Guardian Alien at Duna Jam 2014Guardian Alien at Duna Jam 2014ガーディアン・エイリアンはブラック・メタル・バンド、Liturgy(リタジー)のドラマーとして活動していたグレッグ・フォックス率いるグループで、 彼ら無しにはニューヨークのアヴァンギャルド・シーンを語れない存在である。元々はグレッグのソロ・プロジェクト、GDFの延長として始まったものであったが、徐々にバンド形態へと進化した。メンバーは流動的でり、5~6人になることもある。これまで自主制作のLPを1枚と、スリル・ジョッキーからアル バム2枚をリリースしている他、グレッグの瞑想中の実体験を再現したビデオをリリースしている。
グレッグ自身の師匠でもあるミルフォード・グレイブスや、ボアダムス、またミニマリストの作曲家として名高いリース・チャタムらなどの先駆者に影響を受 け、今までに確立された音楽の形をはねつけると同時に、その多くの要素をねじ曲げあげた独自のユニークな形態へと仕上げている。彼らの最新作「スピリチュ アル・エマージェンシー」では、アコースティック・サウンドと電子音のバランスを上手く興じたユニークな音をプロデュースしており、不安定さと宇宙の変動 とを生かした様々な音を、あらゆる方向へと一斉に押し出すような、ポストモダン時代のニューヨーク・アンダーグラウンド・シーンの軸となる節目を、彼らは その音から作り出している。

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 this 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.”

The sidelong titular composition that resides on the flip begins with a recording of Stanislav Grof reading from his book from which the album takes its name, literature that informs the structure and nature of the music to come. When Fox’s polyrhythmic pounding and Drewchin’s bubbling electrics enter, the piece quickly escalates and never sits still, the quintet reveling in the metaphysical revelation that results in the ensuing 20 minutes of reflective frenzy. The piece, which was honed on the road for over a year before being laid to tape, is the most definitive statement of intent the band has released and is a harbinger of the wildly eclectic things to come.

Shortly following the recording of Spiritual Emergency, Williams and Winograd left New York to pursue other opportunities, cementing Guardian Alien as the current trio of Fox, Gann, and Drewchin. Fox, who also currently plays as a member of Zs, has continued to collaborate with a remarkable array of musicians, including Ben Frost, Colin Stetson, Dustin Wong and Kid Millions. Guardian Alien will tour extensively in 2014.