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Listen to the music of today / #3 Kayo Dot

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harmonium.ro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Listen to the music of today / #3 Kayo Dot
    Posted: November 03 2010 at 19:20
This is the second continuation of the #1 thread where I wrote



Originally posted by harmonium.ro

It seems to me that there is a certain encouraging amount of interest for new music and albums of 2010 on PA, but people don't follow recommendations unless they come with "all inclusive". I have decided to start a series of recommendation threads for 2010 albums, in which I promote albums that can be fully streamed for FREE on the internet, thus making the sampling as easy and accessible as possible for those interested. There's no excuse for not checking these releases out now!



You have probably heard of Kayo Dot and you might have noticed the reviews on the PA homepage for their 2010 album Coyote. I stronly recommend checking this band out, especially now that you can stream a full live performance of the album, HERE. The performance took place on a radio show and follows perfectly the studio version of the album, with a special vibe added. The second media player icon, at the bottom of the page, is what you need to click on for the streaming to start.

EDIT: Also, I later found out that the studio version album can be streamed in full HERE. Wow!

If you like it, do buy the album and give it a review! Thumbs Up




Edited by harmonium.ro - December 30 2010 at 03:45
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Post Options Post Options   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2010 at 19:22
Here are two of the best reviews on PA:


Review by progkidjoel
PROG REVIEWER

5 stars Probably my most anticipated release of the year so far, Kayo Dot's 2010 release is, as was expected from Toby and the gang, an incredibly enigmatic and poetic foray into a whole new world for the band. The album is not metal in any typical sense; rather a much darker, more foreboding lyrically based recording. The album is a single, narrative-driven masterpiece split into 5 tracks. Not only is this new territory for Kayo Dot, but new territory for progressive music - with the birth of a new genre (Goth Fusion), expectations were high, and indeed met. It isn't fair to categorise this album lightly, although this album is without a doubt truly progressive.

The lyrics and album are dedicated to a friend of the band, Yuko Sueta, who recently, and tragically, passed away due to breast cancer. The lyrics and concept detail the last days of her life. As expected, Kayo Dot mix up the compositions and instrumentation a lot on this one, with Toby on bass, and nearly no guitar at all. The main instruments are bass, trumpet and alto-sax, with an underpinning, loose and free drum section.

The album opens up with the first part of Coyote, 'Calonyction Girl'. The opening lyrics of 'Help me... I'm disappearing' are sung in a truly ethereal fashion, and the instrumentation is immediately distressing and dark. The bass creates an incredibly dark and heavy sound, which works with the drums to create heaviness in the absence of typically metal instrumentation and playing. The single syllable lyrics in the latter half of the track, combined with the sorrow-filled violin and crescendo of drums and bass, create an atmosphere that is both disheartening and frighteningly beautiful at the same time. This section closes with the tragically sung lyrics 'I want to live forever...'

'Whisper Ineffable' opens with soft violin commences with soft trumpets and evil bass playing. Fierce drumming and straining vocals with trumpet and saxophone layers soon join, helping to create metallic music without metallic instrumentation and building layer upon layer of brilliance. This track feels like a step towards the heaviness the band used to employ more thoroughly, although the instrumentation lends and entirely different atmosphere and quality to the music. Entering a moor of such dark sounding compositions was not really expected, although nothing Kayo Dot ever makes really is.

'Abyss Hinge 1: Sleeping Birds Sighing In Roscolux' is the album's only instrumental track, which consists of a repeated rhythmic section with a fantastic keyboard solo over the top. The occasional saxophones and trumpets cut in to help break up the pace, and the foreboding echoes in the background also create a solid base, which plays perfectly into the start of...

'Abyss Hinge 2: The Shrinking Armature' opens up with a slow bass rhythm and wonderful saxophone, trumpet and alto-sax interplay which is occasionally cut into by lovely, eastern sounding violin sections. The drums are probably at their rhythmic peak for the album here, which, combined with the trumpets and (absolutely wonderful) saxophone work, create a completely new beast, and take long, gallant steps towards uncharted territory. This section changes pace rapidly with slow vocals from Toby, with nothing but a pounding echo. This track is incredibly diverse as far as mood goes, featuring sections repeated from the first Abyss Hinge, albeit with much looser drumming (one of my favourite drum sections EVER) and even better saxophone and trumpet interludes and overtures. This track closes with more saxophone and trumpet over the familiar bass line, this time with semi-absent drumming and lovely background noises.

The 5 section composition comes to a close with 'Cartogram Out Of Phase', which is easily my favourite track as far as emotional value goes and is definitely high up in their catalogue for my favourite. This probably has what are my favourite, and what I consider to be, the band's most heart-felt lyrics to date. This slower piece is absolutely wonderful and provides a brilliant closer. The mood is once again incredibly unique, which to this reviewer sound like a resignation to fate... The album closes with the line 'With a perfect shade of love... Filling the empty holes in my heart'.

This album is easily my favourite of 2010 so far, and in all honesty, I don't expect anything to contest for this place. By creating such a unique album, which is still filled with Toby and the gang's signature style, I truly believe this band has shown that they're an entity at the top of its creative power. Although a departure from the old style of the band, I can't complain with the new direction Kayo Dot has taken, and as always, I eagerly await the next chapter in what I consider to be the artistic pinnacle of modern music. Its also worth mentioning that Yuko Sueta wrote the lyrics to this album, which helps give it a much more authentic feel, and at the same time makes it much more tragic and realistic.

Needless to say, 5/5 for this one.

-Joel




 Coyote by KAYO DOT album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.95 | 49 ratings

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Coyote
Kayo Dot RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Any Colour You Like
Collaborator Progressive Metal Team

3 stars Kayo Dot's much anticipated fourth release is one that is sure to generate a lot of discussion for several reasons. Having transformed themselves from album to album, Kayo Dot is one band that actually does defy any attempt at a definition. Put a tag on them, and by the next album, that tag is as good as useless. Therefore, when I first listened to this album, I had no clue what I was about to listen to. And that is a good thing.

Coyote is a stream of conciousness, a musical journey, an exploration, a catharsis. What Coyote is, is a re-definition of what Kayo Dot is. Gone are the dense guitars of Choirs of the Eye, the droning elements of Dowsing, and gone are the nightmarish free-jazz fusion elements of Blue Lambency Downward. Coyote is loosely based in chamber rock, but experiments with jazz chromatics, ambient, neo-classical music and atonality. In fact, a lot of this album is far from traditional in the melodic sense. It sounds like a nightmare. Toby Driver's vocals tend to shift from more traditional singing to atonal wails, signifying the downward concious spiral of the storyline. The instrumental freak-outs that morph from uninspired jams to furious dissonance are apt to catch the unexperienced listener unaware. While I embrace such brazen experimentation and eclecticism, it often doesn't do much for the overall memorability of the instrumentation.

The darkness and heaviness of this album is developed through a heady mixture of instrumentation and a dense layering of noise. The dissonant chaos that this album develops replaces the more traditional metal eruptions one would be apt to see on almost any other related album. Thus, Coyote is heavy without being metallic. However, I must lament that the poetics (both sonic and literary) that made me fall initially in love with Kayo Dot appears to be missing here. Maybe I just haven't quite grasped the scale and atmosphere of Coyote, but there is an emotional void here. Ironically, it is this void which the album is intending to portray, and the uncertainty in the lyrics neatly encapsulates my feelings towards this album. Yes it's good. Yes it's challenging. But there's something missing, I just don't get that emotional hook. Alas, it's there somewhere, lost beneath the chromatic dissonance and chaos of Coyote.

I'd love to give Coyote 4 stars but I just can't bring myself to do it, in reality it is a solid 3.5 star effort.




Edited by harmonium.ro - November 03 2010 at 19:24
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Post Options Post Options   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 12 2010 at 20:21
From the studio verson, this is all that can be found on YouTube:




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Post Options Post Options   Quote Any Colour You Like Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2010 at 23:14
Wow, I should post my bank account details Alex, so you can fuel my ego/bank balance.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 14 2010 at 23:20
LOL well, meet me in the Shred Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2010 at 07:28
Wow, I just found that the whole studio version of the album can be streamed in full here: http://www.self-titledmag.com/home/2010/04/20/test-pressing-an-exclusive-stream-of-kayo-dots-coyote-lp/

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Post Options Post Options   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2010 at 08:56
I can't take a review seriously which claims that there's an emotional void in Coyote and further says the void is intentional. 

Edited by Equality 7-2521 - December 20 2010 at 09:04
"One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall. "
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Padraic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2010 at 09:03
Totally taken with this album at first listen, I highly recommend this to any who can appreciate avant-prog.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote snobb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2010 at 09:11
I can add, that differently from some avant albums, which are really not easy accessible (and often- too much the question of listener's taste), Coyote is the release everyone can try to listen, and I believe many of genre's newcomers will be surprised how interesting and attractive could it be even for unprepared listener!

One of the best any genre's release from 2010.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Equality 7-2521 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2010 at 09:46
^
That's very true. There's really not much to scare off someone not acquainted with Avant. It's easy Kayo Dot's most accessible.
"One had to be a Newton to notice that the moon is falling, when everyone sees that it doesn't fall. "
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Negoba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2010 at 10:18

One of the best piece of music to slash your wrist to ever written.

Current Listening:

Heater valve kicking on.
Snotty noses being blown.
Griping.
Maybe cookies coming out of the oven???

C is for cookie, and it is good enough for me.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote yanch Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2010 at 12:52
I have listened to, or tried to listen to, Kayo Dot for the last month and I must admit that I can't. I appreciate the musicianship and experimentation, but I find it painful to hear. It doesn't make me want to listen to more. I guess it's a bit too avant-garde for me. Oh well, I tried! Unhappy
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Post Options Post Options   Quote SaltyJon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2010 at 12:57
I admit I enjoy this one more than what I've heard of the earlier albums, but it's still never going to be one of my favorites. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Triceratopsoil Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2010 at 13:06
Originally posted by Equality 7-2521

I can't take a review seriously which claims that there's an emotional void in Coyote and further says the void is intentional. 


you know, I could actually see how it could be interpreted as an emotional void - but, if that were the case, it would not at all be in a bad way
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Post Options Post Options   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2010 at 03:46
Great new reviews:


Coyote
Kayo Dot RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Equality 7-2521

5 stars At this point, Kayo Dot has become more akin to chamber rock outfit expanding 20th century composer's ideas in a 'rock' oriented setting. Coyote sounds like a nightmare happening in the space between existence and non-existence. Bookended by beautiful manifestations of pure despair, Kayo Dot bombards the listener with music plucked straight from a jazz club in hell.

The composition explores the emotional distress of a close friend of the band who suffered through a terminal illness. i don't know the details of the illness, nor do I have any desire to. Personally, I have a close connection to cancer patients. This album perfectly adheres to the utter horror made all too concrete in the waning moments of a cancer patient's life. Cancer destroys life unlike a gunshot or a heart attack, without their sense of finality. One dying from cancer simply seems to fade away. Like the world has suddenly just forgotten about them, all memory of them fading from the world's consciousness, with their bodies following suit and similarly disappearing, becoming nothing, becoming afterthought. Listen to this album. You'll feel a little bit of the same thing. It's like Toby managed to capture that feeling, bottle it, and encode it digitally.

Kayo Dot get better with every album. Perhaps even more importantly, they progress and develop with every album. Each release shows a different bag of tricks. Tim Byrnes is magical here. Similarly, Toby has contributed one of the all time best bass performances. His bass provides the life-blood for the composition, throbbing like a living heart and moving the rest of the music along with it. Buy this now.

Highlights: -The wind instruments at the beginning of Whisper Ineffable setting the tone for the entire piece, manipulating the listener like a marionette. -Toby's bass in Abyss Hinge 2. It breathes life into the piece like God into Adam. -Toby's utterance of 'love' in Cartogram Out of Phase. Heartbreaking



Coyote
Kayo Dot RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Negoba
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Soundtrack to a Bad Trip

Toby Driver has been trying to translate a nightmare into recorded sound for some time now. As Kayo Dot's COYOTE opens with a painful wail, I thought he'd finally done it. In my review of the Dots' previous album, BLUE LAMBENCY DOWNWARD, I complained that Driver seemed to have forgotten that we the audience were part of the picture. He was in his own self-absorbed world of major depression. On my first listen to COYOTE, I almost laughed out loud because he had fixed that exact shortcoming. Much more attention has been paid to pacing, movement, and emotional communication on this album. Certainly, the narrator of this tale is in misery, but as the very first line describes "Heeellllpp Meeee," we can feel Driver reaching out to us. We're being drawn in to the horror. And what a difference that choice makes.

Drivers style has evolved a lot over the years to the point that I'd describe COYOTE as a kind of avant chamber rock. Where BLD felt like free form jazz at times, I can almost see Driver directing the members of his band on this one. The horns, strings, and bass (which is especially splendid) provide almost all of the tonal structure to the album, and their performances remind much more of classical music (though very avant) than rock. There is no metal here at all. There is plenty of intense, heavy handed drumming and some electronic textures, but COYOTE is more like a Univers Zero record than it is like Driver's previous band Maudlin of the Well.

There are places where the music falls off the edge into chaos, which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing given the type of music this is. But there's really not a sense of growing tension or release on either side of the noise. You, the listener, are just moved from one form of misery to another. These sections are not insufferably long as they were on the previous record, and I can understand Driver's basic intentions placing those parts in the songs. Its just that it doesn't work for me. Similarly, some of the slower sections still drag a bit too long. Thankfully, I can always feel a kind of pulse, a sense of rhythm running even if it is woefully crippled, like a 17 year old dog with a thorn in one paw and a bad hip over another.

Unifying all of Drivers work is a singular sense of tonality which often creates an eerie beauty that is virtually nowhere else. I'm not sure I can pin it down, but Driver's work is pretty quickly identifiable. Perhaps its just the combination of rhythm, lyrical theme, pale oblivion, too much junk in the veins, hard to tell.

Two of the best pieces on the record are the opener "Calonyction Girl" which sets the horrorific stage, and the multi-part "Abyss Hinge." The second is a (relatively) quicker, livelier piece with a lot more going on in the mix. Part I is nicely concise, and the first third of Part II does its job to maintain interest. Just when things become a morass of quicksand again, a lonely trumpet playing a (gasp) major melody comes in and then it picks up, only to wander to its conclusion. In contrast, the second track "Whisper Ineffable" is pretty much mud the entire way and doesn't have much to say that wasn't already done better in the opener. Also, having two major downer tracks in a row was just a little too much. The closer "Cartogram Out of Phase" is again painfully slow, I think quarter note = 7 or something. But the vocal is more focused, has some nice interplay with the instruments, and the piece finishes in a merciful 3:11. I wouldn't say we get any kind of release, but there is just enough major tonality and lift at the end that I don't finish feeling like I'd been beaten with a hammer.

I must say that of all the music to hack your wrist to in the world (of which there is far too much) this is probably one of the best. Perhaps it is because I have something to live for that this music doesn't connect with me more than it does. I certainly recognize an artistic talent that is quite high, and an achievement that far surpasses its predecessor. To balance my mixed feelings Im giving 3/5. That seems fair.



Coyote
Kayo Dot RIO/Avant-Prog

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I really had no intentions of getting this one after the disappointment of "Blue Lambency Downward" and certainly the poor ratings for that one indicate i wasn't the only one who was let down.I was convinced though from people on this site that this one wasn't nearly as minimilistic, that it had some life in it, and that it was very good.And i agree on all counts.In fact when the vocals are silent i'm reminded of Terje Rypdal and of the ECM label in general because of the atmosphere with horns and violin.I like the mood here. "Calonyction Girl" opens with violin and sparse sounds as a voice cries out "Help me ! I'm disappearing." The melancholy and sad words continue.It picks up some around 3 minutes.Horns too. "Whisper Ineffable" features mournful horns,bass and other sounds that come and go.Drums kick in with vocals after 3 minutes as the horns continue.This is intense with the drumming upfront.It settles back 7 minutes in.The horns are prominant late to end it. "Abyss Hinge 1 : Sleeping Birds Sighing In Roscolux" has a powerful intro as drums pound.Killer stuff right here.It settles before 3 1/2 minutes with horns to end it. "Abyss Hinge 2 : The Shrinking Armature" is my favourite.Horns and drums weave their way through this amazing piece of music.Incredible ! A change after 4 1/2 minutes as it calms right down with mournful vocals.It starts to pick back up 7 1/2 minutes in with drums and horns leading the way.Great sound. "Cartogram Out Of Phase" is slow moving with vocals and more throughout. A return to form and their best since "Choirs Of The Eye" in my opinion.Closer to 4.5 stars.

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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Neck Romancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2010 at 10:17
I gave "Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue" a focused listen today. I need to buy that one ASAP
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Neck Romancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2010 at 10:56
BTW, these two obvious manipulators should be banned:

http://www.progarchives.com/Collaborators.asp?id=31535
http://www.progarchives.com/Collaborators.asp?id=28690
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Post Options Post Options   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 30 2010 at 11:00
Yeah, I've already reported those guys and others like them already, but it would be a good idea to show your support in the reporting thread: List manipulation?. So far no measure has been taken against them. 

Edited by harmonium.ro - December 30 2010 at 11:00
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