Edward Ka-Spel, frontmen benda The Legendary Pink Dots
objavio je lani dva albuma kojima je vaša podsvijest sastavni dio, iako vi o tome ništa ne znate i autor vas nije pitao za dopuštenje. Ka-Spel stvara muzičke softvere koji poput virusa uskaču u vas i od onoga što tamo nađu stvaraju šapćući strojno-ambijentalni protokol za krađu vremena.
Perhaps by now no-one should be surprised at Edward Ka-Spel producing two outstanding albums in a single year (as it is, he’s brought out three others in 2012 that i haven’t yet heard, so for all i know there may be more). The latter is a lengthy five-part exercise in textures fashioned from drones, electronics & field recordings—nothing terribly noteworthy about that, but the subtlety of Ka-Spel’s work is breathtaking, & his ability to keep sounds just beyond the point of recognition is magnificent. The former album is even more impressive, expanded by vocal layers (sung & spoken) & an astonishing bonus disc featuring four ‘Spectrescapes’ that tip everything into ineffable territory. - 5against4.com/
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 fetching with your crucifix, still I’m throwing things,” goes that mischievous voice as ambiguity opens out into the possible chill of poltergeist activity. A chill that permeates most of the other tracks, Edward Ka-Spel delivering his observation with a whispered, semi-opaqueness, words savouring every detail like some magnified eye peering into a dissected animal’s innards. You can almost feel a salivated tongue skipping the syllables as the ordinary is often twisted into the extraordinary. The ambiences folding round the wordplay in waif-like candy; electronic burrs making shadow puppets with your subconscious. “The Voyeur” is a fantastically focused tale. One of a deceased husband watching over his lover through the peacock print of the wallpaper; the sense of place is immense as the headphones itch in spooky vignettes, burn as phosphorescent as the quietly spoken scenic descriptions. “I’m in those eyes you’re staring into your tea,” goes Mr Ka-Spel; words evaporate as a musty salute to the fallen gives way to a mulched animus and the slow shifting of furniture – a well crafted concoction of unnatural lights that planktonise with kite-like cuts. “Favourite Things parts 1-3″ has this drifting piano melody, hydraulic sweeps of mechanisation waltzing around it, the ivories like pin holes in card. A filter-washed melancholy opening curtains for a nursery rhyme dance of vocal that seems to be reciting a last will and testament of sorts: “I’ll give it all to you, my book of stamps, that lava lamp,” skips his voice, followed by a lilting chorus of “to have to hold, “never grow old.’ Vocals that descend into an interference of voices, cutlery calliper and firefly-copters, with a shock hobo mutter breaking the spell in glass slipping frames and ebonised robotics.
The rain splattered concrete of “The Bunker” gives out another short LPD(ish) visitation, a purring of vocals through semi-abrasive static, quickly overtaken in dronic temperament, felt-covered anvil and hammer beating out regularities, thrashing wheat and curling thunders – textures collapsing, evolving with lots of differing colourations – unpredictably spinning between extremes, finally grabbled up and thrown away on a misfiring of public information loudspeakers; it’s as if you were rollercoastering in somebody else’s memories. “Brighton Line,” as with “The Voyeur,” is another track with a strong sense of haunt about it. Starts with a brew of wonky pulsations and decaying tracklines and scratchy spikes of needle on vinyl, light and spacious textures that allude to heavier gravities mingled with odd fluxations and half whispers in the machine. The narration is an intense close-contact type one (like the majority of this album relishes in) to great effect. As the words slowly levitate and drift among borrowed daydreams, a tale of playing cuckoo with a moving train transforms to some invisible entity wandering the carriages, sucking up the inertia of drowsy commuters. A weave of distorted reality around dead space, as if the Sandman’s fingers were holding eyelids firmly down. The sonic bleed plays inside your head like an uninvited guest as music hall jazz flows down empty corridors to a chorus of “Wake up, wake up, you sleepy head… bad man coming for you…”
By the time the album ends in a mangle of a fleur-de-lys music box, seemingly cranking itself in ever metallic combs, you’re left with the sense that you’re surrounded by whispering phantoms everywhere you look.
This Saturated Land
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“Nothing logical there. A lost soul or a missing moment, derailed from the timeline, bleeding on the road as the headlights illuminate and make an arc around it.That which cannot be explained must be avoided for it is an aberration; a grain of sand on the sad eye of the good Lord above. Only that which can be held in these reliable hands is permitted here. So stop moaning. It keeps me awake and when I’m tired I see things which are not there. Just wish it wasn’t so cold in here. It’s July for Christ’s sake yet this room feels like a freezer. ghost logik. Nothing logical there. I’m repeating myself like that missing moment, like that lost soul. Trapped in a loop, mocking time itself, mocking all we are, everything we value, everything we believe in. Do you believe in ghosts? hell yeah…. BOOOOO” - Edward Ka-spel
My opinion of Edward Ka-Spel has undergone a dramatic overhaul over the last few years, as the last several albums that I have heard have all floored me with at least one song (often more). While he has been admirably devoted to making weird, uncompromising psychedelia for more than 30 years, he seems to be making some of the best and most disturbing music of his career right now (as evidenced here). That is not to say that he has become dramatically less indulgent or difficult (unlikely to ever occur), but the high points of Ghost Logik are truly mesmerizing, haunting, and unique.
The more I listen to Ka-Spel's work, the more i seem to fall in love with his voice. While it can certainly be shrill and maniacal-sounding sometimes (he has sounded like a crazed elf in the past), both his deep, resonant speaking voice and his lazily lilting singing voice can be enormously evocative and affecting. The latter effect is most evident on Ghost Logik's most conventional song, "Throwing Things," where Ka-Spel makes otherwise mundane lyrics feel imbued with cryptic menace.
His vocals have an almost sing-song, nursery rhyme tone to them, which contrasts creepily and surreally with the shimmering and skittering melancholia of the music. Of course, Ka-Spel is even more powerful when his words are as disturbing as his delivery, as they are on the album's highlight, "The Voyeur." The accompanying music is little more than some minimal droning and crackling, but Edward's monologue is unwaveringly gripping and spine-chilling–except when it is darkly hilarious ("you...really...need..to..get...out...more.").
Most of the other songs occupy a similar "uneasy soundscape and spoken word" aesthetic territory, but the balance between storytelling and atmosphere varies quite a bit from piece to piece. The disquieting tug-of-war between childlike simplicity and macabre sophistication persists in varying manifestations throughout the entire album, creating a unifying theme of sorts. The feeling of entering someone else's already-unfolding nightmare is yet another (even stronger) theme. In fact, that may be where Ka-Spel's true genius lies, as he is at his best when he drops into an enigmatic and vaguely sinister scenario, patiently and masterfully escalates the tension and dread, then ends it all with a darkly funny or ominously ambiguous turn of phrase.
It is remarkable that that "formula" works as often as it does, but Edward has a seemingly inexhaustible supply of such bizarre situations and unravels his tales with perfect timing and pacing. No one else could make these songs work, as their success is irrevocably intertwined with the gravity of Ka-Spel's voice and his knack for pregnant pauses and hesitations.
The catch–there's always a catch–is that Edward's inexhaustible supply of dreamlike vignettes is not quite able to keep up with his prolific output. Consequently, Ghost Logik is a somewhat insubstantial album (albeit very a cohesive one). While "Throwing Things" and "The Voyeur" are both mesmerizing and perfectly realized, the remaining six songs are comparatively a mixed bag. Two are only about a minute long, and several of the remaining four blunt their more inspired passages with some significant bloat. They still definitely have their share of striking or chilling moments though, particularly "So What?" and "Brighton Line." Also, they are surprisingly listenable, as only the 13-minute "Brighton Line" manages to grate on me with an extended jazz/quasi-beat poetry section. It would be great if Edward could slow down long enough to make an entirely brilliant album rather than a partially brilliant one, but I am more than happy to settle for two amazing songs and a handful of very good soundscapes.
(Note- there are actually three versions of this album. The "limited box" includes a second disc (Spectrescapes) featuring more abstract/longform ambient pieces, while the "deluxe limited box" also includes a third disc and a short film.) - Anthony D'Amico
Ka-Spel is probably best known as the lead singer, songwriter and co-founder (with Phil “The Silverman” Knight) of the prolific underground band The Legendary Pink Dots, in which he was initially known as D’Archangel. He has also released numerous solo albums (initially featuring other members of the Legendary Pink Dots, and later including contributions from Steven Stapleton), and has worked in various side projects, including The Tear Garden (with cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy), and Mimir (with Phil Knight, Christoph Heemann, Jim O’Rourke and others).
His musical output has combined elements of psychedelia, dark folk, goth, industrial, electronic, found noise, sampling, pop and rock in varying degrees. His lyrics have been described as intensely personal and mystical, incorporating recurrent themes from his own personal mythos, and his songwriting and singing have been compared (usually favourably) to Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd. Ka-Spel is a fan of ’70s psychedelia as well as Radiohead.
When Edward Ka-Spel founded The Legendary Pink Dots with two close friends back in 1980, the compact disc had not been invented. It was a particularly tense period for the World with the Soviet Union and the United States of America hurling abuse at each other in what was laughingly referred to as “The Cold War”. People played cassettes in their car stereos. New bands would make cassettes at home and send them to a record company executive who would record his favourite music on the better quality brands to listen to in his car while the rest were sadly disposed of. Computers were big, slow and creepy. Vinyl records were not trendy, they were common but, as it was already the 80s, the covers were usually ugly. The Pink Dots made cassettes at home because studio time was expensive. Edward’s voice was a little untrained at this time,but no-one could accuse him of a lack of commitment .The early salvos were peculiar, enthusiastic and extremely psychedelic. It was a music that was not trendy at all.
Roll on 30 years and Edward Ka-Spel and The Legendary Pink Dots are still there, downloadable both legally and illegally from the internet; up for grabs on CD, vinyl , DVD and even on cassette if you have the money. America and Russia still hurl insults at each as they feebly attempt to solve the dilemma of “Global Warming”. The Pink Dots add to this ecological problem by touring in both territories. If all the cds , vinyl records and cassettes (oh, and one 8-track cartridge release) with Ka-Spel’s name on them were stacked , they might just touch the Moon and save a lot of money in these austere times. Still this is a time when people plug iPods into their car stereos and listen to music as they sit in endless traffic jams. Chances are that Ka-Spel and his merry men are also stuck in one of those traffic jams…right behind you.
Few artists polarise listeners quite like Edward Ka-Spel and he is secretly delighted about this. Love him or hate him, ignoring him or remaining indifferent is just not an option. Critics will accuse him of being a terminal hippy spouting nonsense and nothing to do with rock ‘n’ roll at all, and perhaps they have a point. Even so, singer Ka-Spel’s lyrics do seem to have an uncanny knack of forseeing future events in vivid and sometimes uncomfortable combinations of images. The music moves in tandem, peculiar, enthusiastic and extremely psychedelic.
And as for rock ‘n’ roll… what is it by now anyway? You may dance to Ka-Spel and the Pink Dots if you choose. The melodies will stick in your head and there are moments when the sound is as “industrial” as raining tanks on Detroit, as gentle as whispering leaves on Venus….
The following is young and old, male and female and borderless in a World seemingly obsessed with frontiers. Ka-Spel is coming to liberate you with colour. No escapism, no religion. Time to turn the Goddamn phone off. - www.rustblade.com/