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

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the ago of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
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

2020-06-14
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

2020-05-15
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


Previously in Exposé...

Aqua - Aqua – Aqua were a German band who had some success in the 80s as a mainstream hard rock band. What is little known is that they began as a progressive rock band, but unfortunately never released any music...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues