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Label: Kit Watkins Music
1. signals in; 2. Flying Petals; 3. Time Can Talk; 4. Neptune Goddess; 5. Bowels of the Agency (Bush lied mix); 6. Todi K; 7. Dragon Breath; 8. Loganut; 9. When Flight Paths Emerge; 10. Savannah 13; 11. Call of the Z’Antuu; 12. Mood Swang (code mix); 13. signals out
Kit Watkins: keyboards and modules, sampler, slide and ebow guitars, fretless bass, vocals, drum pads, drum programming, live and sampled drums/percussion, virtual acoustic synthesizer (emulating guitars, saxes, trumpets, percussion, electronics, hybrids), waterphone and other acoustic gems, audio conjecture, engineering, editing, and production.
“Former Happy the Man keyboardist Kit Watkins creates an adventurous sonic journey on this disc, which is as intriguing for the depth of compositional talent as it is for beautiful sound design and monster grooves. Emotive melodies played on mysterious woodwinds emerge from emotional harmonic tapestries, and odd metric constructs seamlessly support form and structure that move forward in time with satisfying sensibility. Throw in some topical social content, and you’ve got quite a mature release on your hands. If you’re a synth-head, you gotta check this out.” —Ernie Rideout, Keyboard, May 2004 /\/\/\ “Kit Watkins seemed to be lost for progressive rock. During the last couple of years he mainly concentrated himself on ambient and meditative music, in which performances with the reunited Happy The Man didn’t fit. After listening to Flying Petals a guest-appearance on The Muse Awakens, HTM’s comeback-record, is a very good possibility though (ed. reviewer's hypothesis). It’s a 77 minutes lasting reproduction of recordings made between 1995 and 2004 of so called progressive world-fusion-music. He calls it “Beat Music,” which is a well-chosen definition, when you look at its extraordinary rhythmic character. In the first part the rhythm still serve the compositions, like in the hefty title-track, in which typical Watkins-solo’s (a Moog that sounds like a trumpet or saxophone) and a threatening, slurring synthesizer-theme, combined with a guitar-accompaniment and –solo lead to a increasingly broader layered sound-picture. Absolutely fierce is Bowels Of The Agency (Bush Lied Mix); sampled and manipulated speeches about the so-called existence of mass-destruction weapons in Iraq create a dark sphere, which is being intensified by low, David Gilmour-like guitar-licks and intriguing loops of guest-musician David Torn. Neptune Goddess, with its recognizable strum-sequencer and a beautiful break to a more up-tempo part, would have fitted perfectly on a HTM-record or on Labyrinth or SunStruck. The second part of the CD looks a bit poor of melody, but appearances are deceptive. Long stretching tracks like Dragon Breath and When Flight Paths Emerge contain a constantly shifting, exciting play of tuned and un-tuned percussion and sounds, in which melody-instruments are mainly brought into action to intensify the climaxes. Working with acoustic and electronic percussion-instruments is one of the trademarks of the music of Watkins; on Flying Petals he manages to reach a certain perfection in this, while comparisons with the Dutch percussion-ensemble Slagerij Van Kampen aren’t out of place. Together with the as always very recognizable sounds and solos, the varied beats make sure that this is a successful return to progressive music.” —René Yedema, iO Pages, May/June 2004 /\/\/\ “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 Tone 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.” —Peter Thelen, Exposé, Issue #29, May 2004
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