Occasus by GoldmundRelease date: April 13, 2018
Label: Western Vinyl
Keith Kenniff, aka Goldmund, has been around for a while, and although he has eight albums under his belt, Occassus is his latest release after a gap of a few years. Personally, he’s been missed, even though playing the minimalistic, piano music is neither new or rare nor is there a lack of real quality there, from veterans like Ryuichi Sakamoto and Max Richter to more recent (or not so recent) names like Hauchka, Eluvium or Dustin O’Halloran.
But what Goldmund has always been good at was conjuring these musical images of ‘infinite melancholy’ without crossing the line into ‘sweet’ or kitch. It is a trend he certainly continues on Occassus. Certainly piano dominates, but this time around Kenniff has pronounced the electronic touches a bit more, something that is certainly in the minimalist tradition of having a slow, evolutionary progression in your music, for changes only to be apparent through the passage of music through time. Tracks like ‘Above’ and ‘As You Know’ (a personal highlight) just keep that melancholy feeling going, whether you want it strengthened or simply gone.
Still, that is not the only progression Kenniff introduces on Occassus. The word itself means downfall and in that respects conjures more sinister images, something that was present in his previous work too, but is more pronounced here in tracks like ‘Thread’ and ‘No Story’.
On the other hand, what is an absolute constant on this, as in previous Goldmund album starting all the way back in 2005 with Corduroy Road is that is able to come up with brilliant results based on seemingly ‘simplistically’ constructed music made up of only a few ingredients that include a piano, synth washes and a good dose of reverb. But then, as B.B. King put it simple-sounding music is the one that is hardest to play, particularly so it sounds good at striking. And that is exactly what Goldmund was able to do on Occassus.