On Laniakea (60:34) the fuel propelling us to the furthest reaches is the glorious music of Kevin Kendle. This album probes space and scale, rendering the cosmos in sound. Composing beautifully and precisely his seven wondrous tracks together provide an exhilarating cosmic scene. Each realization soars through an interstellar dreamworld of heady textures and soothing ambiance. In a contemplative cool Kendle and long-time collaborators Brian Abbott (electric guitar) and Nigel Shaw (synthesizers and flutes) imagine different skies, different stars and different systems. Building on the glowing energy of the five previous releases in the Deep Skies Series Laniakea rises to past peaks. For anyone who has stayed with this ongoing endeavor this far it is well worth following the music again on another voyage into the heavens. Projecting outward to a galaxy supercluster far far away the listener is invited along on a journey of wonder. Sustaining strings extend their lengthy lines along the sweeping arc of starlight and tone. Shimmering notes combine in a sweeping resonant unity as breathing synthesizers reinforce the air of discovery. While strong bass tones roll beneath slow motion chords, resonant harmonies rise from vaporous spheres of sound. In a glimmer of synth magic Kendle finds himself again in his sweet spot. How silvery and swiftly this album proceeds - and yet how exquisitely it stills and lulls. Laniakea deals more with the inspirational grandeur of the heavens than it does with their challenging mysteries and unknowns - and reveals how music about The Universe can take us on a journey through our own inner infinities. This frontier will never cease to intrigue, so long as we occasionally take a break from the ever-present hum of everyday life to become present with ourselves - to better receive transmissions from the most remote reaches of our minds.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 5 November 2020