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Karfagen - The Key to Perception CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.96 | 63 ratings

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Karfagen is a musical project by Antony Kalugin (1981, Ukraine), in 1994 he gathered some friends and created Karfagen, although it was a school band that played mainly their own music. In 1997 Antony entered architectural university (he is an architect by profession) but continued to walk the musical road. And in 1998 he recorded his first album in a studio, looking back it was very raw and unprofessional but Antony was only 17 and what knew hardly anything about mixing and mastering. Until 2001 lots of the vocals were written in Russian, later in 2001 Antony completed his first fully electronic album entitled The Water (new age, ambient, Art-rock). From 2003 until 2006 he composed and recorded lots of new age and enigmatic stuff. This was a commercial step but this gave him an opportunity to be a musician, in late 2005 the first Karfagen album Continium was recorded, it was released on Unicorn Digital (Canada), followed by MANY studio-albums, the latest is Message From Afar - First Contact FROM 2017. But this review is about a double compilation CD, released in 2009, after his first two Karfagen albums.

This 2-CD contains material that spans the time between 1997 and 2007. In the booklet Antony explains "that he likes to scout the boundaries of Art-rock, jazz, ethnic and new age music with Pat Metheny, Focus and Camel as brilliant examples".

The quality of the 37 tracks on the two CD's (both around 80 minutes) alternates between 'nice studio ideas' to good compositions'. The music is very melodic featuring lots of mellow and atmospheric climates in which the keyboards sounds varied: from tender or sparkling Grand piano (strong solo piece in the Emerson-like The Dream Master) or soaring strings to lush violin- and choir-Mellotron, powerful organ and Larry Fast-like synthesizer work. At some moments the songs contain more fluent or swinging rhythms with powerful electric guitar (like the jazz rock inspired The Other Side) and a dynamic rhythm-section. The colouring with the instruments is often wonderfully and ranges from violin or classical guitar to accordion, sitar (in the experimental Masks And Illusions) and flutes. This gives the music a special flavour. My favourites are

the alternating A Winter Tale - Part 1 (wonderful work on keyboards and electric guitar),

Silent Anger (beautiful interplay between Mellotron and acoustic guitar),

Let Go (Floydian guitar, impressive choir-Mellotron sound and fat synthesizer flights),

The Space Between Us (from dreamy with piano and sensitive guitar/synthesizer duel and a fiery guitar solo, accompanied by majestic choir-Mellotron)

and Night Flight Jam (swinging organ and drums and strong solos on violin and electric guitar).

A pleasant 2-CD that will please those progheads who appreciate the work of Antony in Karfagen and other projects (Hoggwash and Sunchild).

My rating: 3,5 star.

TenYearsAfter | 3/5 |


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