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KEVIN KASTNING & MARK WINGFIELD – RUBICON II (2024) (Greydisc)

Earlier this year I reviewed Kevin Kastning’s collaborative album with clarinettist Soheil Peyghambari on which the master craftsman played a bewildering array of guitars. This time Kevin confines himself to just one: the 15-string extended classical guitar alongside Mark Wingfield’s electric guitar and live in the studio electronics.


We like our explorative, creative and ‘new direction’ music here and “Rubicon II” delivers on all fronts within this context. The counterpoint and telepathy between the two musicians is nothing short of telepathic. I must say I preferred the pieces with piano, simply because they add a more melodic approach to music that is essentially about sound, impressionism and atmosphere. ‘Tidal Radius Thermalized’ (Yes, nothing conventional about this album!) and ‘Observation Light Context’ are very different manifestations of this ‘piano added’ music, the former probably my favourite piece on the album -there is so much going on that multiple listening is recommended – while the stuttered conversations between guitar and piano on the latter are simply delightful if a bit unsettling, like a kind of alien musical language.


The virtuosity goes without saying, but the music is much more than that: innovative, imaginative and introspective and genre defying.

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