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Johnny Ether



It could be argued that commercially successful purveyors of electronic beats like Orb, Moby, or Orbital have risen from obscurity because they have produced accessible material in a conscious effort to "cross over" to the mainstream. But a listen to a full-length release by any of these reveals something else they all have in common: vision, a talent for achieving real emotion and palpable grooves in a programmed and often predictable electronic medium, and above all, an ear for different and diverse rhythms and structures, particularly over the course of a single album.

Atlanta's Johnny Ether is such an artist. His Free Radical Generator (1998) offers a view into the eclectic mix of rhythms, styles, and traditions that drive a single musician. He reveals his affinity for Eastern music when he quotes a Sufi proverb, "The heart beats different tempos for different emotions, music should do the same." Ether's heart beats for classical Persian and Indian music ("Har Megiddo" features Neel Murgai on Persian Tanpura), jazz fusion, dub reggae, drum and bass, and hip hop rhythms. Your hips and feet will feel them too.

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