“Xenosonic Journeys” is the fifth solo album from Italian new age/jazz fusion artist and multi-instrumentalist Gino Foti. The four previous albums include: “Vedic Mantras”, “Bhavachukra” - and two albums I reviewed for Prognaut back in 2006, “Sphere Of Influence” and “Orbis Terrarum”.
Although he performs on keyboards and sampling synthesizers, Gino Foti is first and foremost an exceptional bass guitarist. And much of his material is constructed around bass and MIDI bass guitar. He has a mastery of the fluid fretless bass on par with jazz contemporaries like Mark Egan and Percy Jones of Brand X. And Foti incorporates various configurations of fretted & fretless, dry & effected, rhythm & lead into the compositions, giving the bass guitar a distinct prominence.
And with the aid of guest musicians Dave Kulju (guitars), Massimo (V-Drums), and Sri Sastry (vocalist on the track “Among Sacred Rivers) Gino Foti has produced a aural travelogue of exception jazz/fusion with "Xenosonic Journeys" transporting the listener to mystical and exotic locations across the globe.
The loosely structured compositions leave a lot of room of improvisation as Foti dabbles in a variety of musical genres including ambient, downtempo, electronica, techno, trance, jazz fusion, progressive rock, and world music.
On his website Foti explains that “the arrangements were achieved primarily through three methods: symbiosis, syncretism, and synthesis. Interactions between instruments were maximized, hopefully to the advantage of all; arrays of differences were aligned, such that likeness might be found among the unlikely; and disparate elements were fused together, trying to form a coherent whole”.
Throughout the recordings Foti experiments with a variety of Arabic Middle Eastern, Asian, Latin, European, tribal, and Afro-Cuban rhythmic patterns, and odd time signatures to challenge the listener.
His production skills as well as musical composition are flawless.
Fans of the new age jazz/fusion band Shadowfax should find this to your liking, as well as Kit Watkins later period solo projects.
Recommended for fans of such genres as jazz, global, and ethnic fusion, worldbeat, and new age.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on April 6th, 2013