Sunday, February 17, 2013

Legendary Pink Dots - "Chemical Playschool 15" CD

As a longtime fan (but not fanatic) of the Dots, I've lost touch a bit in recent years with the Holland-based group's spacy psychedelic experimental rock. The band, led by vocalist Edward Ka-Spel and keyboardist Phil "Silverman" Knight, have been a prolific force over the past 30 years, exploring everything from krautrock to post-industrial to ambient to musique concrete. 

The 5-track, 55-minute "Chemical Playschool 15" explores the band's more experimental and less song-based sides. It opens with the 9-minute electronic ambience of "Immaculate Conception", before dipping into 19 minutes of trippy, shifting textures with "Sparks Fly / Museum". "The Opium Den Parts 1-3" is what you'd expect, whereas "Ranting And Raving" is a dizzying electro-freakout with Ka-Spel's enigmatic verbiage. "Immaculate Conclusion" is just that, a summation and a fitting finale for this well-rounded trip. Excellent! 

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