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Kayo Dot - Blue Lambency Downward CD (album) cover


Kayo Dot



3.53 | 110 ratings

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5 stars And the leviathan moves on..... Kayo Dot have gained a very strong cult following here on PA, largely due to the fact that they blend together multiple styles in thoroughly unique and avant garde way that has successfully worked its way under the skin of many listeners. But, its also fair to say that the fact that all three of their current albums are completely different from each other and bring something new to the table each time.

This time out, Kayo Dot are emphatically NOT a Metal band with Avant Garde tendencies, as some may have seen them, or even an Avant Garde band with metal tendencies. Here, the metal aspect of their music is gone, dropped, removed from existence, and replaced with a much more jazzy feel helped along by the hugely increased use of various wind instruments, notably the clarinet. Its important to note that these days, Kayo Dot are effectively a two piece band consisting of Mia Matsumia (violin and voice) and the multitalented genius (a word I don't bandy around too often) of Toby Driver, the rest of the previous two line ups have now gone. This means the music is very much under their control and as a result feels far more cohesive and , well, controlled than the previous output, the sprawling Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue.

One thing about this album that impresses me is the flow of the songs, they are all put together in a way that works brilliantly. The album starts with menacing ambience of the title track and builds through the wonderfully chaotic Clelia Walking and Right Hand is the One I Want before launching into the more Jazz Rock oriented songs of The Sow Submits and The Awkward Windwheel. From there there is a brief respite in the calmer The Useless Ladder before launching into the grand closer, Symmetrical Arizona. Its an album that feels perfectly crafted, as if it couldn't work any other way.

Though there is a lot of aspects of the bands music from the previous albums missing here, they have been replaced by new moods and styles whilst still retaining an unmistakably Kayo Dot sound to them. This is most emphatically not easy music to just dive into unless Avant Garde tends to be your bread and butter of music listening, but with time and patience you will find many strong melodies and quirks that create a memorable experience, and this is the hallmark of any truly great album, of which I am convinced Blue Lambency Downward is. In short, its almost the equal of the now legendary debut, Choirs of the Eye, and certainly my album of the year. 5 stars without question.

sleeper | 5/5 |


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