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Kayo Dot - Stained Glass CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.96 | 52 ratings

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4 stars Kayo Dot's new EP Stained Glass is a single, nearly 20 minute composition with few varying atmospheres. Very interesting soundscapes, enjoyable timbre, but the middle dissonant section is way too prolonged. Kayo Dot has been hit or miss with me. I love love love Blue Lambency Downward but I do not like Choirs of the Eye at all. This EP is most similar to Blue Lambency Downward. The guitar took a break from Coyote and is returning, along with vibraphone, various orchestral percussion, (fuzz) bass, saxophone, synth, and my favorite addition, electric piano. The first 7 minutes of Stained Glass is incredible. It offers everything a large orchestral piece would, only in a small chamber rock setting. Toby's writing is very harmonically and rhythmically adventurous. But everything melds into dark ambient experimentation ... and stays there. For maybe 9 minutes. This was disappointing, personally. It is dark ambient but not in the same ways as previous Kayo Dot drones (thankfully?). There are no dense, loud guitar chords that are sustained for minutes. It is mostly sound effects (maybe provided by guitar?), synth chords, and electric piano/vibraphone doodlings. There is very minimal percussion (excluding vibraphone) in this section and won't be fully utilized until the final minute of the piece. Things finally begin to take form at 18 minutes. The vibraphone and electric piano begin playing a sinister, bubbling theme that is pure bliss. Drums join in and the piece ends loosely. I'm not sure the $13 is worth the 9 minutes of good music and the rest bland.

****4-STAR REVISION: After many more listenings, I've found that this piece has beauty even in the "dark ambient experimentation" section. Structures within it are formed and slowly enter new ones. And it is gorgeous. I especially enjoy the variety of tuplet formations. So I am bumping my 3 star to a 4 star. Thank you Toby!

Tengent | 4/5 |


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