Edward Ka-Spel
Tanith and the Lion Tree

Cover Image

Edward Ka-Spel - Tanith and the Lion Tree


UK/US CD/CS Third Mind TM D/T 9267
PL CD/CS SPV 085-150082 (1997)
CD Soleilmoon (1999 - withdrawn)

  1. 'O' From The Great Sea - [MP3]
  2. Tanith And The Lion Tree - [MP3]
  3. Interference
  4. Four Out Of Ten
  5. Loop 1
  6. Loop 2
  7. The Baker's Man [MP3]
  8. Prithee [MP3]
  9. Prisoners Of War [MP3]
  10. Three Times Daily
  11. Hotel X [MP3]
  12. Epilogue
  13. Phoney War
  14. Old Man Trouble

Edward Ka-Spel - keyboards, guitar, radio, toy guitar, percussion, melodica, voice
Lady Loop - keyboards
Father Pastorius - occasional guitar
The Silver Man - keyboards
Produced/Engineered by Edward Ka-Spel/Lady Loop

The Soleilmoon edition was announced when it looked as if the SPV edition was about to go out of print due to a payment dispute, but was subsequently withdrawn when the problem with SPV was settled.
"Phoney War" and "Old Man Trouble" were intended to be CD/cassette bonus tracks (even though there ended up being no vinyl release), and Edward doesn't consider them to be part of the album.

SPV cover

Cover Image

buy at teka


CA LPx2 Flesh Eating Ants FEA-00

side a

  1. 'O' From The Great Sea - [MP3]
  2. Tanith And The Lion Tree - [MP3]
  3. Interference
  4. Four Out Of Ten
  5. Loop 1

side b

  1. Loop 2
  2. The Baker's Man [MP3]
  3. Prithee [MP3]
  4. Prisoners Of War [MP3]
  5. Three Times Daily
  6. Hotel X [MP3]
  7. Epilogue

side c

  1. Phoney War
  2. Old Man Trouble
  3. Diary 11th

side d

  1. Diary 12th
  2. Diary 13th

A slightly different version of "Diary 11th" showed up as "The Warden" on the LPD release "All The King's Men". A different version of "Diary 12th", simply entitled "12th" appears on the LPD album "All The King's Horses."
Pressed on 220 gram grey vinyl (test pressings are pressed on 220 gram black vinyl).
14 absolutely gorgeous test pressings of the LP version exist. Given away as gifts to close friends of Flesh Eating Ants Records, they feature heavy white hand-numbered sleeves tied with red ribbons.
A prototype for a metal-box subedition was made, however it never materialised as an edition and only the one exists.

box 1
box 2
box 3

Though the name may not ring a bell, Edward Ka-Spel has an impressive history of recording behind him. He has been the vocalist for the Legendary Pink Dots since the band formed ten years ago, has already recorded four solo albums, and has also recorded as the Tear Garden with Skinny Puppy's Cevin Cey. Left to his own devices on Tanith And The Lion Tree, Ka-Spel builds up a strange, mystical atmosphere carved out by texture and emotion. The sparseness and simplicity of the recording belies the strong impression it makes, as Ka-Spel intertwines keyboards, radios, toy guitars and percussion to create a misty, tangled web. Ka-Spel paints simple but compelling pictures with his instruments and his voice, which bares a resemblance to Syd Barrett in its pained, hushed tones and soul-wrenching honesty. Seeds to start your tourney with: "O' From The Great Sea," "Prisoners Of War," "Hotel X," "Phoney War" and the title cut. - CMJ

Weirdos in pop - don't cha just love 'em. Edward Ka-Spel has spent several millennia with Euro experimental oddbods The Legendary Pink Dots, and it shows like a throbbing pustule on the perfect visage of a cover model. 'Tanith And The Lion Tree' (Yeah, dig that imagery, man!) is a solo LP that veers from the ambient oozing of 'Interference' to the bleepy, farti ng effects of 'Four Out Of Ten' and wallows in a morass of mildly vicious physical poetry. At times, Ed's doodlings can become overbearing. At others, his electro swathes charm like an old lady baking scones. Forget the pervy leather lust of synthy second cousins Depeche Mode, this is real stroke-yer-beard and crank up the barn-sized raffia work electronic applicance stuff. With child-like warbling and an old-fashioned sense of grandeur. In short, the defience of science. - Simon Williams, NME, 8 November 1991.

It's becoming increasingly difficult to describe this man's work. This is due to the eccentricity of the sounds contained within. For those= familiar with Ka-Spel's vocalisations, there's more of ;the same here. = However the adult ballads and nursery rhymes are this time coupled with = a dark, malignant backdrop which shoud appeal to many 'industrialists'. = Ka-Spel's voice is at the fore in the majority of these pieces, narrating= like some anonymous deity from the Land of Oz. At once reed-thin, dry, = then a precessed monster, Ka-Spel's trademark is his strange lyrical cont= ent. Given the environment on this particular release, Ka-Spel's visions= come squirming into reality. Truly Bizarre. - MR, Electric Shock Treatment 3, Summer 1992


Where I go the cancer grows...
The ill wind blows...
The rivers crack the dams
And flush the damned out from their homes...
I tie their hands and go.

Where I stay,
The earth decays...
A harvest of abortion.
I extort them...
Hold an auction...
They fall down and pray for rain!

I give them scorching acid
'Til they learn the reason why...


I'm not saying!


I throw the first grenade...


I light the barricades...


My way!

Did you see my lips move in the waxworks...
Did I catch your eye?
Or did I serenade you in a dream?

You can't specify my name,
Though you know you've got my number...
Mine's the face you can't remember,
Go back to the mirror-look again!

Look again!

Look again!

Look again!

Wwhere I turn,
The fire burns...
Where I sleep,
The widows weep...
And when I point a finger,
The assassin creeps
And triggers pandemonium!

I drove the train to Dachau,
Wore the hood of Ku Klux Klan.
I carve the cross into a bloody sword;
I slice off the hand that feeds you -
Cook it slowly, lick it clean.

I put it in my pie...

Don't you want to know the reason WHY?


She fed the lion candy
So its teeth turned pink and scattered.
She gathered up the pieces,
Hid them deep beneath her bed...

Made a wish for lion trees
So roses grew...
Red roses...
And the lion watched
His ghost go hunting bees...

Bees which hovered, dropped and split
As thorns grew moist and ripped...
Black, yellow, dripping red...

It wrecked the carpet,
Made the lion weep for his meat...

Live meat.

Raw meat.

Tanith climbed the lion tree.
The lion tree was very pleased.
She gave the lions candy
She handed out the straws...

Tanith climbed the lion tree.
The lion tree was very pleased.
She gave the lions candy
She handed out the straws...




Your lies are like the creeping fog that blinds me,
Guides my injured soul into the blender
With a thousand knives that grind me into powder.

Coal black.

Can serve me on a plate and watch me shimmy,

Raw. Cholestrol. Intravenous.

Feed me, feel my nerves explode galactic in your veins!
You taste my essence...
Does my hot exquisite pain excite you?

Does it?

Does it???

Hell you care...
I'm just another notch;
Another conquest...
Just another lock of hair tossed in your casket.

Come tomorrow it's like I was never really there...

Never really there...

Never there!





THE BAKERSMAN (Listed as "The Baker's Man" in the lyric booklet)

Jerkov cuts it charismatic...
Strikes his matches on his jaw.
Smokes in threes (all Gauloises!),
Strokes his saftey clip and tips his trilby.


Yes, truly!

Bad guys freeze at such a moment...
Wise guys make it for the door,
But all the dark-eyed scarlet honies form a circle.
They adore
The way he patticakes the waiters,
Sucks his T-bone blood red raw;

Slips his lion ladies' fingers,
Spins his plate across the floor..


Yes, truly!

Then he leaves...


You make the sun shine...
Keep me warm at night.
You are my guiding light.

When I'm weak or desperate,
You'll stretch out your hand...

It's a hand that offers courage...
It's a hand that calms me down...
And leads me to a land
That we discovered countless lives ago.

Still young enough to change this wicked world...

So tell me, Angel, where to now ?

Shall we chase rainbows?
Ride the stars by night?

Stay close...
Be my second sight...

Show me our tomorrows
'Cause I can't dream alone...

Shall we chase rainbows?
Ride the stars by night?

Stay close...
Be my second sight...

Show me our tomorrows
'Cause I can't dream alone...


They kept Alfredo in a box
And fed him with potatoes...
Three times daily with a pinch of salt...
He'd yell, assault the waiters.

They covered up his windows,
Put the box upon a spring and sparred.
Sang "Sweet Alfredo, we're just butterflies...
We can sting
Like the bees..."

Like the bees that took Old Mama Liza...
Tied her up with string.

Threw the cream cakes,
Sprayed the syrup...
Safe behind the vizors...

Taped the screams
And played them to the neighbours...
Over barbecued Bartholomew...
And home-made blood wine
Stamped by the feet
Of the man who would be Christ...

Send the lions in - the 'entertainment'...
No-one's ever bored!

Life is so much more fulfilling
Since they gave us
All these prisoners of war!

Some guys pick the perfect lovers...
Some guys pick the perfect whores...

Some go for slavery - the old way.
It's all within the law!

Life is brighter
Since they gave us all these prisoners of war!


Daily...three times daily...


I watched the smoke rise slowly
From your tired eyes...
Two columns weaved a marble gateway
To a starlit room.

And painfully, you raised your stick
And led me through
With promises of paradise...
Where nothing ever dies.
It blossoms...

I followed, pacified...
No preconceptions...

My faith worn on a shaky hand,
But hanging to your ribbons.

We danced across the crystal ocean,
We sheltered from the storm.
We were warm inside a blacklight cavern -
Watched the red sky raining roman candles...
Washed our hands in amber...
We were married in the shade...

A shadow band was serenading Adagio,
Then faded yellow, grey-green, purple, blue...

A rainbow whirlpool sucked us down;
We tiptoed sensless underground...

There was nothing we could hold except each other...

You murmured your apologies;
I smothered you with sympathy.
We crawled, we shivered to the mirror
Where you saw your shaky hand...

Hang bravely
To my ribbons...

And me?

I watched my tired eyes
Slowly burning...
Slowly burning...
Slowly burning...
Slowly burning...
Slowly burning...

Fade away...


(Instrumental with a looped female voice)


The border of Beyond and Nowhere Fast,
I forward-marched thorough mines.
My best friend Rover by my side...
My guide - he ran before me.
Scoring bones of dead explorers
Scattered in the dust...

It makes a plate
That's fit for pedigrees...
It's minus X degrees and falling.



And I'm thankful for the gloves they gave me...
I'm thankful for the flask.
When they sent me to the front
Armed with a white flag and a mask...

"Go win their confidence!" they said,
"Then steal their money...
Shoot them dead...
We'll split things 50-50!"

But I don't believe in promises!
I don't believe in you!
I don't believe in anything...

Would you?

I don't believe in promises!
I don't believe in you!
I don't believe in anything...

Would you?

No, I don't believe in promises!
I don't believe in you!
I don't believe in anything...

Would you?

I don't believe in promises!
I don't believe in you!
I don't believe in anything...

Would you?


(Instrumental, featuring Edward's voice sampled with all sorts of effects)



Your house from here is maintained...
The fear of my return
Is smeared across the portals
Stings the wine, it contaminates the mortals...

Coiled up, caged and clandestine
A head crack in the back yard...
Cross of air, in line!
Now tell me...
Do you see three golden calves?

Your prize shall be a doormat
With a prayer...
A fortune cookie dares:

"Now down boy!
Turn to Mecca!
Keep those eyes fixed to the floor!"

"See sores collect...
Let's see you sweat!
Turn left!
Yes, I can see you channeling..."

"Ahoy there!
Cast the net!
Up here is not the place for you!"

I channel too...
But I direct...
There's time to kill...
These arms are stretched!

But I shall move these fingers!
Stay in line...can you hear me?

Heard me...
Herd you...
Stole your souls...
And sold you blinkers...

Chains wrapped 'round your feet...
You're obsolete!

But eternally, you'll linger...

Way down there...
Beneath my feet...
Way down there...
Beneath my feet!



Black marble seals the pit
And I can see my face in it...
Now pose beside the flame that lasts forever.

So fetching in your Autumn dress...
Just raise the hem a little less...
Be dignified. This is a somber moment.

Upon the count of three
Sail pale confetti on the breeze...
Each flake of pastel paper
Has a name on...not forgotten.

And I'd like to pin the blame on nameless faces...
Covered, rotten.

Limb for limb
And through the knees...
God, I wish that they were millipedes...
A hypodermic mercy won't appease me.

This one's for Guy Schlesinger...
A jovial young messenger
Who tripped and nearly kissed a girl
Then spilled the sequel, drenched in detail.

They're still searching...
I know he died a virgin.
Mary, treat him well,
For deep inside, the Prince of Dreams still sleeps...

And this one makes me weep.
A clover leaf that's red but ripped.

Still I hear him whisper:
"Best to live...and let live..."


By whose grace do we stand here now...
Granted this extension?
Did you just forget to mention both our names?

And by what name should be bid you
When you hide and whisper riddles...
From the blind side to your deaf ear
We are screaming: "Leave us be!"





Edward Ka-Spel 's Tanith And The Lion Tree, that's a very strange record of course and that's a very good example of one that's never going to be a world beater! But, again, Eward Ka-Spel is one of the most genuine people and I would rank him up there with Steve Stapleton in terms of the ideas that he has and the way that he goes about things. And he's ver individualistic as well. He's somebody who's been a really good friend for over ten years now and to finally do a record out-right with Ka-Spel was great. It didn't cost a lot of money to do, but that was the way he wanted it and I was happy with that as well. It's really nice to have a record like that on your catalogue, because I see Edward Ka-Spel and the Dots as coming from that tradition that's worked it's way through from Can and Faust onwards. They have their very own english peculiarity compared to the German bands of the late sixties/early seventies, but I think they're coming from the same rough background. I guess the same goes for Steve Stapleton as well in his own way. - Gary Levermore, Third Mind Records, Music From The Empty Quarter Issue 5 of May 1992

i picked this cd up a few months back in the midst of a spending binge in new york. I had heard it wasn't very good and pretty much just got it to be a completist. I listened to it once perhaps, but as is the case when i buy several cds at once none get a very thorough listen. So i realised last week that i had never even listened to the whole thing and put it on. I love this album. I think it might be my favourite amongst Edward's solo releases. Hotel X is utterly remarkable. Some songs are so strikingly beautiful in their simplicy that it alarms me (ie Prithee and Tanith). The random 'noise' songs that are strewn in between are a welcome complement and don't take away from the rest of the album in the least. So someone wanted to know what my favourite LPD album was. Right now this is it. Next week who knows. But today... - joshua

Several years passed before the next Ka-Spel solo endeavor, and when it did turn up, it wasn't a China Doll release. (The "China Doll" suffix at this point seems to be retired, at least for proper album releases.) Tanith and the Lion Tree, released by Third Mind Records in 1991, is yet another step closer to the concurrent sound of the Legendary Pink Dots, but is distanced from them by the presence of three or four uneventful tape loops that serve no real purpose but to fill space. The opener, "O From the Great Sea," is a full-fledged masterwork with splashy synth sounds and dramatic crescendoes. The title track, which follows, is a quiet, soothing piano melody. Other tracks continue the self-reference trend. "The Bakersman," a snappy, sophisticated song which seems timed to a metronome, recalls Jerkov from LPD's "The Dairy" (from Island of Jewels). "Hotel X" begs comparison to 9 Lives to Wonder's "Hotel Z." The suffix of the same song repeats, "Tired eyes, slowly burning," which is the title to the first Tear Garden album (Edward Ka-Spel with Cevin Key of Skinny Puppy). Generally, Tanith and the Lion Tree is an excellent album that would have made an even better EP. After being out-of-print and hard-to-find for half a decade, Polish label SPV reissued Tanith... in 1997, with cover art that replaces Elke Skelter's drawing of the lion tree for a generic gray geometric pattern. - Rex