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Classical Music Review

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Mythical Spaces


Composer: Steven Kemper
Label: Ravello Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 12 January 2018

Steven Kemper releases his electroacoustic album Mythical Spaces, via Ravello Records. The project combines acoustic instruments and electronics to create meditative compositions that explore the connections between real and imaginary worlds...

Steven Kemper's style of music was not for me. I get that he's experimenting with sound and that's all well and good. But, to me, it's not an album that makes for a comfortable listening experience - and there's enough annoying noises in the real world without having to endure this when you're trying to have a bit of downtime.

If I were being cynical, I'd argue that there are elements here that were added in order to pad out the album. The opening 'Mythical Spaces: I. Underground' has what appears to be the sound of a microphone been brushed. It brought to mind the image of a hippy retreat where the person in charge says things along the lines of: "Hey! Let's make sounds with anything we have to hand. Yeah, yeah! That's cool man...".

Okay, I'm being a little unfair, because the majority of the tracks are interesting, from a technical point of view. 'Mythical Spaces: III. Forest' sounds pretty much as you'd expect. It really does evoke the sound of the forest... but then that's probably because there are recordings of a forest environment added into the mix.

What the album is, is a little bit of self-indulgent mucking about with the sound of instruments to create something that seems a little different. And, to be fair, it succeeds in that respect. But it's too intrusive to act as music for meditation or relaxation and too experimental to appeal to anyone other than hippies who are as high as a kite.

Sorry, I'm afraid I wasn't a fan.


Darren Rea

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