Ralf Illenberger – The Kiss: Five Waves Of Bliss

Ralf Illenberger - The Kiss: Five Waves Of BlissRalf Illenberger returns for his third post-Narada effort on indie label In Joy Records, and this time he’s got another winner…and an unusual concept.

The Kiss: Five Waves Of Bliss takes the form of a long, instrumental suite, subtle at times, but too involved to ever become mere background music, as with most of Illenberger’s guitar jazz pieces. The music kicks in with his unmistakable style in the second movement, Love Flow, but the real aural treat here is “Symphonique”, the third movement of The Kiss, which contains textures so complex that it takes a couple of listening to truly get all of what’s going on in the background with its echoplexed acoustic guitars and different parts playing on either side of the stereo image. “Beyond The Clouds” chases that down with some atypical electric guitar solo work that rivals anyone strutting around on a rock concert stage right now. Illenberger’s really starting to join the “studio-as-instrument” crowd with impressive results.

The only conceivable drawback to Illenberger’s stylistic experimentation on The Kiss is that the entire album, being a single, connected work, maintains a somewhat similar tone throughout. For those rating: 4 out of 4accustomed to more variety on Illenberger’s albums, this might throw them for a loop. But others may appreciate the audacious attempt at a modern-day crack at a classical structure.

Overall, another outstanding work from an underappreciated – and most undeservedly obscure – master of his art.

Order this CD

  1. First Touch (8:21)
  2. Love Flow (6:50)
  3. Symphonique (7:14)
  4. Beyond The Clouds (6:31)
  5. Fields Of Love (7:29)
  6. Afterglow (3:53)

Released by: in joy music
Release date: 1999
Total running time: 40:18