Kit Watkins first came to prominence as part of legendary progressive band, Happy the Man. Despite disbanding years ago after just a couple albums, Kit still gets questions as to if and when this band might ever get back together. Later he joined up with Andrew Latimer in Camel for the album, "I Can See Your House from Here." Shortly afterwards he became a solo artist with his first album, "Labyrinth." From here it was inevitable that Kit would start his own label, Linden Music.
For me Kit's music is a perfect example of why more artists need to start their own labels. The major labels make it a point to market to the lowest common denominator. An artist on a major label, and even many niche indie labels, must record albums that basically sound the same from beginning to end and from one album to the next. That makes it easy for the labels to market, but denies the artist any artistic growth and eventually cuts short his/her career. Kit refuses to treat his audience in this manner. Instead he assumes that they are both very intelligent and very curious and each album is a new adventure in a totally different musical world.
The classic Arista releases - Happy the Man and Crafty Hands - have been remastered by Kit and are listed below!!! You'll also find other Happy the Man titles available on our Cuneiform page! Also on Cuneiform you'll find Forrest Fang's The Blind Messenger which features Kit in a guest appearance. Kit also performs on Richard Sinclair's RSVP and let's not forget his other band, Camel.
Happy the Man/Happy the Man ....import CD $21.99
Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the first ever UK release of the classic 1977 self- titled debut album by American progressive rock group Happy the Man. Formed in Harrisonburg, Virginia in 1973, the band was influenced by British progressive groups such as Genesis and King Crimson. By 1976 they came to the ear of Peter Gabriel who considered utilizing the band on his first solo album. Although this failed to materialise, the band came to the attention of Arista Records, securing a deal the same year. With a line-up of Stanley Whitaker (guitars, vocals), Kit Waktins (keyboards), Frank Wyatt (sax, flute, keyboards), Rick Kennell (bass) and Mike Beck (drums), the band recorded their first album under the production supervision of Ken Scott (who had worked with Supertramp and David Bowie). Featuring excellent pieces such as "Mr. Mirror's Reflection on Dreams" and "New York Dreams Suite," the album ranks as one of the great American progressive rock albums. This Esoteric Recordings reissue has been newly remastered and features a booklet that fully restores all original album artwork with a new essay.
Happy the Man/Crafty Hands ....import CD $21.99
Esoteric Recordings are pleased to announce the first ever UK release of the classic 1978 album by American progressive rock group Happy the Man. Greeted with excellent reviews, the band recorded their second album for Arista in 1978, produced once more by Ken Scott, and featuring Ron Riddle on drums. Arguably their finest hour, the album featured only one vocal track and ranks as one of the most important in US progressive rock history. This Esoteric Recordings reissue has been newly remastered and features a booklet that fully restores all original album artwork with a new essay.
Tone Ghost Ether/The White Space ....CD $15.99
The muse struck without warning and an ensemble was born. Tone Ghost Ether was realized through a natural interaction between three musicians/multi-instrumentalists - Kit Watkins, John Tlusty and Brad Allen - searching for a common form of expression. By means of a series of informal improvisational gatherings, recorded on Sunday afternoons in early 2001, Tone Ghost Ether produced what were to become their three pioneering debut CD releases - The White Space, Hydrogen 2 Oxygen and Condor Sail Curve - elegant and tonally rich musical excursions into the future. All of the music by Tone Ghost Ether is improvised and played in real-time without overdubs. The use of live looping devices contributes to the often densely textured sound. Minimal editing is sometimes performed after recording, but the nature of the immediacy of this music remains intact. The style of Tone Ghost Ether falls naturally into a number of familiar pigeonholes: ambient, acid-jazz, world-fusion, electronic..... but then there are the hybrid genres where mind-trips and alien worlds might only exist within the imagination, later to materialize beyond the realm of possibility....
Kit Watkins/A Different View ....CD $9.99
This CD presents 18 classical pieces orchestrated for electronic studio and includes both familiar and lesser-known works by Satie, Chopin, Khachaturian, Stravinsky, and others. It's the finest example of its kind I've ever heard. It's sublime! -- Craig Shropshire, KERA-FM. It uses synthesizers to deepen and enhance the mood rather than to make classical pieces "palatable" or "relevant." Bravo, Kit. -- KEYBOARD. It's a disarmingly enjoyable album based on deceptively simple music. -- JAZZIZ.
Kit Watkins/Kinetic Vapors ....CD $9.99
Kinetic Vapors is energetic, still, flowing, coiling, high-spirited, curious, accessible, obscure, intuitive, logical, and great listening. "Kinetic Vapors" holds 54 minutes of music in eight pieces composed and recorded from January through July 1993 at Kit's studio. The album successfully juxtaposes the organic with the electronic through the tasteful use of synthesizers, samplers, and live instruments. The songs are subtle and hypnotic. With each listening, they became like old friends. A joy while we are together, a small, sad loss when it is over, a quiet anticipation until we meet again. -- MUSIC UNCOVERED
Kit Watkins/Thought Tones, Volume 1 ....CD $9.99
Audioscapes for creative thinking, contemplation, imagination and other forms of direct and indirect perception. These are sparse electronic ambiences from organic sound sources that create intriguing new worlds for both background and foreground listening.
Kit Watkins/Unraveled ....CD $13.99
"Created in February 2003, this music was my response and reaction to the impending, illegal war in Iraq, and the associated French-bashing propagated by the right-wing in the U.S. Only 30 minutes in length, these ambient pieces each represent aspects of hope and despair. While the CD is a political statement, it is also an evocative work of sparse sound design and texture, using "found" material from one of my favorite composers, Maurice Ravel." - Kit Watkins
Kit Watkins/wet,dark, and low ....CD $13.99
This album's theme is rhythm and primitive expression. The title comes from a quote by Robert Bly from his book "Iron John." An album to stir your soul. Here's proof that it is still possible to do sample arrangements and rhythmic programming in an accessible framework without succumbing to the conventions of dance music or hip-hop. Economically orchestrated, artfully conceived . . . more than a mere masculinist soundtrack; it is, in the true sense of both words, pop art. -- KEYBOARD
Kit Watkins & Coco Roussel/In Time ....CD $9.99
"In Time" is the classic album by Kit & Coco from 1985, recently re-issued by Linden Music. One of the best instrumental albums of the year (1985) -- CASHBOX. "In Time" sparkles like that rare gem that instantly appeals to a broad instrumental rock and electric jazz audience, while retaining its sprightly original conception. -- JAZZIZ. An album made by human beings for human beings. -- KEYBOARD
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