Thursday, May 12, 2011

GERALD KRAMPL: "Lighthouse"

Rating: 5/10

Label: IndigoMusic 2011

Review by: Urban "Wally" Wallstrom

"Ebony and Ivory come together in perfect harmony. Side by side on my piano keyboard, oh lord, why don't we?". Yeah, it's friggin' insane to think differently about people simply because of skin colour!!!??? Make no sense whatsoever. So what about the Macca and Stevie quote then? I don't know, I thought it came together perfectly as we're talking about an all-instrumential piano/keyboard album here. Indeed, Gerald likes to tickle the old ebony and ivory and the result, "Lighthouse", twelve songs in a very minimalistic, prog-ish, neo-classical style exteneded with electronics and atmospherical effects.

It's hardly rock'n roll, honky-tonk, nor upbeat. Max Richter vs. Vangelis gone classic and more ambient without a clearly defined overall concept behind, rather as each title works as a musical expression of various solitaire emotional personal impressions that were collected throughout a year. Very posh. Gerald Krampl from Vienna/Austria started early by being trained in classical piano and music theory. In the 70's and 80's he formed two Prog-Rock bands, Kyrie Eleison and Indigo, which gianed a rather nice reputation worldwide in the die-hard prog-rock community. Agnus Dei, a project together with his wife Hilde (she sadly died in 2002 of cancer R.I.P.) and a soundtrack for an educational internet and TV documentary about the Holocaust (found at: are some of his other works.

I know that Gerald is a top-notch piano/keyboard player and song titles such as "Tomorrow Come What May", "Distant Shorelines", "Dance Of The Innocent", "The Guiding Light", thoughtful and expressive arrangements with lots of warmth and honest feelings, definitely not the half-baked compositions by the local nutter. However (there's always a 'however' huh?), I became more and more restless towards the end of the CD and the longer I played his songs the more I started thinking about loud guitars and thunderous drums. It's simply just too peaceful and several tracks would clearly work the best as background music while, yes, typing on your PC (heh!) or reading a book??? Well, perhaps not the latter, but, you'll get the idea. Very nice, very cool, it's just not me. I don't mind a couple of tracks of the style and/or arrangements, but it's just too much, too over-bearing, and too silent. You simply can't go wrong here though, if you enjoy the sound the silence, so to speak, you know, spiritual and meditative music...


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