Ethereal II: Reviews and Quotes
"Ethereal II is really absolutely great!!
I enjoy it immensely and it is in my car CD player ever since I received it. I must have listened through it 4 or 5 times by now.
I enjoyed your previous albums with Sandor and Balazs a lot as well and I was delighted to see that this one is a trio with both of them.
It is a joy to listen to this music, the 3 of you compliment each other so very nicely.
I love it, thanks for doing such great music my friend!"
-- Dieter Kaudel,
SZABO MAJOR/Ethereal II
In which we find the guitar genre busting Kastning moving beyond his usual solo and duo dates and into the realm of being his own Manfred Eicher by expanding to a trio of past cohorts rounded up together and creating an environment for them to work and play well with each other. Going well beyond the pale and spacing out even farther than if they just kept it to opium den music, the trio creates other worldly sounds that are as cohesive as they are disparate. Wild stuff that just might have you never looking at the 30 string guitar the same way again. Solid left leaning stuff that draws the middle to it."
Kastning/Sándor Szabó/Balázs Major
Kastning seems to gravitate to the duet format, but this is a recurring trio. Kastning's 36-string Double Contraguitar, 30-string Contra-Alto guitar and piano are joined by Szabó's electric guitar and electric baritone guitar and Major's drums and percussion. It is an especially rich timbral mix. Kasning's acoustic guitar provides chiming double-coursed sounds reminiscent of a 12-string guitar, as well as occasional bass parts. The electric guitar provides electronic washes for accompaniment, as well as a contrasting lead voice. And the drumming is an equal partner, sometimes atmospheric, sometimes keeping time. Opener "Arrival (Second Recall)" contains all of this; "Etheriality I," which follows it, sticks to a mostly slow moving soundscape. Major includes Indian tabla drums in his arsenal: they are especially prominent on "Supernal Vapor" and "Portals I." This is a splendid improvisational session, full of variety in tempo and texture: an excellent starting place for listeners new to Kastning's music.
All About Jazz magazine (US)