Distributor:        Booktopia/Amazon                 
Release Date:    October 2018  
Running Time:   1:06:39secs
Website:    http://www.kevinkastning.com/ 

 Ethereal II 

Reviewed By  Janet Mawdesley       November 2, 2018


Although this flow-on album to Ethereal I could be considered as something of an improv collection of works created by Kevin Kastning, Sandor Szabo and Balazc Major playing in a highly eclectic jam session it is far more; it is a very measured, finely designed and composed work, which as with much of Kastnings’ composing does not fit easily into any one category.

The album has a certain delicacy of sound which has been beautifully sculptured in the first piece Arrival (Second Recall) a 10:23 sec soundscape, which delicately pushes the boundaries of percussive sound defined by guitar, underpinned with percussion, making this a perfect vehicle for reflective meditation. This may seem a little too far out there as the work could be considered as seriously pure jazz, but it vibration works well on the transcendental level.

The hollow void of space without shape or form has been captured to perfection, seconds before the deep bass notes of the piano strike with precision changing the elements to the unbeknown and unforeseen depths of Ethereality II. When followed by Supernal Vapor, a more definitive percussive piece, featuring the 36- string contra guitar designed and perfected by Kastning, the work broadens in perspective encouraging the mind to relax and enjoy the rare, timeless beauty of classic sound waves.

For those who understand the value and intrigue of portals as a component of life’s multilayered spirituality, Portals I and Portals II listened to either individually or as a collective sound journey, make the perfect accompaniment to serious transcendental meditation as the pieces are once again measured, inviting and intriguing.

In the final composition a drum roll, followed by gentle tapping sets the stage for Third Departure, an intriguing title to say the least, and an intriguing piece to complement the title, highlighting the meshing of musicians at the pinnacle of their discipline: Kastening on contra-guitar, Sandor Szabo on guitar and Balazc Major on percussion.

As a freewheeling, improve style of music from this combination of talent the work is sharp, precise, and stunning in its simplicity and yet the complex nature of construction develops as a rich, multitextured soundscape to be enjoyed to the fullest.