Edward Ka-Spel
Down In The City Of Heartbreak And Needles

Cover Image

Edward Ka-Spel - Down In the City of Heartbreak and Needles

buy at teka


US CD Soleilmoon SOL29

  1. Mirror Soul [MP3] [FACE13]
  2. Avengelist [MP3] [FACE13]
  3. God In A Cupboard [MP3] [FACE13]
  4. Blowing Bubbles (Part 2) [MP3] [FACE13]
  5. Six Cats On A Dead Man's Chest [MP3] [FACE13]
  6. "Joey" - The Video [MP3] [FACE13]
  7. The Char Char [MP3] [FACE13]
  8. Intermezzo [MP3] [FACE13]
  9. Hotel Blanc [MP3] [FACE13]
  10. Tikko [MP3] [LD8944]
  11. Volicie [MP3] [LD8944]
  12. Suicide Pact [MP3] [PHA6]
  13. Lisa's Funeral [MP3] [PHA6]
  14. The Glass Moved By Itself... [PHA6]
  15. ....And Smashed Into A Million Pieces [MP3]
  16. Lilith's Daughter [MP3] [PHA6]
  17. Eye Contact [MP3] [PHA6]
  18. And The Lord Said "Rise" [MP3] [LD8944]
  19. Requiem [MP3] [PHA6]

Edward Ka-Spel - voice, keyboards, electronics, percussion, glox
Hero Wouters - keyboards, tapes, sephthesmesc
Neel Holst - saxophones
Mathieu Keizer - marimba
Patrick White - guitars
Patrick Q. Paganini - violin, voices
Lady Sunshine - lady vox
The Angels - Where are you now that we need you?

This compilation, released in 1995 by Soleilmoon Recordings, gathers onto one CD most of the first two years of Ka-Spel's solo output. Overlooking the Dance China Doll 12" of 1984, it includes half of 1984's Laugh China Doll (which, since the master tapes were destroyed by the weather, was mastered off of clean vinyl) and the entirety of 1985's Eyes China Doll, plus an unreleased track and three selections from a 1989 miscellany compilation entitled Perhaps We'll Only See a Thin Blue Line. Of all these odds and ends, the Eyes material is the strongest, as it contains more dynamic songs and memorable vocal performances, including the aggressive, mockingly-gothic "Avengelist," the powerful three-part symphony about "Hotel Blanc," and the only waltz in the world that celebrates explosive destruction, "The Char Char." It is interesting to note how often Ka-Spel references himself over the course of his output. In some cases, he re-records LPD tracks and vice-versa. Laugh's "Suicide Pact" is found here in its definitive version, but can also be found on the LPD's Stained Glass Soma Fountains. (It contains the refrain, "We're only faces in the fire!") The rhythmic "Lisa's Funeral" is one in a string of Lisa songs that started with LPD's "Lisa's Party" on Curse and continues through later Ka-Spel albums to appear for the last time (so far) on LPD's The Golden Age ("Lisa's Separation").

Do you think there have been enough LPD/Ka-Spel releases and re- issues this year? This makes the fourth or fifth I think, and happily brings us "Eyes China Doll", "Laugh China Doll", and some other goodies that would have otherwise been almost impossible to find anymore, for a reasonable price. I picked this up at an LPD show, and talked to Ed about it, I mentioned that I missed Elke's cover art on this release and he said that they had just broken up. So, foot in mouth, I changed the subject. Ka-Spel solo would probably be indistinguishable from regular Pink Dots albums to anyone who wasn't as neurotically obsessed as I am, but he seems more able to delve into his weirdness on solo releases and tell longer tales about his pageant of characters. There are more installments in the saga of Lisa and Joey on these albums, and a "Hotel Blanc" to complement the Pink Dots' "Hotel Noir". "Eyes" was originally released in 1985, around the same time as "Asylum" and there is a similar synth-heavy sound (good synths! not bad ones!), perhaps not as complex as LPD works of that time because there are fewer musicians working on his solo albums with him. The Silverman's contribution, for example, is only violin on one song, as "Patrick Q. Paganini", but Lady Sunshine is very much in evidence on these releases. I think of these solo outings as being a little more playful than regular LPD albums...and they've almost all been re-released finally. - sarada

In 1984, Ka-Spel must have felt that the highly-prolific Legendary Pink Dots weren't enough of a creative outlet for him and he initiated a fruitful solo career which has proven to be almost equally as prolific. There has been much discrepancy about whether Ka-Spel's solo releases sound radically different from the Pink Dots material, but generally Ka-Spel's work is much more minimal, usually just voice with a sparse synth backing, often in the form of simple waltzes, or at other times, tape loops and sculpted electronic collage. Over time, Ka-Spel's work has developed much the way that his band's has, but a difference between the two, however slight, is usually discernable. Ka-Spel tends to use little outside help on his solo releases, but at times has used contributions by the Silverman, Patrick Q. Wright, his future-then-former wife Elke Skelter, recent producer and sound engineer Raymond Steeg, and LPD rhythm man Ryan Moore. - Rex

i wanted to write a review on this album simply because the others that have reviewed this have spent more time talking about were each song has come from and all the albums that brought it to be. don't get me wrong they have given very important knowledge to all but i want to talk about this album as if it had no history. i for one love this album the sounds are so odd yet fit perfectly for an example the song "hotel blanc" has a sample of people playing tennis only an insane man would think to put that into a song only a genius could make it sound at home. this i think is my favorite Edward Ka-Spel album it has everything. it is very creepy and disturbing it starts out with a very psychological and erie "eyes china doll" it plays with paranoia and at the same time has samples of airplane flaying over and sounds of a garden and an outside world it gives you a free feeling and forces your mind to create images then it comes in with the religious satire "evangelist" he never pushes his beliefs or thoughts on you only exaggerates the truth of religions this i love. it give all those beautiful cathedrals and statues a deviant twist. as if they were vampires draining the life from you and making you one of them so that you may run out and do the same. one of my favorites is "six cats on a dead mans chest" this is my favorite kind of story telling were he sounds so peaceful and innocent talking about childish things with a slight twist of deviation. towards the end you hear a child struggling to sing along and then Edward laughing sinisterly. it gives you the feel that something isn't stirring the kool-aid, that something very leaky is going on. it is wonderful this album is a great reflection of the pure deviant, insane aspect of the human mind. this album is truly "noir" dark and obsessive. i listen to it and in vision a man struggling threw society. his fears are justified yet his thoughts are dark and he lives with a void that isn't so much a hole but an abyss sucking everything into it, including all that he is. and if "they" knew then they would incriminate him. it gives you the feel that a child's story is haunting you with red eyes. you begin to forget that there is a real world out there were people work and kiss their spouces quickly and grab a to-go cup of coffee from a fast food restaurant and then sell themselves behind a desk. yes you forget all of this and begin to smell the roses and inhale the sweetness of all the insects that they hold. this is the album were you wonder where the minds of most would go after listening to it. i laid back with a friend and he was shocked at all the odd sounds and the samples. he was disturbed into a laughing trance at the twisted stories that Edward had to tell "im plunging pins as uncle plunges in". this to me is the most important album that Edward has ever put out including all that the dots have to offer. this is that kaleidoscopic look into the mind of a mad man into the mind of us all. sleep well and dream of drunken angels dancing around candle pillars in candy plazas - joseph m lewi