Ether
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

Cody Judy , 6/10
Hush , 6.5/10
Music for Air Raids , 6/10
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Ryley Fogg formed Ether in Salt Lake City (Utah) after teaming up for a while with Alan Sparhawk (Low). The band, featuring two drummers and two guitarists, debuted with the all-instrumental album Cody Judy (Pinworm, 1996).

Hush (Charnel Music, 1997) is already a mature work of intense and mesmerizing experimentation. 1 is emblematic of Fogg's mixing technique ("organic" percussions morphed into the electronic burbling), whereas 6 uses the same tools to produce a mantric drone of apocalyptic proportions. 2 is the manifesto of their kind of world-music (aborigenal percussions and ethnic instruments played with the visceral and esoteric frenzy of Crash Worship).
3 and 4 testify to the skills in composing "songs" out of pure sound The former begins with the noise of an helicopter, slowly faded out to let a latin-funk-jazz guitar theme (a` la Santana) emerge out of the chaos. The latter loops a swampy, Afro-funk rhythm (in the vein of Jon Hassell) in a soundscape of haunting dissonances. Surprisingly, the 12-minute 7 is a bit of a let-down. The shorter tracks fare better. The album's closing track, 9, in theory a 22-minute tour de force, but in practice a brief excerpt of casual jamming a` la Grateful Dead.
Despite the failure of the lengthier track, the album stands as one of the most successful experiments in the post-ambient electronic music of the 1990s.

Music for Air Raids (Extreme, 1999) is the first album to title the tracks, although the titles are coordinates. The experiment is further continued with a new line-up.

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