Exposé Online banner

Legendary Pink Dots — 109 Volume 1
(Rustblade RBLLP004, 2014, LP)

by Henry Schneider, Published 2015-01-28

10<sup>9</sup> Volume 1 Cover artThe Legendary Pink Dots have a very long and storied musical career, dating back to the early 80s. There are certain common elements that appear throughout their musical canon, Edward Ka-Spel’s unmistakable voice, odd sounds, esoteric themes, etc. Of late, after the departure of Neils Van Hoorn, their releases have been hit or miss. So I looked upon the release of their new album Ten to the Power of 9 with some anticipation. For this new album of minimal synths, guitars, syncopated rhythms, and weird psychedelic noises, the Dots under the leadership of Edward Ka-Spel approach diverse themes of conspiracy, magic, and spirituality. Ten to the Power of 9 is an uneven album. All of the signature Dots elements are present, except for their “waltzes.” But some of the songs are plodding lethargic excesses that are difficult to wrap your head around. In some cases, just when you are ready to write the song off, it takes an abrupt about-face and something excellent comes out of your speakers. The songs that really captured my attention are “The Virgin Queen / Primordial Soup,” “Malice / Freak Flag,” and “Feeding Time,” Though “Feeding Time” does not really rock my boat until midway through the song. The more experimental songs like “Olympus 2020,” “Open Season,” and the closing song “The Elevator” may not appeal to many of their fan base. I also find the 17 and a half minute “The Elevator” to be about 10 minutes too long and a very odd piece to end the album. It has a promising beginning with synths, some baby noises, and other unrecognizable sound bites. But at about six and a half minutes, there is a sudden halt to the music that is replaced by slow piano chords, some buzzing sounds, random mechanical clacks, and a blowing bottle, which are repeated ad infinitum for the next 11 minutes. It is almost as if the band started this sequence, fell asleep, then someone woke up and turned it off 17 minutes later. Taken as a whole, I find this new album to be a strange and challenging set of songs.

Filed under: New releases, 2014 releases

Related artist(s): Edward Ka-Spel, Legendary Pink Dots

Latest news

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Cabezas de Cera and Jack o' the Clock, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more

2017-01-27
Acoustic Festival of Britain 2017 Announces Eclectic Lineup – The Acoustic Festival of Britain has been going since 2006, and this year's event sees a number of outstanding artists on the bill. Fairport Convention, Tir na nOg, and Martin Turner are some of the artists we've covered, and there are many more, including The Men They Couldn't Hang, Howard Jones, Chantel McGregor, and many more. The festival runs June 2-4, 2017 at Uttoxeter Racecourse in Staffordshire. » Read more

2017-01-26
Butch Trucks RIP – Butch Trucks was one of two drummers in the first incarnation of the Allman Brothers Band in 1969, helping the band achieve its legendary status as an American original. He died on January 24, 2017 of a self-inflicted gunshot would. He was 69. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Nouvelles Lectures Cosmopolites - Friesengeist Part π - Ascendances – For the third installment of his Friesengeist series, Julien Ash has pared things down, utilizing only four musicians to augment his own keyboards and effects; previous releases featured eight or...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues