Chyekk China Doll

EDWARD KA-SPEL

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Cover ImageRelease date and tracklist

1985
UK LP Torso 33013

side a

  1. Lines
  2. The Infinity Waltz [MP3]
  3. Prelude For A Splash
  4. The Price Of Salvation
  5. Chyekk 1 [MP3]

side b

  1. Lisa’s Christening [MP3]
  2. Chyekk 2
  3. Beautiful, Naked
  4. Klazh, Tristurr
  5. Lisa’s Resurrection [MP3]
  6. The Power, The Power
  7. The Glory, The Glory

***

1988
UK CD Torso CD013

1995
NL 2xCD Staalplaat STCD090- details here
***
Cover Image2010
US CD Beta-lactam Ring MT115

2012
NL MP3 self-released on Edward Ka-Spel’s Bandcamp page

30 March 2014
NL Remastered MP3 self-released on Bandcamp

  1. Lines
  2. The Infinity Waltz [MP3]
  3. Prelude For A Splash
  4. The Price Of Salvation
  5. Chyekk 1 [MP3]
  6. Lisa’s Christening [MP3]
  7. Chyekk 2
  8. Beautiful, Naked
  9. Klazh, Tristurr
  10. Lisa’s Resurrection [MP3]
  11. The Power, The Power
  12. The Glory, The Glory
  13. The Forbidden Zone*
  14. Choke(d)*
  15. Film Of The Book (The Forgotten Version)*
  16. Colour Me Vexed,Desiree**

*Bonus songs on the Beta-lactam and Bandcamp release only

** Bonus song on the 2014 Bandcamp release only


Credits

  • Edward Ka-Spel – voice, keyboards, electronics, bugle
  • Patrick Q. Paganini (Patrick Wright) – violin, keyboards, bass, guitar
  • Steven Stapleton – tapes, piano, inspiration
  • Lady Sunshine – lady voice
  • Produced by Patrick Q. Wright and Edward Ka-Spel

Torso graphics– Nico Arzabach; Cover photography– Ruud Jacobs
Beta-lactam artwork
– Jesse Peper; graphics- Chris


Notes

CD:
This release is subtitled “D’Archangel Laughs”.
Comes in a black tray jewel case with a 4-page booklet.

The back of the booklet incorrectly lists two bonus tracks, “When Old Gods Die” and “After the Tower”, that do not appear on the disc. These tracks were later included on the LYVV CHINA DOLL release as “Wenn Alte Gotter Sterben” and “Tower 8”.

Bandcamp:
1985. EK’s first year in Amsterdam and came the day when he found himself actually targeted by TWO record companies in the city. Megadisc had the money but insisted on a long-term contract while Torso had the artistic credibility but less of the greenbacks (or orange backs in The Netherlands).  He opted for the latter label and proposed a collaborative album with fellow Pink Dot Patrick, with a guest spot for Marylou and some sound production advice from old friend Steve Stapleton.
Even so, “Chyekk” is as much Patrick’s album as it is Edward’s. The pair worked in glorious harmony with basic chords and vocal ideas coming from EK while Pat was the master arranger.
The vinyl version was well received and “Chyekk” was even issued as one of the earliest independent cds (although the “bonus” tracks listed on the cover were somehow left off).
A reissue in combination with “Aazhyd China Doll” followed in the 90s, but the truly definitive version with a fabulous interpretation of EK’s original cover concept (thanks to Jesse Peper) appeared in 2010, fabulously remastered by Raymond Steeg.
This Redux version features that 2010 remaster plus the bonus track which was exclusive to the “Aazhyd/Chyekk” edition. -EK


Press Release (BLRR)

With two added bonus tracks. “With the help of Nurse With Wound mainman Steven Stapleton on “tapes, piano, and inspiration,” Ka-Spel collaborated with multi-instrumentalist Patrick Wright on Chyekk China Doll, a worthy entry in Ka-Spel’s lengthy, involved series of solo works. As with most of his solo work, the artist moves sideways from the collapsing, queasy anarchy of the Legendary Pink Dots for a quieter but no less freaky combination. Wright plays a core role throughout, cowriting nearly all the songs and adding his haunting, heavily echoed violin work to many songs, further rendering the playfully cartoon music-in-hell compositions even more curious. The aura of fragile chamber music and oddly elegant ballroom dancing on the brief “Chyekk 1” and “Chyekk 2” and the downright captivating start to “The Glory, the Glory” are some of his standout moments. “Lisa’s Christening,” meanwhile, really does sound like a religious ceremony of some sort, though not exactly one which might be called a traditional Christian rite. Stapleton’s ear for jarring, sudden cuts and random samples further spikes the brew at points — check the brief “Klazh, Tristurr” or the echoing rumble of “The Power, the Power” for a headspinning listen — all making a just disorienting enough combination for Ka-Spel to play in. Sometimes he submerges his vocals in the mix, but, at points, as on the very appropriately titled “The Infinity Waltz,” it goes front and center, his gently declamatory style suiting the results. Ka-Spel’s wiggy sense of humor helps in some of the arrangements as well — who else would whip up a jazzy, ’20s-style strut like “Beautiful Naked” while still making it sound like an invocation to the beyond?”


Lyrics

Lines

I’d steal your kingdom for a horse. I’d sell your grandma for a buzz. I’ll pick your pick your pocket on the bus. I’ll rip your locket off its chain and hawk it in the market if I can walk straight… In line. Like the lines on my arms. Like the line at the clinic where they’ll pump me dry and turn me loose to cynically steal your kingdoms once again.

The Infinty Waltz

Fanning the flames with a feather. He leapt from the the 10 o’clock train to oblivion. Maimed, but the ceiling was falling, the siren was calling. He threw off his chains and he joined The Infinity Waltz. Gallantly screaming we fashioned a cross with the legs of a leper who cried in his cot. And the ringmaster wrestled the Lamb singing sweetly “The Lord is my shepherd” He died on the spot. Madonna was waving, she cut herself shaving; we fell on our knees as she led The Infinity Waltz. Soldiers of fortune were torturing slaves, tipping corpses in graves – slipping mandrax and hairspray to godfearing matrons who wept into aprons and gaped as the ghosts fled to join The Infinity Waltz.

The Price of Salvation

Candles, cathedrals and handfuls of change in the great white plate for the great white man with the smile that saves and the hands that heal. Make a deal, he’ll make a miracle… The walls collapse, the steeple snaps and turns into a rocket. He’ll fly you off to Mars… Just line his pocket. He’ll turn your Mother into Marzipan. He can! And he will with those holy fingers. Double glazing, quite amazing coma toes. Ask the lady in the 13th row. She was Monroe for a day but she paid. How she paid! The price of salvation is high.

Lisa’s Christening

The temple swayed from side to side. We waited at the door. Reading bibles, snorting coke and looking rather bored. The priestess passed the holy water and we drank it… Asked for more. At Lisa’s Christening. And through the dark clouds round the steeple, sun and stars appeared. We reached for our protective helmets – it was raining chandeliers. And farmer caught a melting shell and pressed it to his ear. At Lisa’s Christening. Priestess held the silver mirror, winked and combed her hair. She whistled twice and snapped her fingers – we knelt and said a prayer. Raised the baton. Shouted “Louder” – threw Lisa in the air. But she survived…

Beautiful, Naked

He loved her beautiful, naked… Caged with grapes on a plate and a couch to recline on. Go on a page… She was Venus. He ordered a slave just to break off her arms and her scream was a song that he’d heard in his dreams. He sang along as they walked in the woods… with his hand on her stump. He felt her warm blood pump out a cure. Made him pure. Made him beautiful, naked, caged! She said, “Jeez, I had this weirdo-wild look in his eyes. Well I done hand jobs, band jobs, gland jobs – none of them used chisles. He whistled as he chipped. And he’d chip away all day. I’d lie back and pout. He’d shout – but he wouldn’t take his tie off. He said I looked just like De Milo – I said ‘Don’t you break my arms!’ but he was harmless and he paid. How he paid!”

Lisa’s Resurrection

The priest was wearing crimson, blessed the brimstone. Called the Devil ‘sir’. As fires burned and candles flickered. Revellers were rolling in the dirt, flicking wax. Having sex beneath the eiderdown. Zip the clown was playing sax – a hellhound played the bugle. Handel blew ‘Messiah’ on Kazoo! “It’s simply super!” said the naked taxman. Sucking on a bone, attacking lonely widows, stroking zones and charging V.A.T. A Lady felt the earth move (Oh! He’s in the groove). And thunder clapped, the mountains whistled – Lisa shook a fist. She said “I’m flattered!” – scattered ashes on the devil’s head and elegantly strolled into the sunset! Born again!

The Glory, The Glory

Marble halls and city walls… He lined them all with figures tall who called to passers-by and cast their eyes with scorn on forms imperfect – spread across the lawns… and born to wonder just why they coughed and cursed and died cos statues never die. They keep their beauty, hardly worn though storms have tried to break them. And bombs dropped at their feet. They’re still standing, naked, but they’re warm. They’re waiting for their turn to rule a world where nothing speaks and nothing’s small – nothing’s ever worshipped. Where they’re gods themsleves. A ‘perfect’ world.

Forbidden Zone (Bonus track, transcribed by Mike Ni-Hill)

You chose the lonely road,
led me blindfold to the river.
You danced beneath the dripping blood-red moon.
And me … I shivered meekly in the mist,
afraid to rip this mask off,
afraid to take a step,
snatch your hand and join the secret celebration.
Perhaps I should have simply stayed in bed,
chained to that rock inside my head,
trapped inside these ever-empty dreams.

As night slowly falls, these four stone walls
move a little closer, and I find it hard to breathe.
But still I believe there’s room for you and me,
outside … in the forbidden zone.

Still I believe there’s room for you and me,

Outside … in the forbidden zone

 

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