Kastning Siegfried

January 20, 2006

Okay, it finally has to be said. While Guitar Player openly welcomes album submissions from indie artists handling their own publicity, please know that unless you’re mailing us a lost Robert Johnson reel or a truly irreplaceable document—such as, say, the Dead Sea Scrolls—there is no need to unload a full magazine of industrial-strength staples into your envelope and then mummify the thing with several rolls of packing tape. Why? Because, believe it or not, we actually open each package we get—even if it means we have to blunt our scissors and bloody our fingers in the process. We go to the mat with these stubborn parcels because sometimes we are rewarded with great music that is well worth the wrestling match—such as, for example, this intriguing collection of instrumentals from guitarists/composers Kevin Kastning and Siegfried.

Performed on nearly every manner of acoustic guitar (including baritone and fretless nylon-string), Scalar Fields delivers 20 ghostly tone poems that remind us that dissonance, angularity, and modernism can be beautiful and soothing in a way that more traditional, tonal composition cannot. Admittedly, the relaxed “Macrolibriums” can sound a bit same-y from track to track, but they’re same-y in a wonderful, hypnotic way—like each hour in a long, enchanted night of splintered moonlight. Take a listen at kevinkastning.com, and, at the very least, let these haunting timbres inspire you to check out as much indie music as possible, because never has there been a smaller likelihood that you’ll hear stuff this adventurous and hip on a major label. (Greydisc)
—Jude Gold

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