A post-progressive label from the home of Peaceville Records
The Kscope label was founded as a means of providing a platform for a growing number of artists that had started to reclaim and reinvent aspects of the Progressive genre.In order to produce something that resonated in the 21st Century, these artists had stripped the music of its perceived excess and clichés, and subtly re-established the movement’s original impulses, experimenting with eclectic musical sources and contemporary sonic possibilities.
Spearheaded by the ambitious likes of Porcupine Tree, Radiohead and Elbow on one side, and Muse, Opeth and Mars Volta on the other (the lynchpins of the hugely popular Prog-Metal movement), this new wave of Progressive expression also incorporated the atmospheric offerings of Air, Talk Talk and Royskopp, and the cinematic Post-Rock vistas of Sigur Ros, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Tortoise. All represented strands of traditional Progressive ideas influencing vital and exciting modern music.
If Post-Rock was a means of creating a music that contained the thrill and transcendent power of Rock music without resorting to its age-old reliance on riffs and Blues-based solos, Post-Progressive was a means of taking Rock music forward without regurgitating the baroque nature and occasionally stifling virtuosity of some of the original Progressive icons. Alongside inspiration from more recognised 1960s/1970s pioneers, Post-Progressive contained aspects of the technological innovations and primal energy of other forward-thinking genres such as Krautrock, Trip-Hop, Electronica and Post-Punk.
The first dedicated Post-Progressive label, Kscope launched in May 2008 (with new albums from its first signings The Pineapple Thief and No-Man, and reissues from genre leaders, Porcupine Tree). An artistically focussed and sympathetic home for an evolving, flexible and adventurous style of music without boundaries, (as with its spiritual forebears 4AD, Factory, Vertigo and Harvest) Kscope is as concerned with packaging and artwork as it is with music and has established a distinctive visual, as well as musical, identity.
Seven successful years after its auspicious beginnings, by continuing to utilise a combination of both new and established talent, Kscope offers a creative nurturing point for like-minded artists. The label has given a springboard for previous unknowns such as Nordic Giants, Iamthemorning, Nosound and North Atlantic Oscillation, greater exposure for the likes of The Pineapple Thief, Sweet Billy Pilgrim, Crippled Black Phoenix, Gazpacho, Katatonia and No-Man, and achieved significant chart success for Steven Wilson and Anathema.
Now, as always, this is a label looking to the future.
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Metal - Verschenen op 11 december 2020 | Kscope
This is a concept that is both quirky and original: and at the end of the day, it could also seem like it's too good to be true. Yet, it's this razor-finely-balanced artistic choice that makes this album by Daniel Tompkins so attractive. In 2019, the Tesseract singer released his first solo record, Castles, in a much more electro-poppy vein than the normal output of his band, which was decidedly oriented towards progressive metal. This offered fans the chance to discover a synthetic, airy world, whose songs evoked the atmospheres developed by Zeta, another Tompkins project which was marked by 80s influenced synthwave. It took less than a year for the singer to start work on the sequel. Finally, the next instalment... or rather, the complement. Because Ruins is more of a variation than a new episode in the adventures of the vocalist and his collaborators. These are reinterpretations of the songs from Castles, in a darker, more electric spirit, which right away lends a rock tone to the original material. Like the arrangements, the names of the songs have been changed. Thus, Black The Sun became Wounded Wings, Cinders was renamed Stains of Betrayal, Telegraph is now A Dark Kind of Angel... Ruins is a record whose interest lies as much in the rediscovery of these pieces as in the little game of spot the difference, which invites the listener to revisit Castles, to better appreciate the work that went into it. Only one unreleased single is slipped into the album: The Gift, in which Matt Heafy, leader of Trivium, strikes a balance between electronics on the one hand, and, on the other, djent-drenched guitars supported by screaming vocals which remind us that this record is intended to be more metal than its predecessor. Above all, the cosmetic changes in the original versions sow the seeds of doubt. If one understands the purely artistic interest of this step, and Tompkins' desire to have fun with his own compositions, the end result tends to show Ruins as being much closer to a Tesseract album, whereas Castles moved a little further away from their repertoire. But can we hold that against this new release? No, for the simple reason that it contains songs that are always so beautiful, and which draw such intensity from the addition of more complex rhythms and saturated sounds, without ever distorting the deep nature of these compositions. This is a real tour de force that allows the singer to make his devilishly clever mark a second time. Even when reinterpreting his own tracks, he is serving up more surprises than a simple remix or an unplugged version. And that is the talent of Daniel Tompkins. © Chief Brody/Qobuz