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Occasus
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  • Keith Kenniff's recordings as Goldmund typically mine a pleasant yet poignant form of neo-classical music, mainly consisting of slow, delicate piano melodies with sparse amounts of effects or additional accompaniment. This isn't to say that all of his albums are alike, however; 2011's All Will Prosper was an acoustic guitar-focused set of Civil War folk melodies, and albums such as Famous Places and Sometimes have experimented with textures and ambience more than his earlier releases. Occasus doesn't abandon the fragile, atmospheric pianos, but it's a bit darker and cloudier than usual for Goldmund, edging a bit closer to Kenniff's ambient electronic work as Helios. Tracks like "Above" are augmented by a faint trace of shoegaze-like distortion, while "Bounded" and "Circle" are bathed in a wave of tape hiss. There's no shortage of tranquil, uplifting pieces like "Migration," but "No Story" and "Terrarium" unexpectedly inject elements of suspense and fear into the Goldmund sound. At his best, Kenniff does a lot with a little. "Turns" has a simple melody, and it isn't loud or particularly intense, but the subtle graininess and strange, starry effects on the pianos make the piece seem big and profound. Concluding number "What Lasts" balances calming, hopeful piano sprinkles with slightly off-balance bowed strings, resulting in a slightly woozy comedown which nevertheless feels a bit refreshing. Occasus feels like an expansion of the Goldmund aesthetic, and Kenniff's risk-taking results in some of his most sublime and intriguing work yet. ~ Paul Simpson
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