Recorded during the 2020 Lockdown this is the follow up to Photosynthesis this time featuring drummer Morgan Simpson (Black Midi)
Greg Foat is something of a musical polymath, with his various solo and collaborative albums touching on everything from spiritual jazz, library music and soundtrack sounds, to Balearic beats, jazz-funk and deep house.
On Psychosynthesis, Greg Foat delves deep into his love and collection of synthesisers turning out an album that is deep techno plus electronica with his usual Jazz structure and composition.
More than the some of the past. Yet another another unexpected and brilliant deviation for this versatile musical composer.
Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Greg. Where are you today and what are you up to?
Hi. I am on the Isle of Wight and today I am taking my son to the beach
Where are you from originally and where are you based these days?
I was born in Surrey but moved to the Isle of Wight when I was 12. I have lived in a lot of different countries but now I am back on the island.
Jazz musician, pianist, composer, producer. What came first?
Pianist came first.
I guess you played the piano since you were young. Did you train classically initially?
Yes I had Classical piano lessons from 10 years of age.
Jazz is something that you just feel. No one can teach you that, you have to be able to feel it right?
Not at all. I started learning jazz at around 15 years old. I have had some great teachers over the years. Jazz musicians like Gordon Beck, Jeff Clyne and Trevor Tomkins for example.
Who are some artists from the past that inspire the music that you make today?
Piero Piccioni, John Klemmer, Hiroshi Yoshimura and Francy Boland.
Who do you think is making great music right now that you keep your eyes on?
Charlie Stacey is my favourite Pianist and I also love a new band called Forest Law.
You’ve been described as something of a musical maverick, your projects spanning library music, Balearic, jazz and house. Is there a genre that you feel most comfortable in?
Jazz transcends Genres. A Jazz Musician can play anything.
You have released on Athens of The North, Jazzman, and your album on Strut Symphonie Pacifique made quite a mark in Balearic circles. Can you tell us a little about that album as if anyone has missed it they need to check it!
Symphonie Pacifique is a double LP based upon the painting by Henry Valensi. It features Moses Boyd and Clark Tracey on Drums as well as British Jazz Legend Art Themen on Saxophone.
Psychosynthesis comes from your most recent sell out album of the same title this year. Can you give us a brief overview this beautiful and cinematic widescreen project ?
Psychosynthesis was my first real solo album. I made it mostly with drum machines and synths with my friend and studio owner James Thorpe. It is a real stream of consciousness. It reflects 2 years of brief moments and thoughts
You released it originally on Blue Crystal Records. How did you hook up with Ross Allen and Foundation Music?
I sent the album to Ross and he loved the title track and asked if he could license it for some remixes. I agreed and here we are!
The original track, sounds very Detroit. Can you talk a little more about how this track was born and how was it made?
It was based on a couple of synth ideas on a 1978 Korg MS20
Whose idea was it to get the New Jersey DJ and producer Foremost Poets on board and how do you feel about their remixes? Hasn’t he just worked on the Beyonce album?
It was Ross Allen’s idea but I am very happy with the result. I had no idea he had worked with Beyonce!
The track is also interpretated by legendary Sheffield producer Crooked Man. That’s quite a coup. Do you give producers direction on remixes, or do you just trust them and let them do their thing?
No I just let them do their thing.
Being a one man act, how do you feel about collaborating?
I love collaborating
Is there something you have in the pipeline and who with?
Yes I have just recorded an album with Gigi Masin which is out next year.
What other projects are you working on right now that you can share?
This October I will be recording an album with a legendary Saxophonist from Finland and another album in Mykonos with the amazing Greek saxophonist. Sokratis Votskos.
You’ve devoted most of your life to making music. What do you think you might have done if you didn’t follow this musical path?
If I hadn’t devoted my life to music then I would have probably made some decent money doing something else instead