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Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.54 | 102 ratings

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Any Colour You Like
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Kayo Dot's third full length release has polarised opinion on this site, and I can see why. What we have here is essentially a nightmarish lucid dream, projected through the astral plane in a sonic form. Therefore, Blue Lambency Downward is not an album for the faint of heart, of that I can assure you.

The fusion of experimental rock and free jazz is one that is sure to provide a challenging listen. The album flows rather well, despite the somewhat aimless nature of the track progression. The dreamlike soundscapes are accented by crisp, jazzy drumming and stark explosions of neo-classical instrumentation. Among many instruments, the clarinet and violin feature heavily here, adding to the bizarre melee of sounds throughout the soundscape. Lyrically, the album makes little sense, but in the overall aesthetical concept, the psychedelic nonsensical nature of the lyrics compliments the full presentation. Toby Driver's sparse vocals are largely dreamlike, and mark the gradual descent into madness. Bursts of instrumental dissonance often counteract the dreamlike soundscapes, however this is something which creates a wholly unique atmosphere. Indeed, if you want a description of how this album sounds, take a look at the psychedelic cover. Two movements stand out in particular for me, and they are 'The Awkward Wind Wheel', a truly chaotic piece featuring a drumming freak-out and a dissonant yet upbeat progression. The other is 'Celia Walking', a piece that fuses crashing dissonance with an interesting minimalist orchestration.

The power of this album is in the way it can manipulate the listener into a dreamy state. It is not especially heavy, technical or complexly composed, but relies upon the formation of a unique and somewhat bizarre atmosphere. I honestly can't think of any other album that sounds like this - Blue Lambency Downward is about as unique as it gets. And that alone is something to applaud in this day and age.

Any Colour You Like | 4/5 |


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