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Thursday, April 23, 2020

Kevin Kastning & Sandor Szabo - Nograd

It’s been a good while since I’ve listened to Kevin Kastning’s music for a long yet overdue time. Well it’s time for me to get back on the horse to ride again to see what I was missing from the man himself. And this time his tenth collaboration with guitarist Sandor Szabo with the release of their new album entitled Nograd on the Greydisc label, shows that he and Sandor have never disappointed me.

Recorded last year in September at the Evangelikus Templom in Nograd, Hungary for one day on September 22nd, Kevin and Sandor return to their intensive roots once more. Between Kastning’s 12-string extended and 12-string alto guitars along with Szabo’s classical and 16-string guitar, you can never tell who is going to roll the dice and take a turn to decide who will win the race.

There are 14 pieces on this album that Kevin and Sandor composed from scratch. They wanted to extend the wider arrangements that go beyond the classical, experimental, neo-classical, and flamenco realms. But adding a little twist of lemon, you can never tell what the duo would think of next.

Adding the tension by creating these dangerous puzzle maps for the listener to walk through step by step, there are times that they combined the elements of Karlheinz Stockhausen, Lubos Fiser, Zdenek Liska, Gyorgy Ligeti, King Crimson, and Ottmar Liebert rolled into one. And some of these compositions can make you walk through the paintings of Jackson Pollock or walk through these spiral staircases that can take you into unknown locations.

Nograd is really a big challenge for me. And I always like to see bands and artists like Kevin 
Kastning always taking those risks by pushing the envelope even more. Now it’s been five years since hearing his album Otherworld back in 2015, again as I’ve mentioned earlier, Kastning has never, ever disappointed me. And now it is time to pull both the curtains back and explore the world of Kevin Kastning and Sandor Szabo’s Nograd.

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