Greg Foat has made some truly fascinating music over the years. A multi-faceted musician whose solo and collaborative albums span everything from spiritual jazz to Balearic beats, Foat’s musical work takes an exploratory approach to genre.
Psychosynthesis, Foat’s first solo album in two years, is a vibrant journey through his dream-like and entrancing musical world. Spanning jazz-funk, ambient, balearic and other spacey sunset-tinged sounds, the album is a richly textured effort that combines vintage synths with more recent modular gear to create a warm, analog journey into outer space and back again.
The album features many highlights, including “The Green Odyssey,” a floating cut which sounds like it was recorded underwater; “Psychosynthesis (Part 1),” with it’s throbbing bass line and vibrant synths which add a chaotic sense of urgency; and “Underwater Fantasy,” a chugging number which sounds like a dance track slowed down to half-speed.
It’s hard not to feel buoyed along on the album’s subtle waves of synth serenity and seductive rhythms. There’s an understatedly sensuous vibe to many of the tracks and one that makes this record a deeply rewarding listening experience.
The whole album is ambitious in scope and diverse in its soundscape. Not many musicians could pull off such a vision but Foat is a true visionary in his field. Although it’s labeled as solo work, Foat doesn’t pull off Psychosynthesis alone; drummer Morgan Simpson of Black Midi accompanies him throughout the album, flexing his rhythmic chops and demonstrating he’s more than capable of hanging with Foat’s virtuosic vision.
With Psychosynthesis, Greg Foat has crafted a hugely impressive album in all departments and one of the more intriguing releases to come out so far this year. It’s not often you come across a psych jazz/island/ethereal fusion record, but Psychosynthesis is such an album and it’s simply sublime.