Kay-Kl

 

Kayak (Holland): Phantom Of The Night (Vertigo 6413 507, with insert, 1978)
Rock/Progressive
Irene Linders (backing vocals), Katherine Lapthorn (backing vocals)
This was Kayak’s sixth album, but their first with female members in the line-up; it was also their biggest seller, spawning a huge Dutch hit single in ‘Ruthless Queen’. Musically, it’s a little ahead of its time, offering the sort of soft pop/rock and sympho-prog mixture that would become commonplace in the eighties (and would, in particular, take Genesis to superstardom). Unsurprisingly, there’s nothing really memorable here, but it is pleasant and well put together. Whilst neither of the two female members is prominently featured on the album, Irene Linders co-wrote everything (and continued to write prolifically for most subsequent Kayak albums). GRADE: C+.
Kayak (Holland): Periscope Life (Vertigo 6413 960, with insert, 1980)
Rock/Progressive
Irene Linders (backing vocals), Katherine Lapthorn (backing vocals)
In the same musical style as its predecessor, this features three excellent cuts (the beautiful ballad ‘Anne’, the symphonic instrumental ‘Deep Blue Of Chartres’ and the catchy opener ‘Astral Aliens’). Elsewhere, some tracks are quite mediocre, hinting at showtune influences, but overall this is another pleasant and well-assembled album. GRADE: C+.
Kayak (Holland): Merlin (Vertigo 6423 432, with inner, 1981)
Rock/Progressive
Irene Linders (backing vocals), Katherine Lapthorn (backing vocals)
As the title suggests, side one features a symphonic song-suite concerning Arthurian legend, and is probably the best thing the band ever recorded. Side two, in contrast, features their usual mixture of ballads and melodic pop/rock. Despite some mediocre moments, this is the most enjoyable and celebrated of their original LPs. GRADE: C+.
Kayak (Holland): Merlin – Bard Of The Unseen (No label KAY17, CD, 2003)
Progressive
Cindy Oudshoorn (joint lead vocals)
This comeback efforts expands the ‘Merlin’ suite into a whole album, which is arguably what they should have done back in 1981. With rich orchestrations and a suitably epic feel, it’s a fine set and arguably their finest work. On the downside, it’s a touch overblown like most rock operas and far from adventurous, and I can’t say I favour newcomer Cindy Oudshoorn’s rather dramatic vocal style. GRADE: C+.
Kayak (Holland): Merlin – Bard Of The Unseen (Alpha Centauri Entertainment ACE 11066 G, double DVD, with book sleeve, booklet and slipcase, Germany, 2003)
Cindy Oudshoorn (occasional vocals)
This interesting release combines a full live performance of the Merlin album (complete with linking narration), a shorter ‘greatest hits’ set and a ‘making-of’ documentary. It demonstrates Kayak to be an excellent and very dynamic live act, with a number of dancers enhancing the rendition of Merlin. Overall, this is a much more worthwhile introduction to their music than any of their LPs. GRADE: B–.
Kayak (Holland): Nostradamus – The Fate Of Man (SMH Recordings SMHR 2515, double CD, 2005)
Rock/Progressive
Cindy Oudshoorn (occasional vocals), Monique van der Ster (occasional vocals)
This follow-up to Merlin is even more ambitious, being a double album stretching over nearly two hours. It’s nowhere near as good, however, although it’s a pleasant enough collection of melodic rock linked by a few instrumentals (which are probably the highlights) and bits of narration. GRADE: C+.
Kayak (Holland): Kayakoustic (MBN/Write On Productions mbnwo1001, CD, 2007)
Folk/Rock
Cindy Oudshoorn (joint lead vocals, percussion)
This live acoustic album is a bit short on excitement, but it’s very pleasant, with typically good singing and musicianship. ‘Anne’ works especially well, as does a version of ‘Hold Me Forever’ fronted by Cindy Oudshoorn. GRADE: C+.
Kayak (Holland): The Anniversary Box 1973-2008 (SMH Recordings 2800-12, quadruple CD plus DVD, with digipak and booklet, 2008, recorded 1973-2008)
Rock/Progressive
Cindy Oudshoorn (joint lead vocals, keyboards, percussion), Monique van der Ster (occasional vocals), Irene Linders (backing vocals), Katherine Lapthorn (backing vocals)
Part compilation and part live album, this excellent retrospective set features two CDs of the band’s greatest hits (chosen by the fans and including three rare recordings) and a DVD/double CD of a 2008 live show. The compilation is well assembled, but clearly demonstrates the band’s earliest recordings (as an all-male unit) to be clearly superior to their late seventies, early eighties and comeback work. As with its predecessor, the DVD shows them to be better live than on record, though I still prefer the ‘Merlin’ show. GRADE: C+.
Kayak (Holland): Coming Up For Air (SMH Recordings SMHR 2801, CD, 2008)
Rock
Cindy Oudshoorn (joint lead vocals)
Although this was issued just after the 25th anniversary boxed set, material from this album was heavily featured in the live show from that release. Upping the pop quotient and reducing any progressive motifs significantly, this is a mainstream rock set that’s high on melody but low on originality and distinction. GRADE: C.
Kayak (Holland): Letters From Utopia (SMH Recordings SMH 200936, double CD, 2009)
Rock/Progressive
Cindy Oudshoorn (joint lead vocals)
Slightly better and a touch more progressive than its predecessor, this is a solid and enjoyable double album. But Kayak being Kayak, there are no surprises here, nor any really outstanding moments. GRADE: C+.
Kayak (Holland): Anywhere But Here (Belle Antique BELLE 111880, SHM-CD, with minisleeve, booklets and obi, Japan, 2011)
Rock/Progressive
Cindy Oudshoorn (joint lead vocals)
This is another competent set of progressive pop, covering everything from symphonic ballads to borderline metal. Unusually, the disc received a simultaneous release in the audiophile SHM-CD format (the standard Dutch CD is Write On Productions WOP 9285, and comes in a jewel case with one fewer track). GRADE: C+.
Kayak (Holland): Live In Paradiso – Kayak And Guests With A Tribute To Pim Koopman (No label, DVD, with digipak and booklet, 2011)
Rock/Progressive
Cindy Oudshoorn (joint lead vocals)
This live tribute to the band’s former drummer, who died suddenly of a heart attack in his fifties, feature two sets: one by the band alone and the other with a number of big-name guests from the Dutch rock scene (including the post-John Bassman Group outfit Pussycat). As with their other live DVDs, this proves that they’re more enjoyable on stage than on record, but the gig is visually less spectacular than their other shows, while the guest performances mostly offer anodyne country/rock and good-time stadium-rock. GRADE: C+.

Kayak (Holland): Cleopatra – The Crown Of Isis (Write On Productions WOP 602769, double CD, with digipak and booklet, 2014)
Rock/Progressive
Cindy Oudshoorn (joint lead vocals)
Typically for Kayak, this is a large-scale concept album with a historical theme, in this case concerning Cleopatra. It avoids most of the pitfalls of the rock opera genre, though it’s unsurprisingly overly lyrical and rather dreary in parts. Nonetheless, there are also some good songs and instrumental passages, and the whole thing is enjoyably mellow and very well crafted. GRADE: C+.

Kenzi Kizaki (Japan): Boku No Hanashi (Elephant ELP-1001, 1975)
Rock/Psychedelic/Lounge/Folk
This odd little album is mainly sung by Kizaki himself (sometimes in Japanese and sometimes in English) but a female vocalist fronts two folky cuts. Musically, it mostly offers light psychedelia with a loungy feel and folk edges, featuring plenty of acid guitar and organ; overall it resembles the sort of music one would expect to find in a low-budget late sixties or early seventies hippie exploitation film. GRADE: C+.

Kayo Dot (USA): Choirs Of The Eye (Tzadik TZ 7092, with obi, 2003)
Metal/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Mia Matsumiya (violin, viola)
A logical step forward from Maudlin Of The Well’s Leaving Your Body Map, this emphasises the minimalist and classical elements underpinning Toby Driver’s compositions. That’s not to say he’s abandoned metal: in parts this is crushingly heavy, with walls of distorted guitars, but there are also ambient, jazzy and folky passages providing elegant counterpoint, with the whole thing being less song-based and more instrumental. GRADE: B–.

Kayo Dot (USA): Dowsing Anemone With Copper Tongue (Robotic Empire ROBO 058, CD, with obi, 2006)
Metal/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Mia Matsumiya (percussion, violin)
‘These five tracks (spanning 60+ minutes) delve into the myriad depths that heavy music can attain, but reach far beyond into the vast realms of ambience’ proclaims the obi, and it’s not far wrong. From doom metal passages of almost staggering heaviness to elegant moments of modern jazz and long minimalist passages of guitar noodling and effects, Kayo Dot create a sumptuous cathedral of sound: often ponderous, unarguably pretentious and frequently stunning. GRADE: B–.
Kayo Dot (USA): Blue Lambency Downward (Daymare Recordings DYMC-060, double CD, with book sleeve, booklet and obi, Japan, 2008)
Progressive/Avant-Garde
Mia Matsumiya (organ, violin, backing vocals)
Whilst there are a few hard-riffing sections here, this definitely isn’t metal: this is full-blooded RIO, complete with long, rambling songs and lots of woodwind. Whilst occasionally ponderous, it’s mostly an excellent foray into the genre and is packed with unexpected twists and turns. Whilst the album proper was recorded by the duo of Toby Driver and Mia Matsumiya plus guests, the original demo (uniquely included as a second disc on the Japanese version of the album) simply featured Driver plus drummer Charlie Zeleny. GRADE: B.
Kayo Dot (USA): Coyote (Hydra Head HH666-198, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2010)
Progressive/Jazz/Avant-Garde/Metal
Mia Matsumiya (guitar, violin)
Back to a six-piece, Kayo Dot remain within the RIO sphere whilst strongly emphasising the modern jazz elements in their sound (including plenty of horns). There’s also a more pronounced hard rock feel and some new wave edges, resulting in a dense and powerful sound, with lyrics provided by a terminally ill friend of the band. As such, this is pretty austere, but the hype sticker (which really is hyperbolic) provides some light relief by comparing them to everyone from the Cure and Faith & The Muse to Bauhaus, Scott Walker and Herbie Hancock.

GRADE: B–.
Kayo Dot (USA): Live In Bonn October 7 2009 (No label, CDR, with minisleeve and obi, 2010)
Progressive
Mia Matsumiya (keyboards, violin)
This limited edition CDR, which features five numbers by Kayo Dot and one by sister band Tartar Lamb, was sold only with pre-orders of Coyote. Those who missed out didn’t miss much. This isn’t as bad as Sleepytime Gorilla Museum’s live foray into musical comedy, but it’s ponderous in the extreme: not necessarily a fault in itself, but none of this actually goes anywhere or does anything to hold the attention. GRADE: C+.
Kayo Dot (USA): Gamma Knife/Grey Dream (Antithetic ANTI-012CD, CD, with digipak, 2012)
Metal/Progressive/Jazz/Avant-Garde
Mia Matsumiya (violin)
The songs that open and close this short album (just under 30 minutes) are eerie and gothic, but the middle three restore metal to the heart of their sound. Presenting a dense, jazzy wall of sound, topped with tortured vocals, they’re tough and uncompromising – and probably the last thing I expected from Kayo Dot at this stage in their career. GRADE: B–.
Kayo Dot (USA): Hubardo (Ice Level Music ILM-006, triple, some on translucent grey vinyl, with autographs, poster, book, plectrum, sticker and T-shirt, 2014)
Metal/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Mia Matsumiya (violin)
The packaging of this limited edition is nothing short of amazing, but from a musical standpoint this is their least interesting studio album. Much of it is a relentless wall of noise with death vocals, and even the more ambient and free jazz-oriented sections merely repeat experiments the band have tried before. GRADE: C+.
See also Gregor Samsa, Maudlin Of The Well, Tartar Lamb

Ruth Keggin (Isle of Man): Sheear (Purt Sheearan PRSCD001, CD, 2014)

Folk

Ruth Keggin (lead vocals, piano, flute)

This is a beautiful album of haunting folk music, mainly sung in Manx and mixing traditional and contemporary material. Those who enjoy the more acoustic and less electronic end of Clannad will find much to enjoy here. GRADE: C+.

Ruth Keggin (Isle of Man): Turrys (Purt Sheearan PSRCD002, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2016)
Folk
Ruth Keggin (lead vocals, flute)
Like her first, this is delightful, delicate acoustic folk, showcasing traditional Manx songs to great effect. That said, there’s a limit to how exciting I can find traditional folk, and my grade reflects this bias rather than any shortcomings in the album. GRADE: C+.

See also Aon Teanga:UnChengey

Miho Keitarou & Jazz Eleven (Japan): Kokezaru Komikyoku (MCA JMC-5026, with obi, 1971)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive/World Music
Mutsumi Masuda (lead vocals)
This fascinating blend of modern jazz, post-psychedelic rock and traditional Japanese music crams more ideas into 33 minutes than many bands could manage in 33 hours. Those disliking modern jazz improvisation may find little to enjoy here, but for the rest of us this is a wild, fascinating, unpredictable excursion. GRADE: B.

Keith & Donna (USA): Keith And Donna (Round RX 104, 1975)
Pop/Rock
Donna Gochaux (principal vocals)
Keith and Donna Godchaux rarely composed in the Grateful Dead, and the latter rarely sang lead (despite not being an instrumentalist), so their joint solo album gave them an opportunity to show what they could really do. Except they don’t do anything that couldn’t have been done in the parent band, since this collection of inoffensive soft rock songs is rather similar to the contemporaneous From The Mars Hotel. The exception is the opening cover of ‘River Deep – Mountain High’, which is more similar to ‘Dancing In The Street’ on Terrapin Station – why the Dead and its alumni bothered with anodyne versions of these soul classics is beyond me. GRADE: C.
See also Donna Jean, Jerry Garcia Band, Ghosts, Grateful Dead, Heart Of Gold Band, ZÓÉ

Barbara Keith (USA): Barbara Keith (Verve Forecast MGS 2131, 1969)
Folk
Barbara Keith (lead vocals, guitar)
The former Kangaroo vocalist’s first solo album is a mixed bag. The opening ‘Ferris Wheel’ is far too jaunty and country-influenced for me, and much of the album has an overly rural feel. But when she’s operating in more of a folk direction, she manages some lovely songs and performances, such as the hauntingly beautiful ‘To See The Morning Gone’ and ‘Blue Eyed Boy’. GRADE: C.

Barbara Keith (USA): Barbara Keith (Reprise MS 2087, 1973)
Singer/Songwriter
Barbara Keith (lead vocals, guitar)
After her rather underwhelming solo debut, this immediately grabs the attention with a stunning version of ‘All Along The Watchtower’ covered in fuzz guitar. The album never hits the same heights again, but is a thoroughly pleasant singer/songwriter affair with a strong rural slant, probably peaking on Keith’s best-known song ‘Free The People’. GRADE: C+.

See also Kangaroo, Stone Coyotes

Erika Kelly (Isle of Man): Talking This Over (Dasloverly, CD, with digipak, 2014)
Pop/Rock
Erika Kelly (lead vocals, harp)
Since Kelly is a harpist, I expected this four-track EP to be folk or singer/songwriter music. In fact, it’s mostly pop/rock, at the classier end of the spectrum, with definite rural tinges and hints of Nanci Griffith et al, making for a pleasant listening experience. GRADE: C+.

Rose Kemp (UK): Glance (Park PRKCD63, CD, 2003)
Singer/Songwriter
Rose Kemp (lead vocals, guitar)
If you expected Maddy Prior and Rick Kemp’s daughter’s solo debut to be folk music, think again – even though dad co-writes half the songs, this is sophisticated singer/songwriter music with pop edges and a very contemporary feel. In fact, this is so catchy and commercial – and, equally importantly, so well put together – that she was unlucky not to make the charts. GRADE: C+.
Rose Kemp (UK): Mini-Album (No label, CDR, with foldover paper sleeve, 2004)
Rock
Quite different from its predecessor, this 27-minute set offers indie rock with occasional hard rock leanings. It’s nice enough, if not hugely distinctive and nowhere near as commercial as her first. GRADE: C+.
Rose Kemp (UK): A Hand Full Of Hurricanes (One Little Indian oli711, CD, 2006)
Rock/Singer/Songwriter
Rose Kemp (lead vocals, guitar, glockenspiel)
Bridging Mini-Album’s indie-rock sensibilities with occasional folk and singer/songwriter edges, this offers another twist on Kemp’s well-composed material. She throws in a few experiments too, which mostly work well, creating an effectively varied set. GRADE: C+.
Rose Kemp (UK): Unholy Majesty (One Little Indian TPLP924CD, CD, 2008)
Rock/Metal/Progressive
Rose Kemp (lead vocals, guitar)
The eerie and beautiful cover painting of a crow with a bloody beak under a lowering sky clearly indicates Kemp’s direction of travel. Whilst retaining elements of her previous style, this is heavily influenced by metal, progressive rock and the more dour end of folk, creating a stark and striking listening experience. Not everything works brilliantly, but at its best – notably intense closer ‘The Unholy’ – this truly is majestic stuff. GRADE: B–.
Rose Kemp (UK): Golden Shroud (No label TYS0002, CD, 2011)
Metal
Rose Kemp (lead vocals, guitar)
Again, the cover tells its own story: this is full-blown doom metal, with just three long, rambling songs that sometimes fringe the avant-garde (though never cross over into progressive territory). With Kemp’s vocals ranging from a high-pitched folky croon to death growls, it’s quite a departure for her – and it’s almost impossible to believe that this is the same artist who cut Glance. GRADE: B–.
See also Jeremy Smoking Jacket, Maddy Prior

Glory Kennedy & Her 3 Electric Guitars (USA): Teenage Guitars Go Civil War (Pathé 702, 1963?)
Country/Rock/‘Incredibly Strange Music’
As the title suggests, this bizarre album by a female singer/guitarist and her backing band is a concept set about the American Civil War. Mixing odd rockabilly-style songs (with even odder helium-pitched vocals, sometimes bordering on yodelling) with garagy instrumentals, the end result is an interesting record, lifted further by a handsome laminated cover. GRADE: C+.

Kentish Spires (UK): The Last Harvest (No label, CD, with gatefold minisleeve and booklet, 2018)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Lucie Vowles (lead vocals, violin)
When I read that Rob Reed was involved with this project, I assumed it would be some kind of neoprogressive, even though the band billed itself as Canterbury. On the sole occasion they really stretch out and jam, on the title track, they sound a little like Gong, though without any of that band’s wildness and invention, but for the most part they more closely resemble Goliath, though without any of that band’s wildness and invention either. As such, this is really a sort of neoprog/jazzy crossover, confirming my prejudice. It’s all listenable enough, however – or would be, without the sometimes quite horrible mastering. What did Rob Reed do on the album? Mastering engineer. So my prejudice was confirmed twice. GRADE: C+.
Kentish Spires (UK): Sprezzatura (No label, CD, with gatefold minisleeve and booklet, 2019)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Lucie Vowles (principal vocals, violin)
This sounds less seventies-influenced than their first, but it also contains a lot more of their own personality, with a singer/songwriter feel to some of the material and some interesting lyrics. If the album has a failing, it’s all a bit slight, but it’s pleasant and unassuming stuff. The mastering is also a lot more sympathetic, despite Mr Reed remaining at the helm. GRADE: C+.

Dave Kerman & 5uu’s (USA): Regarding Purgatories (Cuneiform RUNE 135, CD, with obi, 2000)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Deborah Perry (principal vocals)
Not so much 5uu’s as a Dave Kerman solo album demonstrating his multi-instrumental prowess, though there are several guests, including Deborah Perry lending her hesitant, tuneless vocals to most songs. The result is a fascinating trawl through RIO styles, though mostly at the more rocking end of the spectrum, with rich arrangements, plenty of electronics and particularly dexterous drumming (as one would expect, given Kerman’s core instrument). With a procession of mainly short tracks, this sometimes sounds like a heavier, more modernistic sidestep from early Art Bears, but I can hear occasional hints of Catherine Ribeiro & Alpes – not the most obvious influence on an RIO project – in the repetitious, hypnotic, spacy backings. GRADE: B–.
Dave Kerman & 5uu’s (USA): Abandonship (Cuneiform RUNE 158, CD, with obi, 2002)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive/Avant-Garde
Deborah Perry (principal vocals), Michal Ezrony (occasional vocals)
Kerman’s second album is even better, with a more dynamic rock sound boasting constant surprises and radical shifts of mood and tempo. The results are devilishly complex, inspiringly weird and breathtakingly adventurous, resulting in one of the best avant-prog albums of the current century. GRADE: B.
See also Thinking Plague, Dave Willey & Friends

Moira Kerr (UK): Folk Warm And Gentle (Beltona Sword SBE 118, 1971)
Folk
Less overtly Scottish than her seventies and eighties work, this offers pleasant traditional folk with a mid-Atlantic flavour and simple acoustic guitar backing. On the downside, the material is fairly predictable (‘Blowin’ In The Wind’, ‘Banks Of The Ohio’, ‘Last Thing On My Mind’, ‘House Of The Rising Sun’) and the album lacks that something special to set it apart from hundreds of other similar LPs released around the same time. GRADE: C.
Moira Kerr (UK): Shadows Of My Childhood (Beltona Sword SBE 118, 1971)
Folk/Rock
Moira Kerr (lead vocals, guitar)
Unlike Folk Warm And Gentle, this features full electric backing, including some excellent Hammond organ work. Add in strong versions of ‘California Dreaming’, ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes?’ and ‘Sally Free And Easy’ and the result is a lovely, mellow folk/rock LP.

GRADE: C+.
Moira Kerr (UK): In Glen Nevis (Mayker MAY-K 2, 1977?)
Folk/Rock
Moira Kerr (lead vocals)
Kerr’s third album offers a charming selection of traditional Scottish songs, competently performed with sensitive band backing. Her astonishing three-piece tartan suit on the cover is less tasteful, however. GRADE: C+.
See also Various ‘The Best From McTavish’s Kitchens’

Kevin & Clare (USA): All The Roads (No label KS40010, 1975)
Folk
Clare Sarkissian (occasional vocals, tambourine)
This husband-and-wife duo’s album offers pleasant self-penned folk, with several songs featuring the couple’s vocals backed only by Kevin Sarkissian’s acoustic guitar. However, they also have a few bluesy leanings and attempt a couple of tracks with full electric band backing: one of these, the excellent ‘Bless Me Father’, is by far the best thing on offer. GRADE: C+.

Key (West Germany): Verschlüsselt (Papagayo 1C 066 15 3983 1, 1985)
Pop/Rock/Progressive
Gudrun Derichs (lead vocals)
Although this has some symphonic edges and a few minor neoprogressive touches, it’s essentially cheesy eighties pop, with lots of synthesisers and electronic drums. Whilst there are a few good hooklines, the dated nature of the arrangements means that it isn’t a very distinguished LP. Two members had previously been with the progressive rock band Flaming Bess. GRADE: C–.

Kharmina Buranna (Peru): Seres Humanos (Azafrán Media AP-1210, CD, Mexico, with digipak and booklet, 2012)

Progressive
Luciana Derteano (lead vocals)
Featuring two very lengthy songs and four shorter (though by no means short) instrumentals, this is complex and majestic sympho-prog with a very South American feel. Beautifully played, arranged and sung, it reminds me more than a little of the mighty Bacamarte. As a footnote, the band had cut an earlier album El Arte De Seguir Vivos (2008) with an all-male line-up. GRADE: B–.

Kikagaku Moyo (Japan): Kikagaku Moyo (Cosmic Eye/Sound-Effect EYE 007/SER 018, Greece, 2013)
Folk/Rock/Psychedelic
Angie Gotopo (principal vocals, Theremin)
This Japanese outfit apparently started out playing improvised music, but that’s only obvious on ‘Lazy Stoned Monk’, which sounds rather like their countrymen Ghost with its water droplets, finger cymbals and hazy washes of electric guitar. It’s pleasant enough but a relative low point on an otherwise superb album of gentle psychedelic folk and heavy psychedelic rock jamming. For the most part, the disc sounds more like something from the early seventies Krautfolk underground than from the contemporary Japanese scene, and although it’s short (five tracks in just over 29 minutes) just about every second is made to count. GRADE: B–.

Killers (Uruguay): Good Bye (De La Planta KL-8327, 1972)
Rock
Virginia Berro (backing vocals), Inés Berro Villegas (backing vocals)
This is a rather good lightweight hard rock LP with pleasingly melodic compositions, decent hooks and some great guitar work. The album is sung in English throughout, creating something of a West Coast vibe. Whilst most of the songs here are originals, one of the band’s best recordings was a non-LP cover of Cream’s ‘White Room’ with some fantastic soioing. GRADE: C+.

Killy Country (UK): Killy Country (Warren WAR 317, with booklet, 1973)
Folk/Psychedelic
Mary Cartwright (joint lead vocals, tambourine), Sadie Green (joint lead vocals, recorder), Claire Atkinson (percussion, recorder)
With two copies having resurfaced from a pressing of sixty, Killy Country’s sole LP is among the most obscure releases in this volume. The following year, they would go on to cut a second and slightly better known album as Courtyard Music Group. That album is an unalloyed masterpiece of psychedelic folk, but on their debut the band don’t quite achieve the same level of consistency. A couple of tracks are skiffle or jugband-style ditties about life at their school, which are naïvely charming but not of enormous interest to anyone who didn’t attend the establishment. Another third of the album consists of electric folk interpretations of traditional material, inspired by Steeleye Span and the Albion Country Band, and these songs are of a high quality. But it’s the remaining four cuts, in the same mystical acid-folk vein as Courtyard Music Group, that guarantee this album will sell for a fortune should a copy be offered on the open market – especially the magnificently trippy seven minute ‘Looking For You’, with its weird instrumental colourings from off-key recorders. GRADE: B–.
See also Courtyard Music Group

Kindekrist (Australia): Commonplace Forms (Edition One ELMS 1007, 1973)
Folk/Rock
Dorothy Mann (joint lead vocals, kazoo)
Supposedly Australia’s first Christian band, Kindekrist embody many of the worst pitfalls of the genre: a fondness for singalong choruses, a lack of rock substance and an absence of extended instrumental passages. That said, they can also be very good, with ‘The Fratricides’ and ‘He Is Risen’ offering some lovely, dreamy folk/rock and the doomy ‘Life To Give’ adding some powerful lead guitar. There are also some unusually intelligent and poetic lyrics for a Christian album. Overall, this is a bit of a curate’s egg, but quite tasty in parts. GRADE: C.
Kindekrist (Australia): Father Songs (EMI Custom YPRX-1218, with insert, 1974)
Folk/Pop/Blues
Dorothy Mann (joint lead vocals)
This is a step in the wrong direction, emphasising the more whimsical side of the band’s repertoire. Whilst it’s pleasant enough background music, the jaunty backing and rather arch singing are precisely the kind of thing that gives Christian music a bad name. However, there are two excellent cuts: the very atmospheric ‘All At Sea’, which marries the traditional tune from ‘The Twa Corbies’ with new lyrics, and the funky, mildly proggy ‘Follow’. GRADE: C.

Kindling (UK): When The Feeling Comes Around (Woolly WOOL 001, 1981)
Country/Rock
Vanessa Draper (joint lead vocals)
Like their earlier incarnation as Moonshine Steel, Vanessa and Roger Draper’s new band is rooted in country/rock. This time round they’ve upped the lounge quotient considerably, with less than stunning results; even ‘If I Were A Carpenter’, a song I normally adore, sounds pretty mediocre in their hands. At least ‘You’re No Good’ is rather lovely, with a superb vocal from Vanessa Draper. GRADE: C–.
See also Moonshine Steel

Kindred (USA): Kindred (Warner Brothers WS 1931, with insert, 1971)
Rock/Metal
Gloria Giano (joint lead vocals)
An above-average hard rock album with some well-written songs and excellent guitar work. With a bluesy musical base and a Janita Haan (of Babe Ruth) soundalike up front, this isn’t the most original LP in the world (though the opening ‘Captain Bobby Stout’ is inventive and unusual), but it’s hard to imagine any early seventies heavy rock fan not liking this a lot. GRADE: C+.
Kindred (USA): Next Of Kin (Warner Brothers BS 2640, 1972)
Rock/Metal
Gloria Giano (joint lead vocals)
Their second and final set is another sound hard rock LP, with a good-time, Southern vibe. It’s not original, it’s not distinctive and it never recaptures the intensity of the riff-driven opener ‘Movin’ On’, but they certainly knew how to write catchy riffs and create effective grooves. GRADE: C+.

Kinesphere (UK): All Around You (Hardwick Productions KIN 5001, 1976)
Folk
Sue Capper
Mixing familiar traditional songs with contemporary covers, this private pressing gives a good indication of the sort of sounds to be heard in folk clubs up and down the country back in the mid-seventies. Fans of early Faraway Folk and similar acts should find it enjoyable enough. GRADE: C.

King (USA): The King (No label SS-369, 1980)
Rock
Marion Lyons
Although quite a number of sealed copies turned up in the nineties, this is still something of a mystery as its cover states nothing other than the band name/album title and there is no insert or printed inner sleeve. Side one offers a bluesy rocker, two more new wave-ish pieces (including a cover of David Bowie’s ‘Fashion’) and a nice female-sung ballad with Fleetwood Mac-like guitar, whilst side two is given over to instrumental jazz/rock and hard rock jamming. It’s an odd record through and through, but very interesting. GRADE: C+.

King Of Agogik (Germany): Morning Star (sAUsTARK, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2017)
Progressive
Kathrin Daniel (occasional vocals), Viktoria Papen (occasional vocals)
Essentially the project of multi-instrumentalist Hans Jörg Schmitz (plus countless guests), King Of Agogik throw a little of everything into the mix here. Along with constant shifts of mood and trippy stereo effects, we get lengthy, pompous sections of symphonic rock, metal riffs, folky passages with uileann pipes, female narration in both English and German (the latter adding a bit of a Rosi Müller vibe), snatches of dialogue (including speeches by Winston Churchill and Margaret Thatcher) and even a drum solo. The end result is both adventurous and messy, both admirable and amateurish, but its biggest downfall is that despite its ambition its neoprog roots show through constantly. GRADE: C+.

Kingfisher Sky (Holland): Hallway Of Dreams (Suburban BURBCD 049, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2007)

Metal

Judith Rijnveld (lead vocals)

The problem here isn’t the singing or the writing or the playing or the arrangements or the production, all of which are impeccable. The problem is that this style of gothic metal – melodic, elegiac and uplifting – has become ubiquitous and Kingfisher Sky bring nothing new to the genre. Perhaps the solution could be to concentrate on the folky (as on ‘Big Fish’), ethnic/psychedelic (as on ‘Persephone’) or pop (as on ‘Her White Dress’) end of their repertoire, as these cuts are the best things on offer. GRADE: C+.

Kingfisher Sky (Holland): Skin Of The Earth (Suburban BURBCD 070, CD, with digipak and poster booklet, 2010)

Metal

Judith Rijnveld (lead vocals), Maaike Peterse (violin)

Their second album merely confirms the impression given by their first: they’re good at what they do, but what they do is pretty generic. GRADE: C+.

Kingfisher Sky (Holland): Arms Of Morpheus (Suburban KFS003, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2014)

Metal

Judith Rijnveld (lead vocals)

The best cut by far is the Celtic-flavoured ‘Heather’, which suggests that Kingfisher Sky’s problem is genre as well as over-familiarity: they’re a great folk/rock band but only an average gothic metal band. GRADE: C+.

Kingfisher Sky (Holland): Technicoloured Eyes (Suburban KFS005, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2018)
Metal
Judith Rijnveld (lead vocals)
Like previous Kingfisher Sky albums, this is melodic, varied and beautifully crafted, and as usual they particularly shine on the ballads. But also like previous Kingfisher Sky albums, they sound like lots of other bands and never sound like they’re taking any chances: a few extended progressive sections could have helped this make the leap to ‘good’ to ‘great’ or at least ‘very good’. GRADE: C+.

Kings (Venezuela): Los Kings (Palacio LP 6286, 1970)
Pop/Rock
Including covers of Donovan and Blue Mink among others, this charming garage pop album has a nice stripped-down sound, some good fuzz guitar and trebly organ, plus lots of late beat traces. Unlike the aforementioned Blue Mink, it sensibly avoids orchestrations and any middle-of-the-road edges, making for a thoroughly satisfying set. GRADE: C+.
Kings (Venezuela): Vol. 2 (Palacio LP 6298, 1971)
Pop/Rock
Like its predecessor, this is great period pop, steeped in atmosphere. Once again the arrangements are beautifully judged, with excellent guitar and organ work, and they even manage to work in some funk, jazz and psychedelic edges here and there. GRADE: C+.
Kings (Venezuela): Cuando Me Faltas Tu (Palacio LP 6309, 1972)
Pop/Rock
Belkys Cedeño (principal vocals)
They’re composing most of the material this time round, and the style is perhaps a touch softer, paralleling the emergence of MOR pop groups such as the New Seekers. As such, it’s a bit of a step down from their first two, although it’s perfectly pleasant. GRADE: C+.
Kings (Venezuela): Cuando Te Hablo De Amor (Palacio LPS 66334, 1974)
Pop/Lounge
Continuing the trend seen on its predecessor, this is softer still, with about half the cuts displaying lounge elements. Nonetheless, it’s pleasant enough, though I’d never choose it in preference to the crunchy pop/rock of their first two. Oddly, despite the late date this was their first album issued in stereo. GRADE: C+.
Kings (Venezuela): El Super Grupo (Palacio LPS 66.357, 1975)
Pop
Belkys Cedeño (principal vocals)
A slight step up from Cuando Te Hablas De Amor, this is a nicely funky pop LP, offering some sinuous grooves featuring restrained, well-judged arrangements. GRADE: C+.
Kings (Venezuela): Concierto De Otoño (Palacio LPS 66.398, 1977)
Pop/Funk/Soul/Lounge
Miroslava (joint lead vocals)
Their last album, with a different female singer, is probably their least: softer and funkier than their previous work, with a few mild disco tinges reflecting the era. At its worst, this is end-of-the-pier lounge stuff of little distinction, but a few rock elements remain and about half the tracks are quite listenable. GRADE: C.

Kinoko Gumo (Japan): Kokoro O Utau (King Custom NAS-307, 1972)
Folk/Psychedelic
Offering delicate acoustic folk that’s gentle, melodic, haunting and subtly spaced-out, this is a beautiful album and a wonderful document of the early seventies Japanese hippie scene. It is also one of the rarest Japanese private pressings, with just a handful of copies known.

GRADE: B–.

John Kirkpatrick, Rosie Cross, Georgina Le Faux, Michael Gregory, Jane Threlfall & Carl Hogsden (UK): Wassail! A Traditional Celebration Of An English Midwinter (Fellside FECD125, CD, 1998)
Folk/Rock
Rosie Cross (joint lead vocals, percussion, dulcimer, bassoon), Georgina Le Faux (joint lead vocals, guitar, percussion, mandolin, violin, viola), Jane Threlfall (joint lead vocals, percussion, mandolin, mandola)
Despite the title, this isn’t a typical Christmas album, being rooted more in the style of the Morris On project (though songs rather than instrumentals greatly predominate here). I could have done without the spoken-word sections in West Country dialect, but otherwise this is very pleasant traditional folk/rock. GRADE: C+.
See also Pyewackett

Kissyfur (USA): Kissyfur (Funky Mushroom FM-024, CD, 1993)
Garage/Rock
Susanne Lewis (principal vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, violin, tapes)
Why the band name, I have no idea: this is a Susanne Lewis solo project, and she plays nearly all the instruments, though there are guests on additional guitars and keyboards, drums, tapes and vocals, as well as Azalia Snail on zither. Musically, it’s a logical continuation of Hail, offering similar garage rock, though with stronger new wave and indie tinges and less experimentation. GRADE: C+.
Kissyfur (USA): Frambuesa (Starlight Furniture Company STAR3, CD, 1995)
Garage/Rock
Susanne Lewis (lead vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, bells, tapes)
The second and final Kissyfur album isn’t the most substantial record in the world, offering a procession of short songs and experimental linking passages barely totalling half an hour. Whilst not dissimilar to the self-titled LP, this is a bit weirder and more varied, so it’s probably the better of the two Kissyfur releases. GRADE: C+.
See also Corpses As Bedmates, Hail, Susanne Lewis, Thinking Plague

Eartha Kitt (USA): Sentimental Eartha (Spark SRLP 105, UK, 1970)
Pop/Psychedelic
Unlike the remainder of Kitt’s output, this is hip period pop, although her breathy, dramatic vocals make her MOR/showtune roots clear. However, her covers of Donovan’s ‘Wear Your Love Like Heaven’ and ‘Hurdy Gurdy Man’ are superb psychedelia, and a whole album in this vein would have been a collector’s dream. A third Donovan cover, ‘Catch The Wind’, is done well, but not in the same league. GRADE: C+.

Martine Kivits (Belgium): La Belle Ou La Bête (No label MK 007, with insert, 1983)
Jazz/Rock/Progressive
Martine Kivits (lead vocals)
This excellent album frequently sounds very similar to early Cos, although the songs are mostly short and relatively straightforward. The material is quite wide-ranging, though most of it is in a playful jazz/rock or borderline chanson style, and the overall standard is extremely high. A fine cast of musicians includes such jazz/rock and prog luminaries as Jean-Luc Manderlier and Michel Berckmans. GRADE: B–.

Carin Kjellman & Ulf Gruvberg (Sweden): Med Rötter I Medeltiden (Sonet SLP-2049, 1974)
Folk/Rock
Carin Kjellman (joint lead vocals, guitar, recorder)
Released before Kjellman and Gruvberg formed Folk & Rackare, this is a lovely album of traditional folk/rock, with the arrangements ranging from acapella to full band settings. As the title suggests, much of the material is mediaeval, but overall this has a hippie-folk rather then early music feel. GRADE: C+.
Carin Kjellman & Ulf Gruvberg (Sweden): Folk Och Rackare (YTF 50240, with booklet, 1976)
Folk/Rock
Carin Kjellman (joint lead vocals, guitar, recorder)
From the sleeve credits, it’s not entirely clear whether this should be regarded as the second Carin Kjellman & Ulf Gruvberg LP or the first Folk & Rackare album. In any case, their long-term Norwegian collaborator Jørn Jensen (formerly of Folque and later of Kong Lavring) is already in place, but this has few of his other bands’ electric folk/rock leanings. Overall this is very similar to its predecessor, although perhaps just a notch less enjoyable. GRADE: C+.
Carin Kjellman (Sweden): Carin Kjellman (Amalthea AM 47, with inner, 1985)
Rock
Carin Kjellman (lead vocals)
Recorded just before the final Folk & Rackare album, Kjellman’s solo LP is very different to anything she’d done before. With mostly self-penned material plus covers of Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson, this is mainstream rock: often quite heavy and always with a very dated eighties production (particularly in the loud, trebly drums). GRADE: C+.
See also Folk & Rackare, Thomas Lindahl

Klakkebusse (France): Klakkebusse (No label KLF 596, with inner, 1984)
Folk/Rock/Progressive/Psychedelic
Claude Claeÿs (occasional vocals, flute, cittern)
This very obscure progressive folk album unsurprisingly draws heavily from Malicorne, but the feel of the music is a bit different. With the rock and mediaeval elements less well integrated, this has much more of a raw garage feel, with almost punky edges in parts and some heavy psychedelic or metal-influenced guitar leads. The result is an interesting and occasionally unsettling LP that’s definitely among the better eighties folk/rock releases. GRADE: B–.

Carol Kleyn (USA): Love Has Made Me Stronger (Lyra LRK 25, 1976)
Folk
Carol Kleyn (lead vocals, piano, harp)
With minimalist arrangements (just harp on the first side, and only acoustic or electric piano on the second), this is a beautiful and haunting album of hippie folk. Kleyn is a more than capable songwriter and singer, to the degree that the lack of a backing band never becomes an issue. To these ears, the penultimate ‘You Know I Love You’ is by far the best song, with an eerie, spacy edge. GRADE: C+.
Carol Kleyn (USA): Takin’ The Time (Turtle Dove TDR 29, 1980)
Folk/Rock
Carol Kleyn (lead vocals, keyboards, percussion, harp)
Kleyn’s second album is somewhat different, since the first side features electric band backing throughout. Inevitably, this is a much more varied and polished set, but it’s also less distinctive, moving towards mainstream singer/songwriter fare in parts. Nonetheless, there is some lovely material on offer here. GRADE: C+.
Carol Kleyn (USA): Return Of The Silkie (Turtle Dove TDR 32, 1983)
Folk
Carol Kleyn (lead vocals, harp)
Her final and most obscure album is even more stark and minimalist than Love Has Made Me Stronger, simply featuring her voice and harp accompanied by nature sounds. Once again, it’s a very delicate and beautiful LP that many listeners could find far too precious; it’s certainly completely out of step with everything else that was happening musically in 1983. GRADE: C+.