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Steve Askew – Gateway to Ultraworld

December 3, 2020

It’s been a while since KajaFax last reported to you, today we’re excited to say we’ve all been blessed with a new album from Steve Askew, entitled ‘Gateway to Ultraworld’. It’s a solo album, going under his own name and it’s available right now, we’ll share the link to the platforms below. The title is wonderful, who wouldn’t want to travel to ‘Ultraworld’?

Earlier this year we saw the welcome return of ‘Lockdown’ to the streaming sites, an album that Steve recorded back in 2013 with the wonderful Lu Cozma so it was glorious to see this album released today and available for us all to enjoy.

It’s very much an instrumental album, performed by Steve, you won’t be hearing vocals from himself or any guests. This is Steve at his true musician best, allowed to roam free with his own progressive style and creativity and bring us an album which feels like a story when listened from beginning to end. Steve is of course a producer also and we can feel sure when listening that the end result is produced exactly as he expected the music to be during the concept and ideas stages. Before even playing the music, I am impressed by the cover artwork, the sleeve is mysterious and inviting, the lighting works well and it certainly makes you want to carry on and listen to the album.

The opening track sets the scene for the album, I could imagine this being used in a film or as a TV theme, the rising guitar from Steve throughout the track is beautifully played and captures you immediately, the track is named as per the album and it really does feel like a gateway, like you’re being taken somewhere. I had thoughts of ‘Pink Floyd’ in my mind when listening, it was very atmospheric. Steve has uploaded a video for this track today, with visuals by Wilfredo Acosta and Bernie Raffle, you can watch that here:

Listening to the entire album is a must but other stand out tracks for me were ‘Trauma’, ‘Downstream’ which I thought was fantastic and ‘Seasons End’. A keen eye will recognise ‘Snow White Room’ from Lockdown but this is the instrumental version. I’m a big fan of Lu Cozma and I was initially worried this track might just miss her glorious voice too much to stand up in my mind but it’s beautiful as an instrumental. Should I have ever even doubted?

I always feel a good strong album with a well thought out running order should end with a track that really does feel like it’s closing the story and ‘Trains & Miles’ feels like that, it’s the longest track on the album at 6:12.

We’ve all become familiar with Steve as more musician and producer over the years than just ‘out and out’ electric guitar player. As we are KajaFax, we must mention ‘KajaGooGoo’ in this review, I would say that I’ve always felt at heart, Steve is more ‘Islands’ than ‘White Feathers’ and this album would certainly reflect that. Any similarities I would draw would say the acoustic guitar feel on some tracks could be fairly similar to tracks such as ‘The Garden’.

So, the link to the album is here, play it on your chosen platform, if you use something like Apple, consider buying the album rather than streaming as it does support Steve to make more music. Click the button to enter Ultraworld….

2020 KajaFax

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