Every day the news tells us about invasion by the megalomaniac dictator Poetin and his soldiers in the Ukraine, about their heavy bombings, their executions, their rapes, their cruelty, about the devastation of entire cities, and about the suffering, the despair and fear of the civilians, including many children and older people. It's hard to believe that Ukrainian multi-instrumentalist Antony Kalugin succeeded to deliver a new solo album, based upon recordings between 2003 and 2004, an incredible effort! As I stated earlier in my review about the new Karfagen album Land Of Green And Gold (2022, see review), I am familiar with Antony Kalugin and his musical projects from the very first beginning. From Continium (2006), the debut album by Karfagen to Hoggwash, Sunchild, AKKO and AKP.
On this new solo album Kalugin played on the keyboards and synthesizer and he does the drum programming and percussion. Guest musician is Max Velychko on electric guitar, his sound has strong hints from David Gilmour (Pink Floyd). The 10 compositions are in general pretty laidback, lots of atmospheres between dreamy and slow rhythms with mellow climates, the focus is on colouring the music with pleasant work on keyboards and guitar, it all sounds very melodic and harmonic. My highlights.
First piano and spacey keyboards, then a slow rhythm, in a beautiful dreamy atmosphere, embellished with Mellotron choirs, moving guitar runs, jazzy piano solo and a fluent synthesizer solo in Rebirth.
This track entitled White Castle features an ethnic flavour with the guitars, blended with Mellotron choirs, very tasteful and captivating.
In Night Visions a tight beat, in a mid-tempo, with strong and varied guitar play, from tender to heavy.
A dreamy climate that contains lots of Floydian guitar, and finally a howling guitar solo in Broken Promises.
The final composition Coming Home starts with tender piano, then a sensitive electric guitar, in a slow rhythm, gradually the sound turns into more lush sound and powerful guitar, then again mellow and finally a build up to slow and compelling with moving guitar.
A wonderful laidback album that sounds as a pleasant dream, made in a nightmarish situation, good luck to Antony and his brave people in the Ukraine!
*** + Erik Neuteboom (edited by Tracy van Os van den Abeelen)
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