R. Kane
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R. Kane

Mission Viejo, California, United States

Mission Viejo, California, United States
Band World New Age

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Aug
30
R. Kane @ Release party

Orange County, California, USA

Orange County, California, USA

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Music

Press


R. Kane (a sly pseudonym if you think about it!) joins the ranks of artists scurrying across the sonic landscape pioneered by Enigma (and currently populated by folks like Amethystium, Australis, Catherine Duc, and many others), combining electronic keyboards, real and sampled instruments, electronica beats, and occasional world music influences, both percussion and wordless/chanting vocals. R. Kane, while not yet at Oystein Ramfjord’s (Amethystium) level of artistry, deserves mentioning in the same breath because the music on Sacred Spaces is both imaginative and accessible, sounding more like the work of an accomplished veteran than a “rookie.”

You can tell from the track titles (and the bio on the artist’s website) that spirituality across cultures influences R. Kane’s music. Prayer on the summit opens with a gong crash followed by what sounds like a balalaika or a hammered dulcimer (with bird song and crickets faint in the background). The integration of a shuffling chill-out beat is seamless and gorgeous twinkling bells are also folded in at this point. The rhythm tempo shifts mildly and choral effects color the track with an air of mystery before things ramp up and become more dramatic with fuller male/female chorals. You’ve got Asian and Mediterranean elements at work here, along with the Gregorian chants all anchored by infectious contemporary beats. Heartstring has a joyful quality to it, with multi-tracked guitar and slow tempo brush snare and high hat accompanied by lush but not overdone strings, eventually joined by a warm piano refrain.

R. Kane shows ability in two distinct areas (remarkable, again, for a freshman effort). Track length is ideal, in the four to five and half minute range, with room for soloing in the bridge(s) but not overly so. Additionally, his layering of instrumentation is adept - drums and beats are perfectly mixed, never too loud or too soft, and assorted keyboards are folded in (or faded out) with artistic deftness.

Other tracks include the aptly-titled Pilgrimage (slow tempo world beat percussion and reverential chants evoke the titular image and the echoed piano and new age keys flesh out the song nicely, along with a lovely flute solo near the end), Mission (starting off with spiritual sounding chorales before shifting gears into a mixture of slow tempo chill-out beats and Spanish-flavored guitar and featuring some lovely haunting female vocals later in the track), and Desert Zenith (pan pipes and sighing Kucharz-ian chorals set against shuffling world beats yielding a noticeable Peruvian/Andean evocation, kicking things up a notch later with some smile-inducing joyfulness via more percussion, timpani, and short bowed strings). Closing out the EP is The four winds, which marries new age harp stylings (a la Vollenweider) with kinetic world fusion percussion, funky/spacy synths and great trap kit rhythms plus a dash of flute.

Sacred Spaces is important for two reasons. One, it underlines the fact that this particular subgenre is far from being played out or exhausted of great new ideas. Two, it signals the emergence of another artist for whom to keep an eye (or ear) on. Now entering my eleventh year of reviewing, I’ve seen too many talented souls disappear from the radar because their musical gifts went unappreciated. I sincerely hope R. Kane will not join their ranks. I solidly recommend this EP to fans of those artists mentioned above (also, I think Cusco fans will enjoy this, too).

- NewAgeReporter.com


Discography

2002 Nostalgica
2007 Sacred Spaces*
2010 Sectio Divina

*'Sacred Spaces' has had a signifigant amount of internet radio play worldwide as well as FM station recognition in Japan, Spain, France, Turkey and Germany.

Photos

Bio

“Pop changes week to week, month to month. But great music is like literature.”
-Ravi Shankar

And that’s exactly what R. Kane strives for in his contemporary blend of World, New age and Chillout, an art that can not only be heard, but pictured through rich imagery. His music has been described as “breathtaking”, “incredibly inspiring”, “intense”, and “floating & mysterious”. But even though he doesn’t purposefully aspire to these descriptions, R. Kane infuses these elements into his music from such compositional influences as Enigma, The Dead Can Dance, Andreas Vollenweider, and Enya, along with 20th century classical arrangements and 21st century electronica influences.

With the release of his 2006 EP ‘Sacred Spaces’, R. Kane was met with a huge community response and much praise for his incredibly vivid song compositions, unique meld of styles and his multi-cultural/generational appeal. The theme across the entire project established a very clear vision that not only intrigued his audience but delivered what it promised; an evocative journey through world music that also maintained an intimate closeness of western melodies and arrangements. “As far back as I can remember, I spent most of my childhood manufacturing worlds that didn’t exist through stories, drawings and games with such detail in attempts to bring it all to life. I try to capture those same vivid depictions in my music.”

R. Kane (also know as Cameron Ellis) has been writing music for almost 20 years and has performed, written and collaborated in many genres; from classical to electronica, metal to ambient and contemporary jazz to world fusion, carrying pieces of each with him to comprise the evolving, global style he has made his own. Spending many years studying the techniques and subtle inflections of many world instruments, R. Kane has applied these to more contemporary styles to achieve an exotic but intimately familiar cross-blend of geography and nostalgia. This universal appeal translated into more tangible results in late 2006.

Sony Music’s #1 unsigned musician website, AcidPlanet.com showcases and charts over 60,000 artists and close to 300,000 songs on a daily basis from around the globe. Based on community ratings, total listens and total downloads, within one week R. Kane had topped the World and New Age charts holding the #1, #2 & #3 slots for almost an entire month on both charts. One track, “Prayer on the summit” even made it to #22 out of almost 10,000 songs over all genres, the first time a “World/New Age” song had made it to the top 40 in AcidPlanet’s history.

In 2007 the leading authority on new age/world/ambient music ZoneMusicReporter.com (formerly NewAgeReporter) reviewed ‘Sacred Spaces’ saying it was “both imaginative and accessible, sounding more like the work of an accomplished veteran than a rookie. His layering of instrumentation is adept, drums and beats are perfectly mixed, and assorted keyboards are folded in (or faded out) with artistic deftness.” The following year Europe’s leading ambient music publication ‘New Age & New Sounds’ Magazine featured a three page interview with R. Kane and placed him on two of their compilation CD’s calling his work “…complex, evocative and spiritual…”

By this point R. Kane was already working on a new full length release and immersed himself once more in the studio but this time with a darker trajectory in mind. By 2010 he emerged with ‘Sectio Divina’ a more spiritually comprehensive effort taking the listener on a dusk-to-dawn trek through his own personal soul searching, highlighting the doubts, struggles and eventual surrender he experienced along the way. The duality of ‘Sectio Divina’ (Latin for the Divine Section or Golden Ratio) purposely underlines the dichotomy of our existence, the good and evil, the rebellion and servitude in each of us but always with a light at the end of the tunnel. With the introduction of more acoustic instruments like the Native American flute, Thai dulcimer and guitar work, a more organic flavor was brought to the collage of sound not to mention the introduction of R. Kane’s own vocals featured prominently throughout the CD. Since the time of its release he has been busy putting together a live show that suitably supports the visually evocative theme of the CD itself, scheduled for early 2011.