Edward Ka-Spel
The Scriptures Of Illumina

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Edward Ka-Spel - Scriptures of Illumina


NL CD Terminal Kaleidoscope TEKA 888
US CD Soleilmoon/Caciocavallo CAD8 (2000)

  1. Illumina
  2. Memories Of Dr. Bliss
  3. A Grain Of Salt
  4. Homage
  5. Gomorrha
  6. Mayday
  7. The Never Man
  8. Laughing Venus
  9. There Was A Crooked Man
  10. Illumina 2
  11. The Last Door On The Left

Edward Ka-Spel - vox, keyboards, toys, acoustic guitar
Raymond Steeg - sound tools
Ryan Moore - drums, percussion, bass, electric guitar
Elke - machines, keys, graphics
Claudio Georgi - artwork
Mixed by Raymond and Edward

Recorded July & August 1994 in Bino's living room. Mixed at TeKaHq.
Originally released in a quantity of 1100.
Soleilmoon/Caciocavallo edition is remastered and includes a lyrics booklet.

soleilmoon reissue cover


Killer bees patrolled the border, Mad Dog Caesar rolled the dice, they seized control while we were sleeping, glued pitch black patches on our eyes. If seeing you is loving you, I think I'll tear out both my eyes. I'm happy on this private island, the only place I have to hide. We huddle close, we're wearing muzzles, we carry crosses nine to five. And though we roll in black sand blisters, somehow we just stay alive. It's in their interest but I haven't figured out the reason why and if I did I'd keep it quiet cos black is white and truth is lies. In this place called Illumina the white light never fades. Oh, Illumina my door is open, I'm nervous in the shade. In this place called Illumina the white light never fades. Oh, Illumina my door is open, I'm nervous in the shade.

Speech: Breakfast is served at the monument at precisely 5:05. Not a second earlier, not a second later. A neon light flashes 'EAT - DON'T TALK.' It's blazing above our heads. Just as if we'd never seen it before, if we'd actually needed to be reminded. We don't want to be reminded. A friend of mine once whispered out, hinting somehow the food seemed better one morning. They took him away, they strapped him to the chair. They put electrodes in his head and they illuminated him and his eyes would turn into bright bright candle like messages that flashed and flashed, "I talked, I did not eat. I am a reminder." I am a constant reminder of how you should behave. I am a constant reminder of the priviliges of being obedient at all times. We must fade out, out.

Memoires Of Dr. Bliss

We called it Operation Friendly because the victims were restricted. Nothing got beyond the fence, the gifted were extracted. For the greater good we kept it classified. We filed survivors under S, ran some tests, I served the finest medication. I watched them laugh themselves to death. It makes a tidy end. We called them Holy Mercy candies cause it's Christ who buys the wine. He slowly runs his finger down the perforated spine. He takes the time to listen carefully. Your pain drifts away, your pain drifts away. I should know it was me who ran the tests, watched you laugh yourself to death. It makes a tidy end. The jury all wore clothes-pins, the judge was unimpressed. There simply was no punishment devised to suit the hellish inner squirms of the one called Dr. Bliss. So they locked him in his playpen where he's busy playing chess with Napoleon. I stand here unimpressed. But I shall laugh myself to death cause it makes a tidy end. It makes a tidy end.

A Grain Of Salt

All the world's a stage - you failed the first audition. Doomed to walk the wings beyond my vision. Send in the hand. I tried to understand. I tried to find the man behind the mouse, the sleeping lion just was not there. I screamed, I shook you, I shot you twice, you apologized. That's why Jack's a dull boy.

Homage (instrumental)


Jenny danced with Joey on the table when the jukebox played their tune. He'd kiss her navel, she'd swoon like Isadora. Hit the floor. The special room would saw clean through the gates of old Gomorrha. Oh, they never saw us watching, clapping, gnawing, snapping, clawing through the jungle, twisted arms and knotted legs. And that for every secret wish you slept with. Down in Lazy Lover's Leap I took a seat inside a cubicle. I peeked at you, watched movies starring meecey films of you. See me, see you, we are everything, we're nothing. Wish I had another coin. The star attraction of this evening is a ceiling full of holes. The thrusted Brits on a pole, and all the bodies I've lusted for line up. I'm transparent. No one sees the hunger in my eyes. No, no one sees the hunger in my eyes. If every dream's a growing seed, I will not sleep in your dimension.

Mayday (voice with distortion)

The Never Man

I bleeded for my purple card, I didn't have a stamp so I pleaded for my stamp, I didn't have a card. And everywhere I traveled faces turned and turned away. Yes I cleared the shopping malls, I watched them slowly climb the walls dive head first in the river, one by one. I'm the never man, the man without a face without a number. I strolled into the movies, turned a camera on myself. I screened my never profile coast to coast. I fantasized the countdown and a melt down. {14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 0} Now I'm walking through the ghosts but no they don't see me. They don't see each other. They're the never men and no they don't see me. (Never never never man.) They don't see each other. (The never man.) I'm the never man, the man without a face without a number. No one knows the number that sits proudly on the front of heaven's door. The never man. Run away, run away. Never meant to be. Run!

Laughing Venus

Lost in light to face the far side. Touch me. Kissed by time. Still young enough to fly. Touch me. The stars seem closer tonight. If I had hands, well I'd surely dig them. If I had ears I'd steal your thunder. Just give me life. I will roll through famine fields on giant wheels. I'll sprinkle, heal, I'll give you back the day. Just touch me.

There Was A Crooked Man

Play it, play it then behave. Oh yessiree, we have the chains. Now here's the instructions: Thou shalt rave, Thou shalt give us more Marias. For our lady, she is fertile. Our lady, she sells, and we can smell that pot of silver. It is waiting maybe you can have some here, here. But play it, play it one more time again, again, again, again. A thousand times come out from that shadow boys. It's kind of hard to hear you through that god awful fucking noise. They have trouble selling accidents like this. Oh play it, play it, play it one more time, one more time. I wish they all were virgins, oh they've been screwing us for years. They wish that they were virgins, screwing us for years. You Wish you were a virgin, you've been screwing us for years.

Illumina 2

Killer bees besieged the border, evil warders rolled the bees. The eyes of wise guys, slick reporters now hanging from the Judas tree. The TV screen is scrambled and the radio's jammed but I dutifully follow orders cause you never can, you never can. Who slinks through the cracks across my wall, who listens for my footsteps as night falls, who amplifies the sighs, the curses, fantasizes all the worst things. And I'd rather be a gray man than the great pretender shouting at the moon. Ah, the moon. They switch it off at night because it isn't square. And I'd like to think back to those midnight walks with you but I don't dare. I guess that knowing you is loving you so I'll simply change the channel. I'll wipe a cold flannel across my face. I'll watch that space. I'll watch that scrambled space and think of nothing just in case they're watching, prying, tapping, probing, watching, prying, tapping, probing, watching, prying, tapping, probing. Sure thing nothing's sacred in this place they call Illumina. Our Illumina. The door is open. I'm nervous in the shade oh Illumina.

The Last Door On The Left (instrumental)

1. Illumina Fades in. Incredibly strange. Tribal rhythm, slowly throbbing. The whole track sounds like it has been squeezed through a sieve. Haunting and plaguing: I have been plagued by `If seeing you is loving you, I think I'll tear out both my eyes' during the last week. A long spoken section ends with a bizarre declaration that `I am a constant reminder of the priveledges of being obedient at all times', and then merges into 2. Memoires of Dr Bliss An absolutely wonderful melodic song, with an oddly mis-spelled title, in which Edward appears to confess how he assisted in the performance of curious experiments on live humans. Sounds full of remorse: `Your pain drifts away ... I should know ... it was me who ran the tests'. There is a long, but beautifully restrained, instrumental section. The bass synthesiser sounds like the one in Joy Division's `Decades'. `It makes a tidy end.' 3. A grain of salt Short. Cabaret-like, slow, and melancholy. `All the world's a stage ... you failed the first audition.' Three verses ... no more. 4. Homage A slightly rambling instrumental. Very lush swathes of sound: the sound of Ka-Spel becoming fashionably ambient. One note repeated every bar throughout the whole piece. My friend Mike says this one sounds (unfashionably) like Hawkwind. 5. Gomorrha Difficult to listen to. Prominent vocals, again telling a story about something or other. Kind of reminiscent of one of the _Shadow Weaver_ songs like `Stitching time' or `The key to heaven'. Classic Ka-Spel `eating noises' from the synthesiser at the beginning; dub reggae -like bass and rhythm for the remainder. 6. Mayday Extremely difficult to listen to, like _Malachai_. Incomprehensible distorted exhortations of increasing fervour and obsessiveness from Ka-Spel. Degenerates into a load of Space Invaders noises, a distant melody playing in the background, then rambles on for a few minutes more. Quite disturbing. 7. The never man Very much like `Memoires of Dr Bliss', a very beautiful melodic song which gets under one's skin and leads one to sing it in the bath. Like `Guilty man' or `Ghosts of unborn children', this is mid-nineties Ka-Spel at his alienated best: `I'm the never man, the man without a face, without a number'. Also, `No-one knows the numbers that sits proudly on the front of heaven's door' ... so it's no wonder that he cannot find the door ... There's a pounding, insistent rhythm throughout: request this track at your favourite `nite-spot'. 8. Laughing Venus 1'20" of noises over a tribal rhythm, then a very lush, romantic and spacey song containing the plea `give me life' (again, cf. `Ghosts of unborn children'). A Victorian merry-go-round passes by. 9. There was a crooked man Everyone on the ship is merrily dancing the Charleston, when some madman with a toy guitar -- more Barton than Ka-Spel -- disrupts their fun, wailing `Play it, play it, play it one more time', hammering discordantly on the organ and smashing up the floorboards. It's no wonder the little dog gets distressed ... 10. Illumina 2 Continues the story of the killer-bees started in part one. Spoken, not sung. A thumping, pedestrian rhythm punctuated by brass fanfares. `The moon ... they switch it off at night because it isn't square.' Three minutes in, a jazzy organ ends our disorientation with some nice chords. Merges into 11. The last door on the left Six and a half minutes of beautiful, utterly restful ambient music: a perfect ending for a very fine LP. - Howard S. Goodman

actully it is really quite good - one of my favorite edward-kaspel solo projects I don't have the companion 10" so if whoever out there does have would let me know what I am missing that would be kind. but I was listening to this last night on the way home from a nightclub and it really struck me again what a good album it is in someways it (not surprisingly) sounds much like the way the dots are going but without the guitars which I like the album really contains a wide variety of edwardian styles with one seong having this really odd horn sample reapeating over and over and othere tracks are nigh dancable I like it and think it is well worth getting besides it is my only cd with a white case rather than a black one :) - Justin Meyer

I was going to rank on this album pretty hard but I'm sitting here stoned, listening to A Grain Of Salt on the boombox behind me, and it sounds pretty damn great. I'm bouncing from cloud to cloud, because in this song clouds are quite elastic. No, it's more of a floating from cloud to cloud, needless to say there is some serious cloudage going on here. Ahh, now it's playing Homage, with its washes of keyboard programming and overall swishiness. Oh my, Gomorrha is some hideous electronic techno mutation without the drum machine, and don't forget the insane carnival record/unintelligable chant break after the first verse. Of course, in Edwardian style, the song is soon engulfed in a blur of electronics. Mayday: sometimes I think Ka-spel is just a little eccentric, but after listening to songs like this I know he's insane. Laughing Venus: hmmm, very interesting beginning with the tribal beats with random voices and door slams and whathaveyou, but then....Wow, I do believe the direction is up, straight to heaven. If Edward could actually sing I'd think him an angel on this track. "I will roll through famine fields on giant wheels." Awww Yeah, The Crooked Man, the song that changed my life. This track embodies everything insane and utterly gone awry. A toy guitar, simple melody sung operatic, then out of tune crazy, then crescendo screaming about virgins. Of course random noises all the way through, so amazingly random that it's disturbing. Then the most god awful demon spawn organ chords ever put onto CD. Wow, something is not right with this man. My favorite songs are usually ones that are particularly disturbing and this song is probably in my top 5 songs of all time. Caaaaraaazzy stuff. Illumina 2's cool. So's The Last Door On The Left. There Was A Crooked Man wore me out and I don't feel like going through the rest of the songs. Pretty good disc. Just make sure you're in the right frame of mind. - Sam Geren

Three years after Tanith..., Ka-Spel returned with The Scriptures of Illumina, released on Terminal Kaleidoscope in 1994, the same year as the Pink Dots' pastoral 9 Lives to Wonder. Oddly enough, this release seems to be an attempt by Ka-Spel to redefine his solo work, as it sounds nothing like the contemporaneous LPD record. Instead, the album focuses once again on mellow, minimal, often dark electronic pieces, over which he recites, sings, and shrieks a variety of lyrical concerns; his vocals are often distorted but usually subdued. "Illumina" and "Illumina 2" both lament a disturbing environment to a constant beat like that of a sped-up heart. "A Grain of Salt" is pretty, while "The Never Man" wallows in anonymous isolation. Either the best track or the worst track on the album, "There Was a Crooked Man" is certainly dynamic and proves once again that Ka-Spel, with his unbridled ranting, is perfect in the role of a madman. Ka-Spel briefly returned to Illumina for a 1995 10" record, but has yet to record another full-length solo album. His last solo pieces mutated into the Pink Dots' Chemical Playschool Volume 10. - Rex

Released in 1995 on their self-designed TEKA label, Scriptures of illumina represents a more complete departure from the parade of china dolls which had been appearing periodically for the previous decade. Stylistically more experimental, and arguably less melodic, the musical styles, as is typical in many EKS solo outings, cover a broad range of sonic territory. While containing a number of more direct songs such as Dr. BLISS and the NEVER MAN,the tone and range of this recording is far darker, chaotic and and anarchic than the usual EKS serving size. A darkly textured release, SCRIPTURES is heavy on instrumental passages and reduced vocal deliveries. Thematically, while cryptic as ever, ideas seem to focus on a paranoia and fear. EKS delivers a number of memorable lines, my favorite being....IF EVERY DREAMS A GROWING SEED I WILL NOT SLEEP IN YOUR DIMENSION. Make no mistake, Scriptures contains a wide range of stylistic material, but is not short on challenging and experimental pieces like MAYDAY, and surely what might be EKS's most twisted musical passage...THERE WAS A CROOKED MAN. Set against the background of an out of tune guitar, sound effects, and sung/spoken words....this will send your average listener either for cover or to the nearest asylum. Near the end of the song, CROOKED MAN builds slowly over an ever ascending tonal wash of the synth and barking dogs grating like fingers on a chalkboard. Lyrically, as always, the themes and ideas are obscure, hidden, and secret. But illumina has a stream of consciousness which suggests the visions of an uncertain man in a world pretending to be certain. In Illumina 2, we find the narrator shout at the moon... I'D RATHER BE A GREY MAN THAN A GREAT PRETENDER...the narrator leaving our hero concealed, protected, hidden, staring at the scrambled TV in this place called illumina. Scriptures ends in what might be EKS most soothing, calming, and ambient piece... THE LAST DOOR ON THE LEFT rests the mind of the listener, after a fitfull adventure. Serenity at last. A challenging release, and a departure of sorts for EKS. For the uninitiated, probably best not to start here, in this place, called illumina. - John H Wilterding

Scriptures was the first release on the TeKa label in the 90s. The futuristic cover is not very proffesional made...so we are with this in the Cover-art discussion as well, I really think this one has no line to the music at all......and it is one of the worser LPD/EKS covers, I think. The CD starts with Illuminia, which is more a soundcollage than a song, very dark and introducing the listener to Edīs new created dreams, visions and places. The following Memories of Dr. Blizz has a very good arranged rythmn work leading through a dark sound that is getting a little bit "Happier" or lighter to the end. Soundtools are set very nicly and this charming keyboard melodies give the lighter moments to this one.........the melodies are really smooth. The very naive sounding Grain Salt reminds me of a keyboard playing syd Barrat. If anyone knows the Barrat soloreleases he must think the same......unfinished naive popsongs that have a perfect shame just out of that they arenīt finish......smoothy moments caught on the recording mashine just as they were found. Homage sounds with his keyboards a bit like the early Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream songs. Psychedelic Innfuences with the sounddevices all arround and a catchy melody made this song ready to take you away to other places. Ghomorra sounds like it is taken out of the early taperecording times of the dots. This would suit also perfect on one of the CP or Traumstadt tapes. And again a well work with the samples/sounddevices. Mayday is an interlude, strange sounding electronic voice from edward. The Never man is the "Single" of this CD. A very straight song, grat rythmn work behind the dark keyboards. A charming keyboard melody makes this song easy to get in my ears. As I said, my favourite of this CD: Laughing venus is great. leading in a melancholy catchy song. In addition with the "lost" sounding vox of EKS it runs in a spharic sound.....and set me dreaming again. Interruppted by this funny intro to crocked man. Again a song like Grain Salt, very naitive and sounds like unfinished. Illuminia 2 and last door on the left are leading out of this CD, nice samples dreamy keyboards and no more commants by me now! I read a review about this CD as it was released, that sais, this CD is sometimes like early pink floyd, sometimes like LPD themself, very psychedelic. And, for bad it is not very well produved. And I really must saythat this points are all right....it is not the best, not the worst EKS release, and the production and mastering was really not the best..........in most parts this CD really sounds unfinished. - Chameleon