Exposé Online banner

Kevin Kastning — Skyfields
(Greydisc GDR3530, 2016, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2016-03-26

Skyfields Cover art

There is no one quite like Kevin Kastning. Stretching back well over 20 years and two dozen or more releases, both solo and in collaboration with other like-minded players, the gutarist, composer and instrument inventor has established and developed a unique sound that can at once be identified as his own, but could never be called predictable. Every measure has its own new horizon, its own vocabulary, and could take off in just about any direction. On Skyfields, his approach is entiely solo and uneffected (with the exception of plenty of studio reverb enhancement), played exclusively on his 15-string extended clasical guitar and double-neck 36-string contraguitar. One needs to see these instruments to appreciate their sound, which is easily accomplished with a visit to his website, stopping at the ‘instruments’ page and then the ‘listen’ page; indeed, Kastning lives in a musical world of his own creation, like no other. For Skyfields, some passages may occasionally remind of Pat Metheny’s early work, John Abercrombie’s Characters, or even Steve Tibbets’ Northern Song (without the drums), but those are just brief anecdotal comparisons that gauge the effect on the listener and nothing more, although I believe Kastning’s vision is a similar one, hovering somewhere between jazz, classical, ambient and avant-garde. The 62+ minute title track, broken into five long parts, comprises the entire disc, and is (as always on any of Kastning’s work) completely instrumental. There are few repeating phrases, no steady rhythms, but plenty of rich tonal colors, harmonics, and open atmospheres. While one might dismiss this as self-indulgent noodling on a casual first listen, there’s plenty of emotion, clarity and brilliance here to reward the listener with patience and perseverence.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Kevin Kastning

More info
http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/kevinkastning6

Latest news

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Guru Guru - Seven Reissues – Guru Guru is one of the better known Krautrock bands from the 70s. In Spring 1973 they released their fourth album Guru Guru, engineered by the legendary Conny Plank, featuring drummer Mani Neumeier,...  (2008) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues