Kaprekar’s Constant – Meanwhile: EP Review

Having been most impressed with their Depth Of Field album at the end of 2019, (our review here) Kaprekar’s Constant delight us with an interim ‘no frills’ four-track EP while they do the spadework for the next album.

Release Date: 17th July 2020

Label: Talking Elephant Records

Formats: DL / CD

Meanwhile has the bonus of being an all-round win-win. The Fever Tree and Deception first appeared as a bonus for those who bought the Depth Of Field vinyl so for the digital music enthusiasts here’s a chance to see what you missed. Those two tracks are accompanied by some new music in the form of Kissing Frogs and Dali’s Key. Something to be going on with while we await the next chapter. Like when you go an visit Santa before the big day.

Deception is an impressive opening piece. The soothing intro is underpinned by distant guitar chords before the polite intrusion of a solo makes you realise the track has slowly built to something that’s about as powerful as Kaprekar’s get. A restrained power indeed.

The Fever Tree has some ethnic decoration which adds variety to the package. Guitars are adjusted to a tuning that immediately takes us to the Himalayan foothils and taken up by snaking rhythms and lead lines. Mentions of Vietnam and vampire kisses contribute to the atmosphere. A Passage To Bangkok this sin;t yet perhaps a little more evocative.

Of the two newer pieces, the piano-led Kissing Frogs would perhaps occupy a space as a vignette between two longer pieces on a full-scale album. Almost a lightweight throwaway that might be suffocated by some grander composition. Here it gets due reverence as a track in its own right. Romantic and stately

Dali’s Key harks back to the Phillips/Rutherford twelve-string guitars that were such a feature of the acoustic side of early Genesis. Funnily enough, I’ve been listening to music of that period and this wouldn’t be out of place in 1971. “Show me a world that lets in kindness on my name” reflects an idealism and innocence perfectly soundtracked by the acoustic guitars.

For a band more used to crafting sprawling epics, these are four tracks that confirm they can cut it in shorter bursts. Restrained and delicate, Meanwhile gives a quarter-hour snapshot of their “music with a tale to tell.” Unfailingly melodic and hypnotic.

Listen to Kissing Frogs here:

Kaprekar’s Constant online:

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