Kayo Dot, the brainchild of Toby Driver is a quite different musical project then most of the nowadays trendy runners. It’s an everchanging mixture of rock, jazz, metal and avant-garde elements, it’s definitively not a common, usual, easy to label and listen kind of music. But it’s much more alive.
A partial live recording with overdubs added in the studio, they delivered 25 minutes of their usually unusual music, this time kind of saxophone fueled noise metal, a quite contorted trip, eventually with the exception of the title track which it’s an almost classical track with chamber and (possible) Gregorian aromas and offers a chill exit for the listener.
Partially recorded live at Littlefield, Brooklyn NY on October 5, 2011 by Jeremiah Cymerman, and partially recorded at home by Toby Driver October – November 2011, “Gamma Knife” was recorded by Toby Driver – bass guitar, guitar, vocals, keys; Terran Olson – alto sax; Daniel Means – alto sax; Keith Abrams – drumset; Mia Matsumiya – violin; Tim Byrnes – mellotron bells and audience direction; Ron Varod – audience direction; and David Bodie – additional percussion.
Kayo Dot was formed in 2003 by Toby Driver after the disbanding of maudlin of the Well. Driver, and several other members of the band were students at Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, and studied with jazz musician Yusef Lateef, whose theories of autophysiopsychic music may have influenced the bands’ output.
Kayo Dot released their debut album Choirs of the Eye on John Zorn’s Tzadik Records label in 2003. Tzadik’s descriptive label on that album reads: “Kayo Dot powerfully integrates elements of modern classical composition with the layers of guitars and vocals more common to rock and metal. With a compositional map that is strict in form yet malleable in execution, Kayo Dot uses a vast array of instrumentation to create an exciting convergence of violence and serenity.” Since then, Kayo Dot’s music has undergone several identity shifts, largely influenced by the band’s constantly-changing lineup and instrumentation.
In May 2005, Tom Malone joined the band as their new drummer after longtime collaborator Sam Gutterman left the band in March 2005. Kayo Dot then signed to Robotic Empire Records and released its second album, “Dowsing Anemone with Copper Tongue”, in January 2006.
Two years later, Kayo Dot, consisting of only two members, Driver and Mia Matsumiya, released their third album, “Blue Lambency Downward” on Hydra Head Records.
“Coyote”, the band’s fourth studio album and was released in April 2010 on Hydra Head Records.
Gamma Knife, was released digitally on January 4, 2012, on the online music store Bandcamp. Buy it only for $5 USD (or more 🙂 ). This is something for the brain and soul, not for the banging.