Exposé Online banner

Chöying Drolma & Steve Tibbetts — Chö
(Hannibal HNCD-1404, 1997, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 1999-01-01

Chö Cover art

Fans of Steve Tibbetts, especially those who prefer the world-beat master shredder of Exploded View (1986) or The Fall of Us All (1993), might be a bit put off by this set, a collaboration with Tibetan Buddhist nun Chöying Drolma. The overall sound is more like his ambient release Northern Song (1982), with its languorous flow and expansive sonic landscapes. It's no accident that Drolma is listed first, for it is her voice that dominates the sound, not Tibbetts with his guitars and kalimbas. Electric guitar is only present to provide background textures, not in-your-face soloing. It's not until the third track that we even really hear his acoustic, a simple pattern with his distinctive vibrato tone. If you listen carefully, there's an incredible amount of detail to the production, with dripping water and other natural sounds mixed into the waves of volume-pedal guitar and resonant percussion of long-time Tibbetts cohort Marc Anderson. I was a little uninspired by the quietness of Chö at first, but I find the more I listen to it, the more I hear. There is incredible depth here, but it's so subtle and unobtrusive it's easily missed. This is music for quiet nights and open minds, a soundtrack for an exotic spiritual dream. The singing is probably a little too prominent to call the album truly ambient, and the percussion never gets into a groove like you hear in so much world-beat new-age crossover music these days. But if you're in the mood for something really different, this could fit the bill nicely.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 16, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Tibbetts, Marc Anderson, Chöying Drolma

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Austin Bridges - Awake the Day – Austin Bridges is a Christian rock band, who use music to contemplate the mysteries of the universe. I also like to contemplate the mysteries of the universe, which include why Austin Bridges sent a...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues