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The Legendary Pink Dots



The Legendary Pink Dots are an unusual crypto-pop collective whose expressive sonic adventures blur the well-demarcated subcultures of '60s psychedelia and '80s doom 'n' gloom. Formed in London around 1980 before relocating to Holland a few years later, the Pink Dots have enjoyed a revolving door membership, but the core has remained Phil Knight (aka The Silverman, he provides studio trickery know-how and sampling prowess), Ryan Moore (the bassist who also records as Twilight Circus), and the ubiquitous Edward Ka-Spel (the singer who has spent two decades perfecting his exemplary Syd Barrett mimicry). Throughout their prolific catalogue of enigmatic sound collages that melt into surprisingly catchy paisley-clad melodies, the Legendary Pink Dots present their albums as open-ended adventures with an intertwined kaleidoscopic mythology of chemical playschools, Numanoid technolust, lavish apocalyptic premonitions, and even one Princess Coldheart.

"Mmmmmmmmmmmmm...... (First Version)," and "Premonition 18 (Part 1)" are from the two CD Stained Glass Soma Fountain, a collection of LPD rarities from the early '80s. Primitive keyboards and drum machines playfully march through baroque fusions of New Wave and psychedelia, hinting perhaps at the underappreciated pop of Brian Eno. It is primitive yet innovative work.

Originally released in 1984 and reissued on Soleilmoon in 1997, Faces In The Fire, features the tracks "Blasto" and "Love In A Plain Brown Envelope. It is an elegant album full of dark synth arrangements.

1995's From Here You'll Watch The World Go By, with the cuts cuts "Citadel" and "Remember Me This Way," baffled many longtime LPD fans as the band ventured into its most rockin' psychedelics.

It's Raining In Heaven is a hodgepodge of an album with a few cuts of live material (such as "Puppets Apocalypse") and a sampling of oddball experiments (with "Premonition 11").

Cantas Mientras Puedas features the "greatest hits" from '90 to '95, including "Belladonna," "Princess Coldheart," and "A Triple Moon Salute," with the majority of the material coming from the currently out-of-print albums. During this period, the band was solidly entrenched in oblique fairy tale fantasies rich with lush aural tapestries, Hindi transcendentalism, and sublime goth/pop weirdness.
On 1997's Hallway of the Gods, the Legendary Pink Dots go on a downer psychedelic trip with cuts like "Sterre" and "Spike," sounding not unlike Love & Rockets at their mid-'80s best (and gloomiest).

The Chemical Playschool series has served to collect Pink Dots rarities, especially those of a more expermimental nature. Intended as a companion to Hallway of the Gods, Chemical Playschool 10, which featured new and unreleased material from '92 to '97 including "Inside" and "Nouveaux Modes Exotiques," is, oddly enough, a pretty coherent album of trance rock gems that draw heavily from the krautrock trinity of Can, Neu, and Faust.

On 1998's Pre-Millennial Single 12-inch, the Pink Dots remix a handful of classic tracks (including "Hellsville '98") for a more tense listen. This short single approaches the apocalyptic ruminations of avant-industrial giants like Coil and Skinny Puppy.

Thematically, 1998's Nemesis Online, with the tracks "Dissonance" and "As Long As It's Green And Purple," is the Pink Dots' noir album, in which David Lynchian lounge jazz creeps into the band's already darkened sensibilities.

2002's All the King's Men was inspired by Sept 2001's world-changing events and asks that if "the world falls apart, yet affords us the opportunity to put it back together again. What should we do?"