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Melliflua.com Review of LIGHT FROM ORION

"... New age artist Kevin Kendle has turned his musical gaze to the far off wonders of the heavens to begin the Deep Skies series of spacemusic albums with Light From Orion. I share Kevin's fascination of the night sky and so was interested to hear his take on spacemusic because this isn't his usual musical territory. In addition to Kevin's electronics there is also glissando guitar played by Brian Abbott and more keyboards by Nigel Shaw.

Each of the ten tracks is named after a celestial object, or collection of objects, in the constellation of Orion. There's a useful brief description of each of the tracks in the liner notes, plus some wonderful pictures of those astronomical objects that get one in the mood for the music to come. Getting the album off to a flying start is "Horsehead Nebula", various shiny washes of sound and the soon to be ubiquitous glissando guitar musically render the sense of wonder I get when looking at pictures of the horsehead nebula.

Kevin's new age background comes out particularly in "Bellatrix" where acoustic guitar and flute sounds create nice melodies over recurring resonant bass effects and spacey glissandos reaching out into the distance. In contrast, the next and shortest track "Great Orion Nebula" is a dramatic little number that conveys a sense of extensive celestial activity. Shimmering waves of sound like stellar flares repeatedly whoosh on by as yearning glissando lines (yet again!) and twittery effects add to the cosmic commotion, and all the while occasional rumblings stir in the background.

Perhaps not surprisingly given Kevin's sweet New Age music, Light From Orion takes a light and pretty approach to the spacemusic genre, one that I've not heard since the first disc of Michael Neil's Towards the Unknown Region. For just over an hour the music transports the listener to various beauty spots in the constellation of Orion. To this end it works exceedingly well and it makes a change from the darker visions of outer space that are common in this genre. My only criticism is that the glissando guitar is rather overused for my taste; I think the album is a real gem nonetheless and so highly recommend it.

Review by Dene Bebbington, Melliflua.com


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