Music Reviews

Artist: Edward Ka-Spel (@)
Title: Tanith and The Lion Tree
Format: CD
Label: Cold Spring (@)
Rated: *****
The remastered reissue of "Tanith And The Lion Tree" by protean Edward Ka-Spel, mostly known as the co-founder of the long-lived band The Legendary Pink Dots, was almost a necessary commitment due to the undisputed importance within Edward's rich discography. The intrinsic and somehow arcane inner narrative structure of this sort of dusky tale about little Tanith and some esotheric ambiguousness and historical references as well as a remarkable lyricism of the songs - the main fictitious character of the record itself could be a reference to Tanit, a lunar ancient goddess, the chief deity of Carthage and wife of Baal, who was often depicted with a lion's head - could be a good brain-teaser for exegetes of similar records, but according to my opinion, the most likeable aspect is definitively the stylistical one, whereas the distictive voice of Ka-Spel is the proper center of gravity of musical scouting, oscillating from almost mystical climbing of "Hotel X" to the horrorific and charming tension and the vividly autobiographical rendering of a dramatic execration of the initial "'O' From The Great Sea", by which Edward histrionically draws the attention of listeners by means of sinister air of mystery at once ("I drove the train to Dachau, wore the hood of the 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?" he sings at the end), from the electronic paroxysm of the catchy monologue "Four out of Ten" to the weirdy invective "Prisoners of War", from the gracefully gathered love-ballad of "Prithee", where the melodic line on keyboards could remind some atmospheres by Syd Barrett, to the amazing off-beat prog-noir hooks of "The Bakersman", whose musical shell was perfect for the portrait of a sort of gangster ("Jerkov cuts it charismatic - strikes his match on his jaw. Smokes in threes (all Gauloises!), strokes his saftey clip + tips his tribly. Truly! Bad guys freeze at such a moment."), from the ambient inserts of "Loop 1" and "Loop 2" to the cloak-and-dagger industrial of "Old Man Trouble". Moreover Cold Spring added three bonus tracks: an harsher electro-noise version of the above-mentioned "Prisoners of War", a third previously unreleased "Loop" and a slicker version of 'Don't Look 'Til It's Gone' from "Travelogue" by Wolfgang Reffert's project Dark Star, which featured Edward Ka-Spel as a collaborator.

Chain D.L.K. design by Marc Urselli
Suffusion WordPress theme by Sayontan Sinha