Album Review: Gareth Koch and Martin Kennedy (All India Radio) unveil ‘Music In The Afterlife’: a contemplative journey into an ethereal universe.

The Breakdown

This is an absorbing, immersive album that glitters with atmosphere and presence.
Foghorn Records 8.5

Both Martin Kennedy and Gareth Koch have created some stunning collaborations separately with The Church’s Steve Kilbey in the past years, and it is not surprising that the two Hobart residents have leaned over the garden fence in the southern capital with a cup of sugar and some music files to work together.

The result – ‘Music In The Afterlife’ – is a collection of gentle shimmering gems that sparkle and shine in the curious light found only in Tasmania.

Nor is it surprising that the result of this collaboration is something spiritual and ethereal, literally out of this world. Absent of vocals, the collection of instrumentals combine the musical backgrounds of Koch with his classical training with Kennedy’s electronic ambience. Kock’s delicate classical guitars float effortlessly over the psychedelic-infused layers – see for example ‘Resignation’ where the arpeggiated classical guitars intertwine with a very distant presence of synths in the ether, picking out melodies that float.

The themes of the album are reflected in the contemplative journey we are taken through, where more often than not, the space inbetween the music speak more that the music itself. Koch has always infused his music with a medieval lilt (witness the epic ‘Chryse Planitia‘ collaboration with Steve Kilbey) and incorporating raw organic instrumentation.

Kennedy, in contrast, builds up layers of rich spaced out electronica in his solo work and with All India Radio: psychedelic ambience layered with atmosphere.

In what is essentially the title track, ‘Afterlife’, we see these two contrasting worlds not so much as collide but coalesce and merge in a gentle form. ‘Deep Sea Sky’ again sees a sonic marriage of acoustic and electronic waves reaching the shore: gently lapping guitars and spindly harpsichord-like sounds over a distant drone. Both ‘Adrift’ and ‘Dune’ have a Spanish guitar flounce etching delicious contrails in the sky, the latter with an ominous edge to it.

The song titles reflect the journey we are being taken on – the different stages of ancient beliefs of what happens to us when we travel onwards after life – the states of mind, grief and the essence of nothingness. This is an absorbing, immersive album that glitters with atmosphere and presence. Out through Foghorn Records, you can take this epic, mind altering journey through the link below or here.

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1 Comment

  1. […] of style – empiric pop meets classics in albums like Chryse Planitia (with Kilbey) and Music in the Afterlife (with Martin) – both immense […]

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