Multi-faceted composer and musicologist Andrew Keeling earned respect in these very pages for orchestrating Robert Fripp’s soundscapes on the gorgeous 2012 album The Wine Of Silence, and for writing some highly informative books on King Crimson’s sound.
He’s an inventive classical composer too, but Otherworld is what he calls his ‘alt-rock collective’. Keeling provides the backbone of the sound, with contributions from, among others, ex-Comsat Angel Stephen Fellows (guitar/vocal), Jane Williamson (vocal) and David Cottrell (drums). Their latest selection is a diverse, intellectual and engrossing set of songs that bring together strands of Reich-like experimentation (Iceberg), hard rock (Mythos Pt.1), and Tully flute-driven pop (Turkish Delight). It’s a sprawling, disparate mix that constantly refreshes and surprises. The excellent Williamson offers continuity – gorgeous showcase Like Sandy Denny will please those with a Fairport bent, while the floating Temperance shows her range. Cottrell’s echoing Denial strikes a moody, modern prog note, and, penned by their leaders, the Kate Bushy closer Jane Eyre proves again that Keeling’s a musical mind to be reckoned with.