Kevin Kastning / Mark Wingfield — In Stories
(Greydisc GDR 3521, 2014, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2014-11-27
Guitarists Kevin Kastning and Mark Wingfield are no strangers to collaboration, In Stories being their fourth since 2011’s I Walked into the Silver Darkness. Their music is largely improvised, introspective and atmospheric, winding through multi-dimensional labyrinths of brightness, shadows, and muted colors, exploring a multitude of sonic landscapes. The two players commute telepathically, each supporting the other in alternating roles that seem to morph from one measure to the next, following dreamlike visions that hint at an alien and surrealistic beauty. Across the thirteen tracks, Kastning plays three custom-made acoustic guitars – a 36-string double contraguitar (two necks, 18 strings each in 9 pairs), a 17-string contraguitar (all strings paired except the lowest), and a 12-string alto guitar. For the interested, please check out Kastning’s website where these three and many of the other custom made guitars in his arsenal, as well as their tunings are exhaustively detailed. Throughout the proceedings, Wingfield plays electric guitar, often complemented with e-bow, whammy pedal, and other exotic effects, yet manages to keep a fairly clean tone throughout, eschewing a lot of unnecessary distortion, making for a truly splendid and complimentary lead sound against Kastning’s rich acoustics. The third member of this duo is the studio itself, with subtle reverb and atmospherics that fill the spaces and bring warmth to the project. There’s a lot here to recommend to the adventurous listener, though for just over an hour one will be immersed in a completely new world with its own unique musical vocabulary.
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more