Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 June 2007 18:00
Artist: Legendary Pink Dots
CD Title: Poppy Variations
Label: Beta-Lactam Ring Records
Reviewer: Matthew Johnson
Edward Ka-Spel moans brokenly over tribal drums on “Krussoe.” Niels Van Hoornblower takes us on a dizzying trip through saxophone psychedelia on “It Doesn’t Matter Anyway.” The Silverman conjures forth organs, chimes, and sounds not of this earth on “The Equaliser” and “Personal Monster.” Newcomer Erik Drost works his guitar into a smooth, jazzy groove on “The Hot Breath On Your Neck.” Each Legendary Pink Dot gets the opportunity to showcase his talents on this record, which blurs the line between the band’s psychedelic rock and their more self-indulgent excursions into ambient and noise, but the tracks that really stand out are those that see the band working together in perfect harmony. “L’oiseau Rare” has a lovely Mediterranean feel to it, with the Silverman’s electronic percussion brought to life with Drost’s acoustic guitar strums and Hoornblower’s earthy flute work. Part 1 of “The Poppy Variations” is a gorgeous ballad, with Ka-Spel’s voice beautifully melding with subtly sorrowful piano and horn melodies, while Part 2 abandons itself to a glorious cacophony of bagpipe samples, chimes, and heavily processed guitars artfully arranged by production wizard Raymond Steeg. This isn’t club-friendly in the least, but thoughtful avant-garde music doesn’t come any better than this.
Learn more about the various Dots, their albums, and their side projects at www.brainwashed.com/lpd.