If idiosyncratic singer, composer Scott Walker could get any further away from his pop roots from the ’60s than this project, then I couldn’ see how. He last released an album a year ago, a dark dense haunting troubling oddity called Drift, in which he slapped meat in the studio to create percussive textures and utilised his terrifying wounded moans for atmosphere. This is a commission from London’ South Bank Centre for Candoco, a dance troupe with disabled and able bodied dancers. Yet it’s not your traditional music for dance, there are no beats per se, rather Walker adopts a process of integrating abrupt almost violent changes, using strings in much the same way Hermann used them for Psycho, staccato ruptures that pierce the music, creating an edgy uncomfortable atmosphere. This piece is a series of four suites, 25 odd minutes of challenging, at times violent compositions, where we get mournful violin, clanging metallic moments of building intensity, periods of near silence and edgy free jazz with half the instrumentation removed. It’s an unsettling work, yet filled with numerous directions for the choreography to hang off. Perhaps most peculiar is for a man renowned for his incredible vocals, he has chosen not to use them for this project. This is a limited release apparently not to be repressed.
Bob Baker Fish