafter, and one late night I brought the CD, a drink and the local music paper to the bedroom and put it on while I read

:30 seconds in, I put the paper down

after the first track ended, I turned the lights down low and finished my drink

I laid there, half-propped on the pillows for almost an hour in silence, just listening

it was a dark, quiet and complete induction into the 'I Am A Lifelong Fan Of The Album 'Tilt' By Scott Walker' club and it had only taken 57 minutes

for years I didn't bother to investigate his back catalog of music - I knew nothing would compare (* nothing does)

eventually, I succumbed to some great CD sales, and managed to pick up 'Scott', 'Scott 2', 'Scott 3' and 'Scott 4' over the years, and I like a few tracks from each (for entirely different reasons, of course, than 'Tilt')

'Climate Of Hunter' showed up in a .99 bin eight or nine years ago, and I grabbed it ('Track Three' is far away my favorite)

of course, when 'Drift' came out (2006) I was there on release day to pick it up - on first pass it seemed too much 'trying to be Tilt II', and I've shelved it and not played it since then until I can shake that feeling

his instrumental CD from 2007 was noisy, cacophonous and (for me) inconsequential

I've tracked down a few other songs of interest over the years (most of The Walker Brothers 'Nite Flights' album) but nothing in my Scott Walker 'collection' is essential

...except 'Tilt'





timonofathens - January 1, 2011 03:32 AM (GMT)
I can always count on the good people of Sproutland for high-quality testimonials!
Tilt and Scott 4 are next on the docket.
I have recently come to really appreciate SW's version of Lost In The Stars.
Thanks again for your memories, chaps.

lonegroover - January 28, 2011 08:54 PM (GMT)
I have all his stuff. Scott 2 is the best one for me, and one I often return to. Of the later stuff - I quite like Climate Of Hunter. I was quite beguiled by Drift for a while, but that wore off. I did find it rewarding, but not one I've wanted to return to since the initial interest subsided. I may try to reengage with it.

timonofathens - January 29, 2011 12:52 AM (GMT)
The variety of opinions is a great sign that my ongoing search for his music will be well rewarded. Thanks!

lonegroover - January 29, 2011 11:24 AM (GMT)
This is my favourite tune from Scott 2. What a voice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZKDNoGYbmw

Despite the subject matter, a nice Bond theme vibe going on.

lonegroover - January 29, 2011 11:35 AM (GMT)
And a corker from Scott 4, about the Russians crushing the Prague Spring in 1968. Scott's voice has a bit of competition from the bass, but wins the day. At this time (and arguably still) best known for his covers, most notably Jacques Brel songs of course, but wrote all of the tunes on that album himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-zgdGQB4S4

I seen a woman, standing in the snow, she was silent as she watched them take her man. Teardrops burned her cheeks, for she thought she'd heard the shadow had left this land

The old man's back again.

Rollmo - January 31, 2011 10:12 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (lonegroover @ Jan 29 2011, 11:35 AM)
And a corker from Scott 4, about the Russians crushing the Prague Spring in 1968. Scott's voice has a bit of competition from the bass, but wins the day. At this time (and arguably still) best known for his covers, most notably Jacques Brel songs of course, but wrote all of the tunes on that album himself.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-zgdGQB4S4

I seen a woman, standing in the snow, she was silent as she watched them take her man. Teardrops burned her cheeks, for she thought she'd heard the shadow had left this land

The old man's back again.

...my absolute favorite from 4, LG!


Why can't they understand?
His mother called him 'Ivan'...

...then she died.


user posted image

James L - February 9, 2011 07:53 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
of course, when 'Drift' came out (2006) I was there on release day to pick it up - on first pass it seemed too much 'trying to be Tilt II', and I've shelved it and not played it since then until I can shake that feeling


You should go back to it. It's a lot more atonal and fragmented than Tilt, which is quite an achievement if you know Tilt. It's takes similar themes but goes further. I like 'Clara' the song about Mussollini's mistress in particular this section:

She entered the Palazzo at night by a side door
To ascend to a lift in the upper floor
She lies on the bed
Looking up not yet seeing
The signs of the zodiac painted in gold
On the blue vaulted ceiling
His enormous eyes as he arrives
Coming nearer in the surrounding darkness
His strange beliefs about the moon
Its influence upon men of affairs
The danger of its cold light on your face
While you were sleeping
She'll eclipse it with her head
Stroke him while he sleeps
Until he has nothing to do among men of affairs
Sometime before dawn
Her bare feet cross the floor
She gazes from the window
At the fountain in the courtyard
Sometimes I feel like a swallow

Such great lyrics and such unusual and chilling subject matter. There are parts of The Drift where you yearn for some respite from the endless atonal music and lyric fragments but it is such a unique listen that I always feel compelled to follow it to the end and there's always something new in it. Like many 'difficult' pieces of art it yields to some time spent with it and is (cliched as it sounds) rewarding. I find both albums open doors into subject matter that I wouldn't have explored if I hadn't heard them.

ronchito - May 11, 2011 01:59 PM (GMT)
Bought 'Tilt' last week after years of procrastinating 'cause I was worried I'd hate his newer vocal style. Boy was I wrong. Wow.

timonofathens - May 16, 2011 03:03 PM (GMT)
In MOJO's Special Limited Edition issue covering all things Smiths, David Sheppard interviewed Johnny Marr, who said this in response to a question about The Smiths might've developed had they not broken up...
"I wasn't trying to turn The Smiths into Kraftwerk! I remember thinking I wanted to do something that was vaguely Scott Walker-ish. Something that we touched on in Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me-something removed from the rock n roll combo thing."

The thought of one last Smiths album, mixing the move towards using more strings, as evidenced in There Is A Light, Girlfriend In. A Coma, and Last Night I Dreamt, matched to more Walker-ish things, and the influence of The Stone Roses and the house scene on everything at the time they'd have made the follow-up to Strangeways, is really exciting to consider. Even MOZZER wasn't immune to dance. Check out Interesting Drug if you disagree.

James L - February 6, 2012 08:55 PM (GMT)
Does anyone happen to have Scott's soundtrack to the film 'Pola X'? (from which 'Light' is taken: http://youtu.be/a3K7LWM90Dk)

Also, this was added to YouTube recently, its from his score for a Royal Opera House production called 'Cocteau Voices' http://youtu.be/jgVKy43Tboc

Rumour is a new album will be released this year.


tommyg#3 - February 23, 2012 09:32 PM (GMT)
I got 'Farmer In The City' free with a music magazine shortly after tilt had come out, and thought it was one of the most brilliant, haunting and beguiling pieces I'd ever heard. but I never bought the album because I heard that that was the stand out track by some way. Howver after Rollmo's comments I've added it to my wish list.

Rollmo - May 7, 2012 07:32 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (James L @ Feb 9 2011, 07:53 PM)
QUOTE
of course, when 'Drift' came out (2006) I was there on release day to pick it up - on first pass it seemed too much 'trying to be Tilt II', and I've shelved it and not played it since then until I can shake that feeling


You should go back to it...

...last month, I did :o



ironically, it was the fact that I finally got around to watching the '30th Century Man' DVD that cinched it

jury's still out to date, but I will say this:

I'm glad I waited

there's a lot to like with 'Drift', but my instinct to give myself some separation from the 'Hey! it's Tilt II, no wait... even better!' noise at the time it was released was good




James L - December 5, 2012 10:31 PM (GMT)

Jesse James - December 6, 2012 07:49 PM (GMT)
I'm guessing the title is a playful spin on Hieronymus Bosch? Similar kind of imagery - the body as a grim joke of farting, puss and slime. Whenever I read reviews I'm often surprised at how much is made of his humour, as if humour hadn't always been a mainstay of this sort of thing.

Anyway, he does this mix of 20th century avant-garde with a pop twist thing very well. Makes me think of where Bjork might go if she lost all her sensuality.

In the spirit of the avant garde and its plans as opposed divine inspiration - someone write a piece that really explores joy, and try to say something original. No, can't do it? Ok, despair, fragmentation and dark humour it is then....again.

James L - December 7, 2012 10:13 PM (GMT)
mmmmm

Jesse James - December 11, 2012 07:13 PM (GMT)
"mmmmm" doesn't even come close, mate. Heard the new Swans album? Same old tired Southern/pagan/misogynstic/gothic imagery tied to the same old post-rock soundscapes, and people are challenged? Seriously, challenged? Now, whether it is well done or not is another question (the grouchy leader bloke can clearly put these ideas together effectively), but why not just admit that it's a pleasant bit of familiarly atmospheric dystyopia to be enjoyed on the Iplayer?

And where the fuck is the avant-garde exploration of joy I asked for, nay, demanded?

you know who. - December 11, 2012 10:44 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Jesse James @ Dec 11 2012, 07:13 PM)
"mmmmm" doesn't even come close, mate. Heard the new Swans album? Same old tired Southern/pagan/misogynstic/gothic imagery tied to the same old post-rock soundscapes, and people are challenged? Seriously, challenged? Now, whether it is well done or not is another question (the grouchy leader bloke can clearly put these ideas together effectively), but why not just admit that it's a pleasant bit of familiarly atmospheric dystyopia to be enjoyed on the Iplayer?

And where the fuck is the avant-garde exploration of joy I asked for, nay, demanded?

interesting, i just re-watched 'Watchmen', and there's a sense in which your phrase 'pleasant bit of familiarly atmospheric dystopia' might apply here too.Wondered whether you find a sense of the 'darkness' and personal, and i guess societal 'disintegration' happening a lot in films too. They're usually far too long. It's as if darkness, smart cultural referencing and being very long somehow make it all more credible. i dunno, maybe joy is just hard to do well.

James L - December 11, 2012 11:20 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
Heard the new Swans album?


No. Is it similar to the Scott Walker album?

Jesse James - December 11, 2012 11:58 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (James L @ Dec 11 2012, 11:20 PM)
QUOTE
Heard the new Swans album?


No. Is it similar to the Scott Walker album?

Not the same misanthropic humour as Walker, more Obamaesque techniques (excessive use of drones), but similar take on artistic integrity as equaling punishment for everyone involved and an almost secular end of days vibe.

I wonder if there's a new trend developing in pop music - a kind of Old Testament sadism/hair-shirt purification. We've had all the slightly off kilter ennui of the Quakers and the Mormons, and now it's full scale Dante's Hell time.

QUOTE
i dunno, maybe joy is just hard to do well.


Well, especially in an original way. I was thinking about modern takes on something like sweetness and light and immediately thought of the Talking Heads in the 80's - they definitely brought out a new dimension to that sensibility. Rustie gets close to capturing modern joy - the joy of shiny Xbox hyper-realities and Iphone fetishes. But, yeah, it's bloody hard to do I reckon.

Mr Tein - December 12, 2012 12:19 PM (GMT)
I went to an Alan Clayson gig recently who was doing an evening of "Chanson de Jaques Brell" one of the biggest selling French artisits of all time. ( even if he is from belgium). brilliant songs ( you may know amsterdam by Bowie). A lot of his work was brought over to the Uk through the sixties by Scot walker. Although he is no Jaques Brell, who most be the most emoting singer ever. Certianly got me into his back catlogue.

Rae - December 12, 2012 07:20 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Jesse James @ Dec 12 2012, 01:58 AM)
QUOTE (James L @ Dec 11 2012, 11:20 PM)
QUOTE
Heard the new Swans album?


No. Is it similar to the Scott Walker album?

Not the same misanthropic humour as Walker, more Obamaesque techniques (excessive use of drones) (...)

:lol: , really just :lol:

Rae - December 12, 2012 07:33 PM (GMT)
This is a really interesting point: Why is avant-garde always dark and tortured? Especially in music? I think you'd have to go back to Moon Dog or probably even Stravinsky to find avant-garde celebrating something like joy and confidence.

It's obviously because anything that comes across as even potentially positive (hooks in pop music, infectious rhtyhms you might even be able to dance to, elegant lyrics, wit and such) is always under a general suspicion of being affirmative, content with the way the world is.

Swans are an excellent example. I'm kind of glad I went to a show of theirs in the mid-90's in Berlin, I guess that was already their first late-phase, because it cured me from dark avant-garde for good. During the show I kept thinking there had to something to it, because a lot of my friends were into it, and because it always seemed kind of brave to embrace something so obviously unpleasant. I even bought Michael Gira's then new anti-Madonna pamphlet or whatever, terrible and indeed misogynist writing. It's all really hollow though. The world is ugly and here's us telling you all about it: that's maybe avant-garde in posture and performativity, but really, it's a deeply reactionary artistic impulse, anti-progress, anti-emancipatory, anti-things-being-in-flux.

Moon Dog, though. And Stravisnky. Sacre, obviously, but also Le Roi des Etoiles. A lot of joie de vivre in Satie. And Debussy, if he still counts as once having been avant-garde.
Pynchon and Philip K. Dick in literature.
Louie C.K. in television.
And: cinematic avant-garde seems to pretty much in the hands of directors who deliberately chose to not see things as terminally dark (cf. Wes Anderson and so on).

qmbcole - December 13, 2012 02:59 AM (GMT)
And with a few posts this thread magically reached for the heights that make this PS site transcendent. Its been rare as of late, but when it sparks and crosses borders like this...

Sublime!

and parts of Vampire Weekend's music give me that AG joy that reminds me of The Talking Heads.

and completely bummed that Louis CK is putting his next season on hiatus :(

Rae - December 13, 2012 07:21 AM (GMT)
QUOTE (you know who. @ Dec 12 2012, 12:44 AM)
i just re-watched 'Watchmen', and there's a sense in which your phrase 'pleasant bit of familiarly atmospheric dystopia' might apply here too.Wondered whether you find a sense of the 'darkness' and personal, and i guess societal 'disintegration' happening a lot in films too. They're usually far too long. It's as if darkness, smart cultural referencing and being very long somehow make it all more credible. i dunno, maybe joy is just hard to do well.

Yes, thank you, those really dark and super-long blockbusters, what's up with that? If there's a big event movie, it has to be dark and depressed: be it 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'Skyfall' or any other big franchise film. And, as you said, they're always always way to long.

It's strange, though: This is total mainstream fare, the record-breaking films are all films that are "familiarly dystopic" and excrutiatingly long. The only explanation I can think of it's that's another proof of the deep-rooted puritanism that's pervading our culture. Art and entertainment can only be thoroughly enjoyed if there's an element of punishment for said enjoyement already involved in the process (thus the excessive length of the films, complete with awful intermissions and the purchase of, as JJ once said, "a box of salt for the price of a small car").

The dystopic element I'm sure is always involved because it has that cutting-edge, faux-avant garde-feel to it; because, as I said, everything positive seems lame and affirmative.

Interesting example for joyful avantgarde in film: Joe Wright's recent Anna Karenina film. Lots of subverting of gender roles, a general celebration of wanting to live and to love and of striving to make the world a better place. Of course the film is avant-garde only within the context of mainstream cinema: it's basically like looking at Tolstoi through a Brechtian lense, so nothing "new." But my point is: The film is very uplifting and ultimately positive, but most people I talked to dismissed it as "kitsch." Again, that's the puritan heritage: Anything that doesn't aim to depress us has automatically to be dismissed as "kitsch," because we long to be punished for what and how we are.

And q, isn't it amazing how Louie C.K. reclaims territories that have been occupied by reactionaries for ages? The way he celebrates a joy of life against a dark background, a joy of life that comes from friendship and loving his daughters: really masterful. Didn't know about the hiatus, too bad.

rock smith - December 13, 2012 12:11 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (Rae @ Dec 12 2012, 07:33 PM)
This is a really interesting point: Why is avant-garde always dark and tortured? Especially in music?

umm,but it's not is it?

Suzanne Ciani 5th Wave... scroll to 2.57 to hear the nearest thing to prefab 'this' year,that's if this is 1982..


Den odplaty

Mala Morska Vila
Director - Karel Kachyňa


Jesse James - December 13, 2012 06:06 PM (GMT)
QUOTE (rock smith @ Dec 13 2012, 12:11 PM)
QUOTE (Rae @ Dec 12 2012, 07:33 PM)
This is a really interesting point: Why is avant-garde always dark and tortured? Especially in music?

umm,but it's not is it?

Suzanne Ciani 5th Wave... scroll to 2.57 to hear the nearest thing to prefab 'this' year,that's if this is 1982..


Den odplaty

Mala Morska Vila
Director - Karel Kachyňa

I agree, it doesn't have to be. The Suzanne Ciani piece is interesting - there was always two sides to modernism - existential despair and a utopian dreaming of the future.

No doubt we're probably in danger of throwing the term avant-garde around to cover surrealism, magical realism and a whole host of other approaches.

Completely agree about the bloated doominess of current blockbusters. I'm not sure I see 'life affirming' art as the sole antidote, unless life affirming also encompasses the tragic (which is certainly life-affirming stuff, although not sweet or elegant). I think the tragic is what lifts some of Wes Andersons work above the usual blank-faced hipster posturing and general "oooh, aren't suburban people freaks!!" sensibility of American indie films (Napoleon Dynamite thinks putting a big black woman and a white geek together is quirky...err, so does 'Road Trip').

But 'life affirming' can, at times, mean smug, self congratulation, as in that vile load of euro-tripe 'The Lives Of Others'. The worst sort of artistic experience isn't watching something ineptly made, or even derivative, but watching something that alienates you, something that purports to take on important issues and Disneyfies them (beautiful bourgeois couple vs fleshy prostitutes and pale, skinny bureaucrats - the Cold War reduced to the clash between the humanism of western art and Eastern European barbarism). The only function of that film is to come out congratulating yourself - they should have called it How The Other Half Lives. Hitchcock, I think, famously said the only duty of the artist was not to bore the viewer, but I'd say alienating them deserved a whole new circle in hell. I'll take dystopia over that - at least dystopia has achieved the basic throw away function of pornography now, like rom-coms, no ones asking you to invest anything in it.

But, I also enjoy films that capture a kind of sweetness and light - A Month By The Lake is brilliantly put together little film. I can't imagine how you'd go about doing something like that. I'm not saying I could create works as distinctive as Bish Bosch or the new Swans album, but I'd know exactly how to start and where the nuts and bolts are. But then I'm a member of generation clunk.

James L - December 13, 2012 08:00 PM (GMT)
Bish Bosch is a really difficult listen. I love Scott's records, the 4 eponymous 60s albums, Nite Flights, Climate of Hunter, Pola X, Tilt, The Drift. With the latest one I find myself listening to one track each day to see what they are about. A couple are so long its hard to hold them in your head as a single piece (a little like listening to Kate Bush's last album) and the effect is often that of having picked up an odd late night radio station playing a very disjointed play. But a few listens reveals little bits of tune that link up with other parts, some of sounds like Eno's 'On Land' ambient record, and there's a light/thin quality in the way the instruments are recorded that for me evokes space rather than darkness. However I think the album has to be the end of the line for these kinds of recordings as he's almost approaching self-parody in places. I was hoping this John Adams-like piece that he wrote last year for an adaptation of a Cocteau play would bring an album of less anguished work but perhaps that's for another day?

http://youtu.be/jgVKy43Tboc

Jesse James - December 13, 2012 09:38 PM (GMT)
QUOTE
But a few listens reveals little bits of tune that link up with other parts, some of sounds like Eno's 'On Land' ambient record, and there's a light/thin quality in the way the instruments are recorded that for me evokes space rather than darkness.


I agree, in that I don't think Bish Bosch is portentous in a way a lot of the 'dark' sensibility tends towards (it's too misanthropic to bother portending anything for us), it's the way it draws on the avant-garde spirit which is so old hat.

Someone whose work I really like, who might be classed experimental at least, is this bloke on Youtube called VicLowenthal. He takes video tape recordings and then reharmonizes them. Sometimes very funny, sometimes strangely moving:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=566dVyWzClY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WDizMnmtl_k...V1PjRJQ&index=5

Still, Reich got there first.

James L - December 14, 2012 12:41 AM (GMT)
This is worth a listen from Scott and Jarvis Cocker http://youtu.be/PSLV0JAt8tQ

rock smith - December 14, 2012 02:56 PM (GMT)
cheers for all the links...Epizootics! sounds like early 70's space rock/80's Fall /modern drone sludge heavy rock with bits of Robert Graettinger.Not even heard all of the record yet,but it must be the album of the year...

Jesse James - December 14, 2012 06:52 PM (GMT)
Album of last century you mean.




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