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All India Radio - Eternal (Spectra)

4 February 2020

Though likely best known for his work with Church singer/bassist Steve Kilbey on a series of delightful duo albums, composer and multi-instrumentalist Martin Kennedy has created a large catalog of cinematic instrumental music under the name All India Radio since 2001. Eternal, the project’s latest LP, follows much the same path as previous releases, with a rich blend of analog and digital sounds, and melodies that conjure up images in the listener’s mind – cf. “Prismatism” and “The Shining Darkness” as particularly good examples. But Kennedy does add some subtle tweaks, with an increased use of spoken work samples and rhythms inspired by trip-hop. This gives “Moviestar” and “The Edge of Infinity” an understated refresh, and “Villa of the Mysteries” a whole new spin. Closer “Immortality Part 1” puts it all together, with operatic samples, orchestral textures, percolating beats and a space rock atmosphere that’s like a mini-film all on its own. (Unsurprising, given Kennedy’s side career as a soundtrack serialist.) AIR has been remarkably consistent over its near-two decade career, and Eternal keeps its winning streak going.