Compulsion | PO Box 19577 | Kilbarchan |Johnstone | PA10 2WX | Scotland | UK

Edward Ka-Spel - Pieces of 8

Edward Ka-Spel, like David Michael and Steven Stapleton, are prolific artists pursuing rather singular visions. Edward Ka-Spel displays a peculiar Englishness and sometimes I wonder why unlike the acid casualty Sid Barrett or the late lamented Nick Drake they've yet to capture the attention, when even the wispy meanderings of the musical minstrel Devendra Banhart has become a darling of the music media. Perhaps their involvement in the eighties industrial scene have castigated them to the margins forever. Whatever.

Pieces of 8 is the latest instalment of dark twisted psychedelic pop music from the Legendary Pink Dots frontman. It's a versatile piece of work ranging from street accordion to throbbing electro touches, and chilling soundscapes. The centrepiece track appears to be 'Here Comes The Night' a sinister sound piece that veers from cold electronics and gentle piano melodies to pulsating electronics and mad organ score. Psychedelic electronics throb throughout 'Comedown' with Ka-Spel in a fairly deranged mode while 'Alms For Lepers' is a breezy piece of whimsy with surreal wordplay over summertime acoustic guitar. From here on Pieces of 8 loses its way with a brief and pointless shanty and and a rather overlong and underdeveloped '8.2, 8.3'. A melange of electronics bleep and whirr in prog rock fashion before petering out in a rather uninspired manner.

Pieces of 8 is certainly more immediate than the stream of consciousness wordplay of Caste O' Graye Skreeens but I'm not convinced this is better, although there are some distinctly great moments to be found here. After the fall of World Serpent (and the resultant cash flow problems experienced by Ka-Spel and numerous other artists) I'm reluctant to recommend this over Graye Skreeens but given the vast catalog of Ka-Spel releases this isn't the best nor the one that I'd recommend to newcomers. An ultra limited art stained metal box edition was available but latecomers will have to settle for a fold out digipak sleeve available via the usual outlets. For more information go to