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Edward Ka-Spel – The Victoria Dimension

Beta-lactam Ring

Edward Ka-Spel - The Victoria DimensionThis has got to be Edward Ka-Spel‘s most introspective album to date; some would say business as usual, another party political broadcast from the inside of Edward’s head. Words held in tea-stained sepia and dust-choked webs, hints of jaded melody creeping out of the inky gloom, like threadbare playthings that have seen better days. Yep — definitely business as usual, and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

“Limburgia” eases you in with the soft canter of bongos and a slip-disc of key strokes, all chip-wrapping a monologue concerning some mining accident that frays into festering unrealities that sound fatigued, stonewashed. To which “Red Highway” ups the anxiety in industrial tensiles and a visceral thrashing of cane against aluminium railings that gets you

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Edward Ka-Spel – Tanith And The Lion Tree

Cold Spring

Edward Ka Spel - Tanith and the Lion TreeTanith and the Lion Tree revels in that rich and sumptuous world Edward Ka-Spel has carved for himself, one where the surreal becomes vivid, a vibrant play of words that like Kenneth Anger’s pleasure dome inaugurations, slowly unfold, ensnaring you in simmerings of dark fascinations. Tastes that jump from macabre to tender heart felts, from spite to cheerful jaunts of observation. Nuggets that refuse to give away their journeys end, delight in leaving resolutions dancing around in the listeners mind whilst the music slickly entertains a multitude of possible atmospheres, poking at the aura of each song in a prism of pleasing dimensions, stage sets. His words impart a strange narcotic, an alluring hypnosis of language, like something trapped in

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Edward Ka-Spel – Ghost Logik

Rustblade

This is like a spider’s web of sonic backgrounds, songs hanging to the sticky radials like cocooned insect, trapped meals in the spectral dust of some netherworld. The title may give it away, but this happily avoids any chain rattling cliché.

“Throwing Things” is probably the only complete song here that bears the greatest Legendary Pink Dots hallmark. Although definitions between solo and band are often mercurially blurred affairs, this is a gorgeous avant-pop nugget floating out on a glissando duvet of a backing, so catchy, I kept having these slo-mo visions of last year’s London riots whilst singing along, “I’m throwing things, I can’t help it, that’s the mood I’m in,” that distinctive southwest accent purring through your lobes. “You stand transfixed,” he continues, “so

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Dead Voices On Air – The Bowles Given/MzMz LalaLa (20th anniversary collaborative 7″ singles)

Tourette

To celebrate 20 years of Dead Voices On Air, Mark Spybey is in the process of releasing a series of 7″ singles in cahoots with a variety of friends and accomplices. The first appears under the name MzMz LalaLa, and consists of Spybey and Simon Fisher Turner.

Together, the two sides of the 7″ offer glimpses of passing soundscapes in almost haiku form, so (seemingly) brief is their span – seemingly, as the A-side is in fact a shade of five minutes in length. “For Peace” features piano becoming progressively cut up and disrupted by snippets of words and sounds of warfare and/or crisis snatched from the headlines, and the rippling beats which slot briefly into place chug in with a confident swagger. But nothing is let to hold in place for long, as the wind-whipped recordings from the

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Edward Ka-Spel – Angelos Obscuros

Label: Beta-lactam Ring Records(US)/Beta-lactam Ring Records(UK) Format: CD

Angelos Obscuros - sleeve detailIf this recording of Edward Ka-Spel and Hero Wouters live in concert in Amsterdam’s noted/notorious Paradiso Club in May 1985 still sounds weird sixteen years later, just imagine what it must have sounded like then. Under a throbbing, scuttling digital percussion send off in post-Kosmische rhythm loops, surrounded by a whirl of effected keyboards and analogue lo-fi electronics, the contrast to the underground, let alone mainstream vocal synth music emerging at the time is still remarkable.

As Ka-Spel’s alternately disturbing and charismatic voice sweeps across the gamut of possibility the keyboard and drum machine offered in the mid-Eighties, several moods are proposed, offered, run through. Light and darkness of human emotions flow from the mournful optimism of “Even Now” to the duet with Bianca Wouters on “Hotel Blanc” where the misery of

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Edward Ka-Spel – Red Letters/The Scriptures Of Illumina

Label: Caciocavallo Format: CD

Edward Ka-Spel - Red LettersIt is daunting to say the least to be assigned reviews of one of my most top favourite aritsts. I have spent the better part of a cold day indoors listening to these two albums on repeat and I don’t hesitate to tell you it has been a bit of a long winter’s brain-fuck. To me every little thing that Edward Ka-Spel works on turns out near genius or beyond. He is a man who can speak almost casually with the inner soul, with the subconcious, with the maddest parts of one’s nature. Like the good prophet he is sometimes called, he can take volumes of lyrics and turn them into words that seem so familiar that they must be truths, the

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An interview with Edward Ka-Spel

Along the Dotted Line…

12th December 1999

The Legendary Pink Dots are a phenomenon, producing a seemingly endless stream of deeply intense records and genuinely spellbinding live shows for nearly twenty years, initially as a London-based group and for more than a decade now from their Nijmegen base in The Netherlands. While former days on mammoth independent label Play It Again Sam in Belgium produced widespread distribution for a series of classic albums, it also had all the negative aspects of association with the near-majors; the linking of sales to popularity and promotion to potential Indie chart success. For a while the band were in small-scale, own-label limbo, before the saving graces of Brainwashed‘s excellent LPD internet site and the support of first Staalplaat in Amsterdam, and then Soleilmoon in Portland, Oregon restored and replenished their status as one of the most strangely neglected of Britain and Europe’s true

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The Legendary Pink Dots/Edward Ka-Spel/Twilight Circus (live)

The Metro, Chicago 11 November 1998

There I was, freezing my proverbials off outside the Metro club here in da windy city. My cigarette was burning ridiculously quickly as the icy north breezes fanned it and made me all annoyed… but say la vie (as the French c’est). I was waiting in line to see a line up which included – in order of appearance – Twilight Circus of Dub (i.e. Legendary Pink Dots’ percussion and bass man), The Edward Ka-Spel Psychedelic Orchestra (i.e. Pink Dots front man and synth driver) and The Legendary Pink Dots (no surprises there then).

The manic chappie Ryan Moore who makes up the TCOD whirled dervishly round the stage like… something or other… Oh, I know! A whirling dervish. He commanded us to “Relax” and played Theremin at us whilst deep bass noises emanated from the sound system. Then, wrapping feather boas round several

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Edward Ka-Spel – The Blue Room

Label: Soleilmoon Format: CD,Limited 2LP

Edward Ka-Spel - The Blue Room sleeve detailIn his inimitable style, master mythologer and spinner of eerie Millenial tales for The Legendary Pink Dots here presents some further solo efforts. There’s the hissing, steaming clockwork music box of “Supper At J’s” with unsettling reflections on the state of virtual 1999, which rises and falls from song into semi- orchestral concrète-samplescapes as the lead-in for an album which includes the disturbingly groovy “Cause and FX”, with its misguided protagonist with his “cute Colt .45/splits a mole-hill from a mile” and a penchant for saving the world, whether it wants it or not. Edward Ka-Spel knows his psychopaths as well as he knows his lyrical dreamers, and The Blue Room features several of each.

The arrhythmic drum machine and mocking New Ageisms of “A Roman Candle” combines scathing, sardonic half-believed

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