Guardian Alien: Spiritual Emergency
With a debut 2012 cassette titled Drums> Space> Jam overflowing with Greg Foxâ€™s kozmically kinetic percussion and converging waves of harmonic synths, the improvising longhairs in Brooklynâ€™s Guardian Alien long ago set a course for ecstatic mind explosion. But on Spiritual Emergency, their second proper album for Thrill Jockey, the group (recording as a quintet) side step into the self-disassembling jam bardos between wandering formlessness and purposeful nirvana. Colored by Turner Williams Jr.â€™s electrified Indian zither, vaporous pieces like â€śTranquilizerâ€ť and â€śMirageâ€ť bristle with texture. But the band doesnâ€™t really get cooking until the 20-minute title track, Foxâ€™s drums pulling the musicians through wormhole after wormhole. By the end, itâ€™s just machine-elf chatter, some screaming and the dramatic detonations of a group that knows how to sweat.