PAUL K – The Fermi Paradox

BasilicaMusic 2019

Don’t you ever wonder where everybody is? British maven of minimal ambience might have the answer to the secret of universal loneliness.

The Fermi Paradox

For reasons unknown to man, Paul Kirkpatrick doesn’t mention the “Soul Connection” suite from 2007 on his website, placing 2017’s “Omertà” in the debut slot instead, yet it’s the former rather than latter that set a prototype for the album which deals with a paradox of the earthlings’ inability to register extraterrestrial life. Surprisingly, the music depicting such a frustrating mystery is pacifying in its minimalistic, if still opulent, vibe, K’s keyboards and electronica fleshed out with variety of acoustic and electric instruments on the fourteen pieces where different aspects of the great space enigma dictate the choice of arrangement. The resulting sonics are immersive, complimenting the record’s subject, and alluring – from the opening piano-laden glimmer of “Anomaly” to the farewell ripple of “Arecibo”: the two “A” quality mark of it all.

Unlike many new-age-minded works, this one has substantial spectrum of frequencies to not seem shallow, the Mellotron infusing the aural picture with retrofuturistic feel, and low-end plays a vital subliminal part here – be it fretless bass on the funereal “Embryonic” or the chamber cello and the barely-there heartbeat in “Sagan” featuring the eponymous scientist’s voice. Slow groove and guitar riffs may propel “Ecce Homo” – warmed up by female vocals with no words attached – to rapturous elegy, but the same sort of oxymoron will feed the rock swagger in “The Great Silence” and the clang in “Parallax” and fuel their progressive six-string flight: not for nothing “Dark Matter” should echo KING CRIMSON’s “Starless” on harmonic level.

Often solemn and utterly celestial, “The Fermi Paradox” is simply wondrous – yet not revolutionary.


July 30, 2019

Category(s): Reviews
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