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

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more

2018-10-17
Eurock Documentary Seeks Funding – We've been fans and fellow travelers with Archie Patterson and his Eurock project on the journey to discover great music. After many years of promoting and trying to spread the word,a new phase is beginning: a documentary film. Things like this don't just happen, and money does not magically appear to make it happen, so it's up to the fans to get it done. » Read more

2018-09-29
Marty Balin RIP – One of the architects of the 60s psychedelic sound of San Francisco has died at the age of 76. Marty Balin was a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who was one of the founders of Jefferson Airplane. After the split of the original Airplane, Balin went on to form the highly successful Jefferson Starship. » Read more

2018-09-25
Help the Psychic Equalizer Avoid Extinction – Last year we reviewed the debut album by Psychic Equalizer, a musical project of Hugo Selles. He's now working on the ambitious follow-up to that release, and is seeking funding from listeners around the world. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Quikion - Ramadan – Latest evidence of what a strange and wonderful world we live in: a Japanese group called Quikion based on accordion, concertina, bouzouki, psaltery, toy instruments – oh, and a bit of acoustic...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues