The Legendary Pink Dots

The Legendary Pink Dots

LPD vocalist Edward Ka-Spel on the keyboard and Niels van Hoorn at an 14 October 2007 show at the Stubnitz boat in Amsterdam
Background information
Origin London, UK
Genres Avant-garde rock
Industrial rock
Noise rock
Years active 1980–present
Labels ROIR, Beta-lactam Ring Records, Third Mind, Terminal Kaleidoscope, Car Crash International, Flesh Eating Ants Records, Soleilmoon, PIAS, InPhaze
Associated acts Mimir
The Tear Garden
Members Edward Ka-Spel
Phil Knight
Erik Drost
Raymond Steeg

The Legendary Pink Dots (LPD) are an Anglo-Dutch experimental rock band formed in London in August 1980.[1] In 1984 the band moved to Amsterdam, playing with rotating musicians and having, as core members, singer/songwriter/keyboardist Edward Ka-Spel and keyboardist Phil Knight. As of 2012, the group is composed of Edward Ka-Spel (vocals, keyboards, songwriter), Phil Knight (keyboards, electronics), Erik Drost (guitars) and Raymond Steeg (live sound engineer).[2]

Although outside the mainstream (in terms of their music and career path), LPD have released more than 40 albums, have a devoted worldwide following, and tour frequently.


The band was originally called "One Day..." [3] but subsequently changed the name to The Legendary Pink Dots, apparently inspired by pink dots on certain keys of the band's main recording studio piano.

In the 1980s the band released albums on Mirrodot and InPhaze; in 1985 they signed with Play It Again Sam for the release of The Lovers.[4] The line-up had become stable by 1988, with Niels van Hoornblower (horns) and Bob Pistoor (guitar) joining in time for the band's 1988 US tour. Pistoor died of cancer and his place was filled by Martijn de Kleer; drummer Ryan Moore completed the line-up live and in the studio. Their appeal has always been relatively small—a 1995 show in Mexico in front of 2,500 fans was described as "massive (by Dots' standards)".[5]

Their music touches on elements of neo-psychedelia, ambient music, electronic music, tape music, industrial, psychedelic folk, synthpop, post-punk, progressive, jazz, noise, pop, and goth rock, with a distinctly experimental/avant-garde bent; their sound has evolved over time and remains distinctive, making it difficult to place the group into a concise style or genre. The group's overall sound combined with Ka-Spel's distinct lyrics and singing have earned comparisons to Pink Floyd and Syd Barrett;[6] the group also has links to the sounds of krautrock bands such as Can,[7] Faust, Brainticket, Magma or Neu! (whose "Super" they covered on the 1999 tribute album "A Homage to NEU!").

The Pink Dots frequently collaborated with Skinny Puppy's cEvin Key, forming a side project named The Tear Garden.[5] Key also played drums on several tracks of the 1994 LPD album 9 Lives to Wonder.

Ryan Moore, who drummed on studio and live performances for the Legendary Pink Dots, left to work on his own musical outlet, the Twilight Circus Dub Sound System. He wrote and produced albums for Michael Rose of Black Uhuru, and has worked with other reggae figures such as Sly Dunbar.

The Pink Dots have influenced a wide range of bands, such as The Dresden Dolls,[8] MGMT, and Skinny Puppy.



  1. Edward Ka-Spel. "The Legendary Pink Dots - A 20 Year History (2000)". Retrieved 6 October 2012.
  2. "About The Legendary Pink Dots".
  3. "Interview with Edward Ka-Spel (Option Magazine)". LPD Official Site. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
  4. Bogdanov, Vladimir (2001). All Music Guide to Electronica: The Definitive Guide to Electronic Music. Backbeat Books. pp. 247–48. ISBN 9780879306281.
  5. 1 2 Thompson, Dave (2000). Alternative Rock. Miller Freeman Books. pp. 457–58. ISBN 9780879306076.
  6. Mason, Stewart: "Your Children Placate You from Premature Graves", review. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
  7. Mason, James: "A Perfect Mystery", review. Retrieved 3 February 2007.
  8. Lynskey, Dorian (19 August 2012). "Amanda Palmer: "Thank God my best friend's a therapist"". The Guardian. London.
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