17/66: Reviews and Quotes
 

KEVIN KASTNING/17/66:

The uber DIY guitar cat really does it all himself as he pulls three of his custom guitars off the shelf for a stunning solo excursion into a guitar world you didn't know existed. A cat can only do so much his this two hands and 36 strings (that's a joke, son) and he pushed those tools to the limit and beyond. A very personal feeling private recital, this just plain takes it all to the next level of the game. Art for art's sake that never becomes precious.

-- Midwest Record magazine (US)
   April 2018

 

"Your work is very strong, Kevin. You are doing something of a high wire act in music without sounding “experimental.” Your work reminds me of words by Richard Howard when I was at CalArts. He said that complex forms of poetry such as the Villanelle and the Sestina were powerful because they could refine your thought into something beautiful you would not have reached without the technical difficulty of the form. Richard was never one to believe that the first thought was the best thought or any of that Kerouac stuff. While you have not chosen to work in a pre-defined form, you have rejected the repetitive chord structures or even a repetitive rhythm to help you waste time vamping until the inspiration comes.

I don’t really know what the next challenge should be for you. I believe you have developed a genuine voice. The question should be now is where that music chooses to carry you. I believe you may work best when the ending of the story has yet to be discovered.

Your technique of improvisation is an invitation to the listener to live fully and to make choices constantly without slavish adherence to patterns. It takes a lot of work to live that way. Rock on!"

-- Billy Sheppard
   Billy's Bunker webzine (US)

 


"Thanks for the copy of 17/66, Kevin. I’ve given it a first exploratory spin, dug it, and will look forward to additional listenings in order to fully process the scope of such an ambitious recording. Good work!"

-- Mike Metheny  (US)

 


"I've listened to a few tracks from 17/66. I was really wowed by the sonic quality and how much your playing is evolving on these weird instruments. It's hard to apply some scale of virtuosity to what you do because there is no real comparison. But this felt more fully formed than anything I've heard yet from you. Nice work."

-- K.M.; Austin, TX 

 

"Last night I listened to 17/66 just as a good listener should listen. I listened to it not in an analyzing way but just let the music to grab me and take to a spiritual excursion (travelling). I must say this is your best solo album so far in all aspects. In the meantime I read your liner notes which I also like very much.  The cover of your new album is FANTASTIC! It really fits to the music. Congratulations!"

-- Sándor Szabó (HUNGARY)
  

"I listened to 17/66 a couple of days ago, all but the last track which I will listen to soon. The 17-string is incredible actually.  It's as if I wasn't even hearing the instrument, I was just hearing the music rendered in pure form. The whole album is great. Track 1 and 2 and the penultimate track, I can only say are - genius, and I don't use that word lightly. At times it's like listening to some sort of idealised imaginary mixture of the best moments of ECM and my favourite modern classical composers. But then again it's totally original, your sound world is totally unique, so you don't sound like anyone else. Some of the things you conjure from your instruments are just totally amazing and spellbindingly great. Harmonically and sonically. Compositionally it's also totally amazing and I must talk to you more about how you "write" these pieces, which I know are improvised, but you also talk about writing them. Your instruments sound fantastic, they suit the music perfectly and you are getting a really great sound with the ribbons. Huge congratulations on this!  I am totally impressed."

-- Mark Wingfield (ENGLAND)