Edward Ka-Spel

Public Disturbance

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Though packaged as a DVD, Public Disturbance is actually a CD collecting two separate solo shows by Ka-Spel, from 1993 and 1998. The first eight tracks come from the later performance, with the help of regular keyboard player the Silver Man; the remaining five feature Ka-Spel wholly on his own. These latter tracks show no decrease in depth and detail; while Ka-Spel likely was working with plenty of prerecorded parts from the sound of it, the end results are nothing to sneeze at. Those familiar with his studio work will find the results here no surprise, but as is generally the case with Ka-Spel he does a fantastic job in exploring his own dark corners of psychedelia in ways that never quite repeat themselves. Ka-Spel is even able to work one of his key tools from his albums -- his regularly varied way of recording his voice -- into his shows, adding distortion, echo, and other touches as desired. Generally speaking, though, his voice is much more direct throughout, befitting the circumstances of performance. The song choices could only hope to reflect a small part of Ka-Spel's ever-growing body of work, and wisely he picks some winners, including "Hotel X" and "Tanith and the Lion Tree" from the album titled after the latter song. The creepily pretty way around melody that further defines Ka-Spel's work is, if anything, further emphasized here, with such moments as the twinkling loops of "Forbidden Zone" and his own vocal lead on "A Crack in Melancholy Time," at once catchy and wonderfully strange. If not a crucial release, fans will appreciate it, while in its own way it could also serve as a reasonable starting point for newcomers to Ka-Spel's brand of moodily beautiful apocalypse and disintegration.

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