Thursday 7 September 2017, 7.30pm
“One of the most exciting drummers I’ve seen recently in any kind of music” – New York Times
Sensational drummer and musical polyglot, Greg Fox, marks the release of new solo album, The Gradual Progression, out this week on RVNG Intl.
Known for his genre-hopping work with Zs, Liturgy and Guardian Alien, as well as stints with Ben Frost and Colin Stetson, Fox's new album takes his trademark viruoisty and elevates it further with a thrilling mix of electronics, psychedelia, krautrock and a Don Cherry-esque spirituality honed with an exacting attention to detail.
"Good drummers aren’t uncommon. Great ones are. We still mourn Keith Moon of the Who and John Bonham of Led Zeppelin as the jolly bashers of modernity. Here comes the future, they seemed to be telling us with their sensational ka-blammo. Together, they popularized the notion that, in rock-and-roll, a drummer’s unsolemn duty is to establish a sense of time while happily smashing it to bits. Greg Fox reactivates that idea for the Information Age." – Washington Post
The Gradual Progression is a transformative collection of new music by Greg Fox. The seven pieces of The Gradual Progression activate spiritual states through physical means, Fox’s rigorous inner rhythms the mandalic vessel for unbound expression and arrangement. TGP signals both a reconciliation of disparate musical ventures and a new nirvanic stage in the artist’s oeuvre.
Fox views TGP as an exploration of selfhood, and more specifically, the search for his true voice as an artist. Though such a journey is by nature ongoing, if not essentially elusive, the discoveries along the path are the musical riches of TGP. For his second solo album, Fox employs new methods of externalizing his polyrhythmic virtuosity into non-physical realms.
This transfer of energy is achieved through responsive environments tethered to various aspects of the performance. Sensors attached to Fox’s drum kit trigger tonal palettes, or virtual instruments invented for each piece, which Fox communes with in the post-Free Jazz manner. That is, locating and emphasizing states of universal resonance in solo and ensemble settings in place of demonstrating individual ability.
Oliver Coates is a cellist, composer and producer based in London. He has performed solo shows in China, Russia, Brazil, Egypt and Australia, and made his New York debut at Le Poisson Rouge. He was the winner of the Royal Philharmonic Society Young Artist Award 2011 and is an Artist in Residence at the Southbank Centre. Two major commissions premiered in 2017: HELIOTONES, for girls' choir, flutes, cello and electronics, for Borealis Festival, and Shorelines, for string quartet and electronics, for Cryptic at Operadagen Rotterdam.
In 2016 Coates released a solo record, Upstepping, on PRAH, and a collaborative record, Remain Calm, with Mica Levi on Slip. He works closely with Levi, London Contemporary Orchestra, Elysia Crampton, Jonny Greenwood and the visual artist Lawrence Lek, for whom he has scored the award-winning video pieces Unreal Estate and QE3. He has conceived and programmed the Southbank Centre’s long-running Harmonic Series and its first DEEP∞MINIMALISM festival in 2016, which featured Pauline Oliveros’ last public Tuning Meditation.