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Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.53 | 109 ratings

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4 stars Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward

Kayo Dot returns with their third album, and it shows to be both a natural progression but also a dynamic shift in the music of this group. Toby Driver's composition has moved slowly away from the extreme metal of Maudlin, into a more jazz and minimalist influenced post-rock style, shown on both Dowsing, and on his 2007 side-projects.

Immediately apparent, without even hearing a single note, is the suprisingly short track lengths. Don't for a second think that the music here is a great deal more accessible than Choirs or Dowsing however. Also, the lack of metal will please some, where as others may lose interest, due to the album being largely slow paced.

The title track Blue Lambency Downward opens the record in the best way possible, with some beautiful guitar playing. It really sets up a wonderful mood for the rest of the album to come, soon progressing into Driver's vocals, rattling percussion, a space rock and even RIO vibe, building tension but never breaking into excess. A tad directionless at times but still good.

Clelia Walking opens with some heavy chords and quirky clarinet, with some nice violin moving it along, broken up by some doom metal riffs, which are very brief. Driver's vocals enter, melancholic, and even a little catchy. Lovely piece.

Right Hand is the One I Want has some nice moments, and is pleasant to listen to, yet I find it goes on a little too long for its content and Driver's opening vocal sections are a little underwhelming. Mia's violin here is truly perfect however. The Sow Submits has some great clarinet use, and lots of short, layered outbursts of craziness. Nice but perhaps could have worked better.

The Awkward Wind Wheel is the most hard rocking track on Lambency. Opening with some frantic vocals, before going into a chaotic instrumental section that sounds like a clash of Kayo Dot and Hoyry-Kone, especially in the string melodies. Zeleny's frantic but controlled work at the drumkit is excellent. It transitions suddenly into The Useless Ladder. Driver's vocals dominate here, very beautifully, a short piece, with a nice feel.

The final piece of the album is truly where all the elements of this album piece together into ten minutes of near-perfection. Beginning with beautiful jazzy minimalism, progressing with an incredible slow burn guitar solo, reminisent perhaps, of David Gilmour. Mia's violin moves the piece away into a darker sound to enter into the brief yet emotional vocal along with powerful drumming, acting as a transition into the build up.

A different drum groove starts, the guitar creating a hypnotic pulse. The wind instruments return with outstanding bursts and melody, resulting in an incredible climax. If there is a better piece of music than Symmetrical Arizona released this year, I will be stunned. I actually want to give the album five stars just for this.

An excellent work, showing Kayo Dot's music can work, and work wonderfully without the use of the extreme metal elements. At times, RiO sounding, jazzy, often beautiful, Blue Lambency Downward is a very good, if occasionally directionless record that needs to be heard, and truly is an excellent addition to any progressive music collection.

mellors99 | 4/5 |


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