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The Legendary Pink Dots - Angel In The Detail | Review

The Legendary Pink Dots - Angel In The Detail

August 2019

Metropolis Records

Dark Psychedelic music pioneers, The Legendary Pink Dots released new album, "Angel In The Detail"!

When the time has come to start writing an article about The Legendary Pink Dots, my first thought was, where and how should I begin! There is so much to write about a band like this legends. On the other hand sometimes is difficult to find the appropriate words to express the feelings while listening to such music. Listening to music like this and a voice like this of Edward Ka-Spell's is always a unique experience. Most of their releases are quite different from each other, always using those unique elements from psychedelic rock, avant-garde, post-punk, dark wave and industrial, that made them what they are today.

The Legendary Pink Dots formed back in 1980 somewhere between the UK and the Netherlands, with founding members Edward Ka-Spel and Phil “The Silverman” Knight, who are the two members that write all the 40 years history of the band. During these four decades, several other musicians joined the band, while current members, along with Edward and Phil, are Erik Drost, Joep Hendrikx and Raymond Steeg. From the early years, the band was distinguished for the experimental sound, with their music gathering elements  from avant-garde artists, early industrial projects and ethereal dark wave and post-punk. However their main and unavoidable comparison, while listening to The Legendary Pink Dots, is not other than the beloved and legendary Pink Floyd.

(Image credit: Amikal Sonik © Antoine Represse)

(Image credit: Amikal Sonik © Antoine Represse)

Using the techniques that made Pink Floyd the pillar of psychedelia in rock music, The Legendary Pink Dots mixed their dark mood and emotion to create their own experimental genre. Patterns and synths even from the "Syd Barret" years of Pink Floyd are obvious through their whole music history and path.

Moreover, several collaborations for the band's members with bands and artists, such as, Nurse With Wound, The Dresden Dolls, Jarboe, HNAS, Jim O’Rourke, Skinny Puppy’s cEvin Key, forming The Tear Garden.

The Legendary Pink Dots are celebrating their long history in underground music industry with an amazing new full length album. With more than 40 albums, The Legendary Pink Dots return this year with a follow up to their "Pages of Aquarius", 2016 album. They say that "Angel In The Detail" is perhaps the band's finest work to date. I would say that is definitely one of their best release, and once again their experimental compositions and sounds leads to new paths. 

Listening to "Angel In The Detail" there are so much things you can imagine. Using drums holding the rhythm to a playful tone along with guitar chords and the elegant voice of Edward Ka-Spel, there comes the "Happy Birthday Mr. President" followed by the "Double Double", a tripping tune with the lyrics melodically narrated by Ed telling the story of his "Double" . Ending this song more psychedelic tunes arrive creating some dark clouds in this story.

"Jankyard" is where the electronic beats start to become more obvious, Reminding even some Massive Attack styles, with enough industrial dose and psychedelia. "Itchycoo Shark/Isle Of Sighs" is a true gem among others. As someone can imagine it could be two separated songs, but the true magick here is that these two would be completely different if they were not matched in such a way. Starting with low-tempo, in a ballad way, using synths in a great way and giving a beautiful tune. Creating a joyfull and quiet atmosphere in the beginning there is a misty and dark turn following. There exactly, is the point that Pink Floyd joins the Dots and lifting this song to a higher level. Guitars and organs making a psychedelic landscape. Lyrics perfectly bound to all these feeling created by the music.

In "Neon Calculators" rhythm is getting a little higher. With even more modulations and electronic parts the industrial side of the bands comes in front. Distortions are also in a higher amount, while there are several other sounds joining as the track proceeds creating feelings of anxiety and thrill. "My Land/Paralles" is another one of those joined in a form of an undividable track. We can listen to some Einsturzende Neubauten influences, while grotesque stories are being told. "Maid to Measure" is one of these clashing compositions and songs raging out all this madness in the darkest sides while, after all, you think that this could be a lightful song. But then again, is The Legendary Pink Dots and Edward Ka-Spel.

"Mantis" is keeping this mystery alive. Beautiful key melody until the clouds fall again ανδ creating a landscape in a battle of emotions. "The Photographer" is the dark, post-punk as it is performed by the Dots. One of my favourites, although I cannot say that I can distinguish and love one track more than the other. "Red Flag" is the closing song of an amazing album. Dark ambience, with the drums and guitar chords creating an intense feeling, thinking that there will be an explosion. There are so many feelings created by the different parts of this song. It could be a soundtrack from a movie, perhaps directed by Haneke or Aranofsky with melodramatic soundscapes to strong emotions of cynicism.

"Angel In The Detail" is another one of these albums from The Legendary Pink Dots, that even if you are familiar with their music, voice, lyrics and ambience, you are confident that it will be unique in many ways. In "Angel In The Detail" is exactly where Pink Floyd join hands with Kraftwerk and Einsturzende Neubauten. Without moving away from their already famous and different music visions of darkness and psychedelia, the Dots manage to create the appropriate psychedelic dark industrial soundscape in order to celebrate their 40 years anniversary.







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