Greg Fox — Mitral Transmission
♠Þ♠ “The real school of music and how to properly learn music is to listen to your inner self. Music is not played with an external instrument, it is played with your universe–connected mind.” — Milford Graves
Location: Queens, New York City, NY
Album release: February 18, 2014
Record Label: Data Garden
1. Kardia I 8:15
2. Kardia II 7:57
3. Its OK 4:51
4. Dance Performance 15:59
♠Þ♠ Produced by Greg Fox
♠Þ♠ Mastered by: Ryan Schwabe in Philadelphia
♠Þ♠ Cover art by Jason Termini
♠Þ♠ This albums is intended for gapless playback as one complete piece. When adding to iTunes, select
♠Þ♠ Greg Fox’s Mitral Transmission is available in a LIMITED EDITION run of 200 plantable hand–made album art cards that can be purchased at the Data Garden store. Type in the URL code shown on the back of your art to download your music. ♠Þ♠ Plant it in soil and watch it grow into flowers!
By Damon Hastings, May 25, 2014
♠Þ♠ 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.
♠Þ♠ 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. ♠Þ♠ What few hints of melody and pattern exist break apart almost as quickly as they form, meaning this is generative music to the core.
♠Þ♠ 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.
♠Þ♠ 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.
♠Þ♠ 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! :: http://www.bostonhassle.com/
By Grayson Haver Currin; February 6, 2014; Score: 7.7
♠Þ♠ As with “Spiritual Emergency”, Mitral Transmission succeeds because of its singular direction and focus. For years, Milford Graves — the border–defiant drummer, medicine man, scientist, and theoretician who played on many ESP Disk albums that shape Guardian Alien’s larger aesthetic — has recorded and analyzed the heart beats of musicians in his Queens basement laboratory. “His heart research can help anyone,” wrote New York’s Mark Jacobson in 2001, “but mostly he works on musicians, ‘so they hear how they sound naturally, let them compare that with what they’re playing.’” Graves invited Fox into his lair for one of these sessions, connecting him to sensors and software that allowed Fox to listen to the beat and pitch of his own body. He used that data as the basis for Mitral Transmission’s four compositions, wondrous instrumentals that fascinate with or without their biosynthetic context.
♠Þ♠ These tracks float occasionally toward the negative connotations of “new age music,” with long stretches of steel drum radiance, plucked harp patterns, softly pattered rhythms, and nebulous tones that suggest a breeze across a meadow. But the music’s too busy and prickly for somnolence. Just when the motion starts to settle, Fox adds a brief shock of noise or a new trace of rhythm to upset the system ever so slightly. “Heartbeat cycles with asymmetrical time values are more healthy,” Graves once told Wavelength Magazine. “This asymmetry is called the chaotic heartbeat.” Fox’s interlocking meters and melodies shape a pinwheel sort of gamelan, spinning forever into new moments of wonder. Less esoteric than its origins suggest, the music lands somewhere between an acoustic recasting of Four Tet’s coruscant electronica and Matmos’ alien–but–accessible trip.
♠Þ♠ Mitral Transmission is a fascinating album, then, a would–be footnote that reveals Fox’s willingness to mine most anything for sound. Sometimes, as on the first half of Spiritual Emergency, that process can lead to messy results. But elsewhere, it’s the power pushing Guardian Alien and Fox past their past associations and into a wonderfully strange and unpredictable future. :: http://pitchfork.com/
Greg Fox: http://infinitelimbs.com
By TAYLOR PETERS on Jan 17 2014
By Dan Wilkinson
Greg Fox meets with psychic medium Betsy Cohen to ask some questions while playing biofeedback music.
Description from label:
♠Þ♠ In the winter of 2013, Greg Fox was invited by master jazz drummer and holistic healer, Milford Graves to visit his basement lab in Queens, NY. It was there that Mr. Graves had spent years developing technology to generate music from the natural rhythms of the human heart. This music, according to Milford, could be used both as a diagnostic tool for human health and as means for musicians to find and follow their own natural rhythms. A willing subject of Milford’s experiments, Greg Fox was fitted with specialized bio–sensing machinery connected to a computer programmed with custom software that allowed him, for the first time, to hear the the music of his own body. The elaborate score resulting from this visit was then used as the basis for the compositions found on Mitral Transmission. Much like his drumming in the bands Liturgy and Guardian Alien, this work can be unflinchingly explosive, fluttering and merciless in one instance, poised and withholding in the next — seeming only to channel what is vital and in the moment. The sampled instrumentation is deliberately minimal yet richly nuanced — brought to life by the rhythmic and tonal complexities of Greg’s body. A clear progression from his recent work with Zs Mitral Transmission is a lucid and masterfully dynamic exploration in the tradition of biofeedback and generative music.