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As a devout fan of drone's weirder fringes, I was casually aware of Razen before this album, but I had never taken the time to dive particularly deeply into their bizarre sonic sorcery: Brecht Ameel & Kim Delcour have historically erred a bit too much on the side of shrillness for my taste.  I certainly admired their frayed, idiosyncratic, and somewhat unhinged approach to the genre, but it still made for a somewhat rough listen.  This latest release, their first for Three:Four, falls quite squarely in my comfort zone though.  For one, there are no bagpipes or modular synths to be found, just an organ and a curious array of traditional acoustic instruments spanning several cultures.  More importantly, the band believes that "a presence" surfaced in the church where they recorded these improvisations and that the resulting tapes were supernaturally altered in some way.  I am not a big believer in the spirit world, but whatever transpired certainly led to a uniquely compelling album, as the best pieces on The Xvoto Reels take ritualistic acoustic drone to a wonderfully hallucinatory and haunting place.

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First released as a double-LP set and later reissued on a single CD, Asylum is the album that best represents the Legendary Pink Dots in the '80s, which does not mean that it is the group's best album or that it makes a good point of entry into its '80s production. Albums like The Tower or Any Day Now are melodically richer and more focused, but Asylum is the album that brings together the group's songwriting and experimental leanings with the most gusto. It also captures the band coming out of its stark, cold sound of the early '80s and evolving toward relatively lusher arrangements. The opening song "Echo Police" is a typically alienating LPD new wave song, strongly reminiscent of the material found on The Tower , but soon things take a bizarre twist with "Gorgon Zola's Baby." Other more experimental tracks include "A Message from Our Sponsor," the whole fourth side of the LP release (the last four tracks on the CD), and the 11-minute "So Gallantly Screaming," which pairs up fragments of songs and tape collage. Several more straightforward songs are introduced by odd textures or include strange, disquieting developments. The album still offers its share of memorable melodies, including the off-kilter "The Hill," the Eastern-flavored "The Golden Dawn" and the near-epic "I'm the Way, The Truth, The Light," the album's highlight, with Edward Ka-Spel portraying a maniacal messiah. Asylum is also noteworthy for the inclusion of bassist/keyboardist Julia Niblock Waller (billed as "Poison Barbarella") in the lineup; she also contributes a low alto lead vocal on "Femme Mirage." This album is surely a must for the casual LPD fan, but newcomers may find these 75 minutes a tad too much (and too all over the place) to start with.

Planetarium visitors will go on a tour of winter’s evening sky and then join jolly ol’ Santa and concerned alien, Mr. Freep, as they explore the solar system’s planets and meet the Christmas Eve needs of their fictitious inhabitants.  This show is divided into two parts: the winter eve star walk and the main story of  The Alien Who Stole Christmas, with a laser teaser from our holiday laser show.

VARIOUS ARTISTS- Zelphabet "L"
A wonderful compilation and part of a wonderful series based upon letters of the alphabet put together by Jupiter Larsen. "L" features a long and unusual exclusive piece by the Pink Dots .Other artists include Lasse Marhaug and Lionel Marchetti . 11 euros .


Legendary Pink Dots Brighter NowLegendary Pink Dots Brighter NowLegendary Pink Dots Brighter NowLegendary Pink Dots Brighter Now


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