Guardian Alien


(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
Guardian Alien: See the World Given to a One Love Entity (2012), 6.5/10
Guardian Alien: Spiritual Emergency (2014), 7/10
Greg Fox: Mitral Transmission (2014)
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Guardian Alien, the project of former Liturgy's drummer Greg Fox, an alumnus of Milford Graves, got underway with the 37-minute piece of See the World Given to a One Love Entity (Thrill Jockey, 2012): exoteric recitation drowned in an orgy of blastbeats and raga-like strumming, a dance of drumsticks with a detuned guitar fanfare and distorted vocal samples, looped minimalist patterns a relentless psychedelic freak-out. then a four-minute pause, a stately crescendo leading to a furious bacchanal with distant shamanic invocations, and the final dissonant orgasmic crescendo.

Spiritual Emergency (Thrill Jockey, 2014) is all over the map. Mirage is simply a rhythm-less psychedelic nebula. On the other hand, the ten-minute Tranquilizer is mostly a frenzied tabla-like solo, with sporadic instruments and disorienting samples hardly causing ripples in the vast emptiness that surrounds the percussion. The 20-minute Spiritual Emergency is another wild freak-out, with spaced-out vocals, burbing synths and Terry Riley-ian organ swirls (Alexandra Drewchin), atonal guitar sounds (former Liturgy's guitarist Bernard Gann) and, of course, Fox's cyclopic drumming, so chaotic that it can't even be called "rhythmic" anymore. The orgiastic finale sits somewhere between Albert Ayler and Acid Mothers Temple.

Greg Fox's solo Mitral Transmission (Data Garden, 2014) was inspired by some odd theories about listening to one's body. The pretentious premise is hardly matched by the results. Kardia I is simply childish and amateurish. Kardia II is positively Japanese-inspired new-age music for Bonsai gardens. The 16-minute Dance Performance may not help you listen to your body but it does achieve an intriguing fusion of Indian, Celtic and Greek folk music, as if Ravi Shankar, Alan Stivell, Cat Stevens took turns at improvising.

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(Copyright © 2012 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions )
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