BY AARON CRECES
So John Frusciante has a new album out on the market. This is the month that fans of the exceptional guitarist have been waiting for, ever since the 2012 release of PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone.
This album, Enclosure, was actually released on an experimental cube satellite known as Sat-JF14. Anyone who wants to listen can download an app which tracks the satellite and allows it to be played while suspended over your area.
Fans have been waiting for a more accessible record, another Shadows Collide with People or To Record Only Water for Ten Days, so let’s dive in headfirst and experience it.
The ex-Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist’s latest album opens with haunting, ambient screeching, oscillating synthesizers and spot-on electronic drum-work. Layered vocals, reversed tracks and melodious fuzz-guitar make the first track, Shining Desert, a real trip to a new mindset, an ethereal experience.
Dropping with some grand piano whole notes, Sleep is a track that will make you want to do anything but that. Only a few seconds in and the crawling piano/vocal combination is aligned with a convoluted but irresistibly rhythmic drum beat. Punctuated by change-ups in time signature and beat style, this song is a definite throwback to his last album, PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone.
Running (no pun intended) through the eerie ambience of Run, the record then descends into the heavy, throbbing tremolo of Stage and remains dark throughout. Fortunately Fanfare is there to pull the album’s mood out of the proverbial hole, beginning with heavy, bass driven synthesizers and some washed out distorted guitar throughout. It really brings to mind the bare bones and spacey feel of Frusciante’s first album, Niandra Lades and Usually Just a T-Shirt.
Cinch is an instrumental that combines the better of two records, Frusciante’s Smile from the Streets You Hold as well as PBX. Once again, ambient guitar fills the background, blending with bass rhythm while tight electronic beats pan in and out in what can only be described as an audible trip.
Enveloping you on all sides with its bass-driven embrace and haunting falsetto, Zone may or may not be a direct reference to his last album. Ascending synthesisers fill the background with what sounds like the soundtrack from the popular Castlevania game before being cruelly plunged into the terrifying song opened with jungle-beats, Crowded. The mood changes quickly, becoming a rock song within the first minute, only to fall back into the avant-garde electronica that dots this album so frequently.
Enclosure is closed (seriously, puns are not intended), with what could be described as the most cheerful song on this record. That’s saying a lot, because it’s really not cheerful at all, it’s just a lot more classically structured and lacking in scary noises.
Enclosure is a fantastic album overall, but it’s really not something that most of the general public would love to blast through their car stereos. If you’re a fan of John Frusciante or his albums, particularly PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone, you will definitely love his latest creation.