Cover of Edward Ka-Spel
Here we have a look at one of my favorite musical mad men, Edward Ka-Spel (various spellings).
Ka-Spel is probably best known as the lead singer, songwriter and co-founder (with Phil "The Silverman" Knight) of the prolific undergroundband The Legendary Pink Dots, in which he was initially known as D'Archangel. He has also released numerous solo albums (initially featuring other members of the Legendary Pink Dots, and later including contributions from Steven Stapleton), and has worked in various side projects, including The Tear Garden (with cEvin Key of Skinny Puppy), and Mimir (with Phil Knight, Christoph Heemann,Jim O'Rourke and others).
His musical output has combined elements of psychedelia, dark folk, goth, industrial, electronic, found noise, sampling, pop and rock in varying degrees. His lyrics have been described as intensely personal and mystical, incorporating recurrent themes from his own personal mythos, and his songwriting and singing have been compared (usually favourably) to Syd Barrett and early Pink Floyd. Ka-Spel is a fan of 70's psychedelia as well as Radiohead.
His manner of dress is peculiar. He is rarely seen without wearing a long scarf and either pink or black sunglasses both on and off stage. Earlier on in his career, Ka spel drew black lines on his face and arms, which Phil Knight has referred to as "his cracks," presumably as they resemble the cracked lines in a crumbling statue. Again, as with the sunglasses and scarf, Ka-spel remained constantly in character, wearing the lines at all times. He also often performs barefoot.
Ka-Spel's singing voice is distinctive, especially for listeners outside of England, as it displays characteristics peculiar to the region of England in which he grew up. In addition to his east London/East Anglian accent, Ka-Spel's dialect has what is sometimes misidentified as a lisp, but is actually a form of rhotacism, in which Rs are mispronounced as Ws. This is believed to be a sociolect or a form of "permanent affectation" acquired as a child, rather than a speech disorder as such.
Legendary Pink Dots, Ka-Spel solo albums, collaborations and a lot more.
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