11 February 2009

Imachi Akira - Lycoris radiata EP

i have mentioned that quiet ambient music is very fitting to the cold dark days of winter. i have also discovered that sometimes other styles of music are equally appropriate for those rare sunnier winter days when the sun glitters off the snow and ice. the Lycoris radiata EP put out on the electronica netlabel certainly evokes such and atomsphere.
Imachi Akira skillfully blends a myriad of sounds and styles into a beautifully cohesive whole. icy ambient atmospheres, subtle filtered idm-esque rhythms, dubby echoes, acoustic jazz guitar, delicate piano malodies and airy field recordings blend together to form a perfect soundtrack to a beautiful winter's day spend in a snow-covered valley, on the shores of a frozen river bed or walking on a glacier.

03 February 2009

Kit Watkins & Tone Ghost Ether

during its heyday (ie when it was still free), mp3.com was a perfect gateway to explore new styles of music. i found a lot of great artists there, many of whom i still listen to today. one artist i found at that time was Kit Watkins. Mr Watkins has been recording music since the 70s- from playing in the progressive jazz/rock band Happy the Man, to his own solo work, to his ambient improvisational group Tone Ghost Ether. his multi-instrumental solo albums explore jazz and world music-inspired ambient sounds and textures, with a uniquely positive and peaceful vibe. a distinctive element in Kit's music is his expressive use of the wind synth, which gives his melodies and leads a flowing, lyrical quality not easily achieved with keyboards and sequencers.
i was quite glad to notice that he recently re-released many of his older works as high quality mp3 downloads on the netlabel Earth Mantra. one standout in this collection is certainly his live performance at the ambient music festival The Gathering, including the longform postlude piece Music for the End. Mr Watkins puts on a stunning multi-instrumental performance, making excellent use of extended loops to create live overdubs and rich instrumental textures. other standouts include the two-disc meditative drone album Thought Tones, as well as the soft, luminous sounds of Condor Sail Curves and the world music-flavored Guard Lock Skin, both from his side project Tone Ghost Ether. endlessly deep and luxurious textures for spacefans...