Resilient Revolutionaries: The Legendary Pink Dots (Washington Post Express)

The Legendary Pink Dots may have meant the first word in their moniker to be ironic back when they named themselves during the post-punk anti-rock star era. But nearly three decades later, the irony now is that they’ve pretty much ended up living up to their own billing. The Amsterdam-by-way-of-London quartet has not only held to their defiantly experimental concept, but they’ve done it independently of the recording industry.

“Somewhere inside me I always knew I was in for a bit of a long ride,” explains founder and main artistic voice Edward Ka-Spel about the group’s longevity. “I did have a lot of ideas that I wanted to see through back then, and I’m still seeing them through.”

Ka-Spel says he feels “no commercial consideration at all” when constructing the group’s records, which have been known to mix and match everything from off-kilter drumbeats to spoken word sections to deceptively “childlike” ditties. “Better to miss a meal and have something you feel proud of than to slowly sell your soul,” he explains. “The music we make is the most important thing.”

The group’s newest CD, “Plutonium Blonde,” is a concept album that offers a first-person look at isolation in the digital age. “It begins with anger and ends with resignation,” he says. “By the time you get to the end, the guy is sitting in his little cube where he’s got everything he ever wanted, but he never actually leaves the cube.”

In other words, it’s another iconoclastic vision, courtesy of Ka-Spel and friends. “It’s becoming more and more refined,” he says of his artistry. “I think I’m learning how to deliver it in a better and better way.”

Written by Tony Sclafani


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