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All India Radio: The Silent Surf  

Inevitable Records

Instrumental rock has been a mainstay since the '50s, enduring multiple stylistic shifts and configurations. From Santo & Johnny's melodic and poignant "Sleepwalk" to the Ventures' vast catalog of surf tunes to Brian Eno's ethereal soundscapes, fans have a wide array to choose from. Australian composer Martin Kennedy is the brain behind All India Radio, and its latest release, The Silent Surf, is a pleasant collection of moody pieces, perfect for a rainy day or a quietly fading afternoon. With minimal vocal samples from NASA and spoken word passages by fellow Aussie Steve Kilbey of the Church, The Silent Surf meanders through a variety of tonal experiences. Sometimes the tunes echo Spaghetti Western soundtracks, Pink Floydian dream pieces or Eno's ambient series. While the overall effect is calming and generally satisfying, there are many moments of auditory déjà vu. That underlying sense of familiarity is a small complaint, only mildly distracting from an otherwise inviting work. (3 out of 5 stars)

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