In an interview with Kevin Kastning which saw print in Perfect Sound Forever a month or so ago, I broached the matter of possible electric work, which Kastning is disinclined towards, preferring acoustic axes. He did, however, reveal that he'd be working with England's Mark Wingfield, a gent wielding a highly idiosyncratic electric. I Walked into the Silver Darkness is the result of that meeting and solidly in line with Kastning's previous somber, greymisted, geographically laconic oeuvre but with notable differences, literally scaling new heights sonically.
Wingfield, with the expanded pitch electronics can endow, leaps into sharply defined gambols and almost mephitic dances, sometimes fitful, other times abstractly weird, but the timbres and tones that his guitar introduce do much to pull entirely new dimensions into the brooding planets Kastning resides upon. Wingfield's of an ilk with John Abercrombie, Terje Rypdal, Bill Connors, and other fusion-meisters heavily invested in musique noir but more polymorphic, protean, and constantly reshaping his own sound more than that estimable bunch. A number of passages are highly reminiscent of Abercrombie's earliest and most incendiary work with Marc Cohen and Friends as well as those prized ECM slabs with Jan Hammer, but Wingfield finds no end of permutations that Abercrombie never did.
Kastning becomes Wingfield's acoustic Ralph Towner, weaving cobwebs, plateau catafalques, rolling layers of topography that flash by, erecting the milieus in which his partner's guitar keens, wails, ponders, screeches, sulks, wonders, and wanders. As ever, Kastning's tableaus are complex, fully fleshed while serenely melancholic, subject to subtly startling shifts, and evocative of climes largely unvisited by man, pure, wild, and stately but brooding, possessed of an intelligence beyond the human brain. I Walked into the Silver Darkness is Kastning's most ambitiously differentiated CD to date, is as improv based as all his work, and may well prove to be the fulcrum upon which upcoming releases (with Alex DeGrassi, David Darling, Michael Manring, and others) turn as the guy strays into continents even he never tapped in all those strange predecessor journeys.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2011, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
Website design by David N. Pyles