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Kayo Dot "Hubardo"

Published September 12 2013.

  by Jonathan

There are few things more intriguing than the words “new Kayo Dot album”, and in an age of serious, mind-numbing experimentation in the underground, both of metal and the avant-garde, that is saying something.

Based out of New York and helmed by Toby Driver, also of maudlin of the Well and several other musical entities, Kayo Dot have spent the best part of the last decade or so raising eyebrows and crushing expectations, but “Hubardo” marks another important chapter for Kayo Dot, and not just musically. The album has been crowd funded.

The band eschewed the now-established mediums of Kickstarter, Pledge Music etc in favour of releasing the album online through Bandcamp and physically through their own imprint Ice Level Music, with all the recording funding coming from self-managed pre-orders beforehand, something that obviously relied very much so on the loyalty and dedication of their fan base and like any crowd funding initiative, it’s a veritable minefield of financial risks.

One can never expect anything orthodox or ‘easy’ from Kayo Dot though, as has been evidenced by each beard stroking and evocative record. 2003’s “Choirs of the Eye” was a dense prog metal behemoth and last year’s “Gamma Knife” was a terse delving into the frenetic art-rock abyss. There’s always something new, and strange, around the corner.

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Inge "Heaven Knows"

Thanks to Rick for writing this really dedicated review of Inge's second album "Heaven Knows". Published on June 19 2013.

  by Rick

Do not let the demure, reserved cover art fool you. This album is a coiled spring, full of surprising power and ready to jump out at the unsuspecting. The music within, like the photo on the cover, is subtle and refined instead of brazen. Take a closer look at the gleam in the eyes, the crooked half smile, and you have a better idea of what's in store. This woman is able and willing to take you places, sometimes places you don't want to go.

"Heaven Knows" is Inge's second full length album, after the excellent "I See You", released in 2010. It is a delight to mark her growth as a songwriter, performer and as a manager and promoter. Business skills are increasingly important for musicians, particularly independents, and Inge does it all and does it right. I sense a greater self-confidence and individuality in her songwriting and her singing, less tendency to try to sound like someone else. Inge has her own style and she relishes demonstrating it.

Read more: Inge "Heaven Knows"