Ultra Tonal is an EP of three works.
This is a freely downloadable EP from the jothomas.me web site. The work is being released as uncompressed AIFF and 320Kbps VBR MP3.
These works are composed for concentrated listening and also live performance. Instructions for concentrated listening are also given with the works. The material on this EP is entirely synthetic and connections between human agency and digital technological landscape have been made.
The format of this EP is rare as it is being released through AIFF. The reasons for this are:
1. The files are pure audio. No spectral content is lost due to codec mpeg three compression. Importantly micro sound, glitch and spatial detail is exactly the same as when composed.
2. The material has it’s own authenticity as a piece of pure audio. It is being offered freely to listener to own, edit and share with other’s. Also, the MP3's have no DRM on them.
Review Phillip Clarke (The Wire)
Each of the three tracks, "Tula", "Ultra" and "Shine", feels like its energies are scrambling to break from the restraints that Thomas has put upon them. " Ultra" is especially impressive as her hyperactive bleeps keep getting dragged towards stasis, jamming the music spinning inside disorientating deja vu from which it can't escape. The stand out moment in "Shine" sees Thomas busy material abruptly fall through a structural trapdoor , as she opens a new space.
The meaning of the name Tula is strength. Tula exists in two worlds. One is a light-hearted phonetic pattern, which sings throughout the work. The other is an impending rhythmic world of micro sound and glitch.
Ultra is the Brother of Tula. This work is an embedded world of continuum and stasis. The sea and the raw physicality of contemporary ballet inspired this work.
Shine is a work, which explores a very human need to shine when times are not so light. A very deliberate association to human agency breath and body is made through this work incorporating the winding of gentle micro melodies and subtle rhythms.
These works are written as focused miniatures. It is intended for a good home system with a balanced EQ and a strong bass system. The set up of the speakers should be classic stereo with both speakers facing slight inwards. Ideally you should sit centre of the speakers about two meters away while listening.
The audio content of the music is mostly glitch material. Glitch essentially is spectral peaking. A good policy is not to peak in the red on the desk as this may cause damage to your speakers and also your ears.
The diffusion of the music should be warm and full enabling audio clarity to delicate passages of high spectral material and bass morphologies.