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The Legendary Pink Dots - The Maria Dimension CD (album) cover


The Legendary Pink Dots

Psychedelic/Space Rock

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5 stars I am quite surprised that no one made an effort to review this album yet. The only thing I can say is that, if I could choose one album I could take with me on Desert Island, it would be The Maria Dimension. I have been listening to it for years and always stayed fascinated. Legendary Pink Dots is a phenomenon, is sort of band you either love or hate and if you eventually get into their psychedelic world with enigmatic-mystical lyrics written by the Prophet himself Edward Ka-Spel, you will stay there forever. Before you realizing it becomes indispensable part of your life and like with a drug you need to take a dosage from time to time to function properly. This music is absorbing, fascinating, intriguing and simply beautiful. Listen to Bella Donna IMHO the best ballad they ever composed with its rather perverse lyrics and you will desire to own a copy of this album for your own. Atmosphere on this album is so eerie, hypnotic and mesmerizing, you can feel unfathomably the universe pulsing in your head and your head to the rhythm of the universe absorbed by Kaspel's voice floating in the ether. Loops and electronic scratches by Silverman are just top-notch, creating very intimate soundscape epics. In one word: a masterpiece.
Report this review (#155071)
Posted Monday, December 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Well into their career, The Pink Dots are now showing why they are legendary. And why they belong on this site. The best description of this album, to me, would be a sound that Pink Floyd probably would have been into had Syd Barrett not self destructed into oblivion.

The music on this album is much more intense, and original than their earlier albums (at least the ones I've heard). There are pulsing, compelling rhythms, with interesting synthesized and acoustic instrumentation. But the true beauty of this album is the lyrics. Surreal, yet well structured, the lyrics evoke Syd Barrett at his best (perhaps even better than Barrett's).

If you want to get into this band, start here.

Report this review (#289929)
Posted Sunday, July 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars If you can imagine Syd Barrett scraping through the mid 70's and somehow pulling himself together to make an album in the next decade, this is the kind of outcome you'd probably expect.

'The Maria Dimension' is a paisley patterned kaleidoscopic psychedelic recording which sounds as though Syd is at the helm throughout. In reality, it's the work of the prolific Edward Ka-Spel - who has been around for a very long time brushing shoulders with the likes of total outsiders like Nurse With Wound and Current 93. Unlike their work this is far more accessible and tuneful.

Regular instruments are at play, but are used in an unusual way and the vocals are more often than not squashed through filters and compressors which add to the other worldliness of this recording which sports a very poor and cheesy front cover.

Although English by birth, Ka-Spel's spent so long in Holland that his accent has gone all funny and weird. Not that it detracts - it just makes it all the stranger. There are many moments of beauty hidden within this recording and every song has its moment. It's just that as a whole it kind of drags over the huge 74 minute duration. I can fully understand however, that it's most likely viewed as a classic by fans of the band.

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Posted Sunday, June 30, 2013 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. LEGENDARY PINK DOTS formed back in 1980 in the UK but at some point The Netherlands became their home base. They are a Psychedelic band inspired greatly by Syd Barrett. Edward Ka-Spel is the genius here as we get the kind of musical soundscapes that leave me breathless. I could go on and on about the atmosphere, the effects, tape manipulation, electronics and samples that are used here. It's a rather dark album with lyrics to match. Edward clearly liked the way Syd wrote his lyrics but there's no question he has moved beyond Syd's abilities, and then add the dark and inventive soundscapes and yes I have another band to follow, and with their huge discography this is going to be fun. Edward even sings like Syd which I must admit is not a style of singing I enjoy but I have come to accept it. This was released in 1991 and it's a long one at over 74 minutes.

"Disturbance" opens with sounds building including what sounds like a hurdy-gurdy. Vocals join in but not for long. Sounds slowly pulse in this very psychedelic sounding track. Sax joins in before 3 minutes. "Pennies For Heaven" opens with intricate guitar as reserved vocals and electronics join in. It turns more sinister lyrically and instrumentally after a minute. Strings too followed by church organ as the vocals continue. The vocals are stronger before 2 1/2 minutes as we get marching styled drums and more. Horns lead a minute later as the vocals have stopped. It continues this way to the end. "Third Secret" opens with what sounds like guitar but if it is the sound is manipulated. Vocals, a beat and keyboards join in quickly. It's fuller 2 1/2 minutes in. Sax to the fore 4 minutes in as the vocals have stepped aside. Male operatic vocals end it.

"The Grain Kings" is a top five tune. Powerful electronics to start and it's dark. So much going on here. It picks up 1 1/2 minutes in as the vocals join in. Love the rhythm here, like riding a train. Check out the keyboards starting before 5 minutes. Is that guitar after 6 minutes? Crazy! "The Ocean Cried"Blue Murder"" opens with piano as the vocals and a bass horn join in, electronics too. Waves and seagulls end it as the piano continues. "Bella Donna" is a top five. I love how this starts with the synths as restrained vocals join in. This is so moving for some reason. There's those lush synths again but with sax this time before 2 minutes as the vocals stop temporarily.

"A Space Between" starts out really good with those pulsating electronics and drums as the vocals join in. The chorus is too catchy. "They all have names" is repeated many times as the sax plays over top. Again this is so inventive, especially late with all that's going on. "Evolution" is another top five track for me. Man this seems Krautrock inspired as it opens with spacey, droning sounds. Love the atmosphere here. A beat kicks in along with some strange noises. A baby cries out before 4 minutes bringing GILA to mind. Spoken words follow in this haunting section. There's that baby crying again. The guitar expressions and electronics sound so good as the spoken words continue. Dark pulsating sounds after 6 minutes and what sounds like strummed sitar. "Cheraderama" opens with spoken vocals and atmsophere. The vocals get deeper then back to the previous soundscape. A hypnotic and dark tune.

"Lilith" has spacey synths, faint spoken vocals and a beat. "Fourth Secret" has tons of atmosphere as the drums and electronics join in. An 80's sounding synth line joins in that I like. Deep vocals chant the words. "Expresso Noir" has a rhythm that reminds me of being on a train at night which is cool. Vocals throughout and it's experimental late. "Home" is a top five that opens with piano and it's so excellent how the atmosphere envelopes the soundscape after a minute. Simply a beautiful piece of music. "Crushed Velvet" is the final tune and my final top five. Yes I like the way this album ends. It sounds like deep cello as spoken words join in. Very psychedelic lyrics here as well. Love it! An eastern vibe joins in. A change after 2 1/2 minutes with percussion and strange sounds, sax too. This is so good and it ends with some creepy piano.

I can't wait to check out more from this band, they play the kind of Psychedelic music I adore. One of the best albums from 1991, no doubt.

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Posted Sunday, March 20, 2016 | Review Permalink

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