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.
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