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Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.53 | 110 ratings

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Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
3 stars A very interesting album to say the least. It's one of those records that requires the listener to work and have some patience. In other words to listen to this casually or as background music will probably bring some irritation and maybe even some frustration into your world. I have had this same experience with some of the Chamber Rock bands out there like UNIVERS ZERO. The reward is equal to the effort you put into it. That's not to say this is for everyone because it certainly isn't. To me this album seems like a solo record from Toby since his whole band left after the last recording except for Mia. This is completely different from the first two albums, hence the huge division of opinions from KAYO DOT fans about this album. It would seem the majority of fans prefer the first two albums by a substantial margin. The Metal, the Post Rock build ups, contrasts and rage are all but gone on this one. This is minimalistic, experimental, Avant-garde music with a strong jazzy flavour. I really didn't think too much of this album after listening to it at work all week, but when I gave it my full attention as I took the long drive home through the country, I started to understand. Someone described this album as a mix of TALK TALK's Spirit Of Eden and Miles Davis' Bitches Brew and while that's not totally accurate it does make some sense.

"Blue Lambency Downward" opens with a dark mood as the guitar plays slowly and sleigh bell-like sounds can be heard. Reserved vocals before a minute.It starts to get a little experimental 3 minutes in as outbreaks of sound come and go until the soundscape becomes fairly steady. Vocals are back before 6 minutes as it settles then builds slowly to the end where it calms right down. "Clelia Walking" is dark and experimental as the clarinet slowly dances around. Heaviness comes barging in after a minute, it's almost doom-like. Organ then violin follow. The clarinet is back. Explosive outbursts are followed by violin again. Vocals before 4 minutes to the end. "Right Hand Is The One I Want" is a little brighter with piano, light drums and vocals. It's jazzy a minute in with horns. Violin after 4 minutes and it becomes prominant 6 minutes in to end it.

"The Sow Submits" has a great intro that I like then there's a brief calm before horns come in. This is contrasted with dark, intense and dissonant outbreaks the rest of the way. Nice. "The Awkward Wind Wheel" is uptempo as vocals join the pounding drums and other sounds. The drumming is prominant throughout. "The Useless Ladder" is more about creating a mood. Lots of atmposphere in this one. Vocals with eerie violin before a minute. "Symmetrical Arizona" is slow and melancholic with sax and clarinet interplay early. The guitar takes over from the wind instruments 2 minutes in. Violin 5 1/2 minutes in. Drums and vocals a minute later as a full sound comes in to the end. I really like this section.

I applaud Toby for making this record, it will be interesting to see if this was a "one off" or if he continues in this style. In the liner notes he says "Deep, heartfelt thanks to the aformentioned individuals and to all others who have gone out of their way to offer support and encouragement throughout this process. May 2006 through November 2007".

Mellotron Storm | 3/5 |


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