The Front Porch of Heaven
Kevin Keller Prod
Kevin Keller’s “ambient chamber music” is the sort of balm I am always there for – and glad it’s there for me. For most of the last decade it’s been one of my absolute go-to genres. The figureheads for me – and for many – in this ambient/minimalist world are of course Eno, Harold Budd (R.I.P.) and then of course there are many others from the worlds of indie-rock (Robin Guthrie) and classical (Bruno Bavota) and most overtly it’s in the world of modern film-scoring (Clint Mansell/Cliff Matinez) where soft electronica sits in and underneath shoegazing guitar motifs and delicate frames of piano.
There are many musicians that have moved from the world of scoring into a type of ambient-chamber music or move from there to making film-scores, in New Zealand we have Rhian Sheehan, a master of these modes and on Keller’s latest (he’s also a musician that’s worked scoring documentaries) I can hear shades of Sheehan’s Stories From Elsewhere-era in the opening notes of Just Over The Ridge and in the way The Forgotten Places builds; as with Sheehan’s music there are nods to the 1980s as an overview-texture.
Keller’s musical forms of meditation might suit you best when first waking, clean out almost all of your chakras while playing this to soothe, take it with you on a first dog walk or let it simply ease into the house, I call it musical room-spray. And I know in saying this and describing it this way I’m losing as many people as I might be convincing. That’s fine. Suits me.
As does this music. I love the subtle, slow builds, the very filmic feel to it (Into The Light) and the calmness that pervades (The Sky Below).
We’ve always needed more music like this I reckon. And we always will. I was chuffed to find this. The music here on The Front Porch of Heaven inspired by Keller’s recent open-heart surgery. That accounts for the deep contemplation. But there is always – fittingly – a pulse to this music. It doesn’t just meander, its heartbeat pulls it back, keeps it on track, provides the gentle focus.
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