There’s something otherworldly in the DNA of West Kensington. The collaboration finds friends Mary Lattimore and Paul Sukeena (Solar Motel Band) banding together for a release that’s slipping between serenity and solitude. The oil-slick ripples of Sukeena’s guitar thrum the cosmos, finding a common curl with the hurtle of time across space — a sound that’s celestial without really getting Kosmiche. There’s more Eno than Harmonia hurtling this one into the edges of space, but even that tries too hard to paint the pair into a corner. The pieces wash over the listener, Sukeena’s supple playing shined to a mirror-ball bliss with the addition of Lattimore’s harp. Anyone familiar with her works of late knows that Mary can render pretty much any piece a slice of ethereal joy or deeply furrowed sadness, but on West Kensington, the pair have created a record that hovers a few feet off the ground.
Weightless is probably the best way to describe the record. A buoyant injection of lightness that radiates out from the center of the album. Though there are tethers that try to grasp onto the dirigible, rippling through the synth work, but ultimately they seem to burn away into the atmosphere. The tones transform sound into quicksilver meditations that center the listener like Laraaji trying to shake a shiver of doubt. The record is a step outside of both artists’ core and their chances all pay off with one of the most engrossing visions of ambient shimmer that’s come my way in some time.
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