Epizootics - Scott Walker
You want to know how far he went?
Here he is 3/4 of the way, from his 2012 album Bish Bosch, by now one of his more accessible tracks, part opera, part Finnegan's Wake; part wave of dreams and scary with it, jazzy as hell, contemplating the abyss while hanging onto the tube ceilingstraps.
"Mama Neigho was frightened by Hawaiians when all the veins ran out when too much bone structure went missing she thumbed the galleon Cacafuego forsook the eyebrows climbing into greasy black hairlines narcrotic leis yanked down around the melianomed ankles their putrid petals dropping erasing the white shoes like a face being eaten by a jungle slabs of steam tables whiffing of onions and roses haunted jacuzzis churning all night the native bods squealing B-flat like choirs of pigs seeking revenge for stolen insulin...."
- the backing very reminiscent of Joni Mitchell's "Jungle Line" from her 1975 "Hissing of the Summer Lawns" album - it is so satisfying after three or four years to suddenly remember where you got the same musical feeling - and that is one of the many joys of Walker, new pleasures keep revealing themselves with every listen -
now the unsettling trumpets and cymbals, and fabulous drum rhythms, constantly re-arranging the shape of the song, and on it goes, exotic image after exotic image:
.....Let Michelangelo tip-toe around in his dogskin boots shhh... the powder on a chalky bosom rises and hangs in the air clouds crawling through protracted blue like souls of insects from threshing haze the scent of spider lilies....."
then the voices.......the armageddonic mash, then silence,
"...knock me, boot me down in the land of darkness"
and a smidgeon of hope:
"sweet Leilani heavenly flower"
If you surrender to his immersive music, he is nearly always rewarding, nearly always exhilarating. The fact that the "nearly" represents the risk you take in listening to him, makes it all the more exciting.