Scott Walker – Bish Bosch

Author: Colin | Published: 28/4/13

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Scott Walker - Bish Bosch

Artist Scott Walker
Title Bish Bosch
Label 4AD
Year 2012
Design Philip Laslett; painted words: Ben Farquharson; photography: Davy Evans
Music Extraordinary
Notes A new Scott Walker album is a rare event, the announcement of which is met in some quarters – including this one – with great expectation. Bish Bosch did not disappoint, despite its continuation of sonic and lyrical themes from its predecessor, The Drift, where The Drift was more a quantum leap (dive) from Tilt.

Though it’s thrilling, funny, fascinating and unease-making to listen to, this vinyl edition is a little disappointing and I have to attribute that response to the absence of Vaughan Oliver from this album’s design. Let me say that the cover itself is visually striking, the use of the dripped paint to render the song titles and particularly the album title itself is certainly dramatic. However, after a while it feels a little lacking in subtlety and suggestiveness. The Drift conveyed its darkness perfectly – what the hell was that texture, those colours? Survive the the music and one couldn’t help but imagine it was blood on the walls of a cave, but then one started to wonder about the green…

Bish Bosch’s design is also the result of a process – there are the gestures, the messiness, but they’re less mysterious and are rendered on a background that’s too plain. There’s nothing more to see, it’s just too black and white. I might not be moved to say this, but for the (minor) disappointment of the rest of the production. Again, the Drift’s vinyl edition was done properly: the lyric booklet was printed at the 12″ square size of the record and was all the more visually impressive an object for that fact (a separate, resized version was produced for the CD). 4AD have reused the CD sized booklet this time and it very much lacks the power that a full-sized version would have conveyed. Ultimately it means this vinyl edition feels just a little perfunctory. I may be guilty of nitpicking, it’s just that Vaughan Oliver’s design represents a very high bar and I’m sure it was his involvement that ensured the vinyl edition of The Drift was done properly.

Also Scott Walker – The Drift
Scott Walker – Tilt
Scott Walker – Who Shall Go To The Ball? And What Shall Go To The Ball?


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