Kit Watkins — World Fiction
((Not on label) no#, 2005, CD)
by Paul Hightower, Published 2005-09-01
This may be one of Kit Watkins’ most sensual efforts to date. The creative foundation for most of the album’s 12 tracks is a percussion and synth track or groove that Watkins then solos or improvises over via the electronic wind instrument he’s grown so fond of lately. He’s also clearly enjoyed playing with percussion on this album with some pieces so dominated by percussion that the melodic lines are little more than window dressing. Most of the melodies have a vaguely arabesque quality to them, especially when they are driven to the fore. Though not as overtly political as 2003’s Unraveled, the arabesque motifs are surely evidence of Kit’s continued attention on matters in that part of the world (that and the recorded dialog heard in the background of some tracks). The wind parts often convey an earthy sensuality that is captivating, reminding me of Mark Isham’s work for trumpet. In some pieces the melodies get more electronic and distorted with an almost harsh edge, though the essential emotive earthiness is never lost. There are exceptions, such as the energetic and playful African whistle tune “Delirium 1,” or the closer, “World Fiction VIII,” where acoustic guitar provides the foundation. It’s an unusual sound for Kit, though whether we’ll see an album of folk songs next remains to be seen. Fans of past releases like Azure and Holographic Tapestries will find much to enjoy here with each piece presenting Watkins’ penchant for hypnotic harmonic invention to full effect. Recommended.
Related artist(s): Kit Watkins
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