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
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
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
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
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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