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The K Box is a beautifully presented 4CD set collecting the output of Peter Hammill and the K Group, including the studio albums Enter K and Patience and the live recordings The Margin and +.
This limited edition deluxe release also features extra tracks and is presented in a 10" x 10" 48 page hard back book with sleeve notes by Tim Bowness, reflections from PH and the band, plus previously unseen photographs.
Formed in 1981 to tour material from A Black Box and Sitting Targets, the K Group was Peter Hammill’s idea of a traditional Beat Group and like everything else in Hammill’s world it was far from typical and a universe away from the likes of Herman’s Hermits or The Clash.
Utilising the considerable talents of ex-Vibrators and Peter Gabriel guitarist John Ellis and former Van Der Graaf members Guy Evans and Nic Potter, the stripped-down nature of the K Group’s sound - echoed by Enter K’s stark and uncompromising artwork - aligned Hammill’s vision even more closely to the burgeoning Post-Punk scene that his music had undoubtedly influenced, while also remaining true to his Progressive-era experiments with song structure, time signatures and textures.
Between 1981 and 1984, over the course of dozens of concerts, two studio albums, two singles and a live release (issued in 1985), the K Group delivered a muscular take on Hammill’s unique artistry that resulted in a body of work distinct from other phases in his prolific career. At its most prosaic, the K Group offered relatively straightforward Rock songs (Paradox Drive, Film Noir), dramatic ballads (Just Good Friends), sonic experiments (Accidents) and knotty epics, but in reality the K quartet transformed these generic starting points into something far more individual, and - flying in the face of early 1980s Pop artifice - wholeheartedly human.
Ultimately, the K Group may only represent a tiny fraction of Peter Hammill’s vast output, but like Van Der Graaf Generator the band provided a memorable means of hearing Hammill’s visionary music in a powerful collective context: A context that arguably remained dormant until the 21st Century resurrection of Van Der Graaf Generator itself.
The K Box is a superb celebration of an all too brief experiment in (and with) time.
1. Paradox Drive [04:31]
2. The Unconscious Life [05:05]
3. Accidents [04:35]
4. The Great Experiment [05:05]
5. Don't Tell Me [04:45]
6. She Wraps It Up [04:20]
7. Happy Hour [09:15]
8. 4 Pails Of Water (previously unreleased version) [04:35]
9. Paradox Drive (single version) [03:35]
10. Now More Than Ever (B side of 'Paradox Drive') [05:08]
11. She Wraps It Up (edited for possible single release) [03:40]
1. Labour Of Love [05:56]
2. Film Noir [04:23]
3. Just Good Friends [04:30]
4. Jeunesse d'Oree [04:51]
5. Traintime [04:23]
6. Now More Than Ever [05:36]
7. Comfortable [04:52]
8. Patient [06:11]
9. Film Noir (single version) [02:58]
10. Seven Wonders (original B side of 'Film Noir') [04:35]
1. The Future Now [03:49]
2. Porton Down [05:41]
3. Stranger Still [06:23]
4. Sign [06:38]
5. The Jargon King [03:19]
6. Empress's Clothes [05:51]
7. The Sphinx In The Face [05:16]
8. Labour Of Love [05:50]
9. Sitting Targets [05:42]
10. Patient [07:31]
11. Flight [20:32]
1. The Second Hand [05:57]
2. My Experience [04:13]
3. Paradox Drive [04:18]
4. Modern [07:42]
5. Film Noir [05:06]
6. The Great Experiment [05:47]
7. Happy Hour [09:33]
8. Central Hotel [05:01]
9. Again [04:22]
10. If I Could [05:52]