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PEPA: A Musical Dreamscape, Down Under

Updated on May 16, 2009

I saw a kangaroo swimming...

He did, Cameron Knight. One day, on the beach of Bateau Bay in Australia, Cameron Knight saw a kangaroo swim. To most of the world, that is akin to seeing a horse fly (and I don't mean a horsefly) or a snake dance (again, not snakedance).  But that is the world in which Knight grew up--- an idyllic setting in a semi-paradise--- so it is not at all remarkable that he create Start in which music and illusion coalesce into divine elegance.  

Pepa is not Knight's only musical outlet. He is frontman for New South Wales' modern pop group Modern Joy, now making noise in Australia and New Zealand with the release of Make Believe, the first of what could be a long list of albums judging by fan reaction. Made up of two sets of brothers, Modern Joy could very well break through the white noise to establish themselves in what looks to many fans like a world of posers. They are pop, yes, but they are committed and working hard to make the dream reality. Without major labels and music industry infrastructure and trainloads of money, sweat is the foundation of the music industry--- at least, until it rebuilds. They're sweating plenty.

Cameron Knight loves Modern Joy, referring to them as loud and fun, but his heart also resides in a softer and more personal place. When the lights go down and the show is ended, the music is hardly over. He simply enfolds himself into a different persona, Pepa, and wraps himself in a musical cocoon of melody and emotion. The world he creates is one of magic and cinema as well as music, weaving moments of individual importance into movie magnificence. The songs are moving and at times absolutely beautiful, but when you hear them beginning to end they create the musical equivalent of cinematic art.

Would that words were music. You wouldn't have to read these inadequate reactions to what I consider world-class music. As I listen, my mind reflects upon the days of my youth and Days of Future Passed, an album which took me to a place I'd not yet musically been.  Start is of that caliber. 

How to put this in words which will make you search out Pepa for a listen.  Ladies, you want to cross the threshold into a world of romantic beauty, this is it. Guys, Start is a vacation on a disc.  And it is as close as a link to MySpace.  You're welcome.

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