Recorded in single day at the Kismaros Concert Hall in Kismaros, Hungary, at the end of a long tour, the trio of Kevin Kastning, on his beloved 30-string Contra-Alto guitar, Sandor Szabo on electric guitars, and Balazs Major on percussion, set about laying down Ethereal IV and creating an outstanding body of work that transports.
Over time their work has segued from pure classical to high jazz embraced with an almost clinical precision in the timing of the notes, to create stand-alone pieces that almost at times defy description. Such is the rhythm and sound that allows the soundscape, or convergence, to blend seamlessly into perfection.
The six tracks that make up Ethereal IV coalesce into a seamless journey which creates a rather unusual platform to allow the cares and worries of today’s world to drift away. This then encourages a surreal sense of peace that becomes apparent in the progression of the tracks. First Occurrence commences the journey with an almost jangling series of discordant notes, which if course it is not, as it is a carefully constructed piece, or should it be improv it could be considered as a masterclass.
By the time Fourth Occurrence is reached there is what could be considered an Asian influence creeping in formed with the careful use strings structuring a deep, sombre, devotional, almost melancholic air, encouraging a time for reflection. Sixth Occurrence is full bodied with a delightfully light backbeat which captivates with the ingenuity of the construction, to encourage the listener to return once again to this earth, refreshed and at peace.
One of the hidden gems that add to the extraordinary acoustic sound of the work is the incredible acoustics to be found at the Kismaros Concert Hall, which Kastning has used in previous recordings to bind the notes with an otherworldly ambience.
Once again, and as always at the end of one of Kastning’s albums, the question is posed, is this the work of masters of improv, all emotionally thinking and feeling as one, knowing with surety how to merge with one another to create the perfect sound, or has the work evolved from an alternate universe that knows no boundaries, but delivers a primal sound that resonates to perfection with the human psyche?
However the music is considered, absorbed or enjoyed it is definitely original, unusual, and ethereal interlaced with a delicately haunting beauty.
Pure classical, high jazz or something else, this is yours to decide!
|Artists||Kevin Kastnings: Carl Clements: Sandor Szabo|