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Edward Ka-Spel

Edward Ka-Spel has built an international following with his dark psychedelic folk melodies and astute lyrics, first as the enigmatic and prolific founder/lead singer of London-c*m-Netherlands-based band the Legendary Pink Dots and then as a solo recording artist and performer. Ka-Spel is widely regarded as a genius bordering on madness, which explains the frequent comparisons to Syd Barrett, the first singer of Pink Floyd. Since the Legendary Pink Dots' beginning in 1980, Ka-Spel has created an extensive personal mythology, like Current 93 or Psychic TV, and has created several ongoing narratives of love, chaos, destruction, and other darkly tinged topics in what might be a works-in-progress goth opera. Accordingly, he has taken on many pseudonyms such as the Prophet Qa'Sepel and D'Archangel, making his incredibly varied recording history even more difficult to map.

With dozens of albums to the Dots' credit, Ka-Spel could already be considered a songwriting powerhouse, but he has also recorded numerous solo albums, collaborated with cEVIN kEY of Skinny Puppy in a project called the Tear Garden, worked with Christoph Heemann as part of his project Mimir, and made many guest appearances. Ka-Spel remembers the young kEY sending him fan letters and mixtapes of his music as a youngster, and through this mutual respect they have collaborated and toured together.

Ka-Spel has been quoted as saying, "I'll try anything as long as it's different," and this has led to monumental sonic successes (and failures) throughout the artist's extensive career. As with the Dots, Ka-Spel's recordings are often of a limited number and only available through an extensive and devoted mail-order system. He has also released numerous cassette- and CD-R-only special recordings, usually including materials out of print on earlier labels along with new tracks. Each of the recordings feature Ka-Spel's trademark cigarette-drawl, slurred Rs (often misidentified as a lisp, but actually called rhotacism), and brooding mix of found sounds, vintage keyboards, sampled noises, and appearances from various LPD members and extended family. Occasionally a label like Soleilmoon or Beta-lactam Ring will run a compilation of these rare tracks, such as Down in the City of Heartbreak and Needles (I and II) and Melancholics Anonymous.

The Legendary Pink Dots first began releasing cassettes in 1981, with 1982 LP Brighter Now (on In Phaze Records) being their official full-length debut. Following more than a half dozen additional releases by the band, Ka-Spel made his solo debut in 1984 with the warped synth pop album Laugh China Doll (also on In Phaze). Until the beginning of the '90s, Ka-Spel averaged one solo album per year, all of which contained "China Doll" in the title, including 1985's Chyekk, China Doll (Torso), 1987's AaΔzhyd China Doll (Torso), and 1990 cassette Lyvv China Doll (Mirrordot, with an expanded CD edition on Staalplaat in 1993).

Following two Tear Garden albums on Nettwerk and several well-regarded Pink Dots albums on Play It Again Sam, including 1988's The Golden Age, 1990's The Crushed Velvet Apocalypse, and 1991's The Maria Dimension, Ka-Spel released solo album Tanith & the Lion Tree on Third Mind Records. A few solo EPs surfaced, as well as additional albums by LPD, Mimir, and Tear Garden (1992's The Last Man to Fly), and Ka-Spel released solo album The Scriptures of Illumina on Terminal Kaleidoscope in 1995. LPD began a long partnership with Soleilmoon, which released the group's album From Here You'll Watch the World Go By that same year. Ka-Spel's solo album The Blue Room appeared on the label in 1998, and Red Letters appeared on Soleilmoon sublabel Caciocavallo in 2000. Also that year, Ka-Spel released A Birth Marked Conspiracy and Public Disturbance on Beta-lactam Ring, another label that would issue numerous recordings of his.

Ka-Spel was more prolific during the 2000s than ever before, averaging three albums per year between LPD and his solo work, in addition to countless compilations, live recordings, and reissues. In addition to the previous mentioned labels, LPD released several albums on R.O.I.R., and Ka-Spel solo albums appeared on World Serpent, Trademark of Quantity, and Piehead Records. Ka-Spel also collaborated with the Silverman (LPD member Phil Knight) on a few ambient albums and live performances. The 2010s found Ka-Spel and LPD releasing numerous albums and live recordings online, although physical releases continued to appear, including LPD's 2013 album The Gethsemane Option on Metropolis, as well as several more albums on Beta-lactam Ring. Ka-Spel began releasing music on Italian label Rustblade in 2012, starting with the solo album Ghost Logik. The label also released Are You Receiving Us, Planet Earth?!, Ka-Spel's 2014 collaboration with Philippe Petit, and two volumes of dark ambient material called Spectrescapes at the end of 2015. ~ Daphne Carr & Paul Simpson
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: One Last Pose Before The Ruin

1. Looping '72

2. A Slighter Fade Of Whale

3. Friends Of The Earth

4. Desert Bong

5. Mining A Dead Moon

x

Track List: Textures Of Illumina

Disc 1

1. The Boomerang Effect

2. Right On Food

3. The Train To Never

4. Icing

5. Millenium 1

6. Millenium 2

7. Atomic Roses '95

8. Little Seed

Disc 2
x

Track List: A Pleasure Cruise Through 9 Dimensions

1. Ghost In The Garden

2. Patterns On The Wall

3. Motorik

4. A Tearful Wave Through The Window

x

Track List: Minus Touch

1. The Beast With 6 Fingers

2. Vision On

3. Man Or Mouse (Version 2)

4. Bad Mood

5. Absolution

6. The Twisting Vines In Your Sick Mind

7. Altered State

8. Kill It

x

Track List: Melancholics Anonymous

1. Clara Rockmore's Dog

2. Complex

3. Meltdown

4. Stars On Some Days

5. Burden

6. Karis In The Spring

7. The Evidence Of Absence

x

Track List: Fragments Of Illumina

1. My Space

2. The End Of Everything (Part One)

3. The End Of Everything (Part Two)

4. Sticks & Stones

5. Yet Another Fragment

x

Track List: Eyes! China Doll

1. Mirror Soul

2. Anengelist

3. God In A Cupboard

4. Blowing Bubbles (Part 2)

5. Six Cats On A Dead Man's Chest

6. Joey: The Video

7. The Char Char

8. Intermezzo

9. Hotel Blanc

10. Tikko

11. Volicie

12. ....And Smashed Into A Million Pieces

13. And The Lord Said "Rise"

14. Blowing Bubbles (Part 1)

15. History Book

x

Track List: Pieces Of 8

1. The Writing On The Wall

2. Here Comes The Night

3. Comedown

4. Alms For Lepers

5. Shanti

6. 8.2, 8.3

x

Track List: Red Letter

1. Radio 6

2. Seeing Red

3. Believe On A Breeze

4. Red Rock

5. Illumina 3 / The Carrier

6. Grooovy

7. Child King

8. Swamp Thing / Simone Is / Red Letters / Katha

x

Track List: The Scriptures Of Illumina

1. Illumina

2. Memoires Of Dr. Bliss

3. A Grain Of Salt

4. Homage

5. Gomorrha

6. Mayday

7. The Never Man

8. Laughing Venus

9. There Was A Crooked Man

10. Illumina 2

11. The Last Door On The Left

x

Track List: DNA Le Draw D Kee

1. Decay

2. Decay-1

x

Track List: Blue Room

1. Scarlett Cross

2. Supper At J's

3. A Roman Candle

4. Design Fault

5. Hotel Y

6. Cause And FX

7. Mosquito Munch Fandango

8. Gemini

9. Shall We Share Water Brother?

10. The Blue Room

x

Track List: Down in the City of Heartbreak and Needles Volume 2

1. Even Now

2. Lady Sunshine

3. Find the Lady

4. Inferno

5. Illusion

6. The Man Who Never Was

7. Paradise Then

8. Atomic Roses

9. A Crack in Melancholy Time

10. The Fool With Spanners

11. Number Nine Number Nine Number Nine Number Nine

x

Track List: Lyvv China Doll

1. The Char Char

2. Wenn Alte Götter Sterben

3. Tower 8

4. Bleak House

5. Corridors Of Deceit

6. Dada

7. Infirmary Waltz

8. (Untitled)

9. Lying In State

10. Sneezing Choirs

11. March Of The Anorexic Locusts

12. Beautiful, Plastic

13. Pretty Ribbons

14. Vla

15. Culumnyetz

16. God Bless The Cavalry Part 1

17. God Bless The Cavalry Part 2

18. Zyrrup

19. The Horn Section

20. Intent

21. Bleeding Finale

x

Track List: Down in the City of Heartbreak and Needles

1. Mirror Soul

2. Avengelist

3. God in a Cupboard

4. Blowing Bubbles (Part 2)

5. Six Cats On a Dead Man's Chest

6. Joey the Video

7. The Char Char

8. Intermezzo

9. Hotel Blanc

10. Tikko

11. Volicie

12. Suicide Pact

13. Lisa's Funeral

14. The Glass Moved By Itself....

15. ....And Smashed Into a Million Pieces

16. Lilith's Daughter

17. Eye Contact

18. And the Lord Said 'Rise'

19. Requiem

x

Track List: Chyekk China Doll/Aa‚Àüzhyd China Doll

Disc 1

1. Lines

2. The Infinity Waltz

3. Prelude For A Splash

4. The Price Of Salvation

5. Chyekk 1

6. Lisa's Christening

7. Chyekk 2

8. Beautiful, Naked

9. Klazh, Tristurr

10. Lisa's Resurrection

11. The Power, The Power

12. The Glory, The Glory

13. The Forbidden Zone

14. Colour Me Vexed, Desiree

Disc 2

2. Flesh Parade

3. The Qa'spell

4. The Unfortunate Demise Of The Fabulous Puccino Brothers

5. Nuts In May

6. Traitor's Gate / Blowing Bubbles (Part Three)

7. The Fool

8. The Witchfinder Suite (Parts I-Vi)

9. The Witchfinder Suite (Parts I-Vi) Cont'd

x

Track List: Tanith And The Lion Tree

1. `O' From The Great Sea

2. Tanith And The Lion Tree

3. Interference

4. Four Out Of Ten

5. Loop 1

6. Loop 2

7. The Bakersman

8. Prithee

9. Prisoners Of War

10. Three Times Daily

11. Hotel X

12. Epilogue

13. Phoney War

14. Old Man Trouble

15. Don't Look `Til It's Gone 2012

16. Prisoners Of War 2012

17. Loop 3

Comments

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