Press Reviews

Sample Reviews of Kynan Robinson’s Musical Work

Including Album Reviews, Live Performance Reviews and Feature ARticles in Major Global Publications

A sample of media reviews and feature articles written about Kynan Robinson and his global work in the fields of Music and Art. For Testimonials of his work and research in Education please see

Solo In Red –  Based on the writings of Cormac McCarthy
Music and staging compossed and created by Kynan Robinson

Robinson like McCarthy has left nothing out: ‘McCarthy [thinks nothing] of taking five pages to describe saddling up a horse, so suddenly what happens is that all the beauty comes into the small things in life, the minutiae. I wanted to apply those concepts musically.”   Nothing is wasted in the music; there is lots of silence and small sounds. I wanted it to [convey his idea of] the brutality and beauty of life always existing in the same moment.’

Full Article: The Age – Notes From A Nightmare 2012

Solo in Red has been described as “textured and dynamically complex” and “a hauntingly beautiful work”.

Full Article: Aus Jazz Blog Discussing Solo In Red

This was really visceral music and its effect was felt physically. The combination of instruments provided a timbre-laden treat. I loved the contributions of each instrument. I loved the percussive interludes and the way Ferella intervened with such sensitivity and minimalism. There were some absolutely entrancing standout solos — Robinson digging deep into the gravel, Ronny Ferella taking the space to take us on a sublime journey of intricacy and introspection, Anita Hustas opening with great presence, and Simmons on fire in a slow-burn fashion that etched tenor notes into the dark room.” Roger Mitchell –

Time Out Magazine – Collider Solo In Red

“While the combined virtuosity of the individual members of Collider is nothing short of intimidating, in the context of this project each musician plays his or her role to perfection ensuring that it is the compositions themselves that take center stage.” Owen McKern RRR

3RRR Radio Interview – Discussing Solo In Red

Jazz Planet Interview discussing the process behind the writing

Jazz Planet Interview Discussing the Collaboration Between Kynan Robinson and Melbourne Writers Festival Director Steve Grimwade

Collision Course to Creativity, M Dwyer, The Age Newspaper 2011

The Escalators

Music & Stage Design Created by Kynan Robinson:

Inspired by the work of David Lynch

Media Reviews: The Escalators “Wrapped in Plastic” 

It is surprising how well this music, inspired by artistic concepts of David Lynch, stands up independently of it’s links – obvious in the title tracks – to Twin Peaks. The Lynchpin track, 23 minute Log Lady is slow to develop, but totally absorbing and unexpectedly restful, despite it’s mood of mystery, dark portents and events unfolding.  The composer, Kynan Robinson has created a well-integrated journey into sound. Horns give a sense of space and significance, while DJ element adds snippets of voice and bird calls that are not out of place. This is a surreal body of work worth unwrapping 4 Stars Herald Sun 

Inspired by the Baron of the Bizarre the Escalators’ leader, Kynan Robinson. Avante garde jazz group the Escalators get their lift from filmmaker David Lynch. In Lynch’s world the banal and the bizarre co-exist, making true the observation that there is nothing more odd than the “normal” way people behave. ”That’s exactly what I was looking at. That dual structure that Lynch does, that was another of my rules,” Robinson says. “We have dual narratives running through – even though the music is non-narrative, it’s stasis – there will be dual ideas that might run simultaneously that don’t appear to relate to each other. Sydney Morning Herald

The music creates a world that suggests strangeness and mystery, with the hint of events unfolding. I found that my awareness of each musician’s contributions shifted throughout, so that I would become aware of my awareness of Joe Talia’s amazingly even and unwavering rhythm for a while, then have my attention grabbed by a sharp burst from DJ Element, then notice the stillness of Hannaford at the piano, then a few notes from him, then a delicate intervention from Folvig on guitar. Was I wrapped in plastic? Well, I was rapt and the gig was fantastic. Roger Mitchell AUSJAZZ.NET 2010

Melbourne’s Kynan Robinson is well known for his contributions to bands such as CW Stoneking, The Primitive Horn Orchestra and more, yet it’s his work as The Escalators which truly pushes boundaries; calling on all his talent and daring to fuse auditory and visual aspects in a truly engrossing live show. 3D World

ABC Radio National Interview

Sometimes I like to throw some imaginary imagery because to have your sences all met can be brilliant Syndey Morning Herald Feature Article

Log Lady is totally absorbing and it takes you on a journey that could easily be like a David Lynch film. The music creates a world that suggests strangeness and mystery, with the hint of events unfolding 

Full Review: Aus Jazz Review Of Melbourne Recital Center Show 

EnRusk – The Band

Album Review 1000 Wide Release 2003

“Trombonist Kynan Robinson’s En Rusk creates soundscapes filled with racing improvisatory duels with other members over repeated quirky off kilter melodies, and dramatic changes in musical direction. While some tunes are rumbustious rhythmic explorations, others have beautiful song structures……adventurous music.” 4 Stars Derek Leather The Age 2003 

This follows their captivatingly quirky release 2 years ago. The result more edginess and risk taking. Griswald plays the prepared piano on three tracks, creating the feel of something approaching a percussion orchestra and adding a depth that was not there before. On Travel a Moment Without Fear for example his gamelan like lines over Fischer’s shimmering volcano creates aching tensions. But the drawcard is the eclecticism and the endless capacity to surprise. 4 stars Leon Gettler The Age 2004

Melbourne trombonist-composer Kynan Robinson won a lot of praise for the original sound presented on his first album, ‘En Rusk’, a few years back. The follow-up is an even stronger set, presenting compositions whose combinations of melodies, rhythms and textures constantly keep the listener guessing what might happen next. Adrian Jackson: The Bulletin Magazine 2004 4 stars

Led by trombonist and composer Kynan Robinson this Melbourne outfit has released a second album that builds grandly on its debut of a year or so ago. Here is a blazing testament to the robust health of the Melbourne jazz scene, with Robinson’s collaborators fully sharing his determination to make music that is adventurous, startlingly original and intensely enjoyable. The music frequently swings hard and offers up lashings of funkiness, but those accessible rhythmic foundations are adorned by melodies both jarring and beautiful. Kenny Weir, Herald Sun Newspaper 2004

“1000 Wide” – the second CD by Kynan Robinson’s En Rusk – confirms that the quintet’s debut was no fluke. The trombone-wielding young Australian leader is both improvisatory player & meticulous composer, his music always logical yet often surprising. He likes to juxtapose the hot with the cool, the funky with the ethereal.” The Planet ABC Radio 2003

The music on 1000 Wide would be fascinating if the disc came in a brown paper bag, but the artifact is itself important, awakening the senses immediately, as any collector of Blue Note, ECM, Impulse, Contemporary, Riverside and other great labels will confirm. So logically does track follow track on this beautifully recorded disc that long sequences sound as if they are all the one suite, full of contrasts, of dancing percussive exuberance and limpid harmonies. At times it sounds like a concerto This is a very pleasing disc indeed. I’ve had it for a while and it still sounds very fresh. It sounds fresh and vivid behind me even as I try to concentrate on what I am writing. If you haven’t begun collecting Australian contemporary jazz and jazz-related music yet, this would be a good place to start. Then get the others I’ve mentioned above. John Clare, Sydney Morning Herald 2004

En Rusk,  led by Melbourne trombonist Kynan Robinson, has quickly become one of our best bands. Perhaps this is one of the key factors of the Australian style, if there is such a thing – the ability to create challenging, sometimes-spiky and angular music but imbue it with a classic groove. All About Jazz 2003

Kynan Robinson, trombonist, composer, and band leader, typifies jazz players who are making brilliant and original music, which can loosely be defined as a new Melbourne sound. Imbued with the spirit of jazz, they never feel restrained by its traditions, all the while avoiding the outer reaches of the experimental. Their music features solos, but puts as much emphasis on ensemble playing.For writing inspiration, they are as likely to look to European, classical, and other sources, as they are to jazz immortals. Ironically, these attributes find them sharing a philosophical approach — if not musical specifics — with the likes of Charles Mingus and Duke Ellington.  Herald Sun 2004

Herald Sun Top Ten Jazz albums of 2003 Number Two: Kynan Robinson’s En Rusk – 1000 Wide (Newmarket Music): Startlingly original funky music from a staggeringly talented Melbourne outfit.

EnRusks Self Titled Album “EnRusk”

Robinson is more than just a highly-skilled player. He makes highly individual music full of creative surprises. This album is one of the more auspicious Australian debut albums. It’s a particular pleasure to hear someone so individual. Robinson’s compositions are meticulously are variously structured, free of clichés. Radio National

Kynan Robinson is an articulate player and thought-provoking composer. The Bulletin

Robinson deserves heaps of praise for this gem of an album. He has written breezy, distinctive compostions that leave plenty of room. Herald Sun

…carefully chiselled constructions of time and spaceand texture. Each idea is nestled into another like a babushka doll. Not a hint of cliché, no trace of melodic retreads. The Age Newspaper

Old Des Peres

Album “Preserved” 2002

An air – kissing gorgeous twist of a disc…instantly likeable, gobsmackingly sexy little teasers. An ambitious disk with an aesthetic and philosophical depth to the trio that instantly belies the playfulness of its surface. An absolutely delightful and essential listen. 5 Stars Rave Magazine

Old Des Peres is a rare bird… kinda techno/beats..drives along ..with a jazznoir thing going on, sexy and twisted. Lucky Magazine. 4 Stars

Inventive Melbourne dance and event band Old Des Peres have produced an energetic, vibrant debut album called Preserved. High energy dance vibe is mixed with industrial, art scene samples. It’s brash and harsh, driving and yet balanced. It is creative. Gershwin’s An American In Paris gets distorted effortlessly. Luva DJ’s occasional vocals are treated with appropriate disdain and remain just plain funny. This is dance music designed to put a smile on your face. ABC Reviews 4 ½ stars

Thanks Iannis is beautifully reflective. Get the CD.  15 cuts of pure, mish-mashed electronic goodness. Forte Magazine

The final act, Old Des Peres, could well have earned the title of my new favourite band! Their live show, completely unique and unprecedented, can only be described as an incredibly bizarre fusion of highly charged, rock’n’ dance beats (typically Melbourne in flavour) wickedly matched with stolen, familiar samples (ala Avalanches) with the furor and frenzy of a Public Enemy meets James Brown Gospel Revival. Throw in the antics of a Machine Gun Fellatio stage show, the twisted (and often meaningless) sick humour of a Sodom Circus performance and a blender or two (no joke) and you’ve got the next big thing in live dance music! honestly, you gotta catch these folks live. In The Mix 2004

The sounds that Old Des Peres makes is a concoction of fluctuating beeps, squeaks and squelches with croaky, crunchy beats and airy spaciousness. It’s brave, it’s new, its noise and Old Des makes no apologies The Scene Magazine June 2003

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting acts to come out of Melbourne in a long time Muff Festival

Listening to their debut CD Preserved, you can hear everything from The Avalanches to Bjork to even remnants of the techno scene they emerged from. It’s when they play live however that the music is taken to another level Drum Media

“… they put it (the music) together in a way that has fans and critics raving.” MX – City Beat 2004

Their live shows are something completely different….. and it’s this energy that Old Des is able to translate onto the album Preserved that will be sure to preserve the group not just within the techno and electronic music scene” 3D World

This debut from Old Des Peres is a cauldron of styles, genres and tempos, ranging from chunky big beats, rolling restrained bass lines, ethereal female harmonies over dark squelchyness with myriad eclectic samples. Eminently playable, definitely danceable, and refreshingly original this album is both an affirmation of club culture and judgment on its vacuousness. A true homegrown top tip. Drink Magazine

“Something for everyone….most certainly a party is going on and one thing is clear, these guys follow no rules”” Inthemix review

Old Des Peres (Robinson) is really operating in a refreshing vacuum, not being influenced by the electronic fraternity and crafting an ironic party album that’s a hell of a good time. Inpress Magazine

What we have here is an strikingly mature, at times touching debut release where an understated Detroit sentiment wins the day over brain numbing decadence. Think of the best moments from Felix’s Kittenz and the Glitz and mix in the intricate soundscapes of the Avalanches and you have in your hand one of the most original, interesting and thoughtful Australian releases this year. In The Mix Album Review

Album The Adventures of Cowboy and Miniman 2010

Where do I start when describing Des Peres from Melbourne? That’s a tough one, there is no distinctive genre they can easily slot into, it’s a mix of hip-hop, electro, funk, soul, techno and blues… That has probably just confused the issue, but they really do pull influences from just about everywhere, into one big melting pot, creating a buzz on the live scene with their fun, energetic shows. Inthemix described them as “a cross between Johnny Rotten and Princess Di, she spits out rhymes while tearing the stage apart’, their live performance of mish-mashed electronics delighting audiences all around the country. Including some of Melbourne’ most respect musicians such as Kynan Robinson from CW Stoneking and Adam Simmons Toy Band, Luva DJ, Kelsey James, Mr Ection, Tom Bass, J Walker from Machine Translation and Ned Collette, this really is a fast paced ride of theatrical heights. If you like your music with a strong sense of fun, get yourself along to one of their shows, buy their CD, and it’ll put a smile on your face Cyclic Defrost

Fugitive Piano

 ABC Interview Fugitive Piano

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