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Edward Ka-Spel

Edward Ka-Spel has amassed a sizable discography of solo albums in addition to his work as the frontman for the The Legendary Pink Dots. Left alone in what could imaginably be a musty attic filled with broken toys, obscure encyclopedias documenting eccentric myths, and a few electronic recording devices, Ka-Spel seems more willing to explore the creepily seductive lullabies that are often found in the LPD material.

The 1998 album The Blue Room showcases the synthetic gothic sheen of Ka-Spel's delicate melodies. Each song has an eerie touch, like the vampiric suitors in "The Scarlett Cross" or the H.P. Lovecraftian harpsichord in "Supper At J's," which adds an ominous antiquity.

The two volumes of Down in the City of Heartbreak and Needles gather a variety of material from hard-to-find albums, singles, and other rarities. The first volume collects tracks from Eyes China Doll (1984), Laugh China Doll (1985), and Perhaps We'll Only See a Thin Blue Line (1989). The baroque and sometimes infectious New Wave/goth waltzes on "Avengelist" and "Blowing Bubbles (Part 2)" foreshadows the sound Ka-Spel would bring to his collaborations with Skinny Puppy as the The Tear Garden.

Down in the City of Heartbreak and Needles Volume 2 continues where Volume 1 left off, featuring a sprinkling of Ka-Spel rarities. "Inferno" is one of the best Edward Ka-Spel solo recordings with its haunted synthesis of a lullaby dirge and a well-crafted progression of ambient material.