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...

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