Ethereal III: Reviews and Quotes
Ethereal III: Kevin Kastning & Sandor Szabo
Guitar innovator Kevin Kastning may be best known for his modern approach to acoustic, ambient guitar instrumental music, yet he’s also gaining acclaim for his mesmerizing piano albums. That piano side of Kevin Kastning is best explored on Ethereal III, the 2019 album by Kevin and fellow guitarist Sándor Szabó. Compared to Piano I, the early 2019 album of solo piano music by Kevin, the May 2019 release of Ethereal III features Kevin’s acoustic piano enhanced by computerized orchestrations by Sándor. The computerized orchestral sounds by Sándor is a great way to frame Kevin’s experimental acoustic piano music. Eschewing the popular orchestral software, on Ethereal III, Sándor incorporates recorded samples from real string instruments, which weren’t modified. Even though these string sounds are sampled, the idea seems to get around the idea of assembling various violins, cellos and double bass played by live musicians in the same room. Classical music purists may rebuff it at first, even though the modern day technology of editing samples into recordings is expedient and the net result, in this case, sounds quite excellent. Kevin and Sándor are true pioneers of the guitar world and on the release of Ethereal III, they also establish themselves as trendsetters in the world of 21st century recording technology.
(5 out of 5 stars)
Roots Music Report (US)
KEVIN KASTNING-SANDOR SZABO/Ethereal III
One thing you can expect with Kastning is the unexpected. After giving
us a zillion guitar records where he never repeated himself, he threw a curve
ball with a piano record. That was only the hors d'oureve. Now we find him
tuning up his piano for an orchestral face off with one of his long time guitar
partners in crime. Did you think this wouldn't be a mind blowing recital?
Stretching the limits of contemporary classical, instrumental and left leaning
jazz, these two hit it out of the park and take it some place entirely new and
different. An amazing additional to the "Ethereal" series, this is a killer
example of art that isn't artsy.
I must say that “Ethereal III” might be my favorite of your albums… or at least one of them.
Like I always say, the recording quality is superb. And the way your piano voice
is so close to your guitar voice is remarkable and unique. Sandor’s
orchestrations however rendered are beautiful. “Ethereal III” could be the music
for something noir and cerebral. Anyway… bravo on another crystalline and
Well done, man.
-- Mike Metheny (US)
Thanks much my friend, I received your new CD a couple of days ago and I have listened trough it already twice and love it! Really great album throughout! And I love the way you play the piano, it is very distinctive. The two of you really make a perfect team, can't wait for the next album!
Thank you, all the best,
-- Dieter Kaudel (US)
"I've really been enjoying Ethereal III. The music speaks to me very
directly, and I like where it takes me—both intellectually and emotionally.
Of course, I'm also a sucker for titles imbued with alchemical aesthetics (whether intentionally or unintentionally)."
-- Barry Cleveland (US)
"I actually gave E3 a first spin yesterday while doing some emergency pre-tour drum repair out in my studio and enjoyed the dark, wintry Transylvanian vibe, varied occasionally by glimmers of spring sunlight through the heavy Carpathian skies. Cool stuff--will take it OTR with me for further listening in the Mobito Mobile Studio--it will be a refreshing counterpoint to the Southwestern desert heat and the repetitive rhythms of the road."
-- Will Clipman (US)
© 2019 Greydisc Records / Suigeneria Music [BMI]