Legendary Pink Dots — Your Children Placate You from Premature Graves
(ROIR (Reachout International Records) RUSCD 8299, 2006, CD)
by Jon Davis, 2007-03-01:
2006 marks the 25th year of this band's existence, and this CD marks some ridiculous number of releases I won’t even speculate about. This venture finds them in a fairly calm mood, and is one of the most accessible items in their catalog. There are many moments of subtly twisted normalcy, with sleepy singing and acoustic guitar backed by odd electronic landscapes, like an updated take on Meddle-era Pink Floyd with more studio manipulation. In spite of many seemingly normal “songs” the whole affair is quite disjointed, with arrangements that drift from one scenario to another seemingly at random. It’s as if the art form of sonic collage has been applied broadly but inconsistently over the course of a variety of composed pieces, obscuring them in gauzy haze and interrupting the kind of flow one expects in Western popular music. Oddly enough, the highest point of intensity comes in the second track, “No Matter What You Do,” nearly seven minutes of relentless building dark turmoil, from disturbing lyrics set to a childlike melody to a massive peak of echoing sax, distorted guitar and sound effects. This album is a fine part of a (pardon) legendary band’s legacy, and should be able to reach beyond the band’s existing fan base. Psych don’t come no psycher than this.
by Henry Schneider, 2007-03-01:
Your Children Placate You from Premature Graves is a Dots album released in honor of their 25th anniversary. Over 25 years the band has gone through a number of changes and today the Dots are Niels van Hoornblower (sax and flutes), Martijn de Kleer (guitars, bass, and drums), and the founders Phil Knight AKA The Silverman (keyboards and electronics), and Edward Ka-Spel (voice and keyboards). The Dots is one of those bands you either really like or detest. There is no middle ground. Fortunately, this new CD contains 11 songs that should appeal to a broader audience than before. Overall, Your Children... is a quiet, sedate release. The CD opens with “Count on Me” and closes with “Your Number Is Up,” both with the same sounds of playground children and piano motif, a fitting way to begin and end this CD. In between are some avant garde, rockers, and several ambient songs. One song, “Feathers at Dawn,” hearkens back to the poppy music hall style of the Beatles. And there is the extremely cool Krautrock / Neu influenced “This Man’s Manifesto.” Other outstanding songs are the melodic “Peace of Mind” and the lovely ballad “The Island of Our Dreams.” And no LPD release is complete without Edward Ka-Spel’s outré story telling on “A Silver Thread.” Your Children... is a solid LPD release, but not a ground-breaking one. The title complements the music very well, and vice versa. I would recommend this to the new LPD listener. It could open up a whole new world for you as you begin to explore the rest of their catalog.
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more
You Can Be Part of an Ambient Electronic Project – The Gesture of History is a new electronic project put together by Sam Rosenthal of Black Tape for a Blue Girl, Steve Roach, and violist Sam Shadow. The music started as an instrumental track Rosenthal was working on for a Black Tape album, but took on a life of its own and demanded further enhancements. The majority of the funds raised will go to manufacturing costs for LP and CD editions, as well as other items as detailed on the Kickstarter page. » Read more
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more
Shawn Phillips with J Peter Robinson and Paul Buckmaster - Living Collaboration – Hot on the heels of his Living Contribution concert DVD is Living Collaboration recorded at the Minnesota Zoological Gardens the evening of July 19, 2008. Living Collaboration is a bit different from... (2010) » Read more
Robert Andrews - An Amnesty for Bonny Things on Sunny Days – Britain’s Robert Andrews plays guitar and bass for Land of Yrx and Aerie, bands with whom he’s released over a dozen albums. An Amnesty for Bonny Things on Sunny Days is his first solo... (2002) » Read more