Album: Scott Walker

And Who Shall Go to the Ball? And What Shall Go to the Ball?
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The Independent Culture

"It will never be repressed," says the press release for this four-part instrumental piece, leaving one puzzled about the implied censorship. Has our legislation-crazed Government banned avant-garde music in public places, or something? Or is it just 4AD's attempt to drape portent around an album which, even by Walker's standards, is uneasy listening?

A contemporary dance score commissioned by the South Bank, it builds from a low electronic throb punctuated by snarls of white noise or cello, through passages of furtive woodwind, rumbling bass and distraught violin, to a finale in which cycling strings collide fruitfully with clanging percussion. Working on the contrasts between silence and cacophony, the tone is at once frantic and funereal, and frustratingly abstract without the choreography. The jagged nature of the music, Walker says, reflects the way our bodies break up the space around them, an idea informed by questions like: " How much of a body does an intelligence need to be potentially socialised in an age of ever-developing AI?" Well, quite.

Download this:'Part Three', 'Part Four'