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A Perfect Mystery

Legendary Pink Dots

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Album Review

Firmly in their psychedelic- goth period, A Perfect Mystery is one of the more conventional and enjoyable releases in Legendary Pink Dots' extensive discography. The album settles into a pattern where songs begin with a slow, atmospheric start and then increase instrumentation, which turns up the musical tension and explodes in a trippy fury of mad, whirling, musical dervishes, with Edward Ka-Spel's foreboding lyrics wavering over everything. It all comes together perfectly on "Pain Bubbles," where the Silver Man's swirling keyboards and Niels Van Hoorn's sax dance around each other over a pulsating beat. A gentle exception to the pattern, and a standout track, is the gentle groover "Blue," a spacey guitar-and-drums ballad that mutates into ambient dub that evokes drummer Ryan Moore's side project, Twilight Circus Dub Sound System. "When I'm with You" shows the rockier side of the group, a slow groover that intensifies and peaks majestically with an outstanding sax solo. The only misstep is the apocalyptic Appalachian chant "Skeltzer Speltzer." a psychedelic hoedown that sounds like Malcolm Mooney-era Can, but at one-quarter speed. Overall an excellent introduction to the band. Those not afraid of mildly challenging material should dive in enthusiastically. Note that the vinyl version of this album contains different mixes than the compact disc, and also includes an additional track.


Formed: 1980 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Formed in London in 1980, the Legendary Pink Dots moved to Amsterdam in the middle of the decade. Members throughout the band's career have been Edward Ka-Spel (vocals, keyboards) and Phil Knight (keyboards), also known as the Silver Man, with a shifting supporting cast over the years. The Dots' music is by turns melodic pop and exotic psychedelia, with classical influences, sampling, and relentlessly dark, violent, apocalyptic lyrics. After several releases for Mirrodot and Inphaze during the early...
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A Perfect Mystery, Legendary Pink Dots
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