Exposé Online banner

Kit Watkins — The Gathering, Set 1
(Earth Mantra earman045, 2001/2008, DL)

Kit Watkins — The Gathering, Set 2
(Earth Mantra earman046, 2001/2008, CD)

Kit Watkins — Music for the End
(Earth Mantra earman062, 2001/2008, DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2002-04-01

The Gathering, Set 1 Cover artThe Gathering, Set 2 Cover artMusic for the End Cover art

Fans of Happy the Man, beware. These three live CDs are more in the realm of ambient space music than progressive rock. Taken together, they document the musical happenings on the night of March 10, 2001, at a festival called The Gathering (two sets), and then afterwards on the radio show called Star’s End. All in all, this is just short of three hours worth of music. Watkins performs solo with an array of synthesizer modules, percussion, an electronic wind instrument, and probably some other things not mentioned in the credits or shown in the pictures. With the percussion, it wouldn’t be fair to call the music entirely ambient, at least not for the two Gathering discs. There are many different techniques involved here, but “The Aftermath of Neglect” from the first set serves as a good example. It starts with a shimmering wash of quiet sound, then works into some flutters on some sort of hand drum. There must be a looping of that, since it continues while a serene melody on the electronic wind instrument starts over the top and the percussion continues. This goes on for twelve minutes, working through a few slight changes in mood: the drum drops out, the EWI backs off for a bit of background wash, and so on. Other times, a pattern will be set up on a piano-like sound and then looped for the EWI. Many of the chord progressions (yes, there are some chord progressions) have a distinctive Watkins sound, moving in ways that will sound familiar (though not in a specific way) to those who know his previous work.

Music for the End is much more atmospheric, with no percussion aside from some cricket noises. I would say only a serious fan would want to have all three of these. My favorite is Set 1, but not by a long shot – they’re pretty similar. Alternately you could go to mp3.com and sample tracks, and buy just the ones you want.


Filed under: Reissues, Issue 24, 2008 releases, 2001 recordings

Related artist(s): Kit Watkins

More info
http://relaxedmachinery.com/earthmantra/artist-detail.php?id=21

Latest news

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Masque - Third Ear/Third Eye – Third Ear/Third Eye is this brazen Japanese quintet's first CD release (following a couple of cassette releases in the late 80s, plus contributions to the Canterbury Edge and Jazz Rock sampler...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues