Kit Watkins — Flying Petals
((Not on label) no#, 2004, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2004-04-01
Haven’t heard much from Kit since Rolling Curve and three related ambient releases in 2001. Flying Petals is one of four new releases for 2004 (this, plus two new ambient releases Unraveled and This Time and Space, a reissue of 1982’s Frames of Mind, and a new release Guard Lock Skin by his improvisational world fusion trio Tome Ghost Ether have all been released pretty much simultaneously). The compositions herein could generally be described as upbeat symphonic electronica, in many ways similar to earlier works like Labyrinth, although most of the material here is far more percussively charged. Most pieces start with complex rhythms of sampled percussion, then build melodic structures over it using keyboard synths, and occasionally guitars and sax as well. Some, like “Savannah 13,” are pretty much rhythm workouts all the way through. “Todi K” and “Neptune Goddess” take a more subtle approach, elevating the melodic elements in a more typically progressive rock style. “Bowels of the Agency” takes the Bush administration to task for its intelligence failures, using voice samples from statements by GWB, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Condi Rice and others over a droning backdrop interspersed with more percussive based passages, making for one of the disc’s most interesting cuts. Treated voices and obscured lyrics on “Time Can Talk” join the main theme in unison, while “Call of the Z’Antuu” begins as a gentle introspective solo piece before busy rhythms guide it to its conclusion. Fans of Watkins’ previous solo works will find plenty of interest herein.
Gong Announces UK Tour for 2020 – Having spent the last few years touring the world, including dates in Japan with psych legend Steve Hillage, multiple headline European tours and festivals, America’s Cruise to the Edge festival, a South America headline tour, and a headline performance at Tomorrow Festival in China, the band have won the hearts of both traditional and modern Gong fanbases. During this live journey, Gong has delved further into the truly psychedelic, exploratory, and mind-expanding side of the music. » Read more
Wolfgang Dauner RIP – Pianist Wolfgang Dauner, one of the pioneers of both European free jazz and jazz rock, has died at the age of 84. With his own groups and with the United Jazz+Rock Ensemble, his playing and compositions were a prominent presence in European jazz from the mid-60s until just recently. » Read more
Michael Allison RIP – Michael Allison, who since 1997 has been recording as Darshan Ambient, passed away on January 9th after a long and brave battle with cancer. He has been at at the forefront of the new ambient/electronic music scene, with over eighteen releases to his credit. » Read more
Neil Peart RIP – One of rock music's defining drummers has died at the age of 67. Neil Peart's work with Rush provided one of the templates for percussion in rock, and he certainly ranks in the top ten most influential drummers of the 20th Century. Peart retired from playing in 2015 due to health issues, and succumbed to brain cancer on January 7, 2020. » Read more