John Frusciante- Foregrow EP review
John Frusciante has once again returned, with his unique mix of numerous styles. Since the release of Letur-Lefr (2012), Frusciante has been known for his unorthodox (sometimes unsettling) use of rhythm and for synthesised music that still retains his usual musicianship. Foregrow EP definitely does not shift from the likes of Outsides (2013) or PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone (2012) in terms of his (now typical) blend of synthesised creations.
This is Frusciante’s first commercial release since Enclosure in 2014. However, between Enclosure and now, Frusciante has released an album under the pseudonym Trickfinger on the Acid Test label, as well as releasing numerous unreleased collections for free online, including Renoise Tracks 2009-2011, 4-Track Guitar Music, and additional single tracks. So there’s definitely been enough content to keep Frusciante fans going until this latest release once again on the Acid Test label.
Enclosure left me with an uneasy feeling, despite my initial excitement for it. By no means am I saying it is not a strong album but although it had some great tracks, it still left me a bit empty in terms of the tone usually created by Frusciante’s work. Foregrow EP seems to me to finish off Enclosure as a concept of commercial music. It has the more natural synthesised feel of Letur-Lefr whilst maintaining the same energy that Frusciante has worked to create in this musical adventure.
Foregrow starts quite reserved in comparison to the openings of Shining Desert (track 1 of Enclosure) or After Below (Trickfinger) but develops into a polyrhythmic wonderland of overlapping series of rhythms and synthesised motifs. Unf is the fourth, and final, track of the 20 minute release, and in my opinion it provides the freshest ideas to Frusciante’s work, combining his guitar as an almost rhythmic accompaniment to the chopped musical beats and synth. Expre’act (track 2) is what provides common ground between Enclosure and Foregrow EP in my mind, and why I think it is a fitting continuation of the 2014 album. Lowth Forgue provides some new ideas into Frusciante’s work, starting with an orthodox four-to-the-floor beat with Letur-Lefr type synthesisers and developing into a usual polyrhythm that builds and fades as well as Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint.
Overall, Foregrow EP provides both fresh blends of familiar ideas to Frusciante’s fans, as well as an unorthodox sensory experience that has become common in Frusciante’s music. You can very much tell that this music is made from what he wants to create and isn't dictated by others desires of Frusciante; be it a credit or liability, it is an admirable approach to creation in society nowadays and here’s to hoping we hear more from him in the future.