John Frusciante’s new electronic double album ‘I’ and ‘II’ partly inspired by “the general idea of [Brian] Eno’s initial concept of Ambient music”
“This music was made from sequences which never exceed a single note, many of these pieces being made on a single pattern.”
Image: ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy
“Music being a solitary sculpture in sonic space was the main motivating thought,“ says Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante of his upcoming double electronic album, I and II, arriving early next year.
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Two versions of the record will be released — with I (pronounced “one”) featuring seven tracks on vinyl, while II (pronounced “two”) includes more songs, in both CD and digital formats.
According to Frusciante, I has less songs as “some of the tracks have sounds that cannot be pressed on vinyl”, though it will feature a bonus track exclusive to the vinyl version.
Of the new project, the musician said, “After a year and a half writing and recording rock music, I needed to clear my head. I listened to and made music where things generally happen gradually rather than suddenly.”
“I would set up patches on a Monomachine or Analog Four and listen to them, hearing one sound morph into others, making changes to a patch only after having listened for quite a while, gradually adding elements, and finally manipulating the sounds on the fly. All tracks were recorded live to CD burner, with no overdubs, and executed on one or two machines.”
Frusciante also revealed that he was “inspired by my mental image of John Lennon’s tape and mellotron experiments he made at home during his time in the Beatles, as well as events like the first minute of Bowie’s Station To Station” and “the general idea of Eno’s initial concept of Ambient music.”
“Music being a solitary sculpture in sonic space was the main motivating thought,” he said. “I was looking at pictures of sculptures and trying to make music that simultaneously conveyed both movement and stillness. I refrained from sudden musical changes, especially avoiding sequences of notes and rhythms. In fact, this music was made from sequences which never exceed a single note, many of these pieces being made on a single pattern.”
Speaking of the transition from RHCP’s music to his upcoming record, Frusciante said, “I had previously spent 12 years programming and engineering my own music, and then spent a year and a half making music where my role was basically to write songs and play guitar. When the band’s recording phase was completed, I needed to go back to my adopted language. I had done enough with chords, rhythms, notes, defined sections, sharp transitions, etc..”
“What I needed was to create music from the ground up with nothing but sound, and have that music reflect “being” rather than “doing”. It was a therapeutic way of re-balancing myself, before and during my band’s mixing process.”
“This music seeks to just exist, and is not attempting to manipulate or grab the listener in any way. I believe it works well if one listens loud and focuses on it, but also works well at soft volumes and in the background. It can compete with silence on silence’s own terms, and it can also happily wipe silence out.”
Arriving on 3 February 2023 via Avenue 66 label, I and II are now up for pre-order.
Check out the tracklist below.
7. MK 2.1
2. MK 2.1
4. Blesub Dot
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