By: N. David Pastor
John Frusciante recently announced an upcoming album to be released on April 7th via Acid Test. The album, which has yet to receive a title, was previewed last month with a single, “After Below,” a four-minute experimental acid house track. This shift in focus shouldn’t come as a surprise as Frusciante has been pushing against his background as a rock musician and songwriter for years now. The only significant difference is that the music will be credited to his newly established alter-ego, Trickfinger. The latter was a nickname that derived from his brief stint as a hip-hop producer with Wu-Tang affiliates The Black Knights (now let us never speak of that again), and the fancy trick finger guitar he is credited with playing on Swahili Blonde records (let us never speak of those either).
Most likely out of the respect for the genre of acid house and the musicians that he has worked with along the way, Frusciante has hesitated to identify as an electronic musician. More often, it was a way for him to expand his songwriting and incorporate new sounds. That’s why it’s also interesting to see him release his music through a house and techno label. It’s a level of integrity he must have felt he both needed and deserved. Remember, this transition is at least one decade in the making, part of a search for autonomy that Frusciante has always sought in his music. From his early experiments with drum machines and samples on To Record Only Water For Ten Days to several electronic interludes on Shadows Collide With People to even a collaborative effort with Josh Klinghoffer, electronic music has always been a limited part of Frusciante’s musical vocabulary.
So this is it. John Frusciante is crossing that threshold. Like most fans, we’ll just have to wait and hear how much further we’re willing to be dragged through his rabbit hole of a solo career.
To pre-order Trick Finger click here