August 14 2012
Today begins the official pre-order for my new record PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone. The 9 song album will be released in North America on September 25th 2012, in Japan on September 12th and throughout the rest of the world on September 24th.
In the meantime, below is a free hi-resolution download link to the song Walls & Doors. This song, recorded in September 2010, marks the point at which I began combining 60s and early 70s production styles with modern electronic production styles. This song was also the first time I successfully balanced pop music with abstract forms of music. This song showed me that the pop parts of myself and the more adventurous parts of myself could blend without one compromising the scope of the other. After this song I did not pick up the ball and run, but rather I continued to challenge myself, refine my engineering, experiment and investigate, more from the abstract angle than the pop angle, until March 2011, at which point I’d figured out the things which made it possible for me to consistently make precisely the music I wanted to make, in which I was not restraining any part of my nature, allowing me to begin the recording of PBX. I might mention that Walls And Doors was also the first time my electronic instruments had begun to convey the visceral energy that one associates with people beating the fuck out of their instruments, in the context of a pop song.
July 17 2012
July 9 2012
I started being serious about following my dream to make electronic music, and to be my own engineer, five years ago. For the 10 years prior to that, I had been playing guitar along with a wide range of different types of programmed synthesizer and sample based music, emulating as best as I could, what I heard. I found that the languages machines forced programmers to think in had caused them to discover a new musical vocabulary. The various forms of electronically generated music, particularly in the last 22 years, have introduced many new principles of rhythm, melody, and harmony. I would learn what someone had programmed but their thought process eluded me. Programmers, particularly ones fluent on machines from the early 80s and/or tracker programs from the 90s, clearly had a theoretical foundation in their employ but it was not the theory I knew from pop/rock, jazz or classical. The hands relationship to the instrument accounts for so much of why musicians do what they do, and I had come to feel that in pop/rock my mind was often being overpowered by my hand, which I had a strong desire to correct. I was obsessed with music where machine intelligence and human intelligence seemed to be bouncing off one another, each expanding with the incorporation of what it received from the other.
In 2007 I started to learn how to program all the instruments we associate with Acid House music and some other hardware. For about 7 months I didn’t record anything. Then I started recording, playing 10 or so synced machines through a small mixer into a CD burner. This was all experimental Acid House, my skills at making rock music playing no part in it whatsoever. I had lost interest in traditional songwriting and I was excited about finding new methods for creating music. I’d surround myself with machines, program one and then another and enjoy what was a fascinating process from beginning to end. I was so excited by the method of using numbers much in the same way I’d used my muscles all my life. Skills that had previously been applied by my subconscious were gradually becoming conscious, by virtue of having numerical theoretical means of thinking about rhythm, melody and sound.
June 17 2012
PBX refers to an internal communication system. There is a natural version of this, wherein the “business or office” is a person. A funicular involves two trams connected by a cable, one going up while the other goes down. All music perpetually does this on many levels simultaneously. Intaglio is a technique in sculpture where one works on the opposite side of the image, whereby the image will eventually appear to the spectator in relief, but the angle the sculptor works from is the negation of that. In music that I like, an approach analogous to this was employed, the more so the better. Zone refers to a state of mind wherein the rest of the world seemingly disappears, and nothing matters but the union of one’s immediate surroundings with one’s feelings. These four words linked together go far to describing my creative process.
Letur-Lefr for me signifies the transition of two becoming one, notably symbolized by the first song on the album being the sequel to the album’s last.
May 27 2012
There are two new John Frusciante records coming out. The first is an EP entitled Letur-Lefr, and the second is an LP entitled PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone. I sing, play the instruments and am the engineer. The EP features a few friends on vocals, mostly MC’ing. The LP has one feature, the rest of the vocals being my own.
I consider my music to be Progressive Synth Pop, which says nothing about what it sounds like, but does describe my basic approach. I combine aspects of many styles of music and create my own musical forms by way of electronic instruments.
The tracks on Letur-Lefr are from 2010 and PBX was made in 2011. Letur is a compilation, a selected portion of music I made that year while PBX was conceived as an album, the songs having been recorded in succession. The records are very different from each other, so prior to the release of the LP, I will make available a free download of a song called Walls and Doors. This song pointed the way towards PBX, but was recorded 7 months earlier. I always took it for granted that Walls and Doors would be part of the record, but as it turned out the record was better off without it.
Letur-Lefr will be released in Japan on July 4th, in North America on July 17th, and in the rest of the world on July 16th. You can pre-order the EP, which will be available on vinyl, CD, cassette and in 32 bit, FLAC and MP3 digital formats here.
PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone will be released in Japan on September 12th, in North America on September 25th and in the rest of the world on September 24th. Like Letur-Lefr, PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone will be available on vinyl, CD, cassette and in 32 bit, FLAC and MP3 digital formats.
We will provide a pre-order link for PBX sometime in early August.
- Thanks, John
December 16 2009
When I quit the band, over a year ago, we were on an indefinite hiatus. There was no drama or anger involved, and the other guys were very understanding. They are supportive of my doing whatever makes me happy and that goes both ways.
To put it simply, my musical interests have led me in a different direction. Upon rejoining, and throughout my time in the band, I was very excited about exploring the musical possibilities inherent in a rock band, and doing so with those people in particular. A couple of years ago, I began to feel that same excitement again, but this time it was about making a different kind of music, alone, and being my own engineer.
I really love the band and what we did. I understand and value that my work with them means a lot to many people, but I have to follow my interests. For me, art has never been something done out of a sense of duty. It is something I do because it is really fun, exciting, and interesting. Over the last 12 years, I have changed, as a person and artist, to such a degree that to do further work along the lines I did with the band would be to go against my own nature. There was no choice involved in this decision. I simply have to be what I am, and have to do what I must do.
Sending love and gratitude to you all.
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