Tone Ghost Ether — Condor Sail Curve
(Earth Mantra 051, 2002, CD)
Tone Ghost Ether — Hydrogen 2 Oxygen
(Earth Mantra 061, 2002, CD)
Tone Ghost Ether — The White Space
(Earth Mantra 057, 2002, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2002-09-01
Tone Ghost Ether is an improvisational ensemble collaboration between Kit Watkins, John Tlusty, and Brad Allen. Their music is all performed in real time with no overdubs, capturing the magic of the moment, using keyboards, electronic and acoustic percussion, cymbals, gongs, flute, EWI, loops, and effects. Surprisingly, no guitars (a big part of Allen's contribution to several of Watkins' albums and However's Calling were guitars). Each of these releases present a different side of the TGE sound, yet all are 100% improvised in real time.
The White Space is perhaps the most cerebral of the three, with three sidelong tracks and one shorter one offering a melodic floating ambient style with some percussive elements, tone bursts and loops working together to create subtle energy patterns; it's a satisfying and engaging listen both as conscious chill-out music and as accompaniment for slumber.
Condor Sail Curve explores more floating perspective — still very melodic, still using loops and bursts, but differing in that the percussive elements are mostly absent. Six tracks are presented here, with the opener "Gamelan Moon Landing" and closing title track being bookends for a one-hour program of shimmering, haunting music that is at once captivating and relaxing. A perfect companion for meditation or sleep (although people like myself can listen to this kind of stuff all day long!).
Hydrogen 2 Oxygen presents an acid-jazz based style built on laid back complex rhythmic grooves and keyboard based embellishments, trance-y and lush, full of atmospherics and understated melodic drift. The seven tracks herein are a bit more challenging and energized than those on the other discs, and perhaps more experimental as well. With more of a subconscious hook, it tends to lure the listener back for repeated listens. This one is probably not sleep music... well, maybe it is, but it's definitely a different animal than the other two. The one thing they do have in common is that all three discs are excellent. The best thing is you don't have to take my word for any of this. Go to the website and take a listen for yourself.
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more