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STAINED GLASS

Kayo Dot

RIO/Avant-Prog


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Kayo Dot Stained Glass album cover
3.94 | 41 ratings | 7 reviews | 32% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection


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Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, released in 2010

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Stained Glass (19:55)

Total Time: 19:55

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians


- Toby Driver / vocals, guitar, bass, Casio keyboards, glockenspiel
- Mia Matsumiya / violin
- David Bodie / drums, other percussion
- Daniel Means / tenor saxophone, clarinet
- Terran Olson / Rhodes piano, Hammond organ, harmonium, Korg mono/poly
with
- Trey Spruance / guitar solo
- Russell Greenberg / vibraphone

Releases information

EP, Hydra Head
November 26th, 2010

Thanks to Conor Fynes for the addition
and to snobb for the last updates
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KAYO DOT Stained Glass ratings distribution


3.94
(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(32%)
32%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
46%
Good, but non-essential (15%)
15%
Collectors/fans only (7%)
7%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

KAYO DOT Stained Glass reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Cesar Inca
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars The name of Kayo Dot is brought up one more time in the account of 2010 prog releases worldwide: the ensemble of Toby Driver, Mia Matsumiya & co. has just released an excellent EP by the end of this year - "Stained Glass". With almost the same line-up that recorded "Coyote", the 'Stained Glass' piece is a lovely example of how well the eerie introspectiveness of "Blue Lambency Downward" and the grayish chamber-rock machinations of "Coyote" fuse together when the mind is lucidly aware of texture and environment. The opus opens with a languid sequence of drum kit, bass and vibraphone, with the sax and violin not taking too long before completing the orchestral whole and Driver's reflective singing developing the remaining aspects of the concept's dark spirituality. In the beginning, this is post-rock mixed with soft minimalistic jazz, but soon the clouds of doom emerge and ultimately fill the sonic spectrum, which is when Kayo Dot enter pure Univers Zero territory. Driver's singing for the second sung section displays a Wyatt-like falsetto, while the keyboard interventions and slow rhythmic pace that develop a bit later remind us of Tortoise. Surreal yet candidly intense, you can tell that the band's maturity achieved in the previous two albums still remains a constant rule of creativity: enfolding moods and subtly developing colors delivered in KD fashion. From the 17'30" mark onward, the final climax is built up on a reflective note that properly enhances the current obscure emotions as if drawing a disturbing daydream with sounds. A great year for KD means a great year for all us listeners and seekers of magical sound.

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Send comments to Cesar Inca (BETA) | Report this review (#366653) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Review by Anthony H.
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Kayo Dot: Stained Glass [2010]

Rating: 8/10

Stained Glass is an EP from American experimental music group Kayo Dot; it is the band's fifth release overall and their second from 2010. Coyote, the group's first release from that year, is an unflinchingly harrowing piece of dark dissonance and gothic melodrama. That album forged a new path for Toby Driver and his band; it took the RIO stylings first introduced on Blue Lambency Downward and pushed in the most extreme direction possible. I consider that album a masterpiece, but I also think that it would have been a grave mistake for Kayo Dot to try anything like it a second time. Thus, Stained Glass impressed me in multiple ways.

This single 20-minute track serves as a perfect complement to the depressive madness that was Coyote. Although this piece is equally experimental and avant-garde, it approaches experimentation in an entirely different way. It is difficult for me to categorize this EP with any sort of generic label. Although Stained Glass is not the strangest piece of work that Toby has ever done, it is the toughest to describe. This momentous composition is a semi-ambient voyage into minimalistic chamber music and shimmering vibraphone-laden jazz. The music lapses in and out of understated vocal passages, minimalistic tuned-percussion odysseys, and warbling electronic soundscapes. All of this is held together by a gorgeous sense of melancholy. While this certainly isn't a happy piece of music, it approaches darkness differently than Coyote did. That album focused on the brutal and gritty elements of sadness; Stained Glass centers on the pretty and poetic aspects of it. The result is a hauntingly beautiful 20 minutes of music.

Stained Glass is a triumphant EP that even further illustrates the depth and diversity of Toby Driver's compositional personality. Parts of this piece are absolutely masterful; the first three minutes constitute some of the greatest music that I have ever heard. Unfortunately, some of the other sections fail to live up to others. Because of this slight inconsistency, I am unable to give this the masterpiece rating that it would have otherwise deserved. Still, this is one of the best and most unique EPs that I have ever heard. Avant-garde aficionados will adore this, and those unacquainted with the style should also be able to find a rewarding experience here.

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Send comments to Anthony H. (BETA) | Report this review (#614835) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 21, 2012

Review by VanVanVan
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars It took me far too long to pick this EP up, especially given the legendary status I tend to assign to anything Toby Driver is attached to. On that note, Stained Glass certainly does not disappoint. This single track, 20 minute long EP blends together a huge variety of styles that have appeared on previous maudlin of the Well/Kayo Dot/Toby Driver projects to create a final product that, if not quite at the level of Bath or Choirs of the Eye, is still tremendously satisfying.

"Stained Glass" begins with a section that I think is heavily reminiscent of maudlin of the Well's quieter moments; it has that same kind of gorgeous texturing and (for now at least) lacks a bit of the harshness that is prevalent in Kayo Dot's music. There's even some very laid back vocals. However, this introductory section is short lived, and the motif quickly switches to a more ominous feel. This persists for a little while before distorted guitar enters, but almost as quickly as it arrives it falls away, leaving a variety of what sounds like wind chimes at the forefront of the track. The wonderful thing about this music is how well- arranged it sounds despite its often chaotic nature. No instrument is present unless it has a purpose.

The next section of the track strips back on the instrumentation a little bit and lets some high- pitched, haunting vocals take the forefront. The bells or windchimes or whatever they are continue to play a prominent role, though some distorted string sounds enter during this section as well, giving the main instruments a howling backtrack against which to play. This persists for quite a while before subtly transitioning to add bass and winds. This middle section of the track is definitely very experimental and avant-sounding, but it's also very beautiful music if you're in the right mindset. As the track comes to an end it increases in intensity, building up and then dropping down until it finally falls away to nothing.

It's always hard to assign EPs a star rating because there's such a tendency to want to compare the rating against the ratings given to complete albums. Nonetheless, this single track accomplishes everything it sets out to do with flying colors, and while I don't think it's the absolute best thing Kayo Dot or Toby Driver has ever released, it's pretty gosh-darn good.

4/5

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Send comments to VanVanVan (BETA) | Report this review (#618547) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Eclectic Prog Team
3 stars Vibraphone and loose drumming with hushed vocals and light brass provide a light but gloomy atmosphere before a darker synthesizer lead comes to the fore. The vocals are light and dreamy. This being a twenty-minute piece, things thankfully don't remain stagnant; unfortunately, not everything Toby Driver and company present is wonderful. The screeching, distorted noises are rather unpleasant and distracting. Six minutes in, it becomes a more twisted rendition of Gentle Giant's "An Inmates Lullaby." After that, it is a drowsy affair full of experimental sounds and somnolent expressions. The depth of instrumentation is, as usual for a Toby Driver project, generally brilliant. The composition is, as usual for a Toby Driver project, generally suspect.Vibraphone and loose drumming with hushed vocals and light brass provide a light but gloomy atmosphere before a darker synthesizer lead comes to the fore. The vocals are light and dreamy. This being a twenty-minute piece, things thankfully don't remain stagnant; unfortunately, not everything Toby Driver and company present is wonderful. The screeching, distorted noises are rather unpleasant and distracting. Six minutes in, it becomes a more twisted rendition of Gentle Giant's "An Inmates Lullaby." After that, it is a drowsy affair full of experimental sounds and somnolent expressions. The depth of instrumentation is, as usual for a Toby Driver project, generally brilliant. The composition is, as usual for a Toby Driver project, generally suspect.

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Send comments to Epignosis (BETA) | Report this review (#721441) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars This EP is a return to the kind of chamber sounds available on KAYO DOT's first album. They had elements of these sounds recur on all of their albums, but CHOIRS OF THE EYE is closest to the sonic voice of this album. While this may be viewed as retreading old ground, they really come at it from ... (read more)

Report this review (#409047) | Posted by Gorloche | Monday, February 28, 2011 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Stained Glass opens very gently and melodiously with a beautiful vocal line by Toby accompanied by nice sax, violin, and vibraphone reminiscent of motW's Part The Second. You're enjoying motW and the world is perfectly content. Then a distorted organ rips through the music like a tear in the s ... (read more)

Report this review (#379060) | Posted by Equality 7-2521 | Wednesday, January 12, 2011 | Review Permanlink

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 no ... (read more)

Report this review (#336598) | Posted by Tengent | Saturday, November 27, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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