For his sixth solo release "Global Resonances", Sicilian born composer Gino Foti has set aside all manner of keyboards creating an album featuring bass guitar as the primary instrument. But don't let that fool you into thinking you'll be bored to tears listening to some ego inflated bassist laying down a thumping bottom end bass track then simply riff away with multiple bass guitar overdubs. If that were the case this would be the shortest review in Prognaut's CD Review Archive. But Foti's midi bass is capable of simulating any number of musical instruments, adding musical textures that the bass guitar alone could never achieve. What you can expect is a wide array of middle eastern stringed instruments as well as sax and horns. Any acoustic instrument or unearthly sound a keyboard player can emulate with a midi or sampling keyboard is available to Foti's midi bass.
I learned long ago after listening to albums from guitarists like Allan Holdsworth and Mark Dwane who incorporate the SynthAxe into their repertoire, that faux-Mellotron string washes and otherworldly Moog synthesizer sounds weren’t restricted solely to instruments with black and white keys - but stringed and wind instruments as well. And talented artists like Gino Foti have tapped into that technology.
Following in the footsteps of innovative musicians like Mark Egan (fretless bass), Chris Squire (Rickenbacker 4001), Tony Levin (Chapman Stick), and Trey Gunn (Warr Guitar), Foti has taken his bass playing to that next level, giving prominence and new voice to an instrument, which by design as part of the rhythm section, is normally relegated to the background.
Once again as on his last album “Xenosonic Journeys” Foti experiments with a variety of Arabic Middle Eastern, Asian, Latin, European, tribal, and Afro-Cuban rhythmic patterns, as well as an impressive four bass guitar arrangement of J.S. Bach's "Fugue in G Minor".
With the exception of a guest appearance by fellow Electrum band mate Dave Kulju (Electric Guitar) on the track "Courageous Convictions" this is all the work of Gino Foti - performed, arranged, produced, engineered, mixed, and mastered.
Unlike the music of his previous band Electrum - an energetic instrumental progressive rock trio in the vein of King Crimson and Rush, producing the albums "Frames Of Mind" (1998) and "Standard Deviation" (2002) - his post-Electrum solo career sees Gino Foti embracing the World Music genre, incorporating elements of ambient new age, jazz and ethnic fusion, down tempo, electronica, techno, trance and European classical into his compositions.
"Global Resonances" is an aural travelogue of the imagination, crisscrossing the globe to exotic locales like the mysterious orient or a world of Turkish delights. The music transcends time itself, transporting the listener to ancient Persia when Scheherazade delighted and distracted her husband Shahryah with heroic and romantic tales of "One Thousand And One Nights".
Though these may not be the exact destinations Foti intended when composing each track ... none-the-less his music sparked my imagination, whisking me airborne on a magic carpet ride far from my Indiana ranch house.
On his website Foti gives an interesting overview into the thought-process behind "Global Resonances":
"During one of his many experiments, scientist and inventor Nikola Tesla discovered that the Earth has a resonant frequency close to 8 Hertz which radiates after powerful electromagnetic events, such as lightning. Physicist Winfried Otto Schumann predicted the same mathematically in the early 1950s, and scientific tests performed later in that decade confirmed that the global resonances excited by lightning discharges in the cavity formed by the planet's surface and the ionosphere resonate at a main frequency of 7.83 Hz, with its harmonics found around 14, 20, 26, 33, 39 and 45 Hz (with daily variations of +/- 0.5). Not coincidentally, these frequencies are within the same range of our alpha, beta, and gamma brainwaves. The latter's frequency range can be found on the lower register of a standard bass guitar, and has been associated with optimal brain function, increased mental abilities, and higher awareness of reality, in several recent studies. Given my decision to silence all keyboards and synthesizers for this release, and focus on bass guitars, I thought that the subject of "Earth's frequencies" was appropriate. In the spirit of Tesla, who often sat alone in his laboratory while his equipment pulsed low frequencies, I sat in my home studio and experimented with musical versions of alternating currents, radiant energy, and telluric systems to invent a new set of compositions that will hopefully produce positive effects upon your brainwaves."
Although not necessarily progressive rock, I would highly recommended "Global Resonances" to fans of new age, Smooth Jazz, and World Music. As well as his previous albums “Xenosonic Journeys", “Vedic Mantras”, “Bhavachukra”, “Sphere Of Influence”, and “Orbis Terrarum”.
Reviewed by Joseph Shingler on January 11th, 2014