Guardian Alien, led by the unparalleled drumming of Greg Fox, is an integral part of a new wave of New York avant-garde musicians. Taking inspiration from those that came before, such as Milford Graves (with whom Fox has studied), and the great minimalist composer Rhys Chatham, Guardian Alien rejects previously established forms while selectively contorting elements of many into a wholly unique and personal new order. Striking a unique balance between sounds produced acoustically and electronically, its latest work, Spiritual Emergency, shows the group harnessing instability and cosmic fluctuations, pushing its sound in multiple directions simultaneously to create a pivotal moment in the post-modern New York underground.
Greg Fox is joined on the last recording by Alexandra Drewchin (vocals/electronics), Bernard Gann (guitar), Turner Williams (shahai baaja) and Eli Winograd (bass). Spiritual Emergency was recorded by legendary engineer and producer Wharton Tiers (Sonic Youth, Glenn Branca). Wharton mixed the album live, riding the faders as he imparted his distinctive sonic presence. The album’s first side consists of a series of radically different improvised vignettes, beginning with the hushed, intricate tabla rhythms and cut-up vocals of “Tranquilizer” before launching into the brief, ecstatic bursts of “Mirror” and the robotic syncopation of “Vapor,” finally peaking with the fuzzed-out wall of drone that is “Mirage.”