Fresh Stream



The prolific musician and former drummer for Liturgy, Greg Fox has been hard at work in recent months. His most recent release was conceived in the soundlab of NYC-based jazz drummer and holistic healer Milford Graves, who fitted Fox with heart-beat sensing gizmos that translated his body’s natural rhythms into sound. This eventually resulted in Mitral Transmission, which is more a collection of sonic environments than of songs, each linking the natural irregularity of Fox’s bodily rhythms to sampled instrumentals and birthing a distinct aural biome.

Mitral Transmission is an album of contrasts, coupling an organic substrate to synthetic instrumentation and computer regulated harmony, juxtaposing steel drums with shamisen, moving from reticent spasms on one track to soothing ambience on the next, with the occasional cut to harsh but radiant electric guitar. Variations on certain motifs recur throughout each track, but you never hear the same thing twice. What few hints of melody and pattern exist break apart almost as quickly as they form, meaning this is generative music to the core.

The final track ‘Dance Performance’ is the longest and most lush, featuring a minor harmony and complex instrumentation. Deep bass tones undulate beneath a clockwork but never melodic rain of notes from a shamisen and other less discernible origins, invoking the sense of a weaver hard at work on a dress for tomorrow’s funeral, or other solemn labor.

All in all this album is a seductive and pensive piece of art, fleeting and beautiful, that rewards repeated listens. Playing it all the way through will likely work susceptible listeners into an altered state of consciousness. If you order it soon enough, you might even get a handmade and plantable art card that will eventually make pretty flowers when you bury it in dirt!

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