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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Gods of Electricity - Sundiving – Introducing a world where standard sci-fi is just too darn human to be plausible. If there are any advanced life forms out there taking joy rides through post-supernoval remnants or losing the space...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues