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Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.51 | 122 ratings

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3 stars 3.3 Stars. Wondering though the marshes.

Kayo Dot have been one of the most rewarding bands I have discovered over these last few years. Some of their albums such as Choirs of the Eye, Dowsing and Hubardo have blown me away and widened my musical horizons. Many of their other albums have however been very difficult for me to get into. While I have grown to appreciate and enjoy some of these albums over time (such as Coffins on Io), others have never grown on me to the point of true enjoyment with BLD being one of those albums.

While I do love Dowsing there was one significant issue with it on the final two tracks. They were very strong tracks however they were also incredibly inaccessible and required a huge amount of work for the listener to get any enjoyment out of them. Even now I struggle to listen to them unless I am in the perfect mood, because if I am not then they will only prove to an annoyance rather than spellbinding.

BLD takes the difficultly of those 2 songs, increases it several fold and extends it thought out the entire album and at the same time removes the instantly accessible sections. I once read a Amazon review where the writer described BLD as walking though a swamp. This for me describes BLD completely. You won't find any of the sweeping beauty found on Choirs or Dowsing and you will find little of their ferocity either. What you will find is an endless supply of that "cliche" Avant-garde weirdness which puts many people off the genre. Ideas spring forth and disappear randomly with what initially seems to be for no obvious reasons. No strong melodies are found either which only adds to the challenge. This is why I would describe BLD as a swamp, as every step though the album is difficult, awkward and impeded by random branches that prevent you from seeing the bigger picture.

I have spent enough time with this album to find there is a natural flow of mood and ideas and that each song does contribute to a overarching theme. This is a very smart album and great credit should be given to Toby and Co for creating this complicated jigsaw puzzle for people like me to solve. But when all is said and done and the album is fully understood does it make it anymore enjoyable to listen to? No not really. I might know where the album is going and how the mood has changed over the course of the last couple of tracks, but that does not make the random musical branches smacking my face any more fun then they were when I first listened to it. And its hard to appreciate these more subtle changes when every second of the album requires a lot of mental energy for me to follow. And if I zone off for a little while then its difficult for me to get back into it.

Blue Lanbency Downward is just too much hard work for it to be worth the effort most of the time. Unless I'm in a very specific mood I won't get anything from the album even when I know the music quite well. So unless you are a big fan of Avant-garde weirdness and regularly delve into it your enjoyment factor will probably be too low. Go for their more highly acknowledged albums before you try this one. As for the rating 3 stars seems to be ideal. Its a smart, quite original and well put together album but it just goes over the top with the weirdness.

LakeGlade12 | 3/5 |


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