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Thread: Kayo Dot - Blasphemy

  1. #1
    Member Marco's Avatar
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    Kayo Dot - Blasphemy

    Kayo Dot's new album is out. Your thoughts on it?

    https://kayodot.bandcamp.com/album/blasphemy

  2. #2
    'aang 'hoot' Don Arnold's Avatar
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    I've had two incomplete listens today, after seeing it on progstreaming.nl. I'm familiar with the band but have never investigated their music before today (at least as far as I can recall). Based on the limited comments I've heard about them in the past, I had dismissed Kayo Dot as a band most likely not in my wheelhouse.

    Well, that could change! I'll need further listens to Blasphemy to fully absorb the record, but I've really enjoyed what I've heard so far. I find it very compelling. The music is quite different than anything I would normally buy or listen to. But there is something there that's tickling my fancy. The vocals are strong, even though the approach is at times quite aggressive. The singing style fits the music, which has a sinister undertone.

  3. #3
    They continue to evolve, that's for sure. I'll have to wait until getting a physical copy to dwell into for enduring detail.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Arnold View Post
    Based on the limited comments I've heard about them in the past, I had dismissed Kayo Dot as a band most likely not in my wheelhouse.
    Not sure what your tastes are, but most of their albums are fairly different. Blue Lambency Downward is kind of like Rock in Opposition. Choirs of the Eye is more doomy post-rock. Coffins on Io is dreamy synth. They all have a certain ethereal symphonic artsy thing (that I obviously can't describe well) going on though.

  5. #5
    The one thing I can say with certainty is that I like it a lot better than Coffins or Plastic. On the one hand, it consolidates their withdrawal from the classic progressive rock/metal idiom which to me damaged their musical output in the last 5 years. On the other hand it does use these previous musical tropes very inventively, incorporating them in the goth/synth/dark wave 80's style that they prefer nowadays. I have been listening with care and there are lots of nuances that rarely one meets in current music. Everything is arranged and executed in perfection to the smallest detail, but the issue is if it is able to engage the listener emotionally or is it all god-forsaken formalism combined with hideous melodrama? What a weird band, and so hard to approach. The best songs lie in the middle of the thing and towards the end - Turbine, Hook and Haul stands out immediately.

    At times it sounds like mid-80's Rush thrown into existential despair. I might actually get to love this or hate it altogether. A predictable personal reaction towards Kayo Dot.
    Last edited by Zappathustra; 09-10-2019 at 01:02 PM. Reason: Forgot an "and"

  6. #6
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Will certainly check it out
    Ian

    Gordon Haskell - "You've got to keep the groove in your head and play a load of bollocks instead"
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  7. #7
    I'm definitely curious and will give it an attentive listen at night with no distractions. Not all of their albums are immediate hits for me, but when they work, they work and I admire Toby Driver's commitment to constant change.

  8. #8
    The only one of their releases I never really connected with was Coffins On Io. The Plastic House album worked better for these ears, but this new one sounds even more up my alley.

    One of the most intriguing bands still in operation.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  9. #9
    Not my cup of tea. Too post-rockish and goth friendly (and I have no patience for both these genres nowadays). They kinda lost me when they went that way on Coyote and later albums.
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  10. #10
    Member Lebofsky's Avatar
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    I must give a shout out: the cover art for this album was done by my wife Jenya (who has worked on design/layout/art for various other albums you may know, as well as being a great musician herself with far better taste than I).

    Look some more: https://www.jenyachernoff.com

    - Matt

  11. #11
    I'm here for the moosic NogbadTheBad's Avatar
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    Very cool
    Ian

    Gordon Haskell - "You've got to keep the groove in your head and play a load of bollocks instead"
    I blame Wynton, what was the question?
    There are only 10 types of people in the World, those who understand binary and those that don't.

  12. #12
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Pretty much a pass for me. It's certainly better than the others in their synthwave/darkwave/whatever wave 80s vein, but after the third song the quality does drop to Coffins/House levels. Even at its best, it's still well below the heights they could reach.

    But being this is the music they want to play, good for them. Plenty of other stuff for me to enjoy.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

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  13. #13
    ^ Did you hear the previous cuppa Toby solo albums?
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  14. #14
    This is the first album of their's I've sat down and actively listened to although I've heard bits and pieces of previous albums. I found the sound interesting in that it isn't yet one more sympho or metal or neo or whatever boilerplate album. Yes, I hear elements of post-rock which seems to be used as part of the sound as opposed to the lynchpin that propels their music. Some moments of metal/goth (mentioned by someone else above) and certainly the drifting synths underneath the songs. For what it's worth, some songs have moments that remind me of David Sylvian. Other times I definitely hear a sound that reminds me of the depressing moments of Steven Wilson's work. I'd say that overall it has a good number of moments that have a Porcupine Tree influence.

    I can't say that it's something I'll want to come back to again and again, but it piques my interest and doesn't make me want to stop listening.
    Last edited by Splicer; 09-21-2019 at 10:05 AM.
    No matter what anyone says, you are the decider of how you will listen to music.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Splicer View Post
    I'd say that overall it has a good number of moments that have a Porcupine Tree influence.
    That might be more a coincidence than anything else, a matter of Toby and SW arriving at similar places by very different paths.

  16. #16
    Toby Driver and Kayo Dot - no matter the lineup or configuration - have never ever sounded anything even remotely within the possible realm of Porcupine Tree.

    And I listened to Porcupine Tree from fucking 1989 and to Driver's music from when he formed maudlin of the Well. Toby Driver is a composer - he can actually read and write music applying theoretical means at that. And he knows the historical lore about most aspects of the styles he touches on. One of the names that he's not "influenced" by, is Nilson - who might be a household name in the wonderful world of "prog", but is somewhat of a horse with no name immediately outside of it.

    There are several threads on Kayo Dot in here, some of them with extensive debate and information. Perhaps it'd be an idea to check out those beforehand.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Toby Driver and Kayo Dot - no matter the lineup or configuration - have never ever sounded anything even remotely within the possible realm of Porcupine Tree.

    And I listened to Porcupine Tree from fucking 1989 and to Driver's music from when he formed maudlin of the Well. Toby Driver is a composer - he can actually read and write music applying theoretical means at that. And he knows the historical lore about most aspects of the styles he touches on. One of the names that he's not "influenced" by, is Nilson - who might be a household name in the wonderful world of "prog", but is somewhat of a horse with no name immediately outside of it.

    There are several threads on Kayo Dot in here, some of them with extensive debate and information. Perhaps it'd be an idea to check out those beforehand.
    The other day a friend on Facebook suggested the same thing, and I was like...ugh? The guy is very familiar with both PT and Dot. Then I read this post here. And then my wife - who is far, far less knowledgeable on the subject - returns home while the new Kayo Dot is on, and says: "nice. It sounds like Porcupine Tree". So I don't know...although I clearly don't see the connection.

    A Radiohead connection is more to the point, although it doesn't say much about Kayo Dot either.

  18. #18
    There's a difference between an arbitrary reminiscence and an "influence".

    I'm thinking of that friend of mine who once insisted that Swans might be influenced by Samla Mammas Manna. He wasn't very into musics, but darn if he didn't know about eschatological Americana poetica being informed by clownish drunkjug from Gotland. No offense to either.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  19. #19
    Subterranean Tapir Hobo Chang Ba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    ^ Did you hear the previous cuppa Toby solo albums?
    I have.
    No humor please, we're skittish.

    Never let good music get in the way of making a profit.

  20. #20
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    After buying and listening to it, I can hear the Porcupine Tree comparisons. The genre, if you tried to pigeonhole this, is some form of Eighties "darkwave": Magazine, Ultravox, The Cure, Talk Talk, The Fall, maybe Public Image - brooding, minor-key, British (mostly) synth-pop, with a certain amount of understated prog connection. But on this album, the guitar lines, chord progressions, and song structures lean a lot closer to prog than they do on those stylistic forbears. So I'd say that the similarity some might hear to PT comes from Toby maybe listening to the same people that Steve Wislon did, and winding up in a similar place.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Baribrotzer View Post
    some form of Eighties "darkwave": Magazine, Ultravox, The Cure, Talk Talk, The Fall, maybe Public Image - brooding, minor-key, British (mostly) synth-pop, with a certain amount of understated prog connection. […] So I'd say that the similarity some might hear to PT comes from Toby maybe listening to the same people that Steve Wislon did, and winding up in a similar place.
    Yep. And these influences were present and even outspoken on both previous releases as well. This does not imply a "Porcupine Tree influence".
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  22. #22
    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    I was digging this yesterday. What a voice. I only own Choirs of the Eye on CD, which is fantastic.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    This does not imply a "Porcupine Tree influence".
    I never said it did. And I will add that, while those Eighties bands might have a certain amount of remote Floyd influence - more in mood than in anything direct - and that is also quite apparent in PT, there's little if any of that in Kayo Dot. There's also a kind of subtle rightness or intention in the key changes that appear in some songs, a sense that these are outside pop music, they are approaching formal composition, and they weren't just put in for variety, they had to there. Another big difference is that Toby is a very strong singer, much stronger than Steve Wislon, and uses all his vocal abilities.

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