The Line to Three: Reviews
KEVIN KASTNING / MARK WINGFIELD – The Line
to Three (2017 / Greydisc)
This time around, in The Line to Three, Mssrs. Kastning and Wingfield decided to open with “Invisible Landscapes I” by thrusting agape the door to Purgatory or perhaps the vault of The Keep (an old horror movie scored by Tangerine Dream) and peer within. Cosmic exhalations drift down from above, Mr. Wingfield summoning triggered soundscapes, dragging them across dreary fields, their ominous Stygian dragon’s breath warning of potentialities only darkly imaginable, none of it heartening.
Kastning provides the acoustic offsets - as Wingfield turns Rypdalian - averting the plunge into the abyss, which keeps threatening anyway. By song’s end, nothing is resolved but the trek was fascinating. “All the Clouds Around You” follows, with Kastning first switching from guitar to piano, lower keys booming counterpoint to Wingfield’s fitful squiggles, higher keys tinkling offsets as if wind chimes glassily jangling in Dante’s fifth circle. The tableau shifts nervously until it runs into “A Nameless Unfolding I”, which extends the conversation, Kastning now favoring his guitars in delicate thoughtful backdrops.
In The Line to Three, Kastning’s piano figures as the continuation of a new voice poised only a single release ago. His use of it is often similar to his guitar work but obviously of a different character, frequently celestial, then moody as it descends toward infernal climes, even Pendereckian at times, Wingfield all the while keening above like a fitful dragonfly searching mercurial meadows, unsure where to land. The closing “The Line to Four”, the longest cut of the CD, gathers everything together, recapitulates sundry elements, but also becomes a good deal more emphatic and then evolves…a hazy mutant jazz strain with some recognizable riffs.
What the hell??? A Kastning disc threatening to drop within even dimly cognizable genre conventions? Say it’s not so! But, in all truth, I think it is. I see this close-out track as the foreshadow distinctively signifying things not long in the offing. “The Line to Four” is extremely Steve Tibbetts-esque and a song unlike any in Kastning’s vast catalogue. His recent induction of piano has been significant and, to my mind, subtly influenced his thinking or perhaps provided a window upon long considered ruminations. Whatever the truth of it, I hear changes bubbling up.
-- Veritas Vampirus (US)
KEVIN KASTNING-MARK WINGFIELD/The Line to Three
One of the many flavors of Kastning on display here is his 6th duet with Wingfield. What happens when you let two premiere innovators loose to do what they want? Apparently they use their forward thinking brains to turn everything on it's head and make a spooky sounding, downtown arty set to bring disaffected millenials into the tent. The soundtrack to an imaginary cyber thriller that hasn't been made yet----, well, "Tubular Bells" did pre-date "Exorcist". A wild ride through a nu sonic underground that's best experienced without drugs the first time around. Check it out.