Citing Chicago footwork, John Carpenter, and various Rephlex alumni as influences, former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante continued venturing further into the world of electronic music with his 2016 EP Foregrow. While his previous releases under his own name attempted to meld his electronic influences with his own brand of alternative rock songwriting, this EP is closer in spirit to Speed Dealer Moms (his collaboration with Venetian Snares), and the more experimental tracks he recorded under his acid techno alias Trickfinger. The opening title track features the type of ticking hi-hats, skittering snares, acid synth squiggles, and confounding time signatures common to Speed Dealer Moms (as well as other Aaron Funk ventures). The main differentiating factor is that Frusciante's deep vocals are embedded into the music. The rest of the tracks don't incorporate vocals as much; if they do, they're more as samples/effects than lyrical venue. By far the most experimental piece is "Expre'act," which features an arrhythmically staggering drum machine along with complex synth melodies which actually do a remarkable job at catching up with the falling-apart rhythm. His guitars flutter underneath, but it's the deep, sporadic kick drums that grab your attention. "Unf" is slightly more straightforward, and hints toward disco with its pew-pew laser keyboards, but its sugary, effervescent synths glide upwards rather than propulsively chugging along. Then it gets more confusing as it turns into a sort of wistful, nostalgic jazz-funk tune...with more acid techno squiggles. Even given Frusciante's previous few years' worth of output, this EP is still a surprise, and it's as challenging as it is captivating. ~ Paul Simpson
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- Omar Rodriguez Lopez & John Frusciante (Rodriguez-Lopez, Omar)