Scott Walker + Sun O))): Soused (4AD)

 |   |  <1 min read

Scott Walker + Sun O))): Brando
Scott Walker + Sun O))): Soused (4AD)

Scott Walker's setting a breathless pace these days: it was usually a decade between albums but after The Drift (06) just six years before Bish Bosch and now only two years since that typically demanding, commanding art music.

For newcomers, London-based American-born Walker was the romantically brooding baritone on Walker Brothers pop hits in the Sixties, moved towards European music, and in the past three decades has intermittently released challenging albums of declamatory operatic-like (melo)drama in imaginative sonic settings with often impenetrable lyrics. Albums either grip you vice-like or you snicker at their pretension and often comic portentousness.

I'm mostly among his admirers and this – comparing only to his own work, of course -- is quite something.

With LA metal-noise merchants Sun O))) and guests providing buzzing sonic backdrops and chasms of disconcerting but melodic noise, Walker has appropriately claustrophobic, consistent and atmospherically uncomfortable settings for his emotionally dense and abstract poetics.

If there's a problem it's that his subjects – the emotionally damaged Marlon Brando, the massacre of innocents, unspoken fetishes – all get similarly stentorian delivery which leavens out nuance.

That said, this inspired collaboration across five long pieces counts among his best. Unlike anything you've heard before . . . unless it came from Walker.

A box set of Walker's earlier career is considered here and there is a lengthy archival interview with him here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

An Emerald City, An Emerald City (Monkey Records)

An Emerald City, An Emerald City (Monkey Records)

This extraordinary four-track EP by an Auckland band which is long on instrumental elegance and very short on pretention is a diamond, and like a precious gem you can turn it many ways and... > Read more

Various Artists: Native America Calling; Music from Indian Country (Trikont/Yellow Eye)

Various Artists: Native America Calling; Music from Indian Country (Trikont/Yellow Eye)

A few Native Amercans have appeared previously at Elsewhere: the late jazz saxophonist Jim Pepper has an Essential Elsewhere album with Comin' and Goin'; the activist, poet, singer and actor John... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

ROBERT PLANT CONSIDERED (2014): The sensational space and song shifter

ROBERT PLANT CONSIDERED (2014): The sensational space and song shifter

Exactly 20 years ago Robert Plant finally found a clear path out of the shadow of Led Zeppelin, and ironically it involved embracing the music of his former band. Two years after the end of the... > Read more

NZ EPs by Shani.O

NZ EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases by New... > Read more