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The Drift  (4AD / Beggars)  mai 2006

Not only will The Drift give you nightmares – IT IS a nightmare.

It's the most horrific, beautiful, disgusting, compelling, repellent, majestic, and frightening record, I've ever heard. To listen to it is to be hustled handcuffed through the architecture of another mans bad, bad dream.

And when it ends as abruptly as a nightmare, it is seemingly without redemption, lacking transcendence, minus any state of grace. The end of the world has, it seems, already happened and here's the mirror in which to view it, boys. Rack up a line of "Black Cocaine" and beat that maggoty meat as the rivers burn and the towers tumble onto churches.

Those of you vaguely familiar with the brand name of Scott Walker may have some vaselined image of a pretty blonde haired boy with an old mans voice crooning romantic ballads to an ornately seductive orchestral backing.

Well, forget it.

That romantic torch singer died in the mid seventies. The records have consequently, been much less forthcoming while increasingly… challenging . But this one is a moonwalk mile away from even the most recent. There have been two other Scott solo records since 1980. The still -life proto pop of 1984's Climate of hunter and the orchestral industrialism of 1995's Tilt.

Both should have killed the widely held image of Scott Walker as a seductive crooner stone dead but still it persists. Maybe The Drift will finally do it. This is no pop or rock record, even compared to the stigmata of Tilt.

The Drift abandons almost utterly the traditional infrastructure of the ballad; verses, bridges, chorus. And is more total for it. By comparison, Tilt still had a paw paw in the conventional, but The Drift seems to bring in a new vocabulary with itself even as it starts to speak.

The militaristic intent and groove of the opener, "Cossacks are" is the least shocking and the funniest. Scott seems to be quoting his own reviews as lyrics and one finds a chuckle in the "Current top ten" line. From here on in though, things become much less familiar. Lyrically, it's as if the singer is a conduit, channelling the voices of those long dead and as yet unborn.

Subject matter ranges from Mussolini and mistress Clara to the "Six foot foetus" of Elvis still born twin Jesse. And then there's the sound of it. Amidst one piece, the ghost of Françoise hardy recites some prose about a trapped swallow. She is accompanied by what sounds like a Native American penny whistle, the sound of a mallet hitting beef and the sound of the man swinging the mallet grunting.

Orchestras flow from rusty faucets flooding the whole tower of song, there is the sound of a panic room being breached, a foal born drowning in an abattoir…there are even some guitars. The 63 year old Scott sings fluidly in a watery neutral tone throughout, recites in a parched speaking voice and even spits at himself in the final song. Willow wisp like, we sense the spirit of Orson Welles, Miles Davis, Burroughs, and Cage.

A squadron of method and spirits assembled for this exercise. In addition, the presence and legacy of 9/11, the holocaust, high mid and low level corruption, armies of rapists, the birth of Rock'n'Roll…all abound through a "musical" landscape less produced and rather, seemingly recorded. The pieces themselves (in reality one whole split into ten) are not so much compositions but more like transcriptions. The effect is less like a film or record and more akin to sitting on stage during some theatre production in hell.

The dynamics are stunning. One moment settled on the hair of a Toe the very next flying above Africa at night. Sound is cued to lyric as with a camera tracking locales in a movie. The orchestra unravels like black magma, mosquitoes cloud your face, bodies hit the plaza around you, while something once called Scott Walker soliliquies straight ahead.

This then is a work to frighten the dead.


A lire aussi sur Froggy's Delight :

Une 2ème chronique de l'album The Drift de Scott Walker

Anthony Reynolds         
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# 17 mars 2019 : Que la culture coule à flots

Tels les litres de Guinness qui ne manqueront pas d'innonder toute l'Irlande et même le monde entier à l'occasion de le Saint Patrick, voici notre sélection hebdomadaire culture qui se déverse dans vos yeux et vos oreilles curieux et gourmands.

Du côté de la musique :

Rencontre avec Frédéric Lo autour de son album "Hallelujah!"
"Data Mirage Tangram" de The Young Gods
"Grand casino" de Manu Lanvin & The Devil Blues
Rencontre avec Mass Hysteria
"Boccherini" de Ophélie Gaillard, Sandrine Piau et Ensemble Pulcinella
"Le dilettante d'Avignon, Jacques Fromental Halévy" de Orchestre Régional Avignon-Provence et Michel Piquemal
"The golden fascination" de Richard Andrews
"10 ans plus tarés" de Fastened Furious
"14th boyz EP" de Fastlanes
King Child, Mouse Dtc, Innvivo dans une sélection de EP et singles
"Iggy Salvador" de Dj Zebra
"Erik Trufaz Quartet en concert à l'Aéronef
Tamino à l'Aéronef de Lille
Patrick Coutin est de retour, à retrouver en concert privé et en entretien
et toujours :
"A la lisière" de Clarika
"La disparition d'Everett Ruess" de Emmanuel Tellier
"Fauré Requiem - Poulenc Figure humaine - Debussy Trois chansons" de Ensemble Aedes, Les Siècles, Mathieu Romano
"Look ahead" de Fred Nardin Trio
"Connecting the dots" de Guy Mintus Trio
"Soistices" de Heaume Mortal
"Just about anything is possible" de Inred
"Mon héroïne EP" de Kyrie Kristmanson
"A walk above clouds EP" de Line
"Arabella EP" de Arabella

Au théâtre :

les nouveautés de la semaine :
"Le Pays lointain" au Théâtre national de l'Odéon
"Qui a tué mon père" au Théâtre de la Colline
"En se couchant, il a raté son lit" au Théâtre Gérard Philippe à Saint-Denis
"Veillée de famille" au Théâtre du Rond-Point
"La Mort (d')Agrippine" au Théâtre Dejazet
"Oncle Vania" au Théâtre du Nord-Ouest
"Anaïs Nin, une de ses vies" au Théâtre Athénée-Louis Jouvet
"Apocalypse bébé" au Théâtre Paris-Villette
"Madame Pink" au Théâtre du Rond-Point
"Philippe Meyer - Ma radio, histoire amoureuse" au Théâtre Le Lucernaire
"Café Polisson" au Théâtre de l'Epée de Bois
"Eldorado Dancing" à la Ferme Le Bel état à Guyancourt
des reprises:
"Place des Héros" au Théâtre Les Gémeaux à Sceaux
"Les Damnés" à la Comédie française
"La Légende de Bornéo" au Théâtre de l'Atelier
"L'Autre fille" au Théâtre Les Déchargeurs
"Je parle à un homme qui ne tient pas en place" au Théâtre de Nesle
"Dans les jardins de Carlos et Nestor" au Théâtre de Nesle
"Les Divalala - Femme, Femme, Femme" au Théâtre Lepic
"Cabaret Siméon" au Théâtre Essaion
et la chronique des autres spectacles à l'affiche en mars

Expositions avec :

"L'Orient des peintres" au Musée Marmottan-Monet

Cinéma avec :

les nouveautés de la semaine :
"Le Corps sauvage" de Cheyenne-Marie Carron
"Leur souffle" de Cécile Besnault et Ivan Marchika
et la chronique des autres sorties de mars

Lecture avec :

"Desh" de Tofépi
"Firebird" de Thomas Harnois
"Guillaume le Conquérant / Léonard de Vinci" de David Bates / Carlo Vecce
"Iggy Salvador" de Antoine Zebra
"Lincoln au Bardo" de Georges Saunders
"Oyana" de Eric Plamondon
"Rendez vous à Samarra" de John O'Hara
et toujours :
"Un certain Paul Darrigand" de Philippe Besson
"Après" de Nikki Gemmell
"Boy erased" de Garrard Conley
"L'ombre de la baleine" de Camilla Grebe
"Les gratitudes / Mon père" Delphine de Vigan / Grégoire Delacourt
"Les suppliciées du Rhône" de Coline Gatel
"Tu finiras clochard comme ton Zola / Nouvelles morales provisoires" de Philippe Val / Raphaël Enthoven"

Bonne lecture, bonne culture, et à la semaine prochaine.

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