Malachai, Shadow Weaver Part 2 (Legendary Pink Dots)

Alan Ezust

Malachai is the continuation of the Shadow Weaver story, which as Edward
puts it, is the story of a man who is coping with his existance, while the
all-powerful super-being is "just around the corner".

A very introspective story, with biblical references galore, most of this
release was recorded at the same time as Shadow Weaver Part 1, but
finishing touches were put on the back burner for a while...

Edward states that he was inspired somewhat by Current 93 during the
recording of Malachai. As you will undoubtedly notice, it is considerably
noiser and more difficult to listen to than any of his previous releases.
I must admit that I was a little frightened by some of the sounds which
came out of my speaker as I listened to this album for the first time,
especially during the song "Encore une fois" (One more time, en anglais).
I was playing it at a fairly normal volume, but I was in a semi-conscious
state, almost drifting off to sleep. When I listen to music in this state,
it tends to permeate through my skin a little more easily, and sometimes
it regulates my heartbeat. During this song, Edward drones on about how
he's repeating himself, and all these strange sounds, ranging from guitars
distorted to sound like radio static, to the cracking and snapping of
wood or brittle plastic, to the plucking of some metallic objects, to the
distorited sounds of engines. It was very disturbing. Now whenever I
listen to it I start to feel the same way I did as I was drifting off to

The first song, Joey the Canary, is a beautiful tune, with flute and bass,
and acoustic guitar. The lyrics remind me of "Zero Zero" but a little more
up-beat. Kingdom of the Flies is a very mellow ballad with acoustic guitar
and woodwinds.

Window on the World, with the slapping sounds as precussion and the
screaming clarinet/saxophone was another very disturbing track, which was
making me feel very agitated and uneasy. I have a hard time listening to
it now.

On the Boards is kinda jazzy with a little of a bluesish sound - very hip
'n' cool.

We Bring The day, a 19-minute song, is probably one of the best reasons
for buying this disc (aside from maintaining a complete collection of LPD
music, which is still reason enough for me)... It changes moods, mixing
styles from Asylum and Golden Age, and features Patrick Q. as
guest-musician on the violin (yay!). Wonderfully spacey, but with
substance and a punch behind it. I drifted off to sleep during this one,
so I had to listen to it again when I woke up.

Pavane and Paris 4AM are quite nice instrumental tracks. Paris 4AM is 6:55
as opposed to what is indicated on the back cover, 5:55.

Overall, this is a mixed album. At least one track is guaranteed to rub
you the wrong way. It doesn't flow well as a whole. However, it does have
its moments, and is worthwhile.

mojzes%monet@VILL.EDU Thu Jun 17 02:09:41 1993

Date: Thu, 17 Jun 93 00:05:40 EDT

hi all,

i just posted this on ecto, along with a ton of other stuff,
but it seems more relevant here.

i've been going through my recent stash of albums, and i've gotten
stuck on the legendary pink dots. _malachai_ is, i think, my favorite
of theirs to date. it really has some amazing stuff. this is the
sound that i fell in love with at the concert. edward seems to have
learned a little about sonic sculpture from skinny puppy, without
becoming harsh or losing that wonderful lyricism he has. ryan moore
is certainly a boon to the band. other than this, i only have _any
day now_ and _ the maria dimension_, and right now i think that _malachai_
far surpasses both of these. i'll have to check that later after the
euphoria (you thought that word was only used about carpet-bombing
"non-civilian" parts of baghdad, didn't you?) has died down. the
difference i see/hear is that of movement. earlier lpd's stuff seems
more "written" than this, and shows definite progressions between parts,
but sometimes there was very little movement. (there are certainly
as many exceptions as there songs which i'm describing here -- and i
think that if i break down and eat some dinner, my sentences may even
start to make sense, but until then...) in _malachai_, that sense of
"progress" disappears, but there is still movement. its kind of like
the ocean--its constantly moving, but it doesn't go anywhere, and it
doesn't need to, because the beauty of the ocean is in the movement,
not the destination, or the purpose. i know what i'm trying to say,
i just don't know how to say it. sigh.


Matt Van Dyke

I love this album - so you might want to read some other reviews of it
before you go out and buy it because i think that i am the only person i
know that does truly love it - yes, this is the album where the
legendary pink dots truly abandon their dependance on keyboards
(although they are pretty sparse in shadow weaver) - with malachai:
shadow weaver part II, the pink dots combine the (absurd with the
vulgur - no, sorry) insane with the trippy with the mellow - it almost
seems that the pink dots went an entirely different direction, they tried
to do things that they have never tried before - maybe that is why i like
it - yes, i have read many a review criticizing it for how annoying and
choppy it can sometime get, but i think that that is why i like it - it is
truly the opposite from its predecessor, shadow weaver part I - it starts
out with two acoustic songs with effects, goes to a song about insanity
(or portrays insanity, or is insane, i don't know), then experimental,
then jazz, then in 'we bring the day' it pays tribute to pink floyd's
"ummagumma", and then ends in a mellow saxophone solo - the last
track ends with snoring which is rather appropriate because i feel that
it is almost a strain to listen to the album, there is so much there, and
by the end you are practically exhausted and ready to go to sleep -
perhaps that is why i differ with others - i dig the strain, they don't -
so, i leave it up to you - "what illusion can you lose man, you got your
choice to choose, man"

"nathan gordon" <>

Date: Tue, 08 Apr 1997 08:14:18 PDT

hello, i found this review of "malachai" in the july 1993 issue of keyboard.

Keyboard, July 1993

Legendary Pink Dots, Malachai: Shadow Weaver Part 2 (Play It Again Sam)

Though there are echoes of other artists on Malachai, nothing on this
weird and amazing record can be dismissed as derivative. This largely
Dutch quintet uses samples and rhythm sequences in decidedly un-cliched
ways. Static pads and simple sequence repititions play either a secondary
role or no role at all in these complex arrangements. Writhing textures,
particularily on the longer cuts, evoke communities of musical ants, a
teeming chaos that masks some grand collective scheme. Even on shorter
selections, the Dots can create a tactile sense of space, then
substantially and convincingly alter it several times over; "Paris 4AM",
for example, hovers in some late-night jazz joint for four minutes, then
rushes us through what sounds like a miniature circus in a toy shop to the
bedside of someone snoring through a deep dream in the last few ecords.
The one cut based on repitition, "Encore Une Fois", takes the idea to
deliberately comic extremes, down to a faux fade and return. We mentioned
that Malachai brings the work of other artists to mind, but it's a strange
crew: Eno, Tim Waits, It's A Beautiful Day, Beaver And Krause. Credit the
group's two keyboardists--they call themselves Niels van Hoornblower(sic)
and The Prophet Qa'sepel--for some extremely evocative work.

Rex <>

The sequel to Shadow Weaver was released by Play It Again Sam in 1993;
though the cover art is similar, the actual product on the inside is quite
different. Like Asylum almost a decade earlier, this release was produced by
Steven Stapleton, this time granted the credit due, but his hand in the
proceedings is also more apparent. The 12-minute centerpiece, "Window On the
World," only develops into half a Ka-Spel melody before breaking down into a
Nurse With Wound-styled construction of organized clangs and crashes;
"Encore Une Fois" is a mechanical-sounding loop of repeated Ka-Spel phrases;
and the epic "We Bring the Day" sandwiches a simple LPD tune in between
minutes of jazz-like sound improvisation, including creaks, beeps, and
animal noises. The entire record is cold and inaccessible, though acoustic
songs like "Kingdom of the Flies" and the flute-heavy "Joey the Canary"
remind the listener whose album this actually is. A pair of noir-ish
instrumentals round out this challenging collection. The intellectual
insulation of the album only strengthens the idea of being trapped in one's
own mind.