* Watercolor Blue Vinyl * Greg Fox’s Contact is an extension and evolution of the multidisciplinary artist’s rigorous, virtuosic sound-making practices. On Contact, the devoted performer, intrepid composer and avid collaborator channels an alchemy of influences and ideas through the kinetic exchange of human and percussive forms. Produced and mixed by Randall Dunn, Contact sees Fox accessing ever more raw and ruminative states, processing the tumult of sentience into stick-hit-drum.
2017’s The Gradual Progression introduced Fox’s synergistic relationship with Sensory Percussion music technology, a conspiratorial force in developing his gestural jazz and metal mathematics into four-limbed polyphony. With Dunn tasked to further Fox’s gradual progress, the two focused their combined energy on the intricacies of sound design during an intense, immersive recording process. On the other end of the deep dive, the duo had yielded something ritualistic and minimalistic, both building on and stripping back Fox’s previous work while welcoming an honest and cathartic weight and collaboration.
Throughout Contact, melody-blossoming rhythm patterns are interceded by straight, unadorned drumming. The album grows silence into sound with its opener, “Vedana,” a clamor of tuned percussion ringing out into space. By its third entry, the palpating “Contact (sukha & somanassa),” we are transported to an intimate situation, as if sitting on the drummer’s throne. Fox’s mesmeric playing is both technically impactful and electrically spontaneous from this vantage, which we return to again with a brusquer “Contact (dukkha & domanassa)” and its liberated conclusion “Contact (upekkhā).