A space expedition requires advanced technology, boldness and a large budget. The same resources are needed when composing and recording music with a grand space theme. Kerani’s new release “Stardust” is a collection of larger-than-life melodies, performed by a symphony orchestra. It is the New Age music equivalent of a Mars mission. Keep reading to see how the landing goes!
Kerani is one of the fresh stars in New Age music. Her “real” name is Erika Kele and she debuted in 2011 with “Wings of Comfort”, but her true breakthrough came in 2014 with “Arctic Sunrise”. For this she won ZMR Neo Classical Album of the year award. On New Age Stars Radio she was one of the most requested artists in 2016, mostly thanks to the album “Equilibrium”. Kerani is truly a rising star, and this year’s album shows an even more ambitious approach to the wonderful art of music making.
A very welcome album
In our genre there’s no shortage of space themed albums. Vangelis published ”Rosetta” in 2016, we recently got a re-release of Constance Demby’s masterwork “Novus Magnificat” and Marcos Ciscar is ready with an album called “Galactica” – 20 years in the making. The list goes on and on. Yet a space themed album by Kerani is more than welcome. On “Arctic Sunrise” she proved that she could make striking audio paintings of desolate places. The next logical step was to go into space.
The album stars with the title track. Kerani’s signature sound is easy to pinpoint, yet the presentation is more grand than ever. In an age totally dominated by synths and digital workstations, Roermond Symphonic Orchestra and the mixed choir Canto Rinato add an extra dimension. That said, the neo classical of the orchestra means that Kerani has to work a bit harder to establish the space atmosphere. It would be much easier to transport the listener to deep space using nothing but Tangerine Dream inspired synths. But what’s the fun in that?
On a cosmic scale
One of the best songs on the album is track number 2, “Cosmic Sunrise”. It starts slowly, like the first few rays of sunlight peeking through. Kerani adds layer upon layer, carefully constructing the groundwork for the majestic finale. You almost see and feel the sunrise on a cosmic scale, like gazing out from the international space station. It truly is a magnificent song. It requires active listening, and it is impossible not to be moved.
The Rosetta mission has inspired many artists recently. I’m happy to report that Kerani’s efforts are on par with the above mentioned Vangelis release. The 8 minutes long song takes us on a breathtakingly beautiful voyage through endless space. I’m especially impressed by how the different melodic segments fit together. It is done with the elegance of a classical master like Brahms or Mahler.
“Perpetuum Mobile” is yet another winner. The eerie, bell-like instrument is the song’s framework. It plays with the precision of a self supporting engine, defying all laws of nature. It never stops, like a perpetuum mobile. This is amazing sound design, and shows how far Kerani has come as an artist.
On “Beyond” we get a guest appearance from Terry Oldfield. He is, as we know, always ready to go on a voyage into the unknown, either it is the deepest ocean or a distant galaxy – and on “Beyond” his flute and Kerani’s piano and arrangements take us far, far away. “The Next Step” is happy and upbeat, while “Infinity” and “Gravity” are more thoughtful and contemplative. “Worlds unknown” is food for thought; what is life on other planets really like? If we are to draw any conclusion from the song, life there is different yet strangely beautiful. “Star Remix” makes sure that the album ends on a positive note.
In conclusion; “Stardust” is a marvellous album. The production is spotless and each track is made with love and artistic vigour. To end where I started; Yes, Kerani’s space adventure is successful! If this were a Mars mission, Kerani would have made it back to earth safely – bringing with her a few friendly green men as well. “Spacedust” is an instant classic. New and old fans rejoice!
Score: 97/100 – See how I rate music here.