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MrFrooshontay

New Album Announced! - PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone

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I have to say, i LOVED Letur-Lefr immediately. I was so blown away by what he was doing on it and thought it was some of the most interesting music I've heard in a long long time.

Then when "Walls and Doors" came out, I had to listen to it about 20 times to wrap my head about it. I could tell there were moments that I liked a lot, but the way it would suddenly flip a switch every few seconds and go into something else really threw me off. But, I nearly stubbornly kept listening and now I "get it" and think it's a great track.

I had a similar experience with PBX, although it wasn't to the same degree. I found that on the first listen or two I was kind of distracted by who avant garde the changes are - specifically in the percussion instruments as they are particularly frenetic - but NOW...

After maybe three or four listens I really LOVE "Ratiug," "Mistakes," "Uprane," "Sum," "Intro/Sabam" and.. well I just realized I'm basically listing every song.

I think the only one that has a bit to go for me still is "Hear Say" and it's actually for what other people have mentioned which is that the vocals are pretty hard to hear. I felt that was a problem on "Sum" as well.

I don't mind the sound of any of the instruments. I think the guitars sound brilliant even if they don't always actually sound LIKE guitars. The percussion, it bothers me when I can't tell if it's a sample or a drum machine but that only bothers me intellectually because I want to understand what I'm hearing. But sonically, it's fine either way. And the synths, I've always been a huge fan of those sounds so I like everything I hear on this and don't worry about how "realistic" the strings sound is for example.

All in all I'm thrilled with this album! It was worth the wait. As much as I'd like to have another "Inside of Emptiness" or "Curtains" or especially "Empyrean," I'm glad John has found yet ANOTHER sonic identity that I can want another album in the style of.

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/>If slim is not here to make the threads about each song, would any of you folks do it? These songs are so complex that they simply need to be discussed separately.

I agree with you, it makes sense to me to have threads for each song. I'll start with them right now, but if someone else wants to help, that would be cool (just start at the end of the album :)/> )

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/>

If slim is not here to make the threads about each song, would any of you folks do it? These songs are so complex that they simply need to be discussed separately.

I agree with you, it makes sense to me to have threads for each song. I'll start with them right now, but if someone else wants to help, that would be cool (just start at the end of the album :)/> )

Thanks a doubt, for making the threads. I was away for some time and I'm not sure if I can find the time to listen to the album very soon. I will be back though...

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John's explanation of PBX (why this was in the title) was so thorough. I never realized it was a ...sort of... well known acronym however I did find out. It offers an extended album title and also a really exciting metaphor, once reading about the concept a bit. :yes:/>

It might be possible to discuss what this concept means in connection to the album but I think I will put that in the artwork discussion thread.

Anyway without further space: Private Branch Exchange Funicular Intaglio Zone

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Well, the parts of songs, even if the lyrical content is continuous are in strong musical contrast, just like thoughts in one's mind.

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/>I guess I'm one of the few, or only who isn't completely in love with the album, like I was with each and every other Frusciante record. To much electronic elements. To record water is one of my FAV records, and it has a lot of electronic type stuff. These new releases don't do it for me. Not something I will be listining to a couple months from now, unlike every other JF record.

To be honest, I'd rather hear a record by John with ALL MCing and rapping by different artists and just his beats rather than his vocals over these songs.

It's my least favourite John album. Then, again, I'm not disappointed with him. I am indeed disappointed because after Letur-Lefr I though it would be great for my ears, but while I'm disappointed that it didn't meet my expectations, I'm not disappointed with John.

The man is one of my favourite people of all time, including ones I personally know, because of his honesty. And this comes from someone who really hates admiration for pop culture stars. But John is different because of the personal content in his work, because of how I could personally relate to it in my darkest hours, and because he truly is true to himself. So actually, I am pleased that he does what he likes. And it may sound pathetic, and like a 14-year-old "fan-boy", but I truly am happy for him after reading how much happy he is with his new style of working on music.

So I'm really confused as to how I feel about this album. I really appreciate the effort by John, and the fact that he released it despite knowing that not all people would like it. I really, really, really do. But as much as I try, I can't find myself relating to it as much as I felt with his previous albums.

And by trying and opening my mind I did find myself looking at things differently in this new work, for example I didn't understand Letur-Lefr the first time I listened to it, but I kept listening to it, trying to find things I like, and experiencing music differently from what I'm used to, and eventually fell in love with it.

Bottom line is, I really can't say I was blown away by PBX, but I appreciate the sincerity and the effort, and that he decided to release it for the fans even though he admitted he has no motivation to release music for the sake of "success" - and while I didn't relate musically to most of it, I did like some parts, and I'm looking forward to hearing more work by him with his new method and style. I understood from his posts in his website that he really feels "at home" with this, so I'm happy for him, and I'm happy for the chance to listen to a sincere work by such a special artist.

John is a rare artist for me - I really can't denounce any of his works.

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Now that i've heard the record several times i feel obligated to write what i think about it.

I've been a fan of John Frusciante's solo music for over a decade now, grew up listening to his playing with the RHCP and followed him ever since. So each of his records has a special place in my heart.

But i can confidently say that i enjoyed PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone more than any other of them.

Really. It's totally fucking insane. This record is a mixture of pretty much everything i like about music. :blink:/>

I carry a huge love for 60s pop, especially the Beatles, 70s prog like King Crimson, Yes, Gentle Giant and Zappa, 80s new wave a la Depeche Mode, Human League, 90s drum&bass stuff squarepusher, afx, autechre. Also big fan of Venetian Snares, way before John started working with him. On PBX John combines all of that in the most beautiful and appropriate way possible. I'm in love :wub:/> :wub:/>

Oh yea and another thing that i think is very mentionable:

You can 100% feel it's the music of the person, who made Niandra Lades. A long time has passed, the person has matured now, but the spirit is still there.

Edited by Arakuine

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Here, one after another, we have two replies where one focuses on OWN FEELINGS only and the other focuses on MUSIC and EXPLORATION. I'll have to go with the later and salute Arakuine. :respekkt:/>

If this music is "shocking" to you, or if you're not into "DJ-ing" or "techno" (both phrases are taxonomy errors in this context, by the way); look up John's influences and music history, in order to overcome your "shock". Once that happens; you'll be able to find something for your own, emotional and subjective aspect too. But try to look at the entire picture first, rather than where you fit into it. The modern world emphasizes own pleasure waaay too much and we fail to see the beauty of things that don't click with us immediately.

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/>Here, one after another, we have two replies where one focuses on OWN FEELINGS only and the other focuses on MUSIC and EXPLORATION. I'll have to go with the later and salute Arakuine. :respekkt:/>

If this music is "shocking" to you, or if you're not into "DJ-ing" or "techno" (both phrases are taxonomy errors in this context, by the way); look up John's influences and music history, in order to overcome your "shock". Once that happens; you'll be able to find something for your own, emotional and subjective aspect too. But try to look at the entire picture first, rather than where you fit into it. The modern world emphasizes own pleasure waaay too much and we fail to see the beauty of things that don't click with us immediately.

Thank you for the "respect" sign. :)/> But it should be really me giving kudos to you: what you are doing for the JF community is just sensational. :respekkt:/>

I don't mind people not liking this record as long as it's their honest opinion and they don't act like jerks because of their dissatisfaction with it. What's really heart-breaking to me is that a lot of the criticism seems to come from his more guitar-oriented fans. That is really sad to watch because particulary on this record John is opening up completely new territories, which have never been explored on a guitar before. At least not as far as i know. Let me elaborate on this for a minute:

At some point John started to incorporate some Robert Fripp-sounding licks into his guitar playing. That is only an assumption, because it was never really specified in any interview, but comparing THIS to the guitar solo you can hear in the end of "Enough Of Me" should be proof enough. The concept of it is basically trying to play in two places on the neck at the same time with rather big intervals between the notes. Anybody who plays guitar can confirm that it is not an easy thing to do and requires practice, especially if you want to improvise, because you have to think in two directions at once. You can hear him experimenting with this style during live solos as early as in 2007. Traces of it can be found

and i'm sure there is more, i'm just too lazy to go through all the bootlegs. It differs from his almost signature "Hendrix-inspired-pentatonic-Rock-Solo" style he utilized for most of the SA tour and can be identified by anybody, who has a general understanding of the instrument.

Posted Image

As we all know by now, John was also very interested in exploring various forms of underground electronic music - particulary Acid House. The main melodic instrument of the latter, an equivalent to e.g. a guitar in the context of a rock band, is the Roland TB303. Because of its structure the way you write music with such a machine differs from how you would come up with music on a guitar. An important aspect is that, since you don't have to physically „play“ the melody, there are no limitations concerning e.g. which intervals you use: Transpose keys allow you to program sequences that span several octaves! John stated that it was his goal to take what he learned from programming on sequencers and find a way to interpret it on a guitar. I believe he took the „Fripp-esque“ idea i was talking about earlier, put it in a totally new context and adjusted it. The whole paragraph in his essay about his recent history, where he states: "I began developing a concept for a new approach to playing guitar, which required regular practice" is about developing the style i'm talking about.

And he was successful!! We first heard it on Letur-Lefr like during "In Your Eyes" @ 03:36 or "Glowe" @ 00:48-01:03. Now it can also be found pretty much all over PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone. I have to admit that this guitar style was one of the things i mostly anticipated while waiting for the full-length. This might be a long shot but in my eyes this can revolutionize guitar playing. Especially today it seems like there are millions of bands coming up everywhere, who try to incorporate "elements of electronic music" into their sound. Unfortunately their guitarists tend to take their ideas from the same musical vocabulary, that has its roots in blues and rock music. Instead of figuring out how sequencers are "thinking", they just use thousands of effect pedals, preferably delays, making the guitar sound "experimental" without even doing anything special (not dissing fx pedals, when they are used in the right place, i'm just saying that playing a typical rocksolo through 7 delay pedals and a phaser isn't as innovative as all "experimental" bands in my region think it is). The approach to guitar playing demonstrated on PBX could open up minds and inspire many future artists, who also feel limited by the traditional guitar vocabulary.

To cut a long story short: John has worked out a way of playing the guitar, which -if studied correctly- could enable you to play music you haven't been able to play before. How can you be mad at him? He's doing us a big favor! There are two kinds of records: Records, that want to sound like other people, and records other people will want to sound like. I'm sure time will prove that PBX belongs to the latter. :)/>

Edited by Arakuine

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"John is opening up completely new territories, which have never been explored on a guitar before. At least not as far as i know(...)

At some point John started to incorporate some Robert Fripp-sounding licks into his guitar playing."

Well,you do know.Of course the sound differs but basically it's something that has been done by the great Robert Fripp. before...

Also, many jazz guitar players use different intervalls at the same time during their solos, mainly octaves.

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I disagree, because i don't believe innovation means creating something out of nothing, but taking something that already exists, putting it into a different context and adjusting it. If you take some time to study music history and how it became what it is today, you will see that there are no "music gods", who just make up a style, but that the evolution of music is a group effort of many generations of countless musicians influencing each other and altering each other's ideas until something tangible emerges, which is then called "genre" or "style" or whatever. Referring to my example Robert Fripp did not use this technique the same way John uses it on PBX. Neither to play along to jungle beats, nor to emulate the sound of a tb303. Also: Because of his RHCP fame and his gigantic fanbase he is able to popularize music, that would otherwise be overlooked by the youth. By incorporating this idea of guitar playing on a record that is heard by milions of people all over the world, he might affect future musicians, which also contributes to the evolution of music.

Edited by Arakuine

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Considering all the hate it gets...

Posted Image

Edited by Mxlplx

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It definitely isn't for everybody; and it definitely isn't for all possible moods. Then again, it's not like any of John's previous albums apart from - maybe - Curtains and SCWP was for everybody, at any given time.

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GEOGLYPHS, GROUND FIGURES, OR INTAGLIOS

I just found this photo of a signpost relating to geoglyphs in the southern desert of California!  I am not certain that this type of ancient artwork was an inspiration although this many years after the album release it feels like an exciting and open ended addition to the discussion. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blythe_Intaglios

The Colorado Desert contains the only known desert intaglios in North America. The intaglios are mostly located along the Colorado River. The Blythe Intaglios contain three human figures, two four-legged animal, and a spiral; although Harner (1953) reported two spirals. The largest human figure in the Blythe Intaglio group is 171 feet (52 m) long. Since it is difficult to view an entire figure from the ground, the intaglios are best viewed from the air.

Sometimes there are stories that ancient people could have developed gliders that would ride air currents, and/or could have found trance methods to leave their bodies and view from above these artworks.  Music could very likely have been such a method! It may not have been during the daytime, it could have been at times when persons were falling asleep but with moonlight, twilight or the earliest light from sunrise. 

I wish to say that it is fun and inspiring to think of the PBX back cover artwork as resembling an ancient intaglio artwork.  This seems to be the largest human intaglio present there, it is currently within an enclosure!

https://camperchroniclesdotcom.files.wordpress.com/2016/01/dji_0010.jpg

 

Also, there is an album by Yes, Tales From Topographic Oceans, which includes a geoglyph in the album artwork!

"The Ancient: Giants Under The Sun"

The Ancient probes still further into the past beyound the
point of remembering. Here Steve's guitar is pivotal in sharpening
reflection on the beauties and treasures of lost civilisations,
Indian, Chinese, Central American, Atlantean. These and other people left an immense treasure of knowledge.
 
I do think that overall the music and sound of PBX carries so much presence and connection; feeling immensely human and primordial and allowing listeners to become that way through playing the album!!  
All of John's music is able to be those ways for many people I feel and uniquely for each person, but for me PBX especially brings that openness of arranged creative music and sound to life in very unique, immense and lasting ways, similar to these ancient artworks lasting through eons and conveying unending amounts of ideas, by how they interact with people experiencing them!     

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