PRINT December 2012

Music: Best of 2012

Rob Young

Carl Kleiner, Instrument 1, 2011, digital print, 15 3/8 x 19 1/8". From Goran Kajfeš’s X/Y (Headspin, 2011).

Can, ca. 1972. From left: Damo Suzuki, Jaki Liebezeit, Irmin Schmidt, Holger Czukay, Michael Karoli. Photo: Hildegarde Schmidt.

1 Scott Walker, Bish Bosch (4AD) A new Scott Walker album is always an event, but with Bish Bosch the American expat extends his dark and exploratory late style, delivering a breathtakingly adventurous record well worth the six-year wait. With harsh couplings of digitized guitars, rams’ horns, swishing machetes, and an orchestra supplying “pillars of sound,” each song is like a Pynchon short story or a Flemish painting of heaven and hell, with subject matter ranging from brown dwarves and vivisection to flagpole-sitters and the execution of Romanian president Nicolae Ceauşescu.

2 Diamanda Galás with KORK (Kanonhallen, Oslo, September 13) Like Walker, this American composer/singer is one of those rare musicians whose work shoulders both historical songwriting conventions and geopolitical horrors. Galás’s one-off performance at Oslo’s Ultima Festival—in a former Nazi

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