October 2004, Filter Magazine (USA)
thanks to Caroline for typing it out
click the thumbnail to see the scans
Sitting in a rented blue Toyota Corolla on Sunset Boulevard with the engine running and the air conditionner on high, John Frusciante, legendary guitarist for the Red hot Chili Peppers, is into some fucking music. He quite literally can't control his enthusiasm, bouncing his knees on the floorboard (shimmery brown/orange cut-off slacks-covered knees), and swaying back and forth in time. Peole stare as they walk by (one of them now power-walking backwards), but nothing can sway him from the task at hand, which - at the moment - is playing some his favorite songs for us. As the parking meter runs down and the summer sun slips down toward the Pacific Ocean, Frusciante takes us through what has got to be the most diverse eight-song playlist ever created (and, thanks to notable showings by the long-winded genres of prog-rock and Afrobeat, possibly the lenthiest).
Known for his varied taste in music, Frusciante has nurtured a healthy solo career apart from RHCP. H's currently pursuing a project in which he will release one album a month for an entire year (some as a solo artist and some with his project Ataxia, which includes Fugazi's Joe Lally and Bicycle Thief's Josh Klinghoffer).
From enlightening us on post-punk ditties, African melodies and hip-hop of all things, to mouthing his own faus-duet with Brandy (yes, that Brandy), Frusciante shows us that he is a man who is serious about his music.
"Turn it Round," Explosive Sound
This is music done in the spirit of punk, and directly aflter the initial punk stuff, but not sticking to any kind of fomula. These guys are just doing their own thing and being influenced by all different sorts of music. Their work ended up being a big influence on the D.C. scene - bands like Righteous Scene, Fugazi. They would find a band like this who nobody had ever picked up, because in England this band was a total failure, very short-lived.
The fact that this CD at all is amazing. Some punk guy from D.C. took it upon himself to re-release it. People don't know who this group is, but they should. And the guitar playing is just tremendous on this whole album.
"Drone," Peel Sessions
I hear real energy in this music. I saw them live a couple of years ago, and it's just them straing into their computer screens and smoking weed in the dark. It was so exciting; they're definitely creating music onstage in front of the audience. And every album they make is completely different from the next; they're always going in adventurous directions. On this particuliar song, John has this ethereal sound going - you're starting to hear it now - I love that sound. [A strange buzzing - you might even call it Drone - begins to emerge from the speakers, growing louder and louder.] It's incredible. It almost takes the place of a choir or a mellotron, but it's completely computer generated. I like sounds that feel like one thing, but are another thing completely.
"Corkscrew," Grapes From the Estate
This is this guy Oren Ambarchi. This is his brand new album on Touch Records. Just about everything on Touch is good - it's one of the few labels that you can trust for its miusci to always be of a certain quality. Oren's a guitar player; when Josh [Klinghoffer] met him, that's when we started listening to all the abstract electronic records from Touch. People like Autechre and Squarepusherare like popstars compared to them. Because of the fact that these guys don't make money from their music, it's truly experimental... truly avant-garde. And the abstractness of it means they aren't trying to cater to any of those parts of our human brain that need there to be a "2" and a "4," or any of the stupid requirements that we make. This album is unusual in that there are some drums on it, but in general his albums are beautiful and peaceful - you can go off in a dream state while you're listening to it. In terms of guitar players, it's people like him who excite me - it doesn't sound anything like a guitar. They take it in a new direction. I like it when it's the ideas that are important and physical instruments aren't.