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newish article about kayo dot

Discussion in 'Kayo Dot' started by xfer, Feb 26, 2009.

  1. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    http://media.www.ucdadvocate.com/me...ise/Experimenting.With.Kayo.Dot-3651136.shtml

    weird they seem to have just interviewed toby and yet never talk about the MOTW recording!

    No doubt, you may have a bit of difficulty determining whether Kayo Dot's latest album The Blue Lambency Downward is the soundtrack to a bizarre avant-garde masterpiece, or just a flurry of chaotic, sonic incomprehensibility. Did this Boston-born experimental project compose it for the end of the world, or for the beginning? Beneath this maniac morass of textures, can one find any theme, any possible sense to be made?

    Let's put it this way: it's pretty complicated.

    Divined over six years of flurried evolution, there is a great deal to Kayo Dot's near-impenatrable sound. It's a sound that confuses some while astounding others and is one that inevitably confounds all expectations.

    One swollen and sullen guitar riff hauls alone for a few moments and quickly vanishes before returning in the form of its ambient sibling and quickly giving way to a multi-layered barrage of strings. The whole thing leads listeners into an orchestral twilight zone of reverb, a flurry of echoes, littered with orchestral shards, and finally topped with blasts of horns.

    The band has been labeled experimental, thanks to its avant-garde madness, but it still feels like Kayo Dot is more than just this or that. If it is avant-garde, then it's so progressively avant-garde that it might as well be termed, "Avant-garde, according to Kayo-Dot." It's an anomaly, a bizarre display of all things weird and strange viewed through a schizophrenic kaleidoscope.

    It's all strange, and like most things, it's all hearsay. So with the absence of a definite explanation, who better to ask than frontman and mastermind Toby Driver?

    "It's all a little confusing," Driver immediately admits, "but that's what we're going for, and that's why I started Kayo Dot."

    Started in 2003 by Driver himself, Kayo Dot arose from the disbanding of progressive metal outfit maudlin of the Well. While a student of music at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, Driver has worked toward constantly redefining the band's sound while exploring all possible sonic avenues.

    "People are too preoccupied with whatever connection there may be between maudlin of the Well and Kayo Dot," says Driver. But despite the confusion, there is an overwhelmingly blissful sense found in Kayo Dot's avant-garde wackiness, all offering respite from all things reality. Take the Dot's third full-length album, Blue Lambency Downward, for example, as it flirts with avant-garde rock, progressive compositions, post-modern undertones, and even a skewed classicism.

    "When we started in 2003," says Driver, "I was influenced by a wide-range of bands, like Bjork, My Dying Bride, Park Doom, and even Johnny Cash."

    Considering Driver's influences, it all makes sense. Kayo Dot's musical focus is not one that we should try to specifically define, but rather just to accept, even with its stylistic abnormalities. "With our last record," says Driver, "the entire record was written around music that was available at that moment."

    What? Excuse me? Toby, kind sir, please explain for us lay people.

    "Well, what I mean is that before the writing process even started, we already had particular instruments, for each particular song, already figured out beforehand."

    OK, now things are a bit clearer. Thank you, Mr. Driver.

    If this approach seems a tad askew, it makes sense considering the revolving door of Kayo Dot's lineup. With the constant shifting of members, Driver and long-time violinist Mia Matsumiya are the only two left since the band's inception in 2003.

    Which is not too big a deal, considering Driver is the brainchild behind all things Kayo Dot, not to mention the fact that Kayo Dot has not actually been a full band (technically speaking), since around 2006. "When we last toured with our full band," says Driver, "we toured for almost two years straight. Which was okay, it had the usual ups-and-down, but it was not that bad.

    Still, I just felt like it was the wrong instrumentation and band, considering the direction I wanted to take Kayo Dot," explains Driver.

    "In the end, the band finally separated for various reasons. So I brought in the new band, with hopes that it would properly mirror Kayo Dot's new direction."

    Compared to the band's earlier works, Kayo Dot's new direction is exciting. It appropriately showcases the endless possibilities of avant-garde experimentation, and presents something surprisingly coherent and staggeringly different from past work. "I try to do that with every album we release," Driver explains, "in an effort to clearly define and distinguish between albums."

    The whole thing is reassuring, considering so much music these days lacks authenticity, which is no doubt the cause of the industry's current stagnation. It's a bad scene, the whole domino effect seen so often these days.

    But Driver reassures us nothing is going to change, and Kayo Dot will continue to evolve and release the bizarre: "With this last album, I wanted to use different and unique instruments, ones that aren't found among our standard band. So we recruited and hired a string section and horn section, which adds so many more possibilities."

    All the excitement, and all these possibilities: How has it all boded with audiences thus far? Considering how avant-garde and progressive it is, audiences have been surprisingly attracted by the weirdness. "People either love us, or they absolutely hate us; there's no middle ground with Kayo Dot. Especially with metal fans, which is kinda weird."

    With plans to heavily tour again this summer, the band has also mentioned Blue Lambency Downward will finally be released on vinyl. "Kayo Dot just sounds so much better on vinyl," Driver says. "Vinyl is higher quality, which really pulls out the complexities of our sound."

    Driver also announced his intention of releasing triptych-styled artwork to correspond with the vinyl release. A threefold album jacket, all three silkscreened, is just another little something to add to the bizarre world of Kayo Dot. But who's complaining? Considering these rugged times, it's a nice escape from the banality that is everyday life.
     
  2. Astral Poetry

    Astral Poetry "Eros! Your hand...!"

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    did anyone else find the tone of that interview kind of bizarre?
     
  3. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    referring to KD as "the Dot" is what threw me.
     
  4. azal

    azal love is the answer

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    dude said avant-garde like 56 times.
     
  5. auralsun

    auralsun New Metal Member

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    this comes off as a strangely written pitchfork article in which toby is referred to as a socrates-like character.

    what.
     
  6. metaghost

    metaghost Ghast of the Geist

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    Guys, click the link. It's from a student newspaper...in Colorado.
     
  7. Astral Poetry

    Astral Poetry "Eros! Your hand...!"

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    also, the ending was pretty bleak all things considered
     
  8. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    Toby's pretty Socrates-like.
     
  9. FuSoYa

    FuSoYa Lunarian

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    This interview was done by a college student at our concert in Denver. He didn't tape anything or write anything down. That said, many of the "quotes" in this article are completely made up (not even paraphrased! e.g. - Park Doom? I have no idea what that is. I never mentioned Johnny Cash, either. I never said "vinyl is higher quality", etc etc the list goes on). Also bad research - there is no string section?? I thought the interviewer was very nice, but from now on I think I should only do interviews in writing. For a well-written, well-researched KD article, see Nick Greer's at Sputnikmusic.com
     
  10. azal

    azal love is the answer

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    way to go colorado!
     
  11. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    haha park doom i was wondering wtf that was too
     
  12. xfer

    xfer I JERK OFF TO ARCTOPUS

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    put that on yr myspace page under "influences"
     
  13. metaghost

    metaghost Ghast of the Geist

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    I'm excited for the day that someone references this interview in an argument against modern recording mediums.

    VINYL IS SO WARM
     

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