We wish a very happy birthday to the leader of that durable yet obscure British/Dutch psychedelic band The Legendary Pink Dots, Edward Ka-Spel, who turns 60 today.
Possessing a distinctive singing voice that easily walks the center line between Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett and apocalyptic folkie David “Current 93” Tibet, Ka-Spel has been an astonishingly prolific artist, and not even The Fall can touch the sheer mass of his discography. Since 1981, there are over three dozen Legendary Pink Dots full-length albums—The Crushed Velvet Apocalypse and The Maria Dimension are among the greats—AND he’s released almost three dozen solo albums, of which Tanith & the Lion Tree from 1991 remains a standout. And as if he needed to run up the numbers, there are side projects, as well. He formed The Tear Garden with Skinny Puppy’s cEvin Key in 1986, and Mimir with Christoph Heemann in 1989. And I’m not even going to get started on guest appearances. Anyone trying to become a Ka-Spel completist collector has quite a lot of digging to do.
For a representative sample of one of the better LPD albums, here’s 1985’s Asylum in its entirety.
A YouTube user by the handle of Virgil Pink has seemingly made an avocation of uploading Pink Dots/Ka-Spel fan videos (Residents, as well—his channel is full of treasures). Here’s “Third Secret” from The Maria Dimension set to cut-up visuals from the wonderful animated film Fantastic Planet.
For a taste of something more recent, here’s “Cloud 6” from 2013’s Code Noir. No idea the source of the footage, but it’s a great match. One might wonder if there isn’t an experienced videographer behind the Virgil Pink curtain.
And lastly, something delightful in a totally different way. As a fairly omnivorous music collector geek, I find that a great way to get to know a person is to go record shopping with him or her. Los Angeles’ Amoeba Music seems to agree. They’ve got a Webby Award winning series called “What’s In My Bag?” which examines the purchases of notables who visit the store. Here’s The Legendary Pink Dots’ episode. And it should probably go without saying, but all of the stuff they bought is worth checking out.