Karfagen - Spektra,
Although I reviewed the debut album from Antony Kalugin under the Karfagen name a few years ago, I hadn’t heard anything since, and this 2016 album was his eighth studio release. Over the last few years I have been listening to a great deal of Camel, especially ‘Snow Goose’ which has become one of my “go to” albums, and my initial reaction was that this had a great deal of similarities in some ways. Then add in some classical guitar, which in style is very reminiscent of Antony Phillips and early Steve Hackett, and one is starting to get incredibly interested in what is going on musically. There are some incredibly delicate sections in the album, with beautiful violin, and it feels very much as if this is a band as opposed to one musician then employing another 15 to help him complete his vision.
The tempos mix and change, the arrangements are complex and layered, yet one never feels stifled in what is going on. There is still light and space within the music, enough room to move without becoming suffocated. Although Antony has some obvious influences, he has taken these as a starting point and then moved on, definitely making the style his own. Heavily Seventies influenced in both sounds and styles (love the Mellotrons and Moogs), this is an incredibly easy album to listen to and enjoy as it is so accessible. Well worth investigation.