Ross Baker | Electronic Music Reviews | December 2011
A lot of independent music rests on the fact that it's independent. A cassette release, or an album put out by a respected indie label, means a lot to some people. However, some small scale releases transcend that. There are albums out there which deserve to be heard by thousands of people; albums which rely not on image or credibility, but on musical quality. Days, the debut album by Michalis Moschoutis under the Kerkville alias, is such an album.
Days could easily be acclaimed simply on the fact it is made entirely using guitars (other than a brief piano performance hidden within track 7, 'Next to Me'). However, this is merely something to consider further when contemplating the quality of the music contained within the album. Moschoutis is a composer of great talent, expressing drama, quaintness, sadness and joy through his use of guitar. Sometimes, it is very straightforward and stripped back, such as 'On the Lake's minimal classical stylings, while sometimes it pushes towards the experimental, such as the ambient-esque processing involved in 'Rise of Ys', a particular highlight of the album. Closer 'Days' is an uplifting end to the record, which fits nicely after a previous series of more downbeat pieces. 'Keeping It' is a high paced piece based on acoustic arpeggios, while 'Vault' is a more dramatic number, more in line with post rock than ambient or classical guitar music.
What is astonishing is that all ten tracks on Days are high quality: not a second is wasted. Some of the most outstandingly beautiful instrumental music I have ever heard is contained on this disc, and no greater complement can be given to a record.
Bauke van der Wal | Connexion Bizarre | July 2011
The first album by Kirkville, from Athens. The cover shows a snowy mountain, an atmosphere which can lead to many styles of sound, but indicating a certain coldness. But 'cold' is definitely not the word that would come to mind listening to the album. The instruments used on "Days" are guitars: classical, acoustic, electric, lap steel, pedal steel and on one track, a lonely, lost piano can be heard.
Michalis Moschoutis is a gifted guitarist, for which the album definitely is a showcase. He spent nine months recording ten tracks with a total playing time of about 50 minutes. The sounds are partially left 'as is', and at certain moments they are quite manipulated - however, still mostly recognizable as guitar.
So you wonder if it's any good... Well, yes. It is definitely a high standard, as we are accustomed from Triple Bath, but despite that it is an enjoyable album, and good listening, and great artwork, and very well performed... it also lacks something. It's hard to put your finger on it, but it just doesn't 'fit'. The album will appeal to people who have an ambient collection, but also who, on occasion, still listen to Ry Cooder's "Paris Texas".
One of the tracks is found on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ijwlk_sGATM), giving a good impression of the atmospheres and exactly that feeling. It wouldn't surprise me to find Michalis in the credits of a movie for writing its soundtrack.