Celebrating Alan Watts’s 100th birthday year, Jas Walton sets
early Alan Watts recordings to original grooves.
Alan Watts is one of the most important interpreters of Eastern
philosophy for his time and ours. If he were alive today, he’d
probably subvert social media in the same way he helped to
reinvent western culture in his own time—his words are as
relevant now as they were then.
This year, Watts turns 100. Figure & Ground honors his
centennial with this four-track EP that takes the recordings of
his early seminar sessions and sets them to original music.
Alan’s wit and wisdom were first broadcast on radio stations in
the Bay Area in the late ’50s and soon spread across America
through public talks, tape recordings, books, and on screen.
On his portable tape deck, Alan’s son Mark Watts captured
hundreds of hours of his father’s seminar sessions. Alan Watts’s
candid spirit comes through in these psychedelic Californian
ruminations, intriguing incantations, and compelling thoughts
on existence. It’s a trip.
A decade later, New York-based musician Jas Walton found
these recordings. One day while experimenting with chord
progression loops at home in Brooklyn, he decided to drop
in Watts’ voice. He started nudging a few words and phrases
around, and soon enough got carried away and strict about
every word falling in the pocket. On the EP, Watts’s rhythmic
phrases are set in time to Walton’s soulful grooves, textured
with synth and horns. A top saxophone player in New York,
Walton performed as part of the Luaka Bop’s William Onyeabor
tribute shows and has played with Antibalas, The Roots, and
Superhuman Happiness, to name a few.
We offer you here an introduction to the music of Jas Walton
and a reintroduction to the world of Alan Watts.
2. Sound of the Rain
3. Face the Facts
4. What About Background?
10” EP with reverse board jacket cover alongside an eight-
page booklet and download card
• Includes detailed liner notes and interviews with Mark
Watts and Henry “Sandy” Jacobs (producer of Watts’s early
psychedelic LP), along with dozens of rare photos, stories,
and other Watts ephemera
• Publicity support by Dust & Grooves
• Limited to 1000 copies worldwide Available from 05.06.2015