Tone Ghost Ether — Condor Sail Curve
(Earth Mantra 051, 2002, CD)
Tone Ghost Ether — Hydrogen 2 Oxygen
(Earth Mantra 061, 2002, CD)
Tone Ghost Ether — The White Space
(Earth Mantra 057, 2002, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2002-09-01
Tone Ghost Ether is an improvisational ensemble collaboration between Kit Watkins, John Tlusty, and Brad Allen. Their music is all performed in real time with no overdubs, capturing the magic of the moment, using keyboards, electronic and acoustic percussion, cymbals, gongs, flute, EWI, loops, and effects. Surprisingly, no guitars (a big part of Allen's contribution to several of Watkins' albums and However's Calling were guitars). Each of these releases present a different side of the TGE sound, yet all are 100% improvised in real time.
The White Space is perhaps the most cerebral of the three, with three sidelong tracks and one shorter one offering a melodic floating ambient style with some percussive elements, tone bursts and loops working together to create subtle energy patterns; it's a satisfying and engaging listen both as conscious chill-out music and as accompaniment for slumber.
Condor Sail Curve explores more floating perspective — still very melodic, still using loops and bursts, but differing in that the percussive elements are mostly absent. Six tracks are presented here, with the opener "Gamelan Moon Landing" and closing title track being bookends for a one-hour program of shimmering, haunting music that is at once captivating and relaxing. A perfect companion for meditation or sleep (although people like myself can listen to this kind of stuff all day long!).
Hydrogen 2 Oxygen presents an acid-jazz based style built on laid back complex rhythmic grooves and keyboard based embellishments, trance-y and lush, full of atmospherics and understated melodic drift. The seven tracks herein are a bit more challenging and energized than those on the other discs, and perhaps more experimental as well. With more of a subconscious hook, it tends to lure the listener back for repeated listens. This one is probably not sleep music... well, maybe it is, but it's definitely a different animal than the other two. The one thing they do have in common is that all three discs are excellent. The best thing is you don't have to take my word for any of this. Go to the website and take a listen for yourself.
Holger Czukay RIP – Holger Czukay, a musical experimentalist without boundaries who has been involved with expanding the sound palette of rock music since the late 60s, has died at the age of 79. After studying with Karlheinz Stockhausen in the early 60s, he became fascinated with the possibilities of rock music, and was a co-founder of the pioneering group Can. He leaves behind an impressive body of work both as musician and producer. » Read more
John Abercrombie RIP – Another of the greats of jazz guitar has left us. John Abercrombie plied his way through a beautiful series of albums on the ECM label as well as bringing his talent to bear on albums by many of jazz's greatest artists. From his early work in the group Dreams to Gateway and outstanding work with Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, Kenny Wheeler, and many more to his own trios and quartets, he brought a unique instrumental voice to the world. » Read more
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more