Exposé Online banner

Kevin Kastning / Sándor Szabó / Balász Major — Ethereal II
(Greydisc GDR 3543, 2018, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-11-05

Ethereal II Cover art

This time out, Kastning (30-string contra-alto guitar, 36-string double contra guitar, and piano) approaches the improvised sounding compositional work as a trio, along with Sándor Szabó (electric guitar and baritone electric guitar) and Balász Major (drums, percussion), both of the latter from Vác, Hungary. The recordings were done both at Traumwald studios in Massachusetts and at Tandem Studios in Vác, although the specifics of what was done where are not clear. Anyway, it doesn’t matter – with a load of effects and two studios in play, much can be achieved in a dreamy and sparse musical environment that these three musicians masterfully create. Ethereal I (from earlier in 2018) featured only Kastning and Szabó; here Major contributes his spacy percussion and drums, which, evolving out of a similar root idea as its predecessor, adds an entire new dimension to the sound, although Major isn’t keeping any kind of steady beat, he is in full improvisational mode as well, which still gives Szabó and Kastning their freedom and purely creative space. All three musicians have created together many times before, mostly Kastning and one of the others, but the last time all three worked together in the same space was on the 2013 album Becoming, but don’t use that as a strict reference, as the two are quite different; each piece in this puzzle is unique, taking its own path through an unconventional melodic maze. “Hollow Sky” is subtle on the percussion, but both guitarists are taking advantage of that space, with Kastning paining a rainbow of colors in the background, while Szabó plays kaleidoscopic melodies affected by stunning flashes of reverb and subtle echoes out front. “Portals I” and “Portals II” account for a full album side of twisty turny melodic meandering with just enough percussion (mostly hand drums) to keep it all fluid and interesting for the duration. Throughout all the album’s nine tracks, much attention is given to space, so you never get a condition where too much sonic density ruins a beautiful view into the soul of the three musicians as they create. Of course not, these three have recorded together numerous times prior and know exactly what they are doing.


Filed under: New releases, 2018 releases

Related artist(s): Kevin Kastning, Sándor Szabó, Balász Major

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

Latest news

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Residents - WB:RMX & 12 Days of Brumalia – If you need a Christmas album to scare your family and friends, look no further. The 12 Days of Brumalia was released as a downloadable album on the Residents web site in December of 2004, and is now...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues