Paul K never is and never was a simple musician. His music always generates imagery but you are never sure which of two views he is offering – the obvious or something closer to the soul.

His theme on this album is, on the face of it, the sad tale of an astronaut leaving the confines of the Solar System and floating away towards a distant star – literally, The Space Between the astronaut and home and the growing further apart. There is a sense that the astronaut is, in fact an AI, gradually gaining self-awareness and understanding the loneliness of being the first of his kind and also separate from the rest.
The other image I get from this is of two lovers, exploring the space between their minds and how, even though there is distance, there is a deep connection between them.

So, to the music itself.
For almost the first time, we get to hear Paul Kirkpatrick’s vocals, backed up by the wonderful Emily Lynn. He has a very good voice, capable of creating deep tones as well as a halting, uncertain timbre that suits the material perfectly. He also plays all the keyboards and his Modular System. Bass throughout is from Julian Todd and drums from David Williamson Smith. Guitar, where applicable, is from Gordon Foley and all three musicians deliver with some superb playing, but never detracting from the song.

The pacing is slow. The music is emphasised by this and it really focuses the mind when the pace picks up, but he uses it to create these huge gaps in the soundscape – literally The Space Between – and the sense of the astronaut flying apart from home at universal speed is brilliantly emphasised.
The sound is sumptuous, this is an album that is gorgeous to listen to, but it all draws you toward our spaceman flying free yet tethered to home by an increasingly tenuous link.

I think that this is the most personal album Paul K has produced and also, in many ways, the most accessible.
I enjoyed it from start to finish but, a good dozen listens in, I am still finding hidden depths and elements within it.

Very strongly recommended.

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