Kr-Ky

Krabat (Germany): Homo Ludens (Rockwerk LC8248, CD, 1997)
Progressive
Anja Wyzelol (lead vocals, guitar, flute)
With songs ranging from 3½ to 11½ minutes, this hard progressive rock album features guitar-dominated arrangements, intricate playing and a fair degree of complexity. A few hints of post-punk can also be discerned in the guitar sounds, and overall this sounds thoroughly modern rather than recalling anything from the early seventies. GRADE: B–.
Krabat (Germany): 22 (Rockwerk 08248, CD, 2000)
Progressive
Anja Wyzelol (lead vocals, guitar, glockenspiel, flute)
A solid step forward from their debut, this is an excellent progressive album, consisting of a near-seamless suite of music that constantly ebbs and flows and changes direction. Again it’s very modern – all very angular and austere, with occasional metal references – but I can hear echoes of seventies Krautrock acts like Tyll and (to a much lesser extent) Amon Düül II. The ethereal, folky vocals, with their jazzy, slightly off-key stylings, also put me in mind of Kultivator, though there’s otherwise no resemblance. In any case, this is a hugely confident and dynamic album that successfully reinvents Krautrock for the twenty-first century. GRADE: B.

Krabat (Germany): Waiting For The Next Big Thing (Inakustik v-hb-24, CD, 2008)
Rock/Progressive
Anja Wyzelol (joint lead vocals, guitar)
Allowing guitarist Andreas Koch to share the vocals was not a good idea: he’s a dreadful singer, and his thin, tuneless vocals render parts of the album barely listenable. Musically, this is in their usual guitar-led progressive vein, but it’s much more song-based, with definite indie edges, so it’s a huge disappointment after the majestic 22. GRADE: C+.

Kraen Bysted’s (Denmark): Gammel Dansk (Lotus S.M. 17002, cassette, 1975)
Folk
Inger Nyholm (guitar, flute, backing vocals)
As the title suggests, this amateurishly-recorded cassette features acoustic interpretations of traditional Danish folk material. Largely instrumental, it focuses on folk-dance numbers, with intricate performances and a wide range of instruments (including double bass, percussion, banjo, violin, viola and flute), resulting in a pleasant set. GRADE: C+.
Kraen Bysted’s (Denmark): Kraen Bysted’s (Stuk 418, Holland, 1977)
Folk/Rock
Inger Nyholm (joint lead vocals, guitar, recorder, whistle)
A huge step up from their first, this sees the band moving into full-blown electric folk/rock with a lovely mellow edge. Had its mixture of styles (folk/rock, traditional folk, singer/songwriter and mildly country-tinged sounds) been a little more consistent, I would have rated this a B–. GRADE: C+.

Kraen Bysted (Denmark): Den Anden Kraen (Stuk 426, with insert, Holland, 1977)
Folk/Rock
Inger Nyholm (joint lead vocals, guitar, recorder, whistle)
They really hit their stride here: this is a great electric folk album that posits them as Denmark’s answer to Folque, Ougenweide or Steeleye Span. At the same time, they retain their own identity by offering mainly original compositions, with a cheerful, mellow vibe and some lively performances. GRADE: B–.
Kraen Bysted (Denmark): Stavnsbundet (Stuk 701, with insert, Holland, 1980)
Folk/Rock
Inger Nyholm (joint lead vocals, piano, recorder)
This is perhaps just a shade below the quality of Den Anden Kraen, but there’s not much in it. Once again, it’s a lovely, mellow collection of original songs and electric settings of traditional folk material, providing a fine end to their all-too-brief career. GRADE: B–.

Ryszard Kramarski Project (Poland): Music Inspired By The Little Prince (Lynx Music LM126 DG-CD, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2017)
Progressive
Karolina Leszko (lead vocals)
This concept album – whose title speaks for itself – is at the classier end of neoprogressive. With its well-crafted songs, excellent electric and acoustic guitar work and nice folky edges, it’s a pleasant set completely lacking in ostentation or pretension. GRADE: C+.

Ryszard Kramarski Project (Poland): Sounds From The Past (Lynx Music LM 126 CD-DG, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2018)
Rock/Progressive
Karolina Leszko (lead vocals)
Whilst pleasant, this is straighter than their first – and that wasn’t exactly a rollercoaster ride of wild experimentation à la Henry Cow or Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. The result is perfectly pleasant, entirely adequate neoprogressive with a few nice moments, but that’s as effusive as I can get. GRADE: C+.
TRK Project (Poland): Mr Scrooge (Lynx Music LM 160CD-DG, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2019)
Progressive
Karolina Leszko (lead vocals)
They’re now billing themselves as the TRK Project (though they still use their full title on the back cover), but not much has changed musically. This is a better album than Sounds From The Past, though – the songs run together as a suite, the hooklines are catchy and the vocals are mildly soulful. The pop elements might be a little too prominent for some prog listeners, but if ever you fancied a mixture of easy listening and Dave Gilmour, this is your album. GRADE: C+.

TRK Project (Poland): Kay And Gerda (Lynx Music LM 184CD-DG, double CD, with digipak and booklet, 2020)
Progressive
Karolina Leszko (joint lead vocals)
I never thought I’d use the words ‘Ryszard Kramarski’ and ‘innovative’ in the same sentence, but this double album offers an unusual wrinkle: the same album (music, lyrics and recording) fronted by two different vocalists to convey two viewpoints on the break-up of a relationship. The actual music is rather less innovative, being fairly straight melodic rock with mellow Pink Floyd edges, but it’s extremely well crafted and ultimately rather charming. GRADE: C+.

TRK Project (Poland): Books That End In Tears (Lynx Music LM197CDDG, double CD, with digipak and booklet, 2021)
Progressive
Karolina Leszko (joint lead vocals)
Books That End In Tears has an interesting concept: the four songs summarise four dystopian novels. With the tracks averaging around 12 minutes apiece, this is decidedly more ambitious than most neoprog, and its Floydian vibes are undeniably appealing. But there are two drawbacks: the lyrics bring nothing new to their subject matter and the mellow music signally fails to capture the claustrophobic terror of the novels. Once again, the two discs contain the same songs fronted by Karolina Leszko and Dawid Lewandowski, although the rationale for the approach is less obvious this time round. GRADE: C+.

Su Kramer, Jürgen Drews, Udo Lindenberg, Jackie Carter, Romy Haag & Alexis Korner (West Germany/UK/Holland): Tell! 
(Telefunken 6.23075, with booklet, 1977)
Pop/Rock/Disco
Su Kramer (occasional vocals), Romy Haag (occasional vocals), Jackie Carter (occasional vocals)
On the downside, this concept album about William Tell doesn’t have any progressive edges, despite being penned by Demon Thor’s Tommy Fortman, but on the plus side it isn’t full-blown rock opera. For the most part, it’s lively, slightly soulful pop/rock with a few disco edges in keeping with the era and its German origin. The rock strength in the arrangements – including lead guitar by Uli Jon Roth – nearly gets this over the line, but ultimately the orchestrations are simply too overbearing and the cheese factor simply too high. Su Kramer, Jackie Carter and Romy Haag all issued a number of solo albums, but they’re straight pop and well outside my area of interest. GRADE: C.

Wim Kratsborn (Holland): Passengers In Time – The Musical History Tour (Psychonaut WK150150, CD, with digipak, 2004)
Rock/Progressive
Anneke van Giersbergen (principal vocals)
Professor Wim Kratsborn is apparently primarily an academic rather than a musician, but this is a Gathering album by any other name, as they co-compose and perform all the music. Like their other late-period releases, this is elegant atmospheric rock with proggy edges, and the putative concept – the album was intended as a teaching aid for history – doesn’t seem to affect their music one iota. As such, it’s a fascinating and odd addition to their discography, as well as being a pretty good album in its own right. GRADE: C+.

See also Gathering, Anneke van Giersbergen, Vuur

Kevin Coyne & Dagmar Krause (West Germany/UK): Babble (Virgin V2128, with insert, UK, 1979)
Singer/Songwriter/Avant-Garde
Dagmar Krause (joint lead vocals)
This album (and accompanying stage show) gained some controversy when Kevin Coyne implied that its destructive love story, performed as a duet with Dagmar Krause, was based on Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. The lyrics give few hints of this, however, whilst the music is basically singer/songwriter fare with some experimental elements, with the music ranging from folk to blues to heavy rock on the standout cut ‘Sweetheart’. Krause is in fine voice throughout, making for a strong and enjoyable set. GRADE: C+.
Heiner Goebbels & Alfred Harth With Dagmar Krause & Ernst Stötzner (West Germany): Bertolt Brecht – Zeit Wird Knapp (Riskant 4014, with inner, 1981)
Jazz/Avant-Garde
Dagmar Krause (joint lead vocals)
This highly creative avant-garde album offers a rather different take on Brechtian song from the Art Bears or News From Babel, with a much stronger free jazz element. It’s equally imaginative and challenging, however, offering some top-class RIO with very varied and inventive arrangements. GRADE: B–.
Dagmar Krause (West Germany): Supply And Demand (Hannibal HNBL 1317, with insert, UK, 1986)
Jazz
Dagmar Krause (lead vocals)
Having incorporated strong elements of Brechtian song into her work with Slapp Happy and Henry Cow, it’s not entirely surprising that she created an entire album of Brecht, Weill and Eisler songs. Far removed from rock, this sits betwixt cabaret and jazz, with Krause’s superb arch singing giving it distinction. Whilst this wouldn’t normally be my kind of music, this is really superbly done. GRADE: C+.
Dagmar Krause (West Germany): Tank Battles – The Songs Of Hanns Eisler (Antilles ANCD 8739, CD, UK, 1988)
Jazz
Dagmar Krause (lead vocals)
Focusing on Eisler’s songs, this is every bit as good as its predecessor. An interesting line-up of musicians includes Danny Thompson, Graeme Taylor and her former Henry Cow colleague Lindsay Cooper. GRADE: C+.
Chris Cutler & Lutz Glandien With Dagmar Krause, Fred Frith & Alfred Harth (UK/USA/Germany): Domestic Stories (RéR 45M CD, CD, UK, 1992)
Avant-Garde/Progressive/Jazz
Dagmar Krause (lead vocals)
This is one of Krause’s most experimental albums, almost representing a step on from the weirdest moments of In Praise Of Learning. With the jazz and Brechtian elements unusually subdued, this features greater emphasis on keyboards than normal, adding an almost symphonic tinge to the sound palate. Constantly shifting and always surprising, this is probably her best album outside Henry Cow or Slapp Happy. GRADE: B.

Dagmar Krause (Germany): Radio Session (Voiceprint VPR016CD, CD, 1993, recorded 1985-1988)
Jazz
Dagmar Krause (lead vocals)
Packing 10 songs into 21½ minutes, this radio session EP was mostly recorded in 1985 and acts as a companion piece to her Supply And Demand album. This end of Krause’s repertoire isn’t my favourite, but it has to be said that nobody interprets Brecht as well as she does. GRADE: C+.
Tim Hodgkinson Featuring Dagmar Krause (UK/Germany): Each In Our Own Thoughts (Woof WOOF 016/Megaphone MEGA 014, CD, UK, 1994)
Avant-Garde/Progressive
Dagmar Krause (lead vocals)
Hodgkinson’s album – with Dagmar Krause fronting the three (out of six) vocal cuts – is a varied set, from solo electronics and overdubbing to full band settings to a piece for string quartet. Whilst quite interesting, the album is more successful in demonstrating Hodgkinson’s range as a composer than in creating a coherent listening experience, sometimes resembling an RéR label sampler. For most people, the highlight will be the first studio recording of Henry Cow’s ‘Erk Gah’ (retitled ‘Hold To The Zero Burn, Imagine’) also featuring Lindsay Cooper and Chris Cutler; however, I reckon the Cow could have done this a lot better back in the mid-seventies.

GRADE: C+.
Dirk Raulf Orchestra With Dagmar Krause & Jörg Ritzenhoff (Germany): Friedrich Hollaender Or The Laughter Of Loneliness (New Classic Colours NCC 8006, CD, 1996)
Jazz/Rock/Avant-Garde
Dagmar Krause (joint lead vocals)
This collection of covers of songs by noted German film composer Friedrich Hollaender finds Krause in typically theatrical Brechtian mood. The backing is less austere than most of her other bands, although there’s a fair degree of experimentation, making for an enjoyable and richly-arranged set. GRADE: C+.
Dagmar Krause & Marie Goyette (Germany/Canada): A Scientific Dream And A French Kiss (Resurgence RES-139-CD, CD, UK, 1998)
Classical/Avant-Garde
Dagmar Krause (principal vocals), Marie Goyette (occasional vocals, sampler)
This is Krause’s strangest album by some margin, which is saying quite something. Goyette samples a number of orchestral performances of everything from Bach to Profokiev, while the duo add some suitably surreal new songs over the top (plus a bizarre remake of Slapp Happy’s ‘Moon Lovers’). The end result is frequently fascinating, but from a purely musical standpoint this isn’t among Krause’s most compelling releases. GRADE: C+.
Dagmar Krause, Anthony Moore & Peter Blegvad (Germany/UK/USA): Camera (Blueprint BP332CD, CD, UK, 2000)
Classical/Avant-Garde
Dagmar Krause (joint lead vocals), Nicole Tibbels (occasional vocals)
Although Krause, Moore and Blegvad comprised Slapp Happy, this is as far from a Slapp Happy album as can be imagined. Instead, it’s an opera (of the classical rather than rock variety) composed by Blegvad and Moore and performed by Krause and others with backing from the Balanescu Quartet plus woodwind and brass sections. Whilst an interesting project, and another diversion in Krause’s amazingly broad musical CV, I can’t see this figuring among any classical buff’s favourite operatic works. GRADE: C+.
See also Art Bears, Lindsay Cooper, Henry Cow, ID Company, News From Babel, Slapp Happy

Kris & Jerry (USA): A Sunny Day (B-J LP S 170, 1966)
Folk/Rock/Lounge
Kris Brock-Jones (occasional vocals)
This husband-and-wife duo’s rare privately issued album has an unusual style, falling somewhere between mid-sixties folk/rock and lounge. Most songs feature full band backing with lugubrious piano and saxophone, plus some rather amateurish harmonies, which has led to some collectors classifying the disc under the ‘real people’ banner. Some similarities can be discerned with the contemporaneous Yays & Nays, although this doesn’t have the same degree of humour and isn’t as quirky. Nonetheless, it’s a solid and enjoyable album, creating some rather winsome moods. GRADE: C+.

Kris ’n Dale (USA): The Music In Us All (No label, 1976)
Singer/Songwriter
Kris O’ Brien (joint lead vocals, guitar)
This husband-and-wife (I presume) duo had been playing together for ten years by the time they cut this privately issued album, and it shows. With professional-level studio backing (including big-name percussionist Hearn Gadbois), they offer a selection of well-crafted folky songs, with the mood ranging from the rural to the mildly psychedelic. Despite the album’s obscurity, they clearly had a considerable budget as well as a high level of talent. GRADE: C+.
Krisendale (USA): Collector’s Item (ASI ASI 217, 1977)
Singer/Songwriter
Kris O’ Brien (joint lead vocals, guitar)
Issued under a slightly different name, their second (and so far as I know, final) album has a similar feel but is more varied, with backing ranging from strings to electric country/rock. Mellotron appears on a couple of songs, and a few extended codas hint at minor progressive ambitions. With a solid set of songs and fine musicianship throughout, it’s another very accomplished LP, and one wonders why they didn’t manage to land a major label deal. GRADE: C+.

Ann Krist (France): Ann Krist (Nevenoé NOE 30.004, 1975)
Folk/Blues
Ann Krist (lead vocals)
This singer/songwriter’s debut album has a dark and rather mournful feel, with sparse acoustic arrangements and some bluesy edges; the feel is understated yet dramatic, and very French. The backing musicians include Kristen Noguès, who was also signed to the Nevenoé label. For no obvious reason, Krist credits herself as ‘Annkrist’ rather than ‘Ann Krist’, an oddity that she would maintain on all subsequent releases. GRADE: C+.
Ann Krist (France): Tendre Est Ma Nuit (Spalax SPX 6810, 1978)
Progressive
Ann Krist (lead vocals)
Radically different from her first LP, this is mainly influenced by Béatrice Tékielski and to a lesser extent Catherine Ribeiro. Like them, Krist delivers her impassioned songs over minimalist, repetitive, spacy backing; in her case, notably influenced by jazz and funk and with a complete absence of guitar. Whilst this isn’t as original or as exploratory as either Ribeiro or Tékielski, it’s nonetheless a fine piece of work, and like her debut has a very dramatic and very French feel. GRADE: C+.
Ann Krist (France): Batik Original (Spalax 8.6816, 1979)
Progressive
Ann Krist (lead vocals)
This is probably her best album and certainly her most varied, with the dirty, funky backing of opener ‘P’tites Lumières’ being especially effective. Once again, the resemblance to Béatrice Tékielski is sometimes very strong. GRADE: C+.
Ann Krist (France): Rare (Calam ANK 1802, with insert, 1986)
Progressive
Ann Krist (lead vocals)
This lives up to its name: it’s by far Krist’s rarest release, being limited to 100 numbered copies sold at a music festival in Argenteuil. The disc features four tracks totalling under half an hour: the two on the A-side simply feature keyboard backing and come close to solo Catherine Ribeiro, making clear her underlying influence from Édith Piaf. The two numbers on the flip have band backing, with the thirteen-minute ‘Futurs’ being her most ambitious composition and including hints of modern jazz. All four cuts reappear on the Bleu Cobalt and Ange De Nuit albums, but all except the short ‘La Pluie Dans La Tête’ are very different versions. GRADE: C+.
Ann Krist (France): Bleu Cobalt (No label ANK 860425, 1986)
Progressive
Ann Krist (lead vocals)
Featuring remakes of ‘La Préféré Du Harem’ and ‘Futurs’ from the previous album plus three new cuts, this is another solid and atmospheric LP. Both this disc and Ange De Nuit are now quite hard to find, having apparently been limited to 250 copies apiece.

GRADE: C+.
Ann Krist (France): Ange De Nuit (No label ANK 860426, 1986)
Progressive
Ann Krist (lead vocals)
Krist’s final album is also her most symphonic, with rich swathes of lush keyboards, plus a few funky new wave edges. As usual, her underlying Édith Piaf influence makes itself evident, creating possibly her most mature LP. GRADE: C+.

Mirka Krivánková, Jirí Stivín & Co Jazz System (Czechoslovakia): Zrcadeleni (Supraphon 1115 3116 G, 1984)
Jazz

Mirka Krivánková (lead vocals)
Serving as a vehicle for Stivín’s winds and Krivánková’s wordless vocals and glossolalia, this is an accomplished album of modern jazz that occasionally puts me in mind of Urszula Dudziak’s seventies work. Sometimes tranquil and haunting and occasionally atonal and mildly avant-garde, it’s a varied and consistently enjoyable set, though there’s nothing here for rock fans. GRADE: C+.
See also Urfaust, Various ‘Jazz Praha – Live’, Various ‘Jazzrocková Dílna’

Kropotkins (USA): Five Point Crawl (Mulatta mul 003, CD, 2000)
Blues/Country/Garage
Lorette Velvette (principal vocals, guitar), Maureen Tucker (joint lead vocals, bass drum)
Led by Dave Soldier (of the Soldier String Quartet), this unusual album gives an indication of how the Velvet Underground might have sounded had they been rooted in country blues. It’s not entirely to my taste, but it’s certainly interesting, especially with a few minor psychedelic, RIO and avant-garde undertones. GRADE: C+.
See also Maureen Tucker, Velvet Underground

Mary Krstic (USA): Break The Chains (Blushing Beast, 1979)
Folk/Rock
Mary Krstic (lead vocals, guitar, harmonica)
This isn’t actually folk/rock: 17-year-old wunderkind Mary Krstic’s album is folk (acoustic, bluesy, slightly eerie and punctuated with sound effects) on the first side and rock (electric, heavy and snotty) on the second. Whilst there is good material on both sides, I prefer the electric numbers, on which Krstic cuts loose with some powerful fuzzed leads; add in her understated, almost conversational vocal style and the end result occasionally reminds me of Obelisk’s excellent Conspiracy To Commit Music. In addition to playing most of the guitars and some harmonica, Krstic arranged and produced the album (and I suspect may have contributed some uncredited bass on the first side). GRADE: C+.

Horst Krüger & Ensemble (East Germany): Horst Krüger Und Ensemble (Amiga 8 55 230, 1970)
Pop
Gerti Möller (joint lead vocals)
This rather cheesy pop record has a certain naïve charm, and this could appeal to fans of late beat, but an East German Abba they weren’t. GRADE: C.
Horst Krüger Septet (East Germany): Geh Durch Die Stadt (Amiga 8 55 298, 1972?)
Pop/Rock
Gerti Möller (joint lead vocals)
A definite improvement on the last album, this adds elements of jazz, soul and psychedelia to their sound, as well as progressive rock on the excellent side-closers ‘Rotes Licht’ and ‘Da Ist Ein Feuer’. While this isn’t brilliant all through, it does contain some pretty good moments and also boasts a very colourful sleeve. GRADE: C+.
Horst Krüger-Band (East Germany): Horst Krüger-Band (Amiga 8 255 418, 1975)
Pop/Rock/Progressive
Tamara Danz (joint lead vocals), Silvia Kottas (joint lead vocals), Gabi Merz (joint lead vocals)
The keynote cut here is the 7½-minute ‘Die Tagesreise’, which is an excellent piece of progressive rock. Elsewhere this is a solid pop/rock album, ranging from jazzy and glam-like stuff to a ballad with a distinct classical flavour (‘Ich Hör’ Zu Gut’). Following the band’s break-up, Tamara Danz went on to form Silly, one of East Germany’s most popular groups. GRADE: C+.
See also Silly

Mira Kubasinska (Poland): Powiedzielismy Juz Wszytko… (Polskie Nagrania PNCD 968 A/B, double CD, 2006, recorded 1966-2003)
Blues/Rock
Mira Kubasinska (lead vocals)
Issued shortly after Kubasinska’s death, this interesting set couples a compilation of songs she fronted with Blackout and Breakout with a bonus disc of mostly unreleased live recordings from 1966 (with the Original London Beat), 1969, 1986 and 2003. The compilation is a solid, varied overview of her career, whilst the live disc isn’t especially exciting, despite three superb numbers (all proggy Breakout classics from the early seventies) from the 2003 show. Overall, this is a fitting end to her life and career, and the live material is particularly nice to have. GRADE: C+.
See also Blackout, Breakout

Kult Of The Wizard (USA): The White Wizard (Reflections RFL131, some on blue vinyl, with insert, 2015)
Metal
Mahle Roth (lead vocals)
The band name and song titles like ‘Tusk Of Mammoth’ and ‘Olde Fashioned Black Magik [sic]’ leave no doubt that this is going to be doom metal, in this case with some sludge and hard rock tendencies too. Sometimes bluesy and sometimes experimental, this is a varied and fascinating release; they even close with a cover of Heart’s ‘Devil Delight’ that inexplicably descends into an outbreak of coughing in the middle. But that said, this still sounds more like a band marking its territory than a fully formed statement. GRADE: C+.

Kult Of The Wizard (USA): Gold (Interstellar Smoke isr029, double, gold and black marbled vinyl, with poster, 2020)
Metal
Mahle Roth (lead vocals)
‘This album is intended to be listened to start to finish’ the band announce on their Bandcamp page, and it’s a sensible statement, as Gold is an album with a clear flow. Most of the heavier numbers are at the beginning, and the 52-minute set gradually becomes quieter and more atmospheric, ending in the dramatic piano ballad ‘Queen Of Life And Death’ (though the download version inexplicably adds a bluesy bonus track). As such, it feels considerably more mature than their previous EP, though it’s by no means perfect – they don’t really break any new ground on the harder cuts and it does become a little ponderous towards the end. Nonetheless, it’s certainly worth listening to start to finish. GRADE: B–.

Kultivator (Sweden): Barndomens Stigar (Bauta BAR 8101, 1981)
Progressive/Jazz/Rock/Avant-Garde
Ingemo Rylander (lead vocals, piano, recorder)
Heavily influenced by Magma, this late progressive rock album blends elements of zeuhl, Canterbury and symphonic music, as well as a dash of traditional Swedish folk. The result is an interesting concoction with some very dynamic playing: distinctly jazzy but never close to jazz/rock; highly technical but never soulless; largely instrumental but with some fine (and quite distinctive) singing too. It's comfortably one of the best prog albums of its era. GRADE: B.
Kultivator (Sweden): Waiting Paths (Mellotronen MELLOCD 025, CD EP, with digipak and booklet, 2007)
Progressive
Ingemo Rylander (lead vocals, guitar, flute, recorder)
Record to accompany Mellotronen’s reissue of the band’s classic album Barndomens Stigar, this reunion effort recaptures some of their old sound but is overall a little different. Here and there, they sound influenced by Anekdoten (a band they in turn surely influenced), one number is acoustic folk and the title track even has elements of blues/rock. Whilst the fierce energy of their original LP is sorely missed, this is good enough to make you wish they’d recorded twice the number of songs and issued a standalone album. GRADE: B–.

See also Nomads Of Hope

Kumara (UK): Confluence (Kumara KU 9471, CD, 1994)
Progressive/New Age
Virginia Scott (lead vocals, keyboards, cello)
This side-project of Beggar’s Opera’s Virginia Scott and Ricky Gardiner sees them collaborating with electronic musician Trevor Stainsby to create lengthy, haunting, mainly instrumental soundscapes somewhere between neoclassical and new age in mood. The results are suitably beautiful and sepulchral and an interesting counterpoint to their other work. GRADE: C+.
See also Beggar’s Opera, Virginia Scott

Kurgan’s Bane (USA): The Future Lies Broken (No label CD-3.1415, CD, USA, 2000)

Progressive/Metal

Lisa Francis (lead vocals)

This supple progressive hard rock album has a few good riffs and melodies, competent playing and songwriting, and a moderate level of ambition. Whilst some of the tempo changes are a little clumsy, they generally don’t overreach themselves and for the most part play to their strengths. GRADE: C+.

Kurgan’s Bane (USA): Camouflaged In Static (No label, CD, USA, 2005)

Progressive/Metal

Lisa Francis (lead vocals)

Broadly similar to its predecessor, this is another solid set, without containing any really outstanding material. ‘Regret’, mainly penned by Lisa Francis, is probably the best thing on offer, with a decent melody and some good riffs. GRADE: C+.

See also Sonus Umbra

Kyaldan (France): Breiz (Arfolk SBR 377, 1976?)
Folk/Rock
Christine Samson (joint lead vocals), Danièle Samson (joint lead vocals)
This varied Breton album covers a range of territory, from acapella sections to spacy synthesiser and strings. But at its best, it offers powerful folk/rock with the emphasis on the rock, complete with chunky rhythm guitars and soaring leads. There are quite a few progressive and psychedelic touches as well, and the self-penned material is excellent throughout with the exception of the drinking song ‘Cheerio’ (exactly the sort of thing I wish folk bands would stop doing). Unsurprisingly, this is an expensive and very sought-after LP. GRADE: B–.

Kylesa (USA): Kylesa (Prank 050, CD, 2001)
Metal
Laura Pleasants (occasional vocals, guitar)
Whilst Kylesa are often described as playing sludge or stoner metal, their debut is frequently as close to doomdeath. With a few experimental touches, this is a powerful record, but not an especially varied one; the short closer ‘Parent’s Song’, which adds some ethnic folk edges, is probably the best thing on offer. GRADE: C+.
Kylesa (USA): To Walk A Middle Course (Prosthetic 6561910020-2, CD, 2005)
Metal
Laura Pleasants (occasional vocals, guitar)
This is slightly more experimental and marginally more varied than their debut, though mostly it’s still dominated by relentless, thrashy riffing and growling vocals. Whilst this isn’t my favourite kind of metal, there is good some stuff here; the best moment is probably the atmospheric instrumental closer ‘Crashing Slow’. GRADE: C+.
Kylesa (USA): Time Will Fuse Its Worth (Prosthetic 6561910040-2, CD, 2006)
Metal
Laura Pleasants
Their third makes their punk roots a little more clear, and as usual there’s too much busy thrashing and roaring death vocals. Nonetheless, when this is good (as on the slow, repetitive, powerful ‘Between Silence And Sound’) it borders on the awesome. GRADE: C+.
Kylesa (USA): Static Tensions (Prosthetic 6561910071-2, CD, 2009)
Metal
Laura Pleasants (occasional vocals, guitar)
Whilst this is essentially in the same vein as their earlier work, it’s easily their best LP to date, with some really powerful riffs, dramatic (and superbly recorded) drums and a definite psychedelic edge. GRADE: C+.
Kylesa (USA): Spiral Shadow (Season Of Mist SOM 220CD, CD plus DVD, with digipak and booklet, 2010)
Metal/Rock/Psychedelic
Laura Pleasants (joint lead vocals, guitar)
Housed in a stunning silver foil cover, this is another fine album. It’s a bit less metallic than before, with more of an early seventies psychedelic hard rock feel and a much higher proportion of melodic female vocals. The bonus DVD features a ‘making of’ documentary. GRADE: C+.
Kylesa (USA): Ultraviolet (Season Of Mist SOM 275, CD, with digipak and booklet, 2013)
Metal
Laura Pleasants (joint lead vocals, guitar, bass)
Continuing in the heavy stoner vein of Spiral Shadow, whilst occasionally harking back towards to their earlier sound, this is another solid album containing some excellent moments. GRADE: C+.