Five Years Of Kscope
With the fifth anniversary of post-progressive label Kscope happening this month, and a pair of celebratory gigs to follow in July, we decided to have a look through their rather tasty catalogue and pick out a few tracks that best represented their first half-decade.
Joining us to mark the occasion was label co-founder Tom Gallacher who shared his thoughts on these little gems.
Ulver – Wars Of The Roses
Undoubtedly my favourite album on Kscope, Ulver gave a master class in being heavy without resorting to distorted guitars. Beautiful and dark in equal measures, Wars Of The Roses is an exhausting emotional ride, but one that begs to me made repeatedly.
The latest chapter in Ulver's musical journey from black metal pioneers to avant-garde subversives. They have always been fiercely proud of their independent status and have been reluctant to work with a label so we were delighted that they decided to join our roster.
Anathema – We're Here Because We’re Here
I waited a very long time for We're Here Because We're Here to come along – I still have the free mp3 demos they put up as early as five years before – but the wait was worth it. Expansive, magnificent and ambitious, Anathema went to town in trying to produce the most grandiose record they could, and succeeded.
Anathema's triumphant return after a gap of seven years between albums, this album was voted album of the year by Prog magazine and remains one of the best loved albums in the catalogue. Anathema are playing on the second night of the forthcoming Kscope 5th anniversary gigs at The Garage in July.
Steven Wilson – Grace For Drowning
An album that really tried to cover the vast artistic lands that Steven Wilson has travelled in various projects, it somehow managed to tie these disparate elements together into one (largely) cohesive album. Exemplified by the epic 'Raider II' as it jumps from minimalist ambience to balls-out jazz to monolithic drones, Grace For Drowning has it all.
The label's first top 40 album, this double album was the second solo album by Steven Wilson. The album really launched his solo career and provided the platform for The Raven That Refused To Sing (And Other Stories), Wilson's hugely successful album that was released earlier this year.
No-Man – Schoolyard Ghosts
Going right back to the beginning of the label, a new No-Man record is always an occasion and Schoolyard Ghosts was no exception. Haunting in its frailty, this is one of those albums that forces time to stop whilst it is playing, allowing you to sink fully into its melancholy and melody.
One of the first albums that the label ever released and still many fans' favourite. Steven Wilson and Tim Bowness reunited as No-Man for the first time since 2003 and created this album, an accessible and ambitious blend of post-rock and singer-songwriter influences.
Bruce Soord With Jonas Renkse – Wisdom Of Crowds
And so we jump right the way forward to the latest Kscope has to offer as Bruce Soord collaborates with Jonas Renske to create a startling album that will both surprise and delights fans of both. Wisdom Of Crowds is a bold offering so in keeping with the label's ethos, a mix of familiar nuances and playful experimentation.
An exciting new project which brings together two really talented artists. Bruce (and The Pineapple Thief) has been part of the Kscope family since we launched the label in 2008 and this album allows him to work with Jonas from Katatonia, who will be releasing their first Kscope album later this year.
The two Kscope 5th anniversary shows take place on the 24th and 25th of July at The Garage in London. Full details can be found at kscopemusic.com.