Edward Ka-Spel
Chyekk, China Doll/AaΔzhyd, China Doll

Cover Image

Edward Ka-Spel - Chyekk China Doll / Aa


NL CD Staalplaat STCD090

disc a

  1. Lines [TORSO33013]
  2. The Infinity Waltz [MP3] [TORSO33013]
  3. Prelude For A Splash [TORSO33013]
  4. The Price Of Salvation [TORSO33013]
  5. Chyekk 1 [MP3] [TORSO33013]
  6. Lisa's Christening [MP3] [TORSO33013]
  7. Chyekk 2 [TORSO33013]
  8. Beautiful, Naked [TORSO33013]
  9. Klazh, Tristurr [TORSO33013]
  10. Lisa's Resurrection [MP3] [TORSO33013]
  11. The Power, The Power [TORSO33013]
  12. The Glory, The Glory [TORSO33013]
  13. The Forbidden Zone
  14. Colour Me Vexed, Desiree

disc b

  1. Aaδzhyd China Doll [TORSO33028]
  2. Flesh Parade [TORSO33028]
  3. The Qa'Spell [TORSO33028]
  4. The Unfortunate Demise Of The Fabulous Puccino Brothers [TORSO33028]
  5. Nuts In May [TORSO33028]
  6. Traitors' Gate [TORSO33028] / Blowing Bubbles (Part 3) [TORSO33028]
  7. The Fool [TORSO33028]
  8. The Witchfinder Suite Parts I-V [TORSOCD187]
  9. The Witchfinder Suite Part VI [TORSOCD187]

Edward Ka-Spel - music on A11 & A12, recorded in 1994.
For all other personnel see the credits for the original releases of Chyekk China Doll and Aaδzhyd China Doll.

"Traitor's Gate" and "Blowing Bubbles (Part 3)" are together on track 6, "The Fool" is track 7, and "The Witchfinder Suite" is split into tracks 8 and 9
The Chinese characters on Chyekk China Doll CD translate to "cooking instructions" while on the Aaδzhyd China Doll translate to "ingredients : flour, salt"

alternate cover

Ed's china dolls conjure an image of children's toys which are delicate, easily broken, and possibly enchanted by some demented musician-magician. The music on this 2-CD re-release has this same kind of eerie carnival atmosphere, using mostly synthetic instruments to create a simultaneously dreamlike and sinister ambience. Songs like "The Infinity Waltz" combine an innocuous and familiar rhythm with Ed's unique voice supplying surreal narration...it gives the impression of mad china dolls trapped in an eternal dance. Ed happily sings about "slaves" and "corpses" in an upbeat tempo with his usual elfin charm. Ka-Spel's usual cast of characters makes their appearances on these albums, particularly "Lisa" who is christened and resurrected in two tracks. Fans of the LPD album "Asylum" would definitely like the music on these albums, which were released originally around the same time as that album (86-87). Anyone who likes the synth sound from Walter Carlos' "Clockwork Orange" is also pointed to "Chyekk", which captures that sound and might bring a string of associations with it. "Aaδzhyd" is less of a demonic carnival, less synthesized and returning to the Pink Dots' "Lovers" for material particularly on the song "Flesh Parade". Disc two has more of a desolate feel, ranging from underwater whisperings to almost industrial wailing sprees. Apocalyptic nursery rhymes and psychedlic soup in this long-awaited re-release from the chinadoll man. - sarada

Ka-Spel's next two solo albums, 1986's Chyekk and 1987's Aaδzhyd, were released together in a double pack by Dutch Soleilmoon-equivalent Staalplaat in 1995. The artwork for the package is beautiful but when carefully considered, the two albums are thematically different enough to merit individual release. Chyekk is somewhat lightweight, containing a number of brief instrumental interludes and synth-orchestrated waltzes ("The Infinity Waltz," "Lisa's Christening"), but overall the album is stripped-down and crystal clear. Slight keyboard melodies like "The Forbidden Zone" and "Lines" are examples of Ka-Spel's best work. Appending a shapeless sound collage like "Colour Me Vexed, Desiree," which was also written many years after the bulk of the album, was a good intention gone horribly wrong as it interrupts the proceedings. Aaδzhyd is much denser and darker; whether intended to praise or damn certain psychoactive hallucinogenic drugs, it is easy to see how the album could be the musical equivalent of a bad trip. While arpeggioed pieces like "Flesh Parade" (also on the LPD's Prayer For Aradia) or simple melodies like "Nuts In May" maintain the minimalism carried over from Chyekk, the stark creepiness of the title track and "The Fool" tend to undo any possible feelings of pleasantness while listening. A lengthy epilogue was tacked onto this album as well, but "The Witchfinder Suite (Parts I-VI)" at least fits the mood of the album it complements. - Rex