US CD Roir RUS8286
Recorded at Studio Lent and Studio Klaverland, January-March 2004.
Klymyzh Plazhda... Sing While You May.
The Whispering Wall is the Legendary Pink Dots' latest album & third release on ROIR. The album will coincide with a 35-date North American tour. The Pink Dots know that the future, our man-made future is coming. And it is coming to get us. Whereas 2002's All The King's Men relied heavily on lush weighty soundscapes, The Whispering Wall provides Ka-Spel's poetry more room to flourish. Prophetic lyrics & haunting vocals envelope the listener; each song a continuation of the on-going story the LPD tell-- either through whimsical songs about Humpty Dumpty's travails or frightful anecdotes about a society increasingly dependent on technology yet perilously incapable of doing without it. Please take a listen-- it may be the most intriguing story you've heard in a very long time-- until next time. For the last 25 years, the Legendary Pink Dots have been one of the most consistently innovative and intriguing bands around. Constantly touring on the Continent and in North America, they have produced over 25 records on labels such as Play It Again Sam, Wax Trax, Staalplaat, Caroline, and Soleilmoon USA. Their leader, Edward Ka-Spel, a frequent collaborator with Skinny Puppy, has released albums of his own material and with Tear Garden (members of Skinny Puppy). Their unusual mixture of psychedelic whimsy, industrial gloom, and Alice In Wonderland textural madness has made them a constant presence on the innovative fringes of the cult music scene. Their dedication to the road and their inimitable style has earned them a near universal respect from critics and peers.
The Legendary Pink Dots seem unaware or unconcerned about the unwritten record industry rule that discourages artists from releasing multiple albums simultaneously. The proverbial wisdom has it that multiple releases confuse the record-buying public, and the albums tend to cannabilize each other's sales. Multiple albums have ruined a multitude of bands, from the Incredible String Band all the way to Kiss and Guns N' Roses. Well, the Pink Dots have been ignoring that maxim for quite a while now. In fact, Pink Dots albums tend to come it two and threes, often with a few solo albums thrown in for good measure. No exception here, as this month brings three new Pink Dots releases, in addition to a new Ka-Spel solo album. Everything is being released on the eve of their North American tour, which takes them through far more US cities than any other underground British/Dutch post-industrial psychedelic art-goth group could even dream of visiting. The extensive touring may be the secret to the Pink Dots impressive longevity and endurance, as they are frequently one of the most critically ignored bands in the underground scene. The Whispering Wall isn't going to rectify this situation, a typically indigestible concoction of psychedelic whimsy, wildly experimental textures, densely prophetic lyrical themes and skewed songwriting all mixed up together in a gooey prog-rock quagmire. Evaluating its relative quality compared to other albums is almost a moot point, as most hardcore Dots fans will certainly want to own every album regardless, and others stopped caring 30 albums ago. That said, The Whispering Wall does have some brilliant moments, and is very cohesive, easily eclipsing 2002's double feature of All The King's Horses and All The King's Men, albums that had strong points, but would have been better whittled down to a single disc. Those albums saw the band in a transitional period, finding their footing after the departure of Ryan Moore, trying out a more intimate, stripped-down sound that became tiresome after a few listens. This time around, there's been a few more personnel changes -- the loss of guitarist/violinist Martijn de Kleer and the addition of guitarist Erik Drost -- but the Pink Dots have come out intact and smelling (and sounding) like a bouquet of atomic roses. All the familiar Dots elements are present on The Whispering Wall. There's a good bit of future-scare dystopian proselytizing ("Soft Toy"); a sinister riff on a nursery rhyme ("Dominic"); a slow-cooked instrumental ("The Region Beyond"); the ubiquitous spoken-word EKS narrative against a backdrop of densely layered noise and sound effects ("The Divide"); and just plain demented silliness ("King of a Small World"). The soupy production by Dots mainstay Raymond Steeg is typically heavy-handed (in a good way, lots of sonic detail), and each player is given time to shine: Silverman's expertly-wielded synthesizers and rhythm programming, Niels Van Hoorn's exquisite saxophone blasts and Erik Drost's gutsy swathes of shredding psych guitar are all variously highlighted in the mix. It's an accomplished album by a prolific band who continue to prove that although less is certainly more, more can also be more. - Jonathan Dean, Brainwashed