Exposé Online banner

Kit Watkins — Field of View
((Not on label) no#, 2019, CD / DL)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2019-07-30

Field of View Cover art

It’s always good news whenever Kit Watkins releases new music, and for me, being unaware of his two 2015 releases, the last one I heard was Sky Zone from 2006. When one listens to the seven cuts here the music unmistakably has Watkins’ signature all over it, both in composition, arrangements, and performance — there is really nodody else who sounds like him. The biggest news regarding Field of View is that Kit is using his voice far more more than almost any of his previous releases, although with the exception of the opener “Spirit of the Water” (a cover of the Camel tune from Moonmadness), most of the vocals here are wordless extensions of his instrumental palette, mostly keyboards, wind synthesizer, and percussion. He is joined by various drummers and percussionists (Forrest Young or Bill Smith, track depending) and one cut (“Paradoxicon”) features Greg Moreau on ebow guitar. One might recall that the Camel version of that opening track sounds like the vocals were routed through Leslie speakers, giving it a very alien and distant sound; on the version at hand, Watkins’ voice is strong and completely untreated, yet still has that haunting mysteriousness that made it so special to begin with. Another haunting track here that will follow the listener around all day and night is “The Vessel Ruse,” a six chord sequence that stops and goes, highlighted by a strong bass undercurrent and percussion punctuated with colorful melodic sprites. The ten-minute “To Love Their Servitude” is reminiscent of some of the material from his Azure period, though some tuned mallet percussion (via synths I’m sure) is spread throughout the piece as well as some sampled spoken voice bits toward the end that elaborate on the title if one listens closely. A bit closer to heaven is “Life after Truth,” where Watkins’ wordless voices take center stage, certainly unlike anything he has done previously, though still bearing his imaginative compositional style. The title track closes the set, a dreamy and magical space where pillowy wind-synths criss-cross with voices and a piano undercurrent shifting from place to place, at times seeming restless, and calming in others. Overall, Field of View is a fine return to classic form with enough new elements in the mix to make it a sizable step forward.


Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Kit Watkins

More info
http://kitwatkins.bandcamp.com/album/field-of-view
http://store.cdbaby.com/cd/kitwatkins19

Latest news

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Jeff Tarlton - Astral Years – I would bet money that Jeff Tarlton sleeps with a book of Kirouac's poems in his arms and Morrisons Van and Jim on his turntable (c'mon folks, it is so hip to have vinyl). Tarlton is an...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues