John Frusciante’s ‘Enclosure’ is the end product of a two year expressive journey from the enigmatic artist. Frusciante’s path to this point has been littered with obstructions and diversions but his artistic perseverance has resulted in a discography of almost monstrous proportions. The former Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist hung up his performing boots in 2008 honing in on his own compositions as well as making his production debut with the west coast hip hop duo, The Black Knights. ‘Enclosure’ marks the second of John’s solo records in which he moves away from guitar heavy material and focuses more on an experimentation with samplers, synths and drum machines. The other being his 2012 record, ‘PBX Funicular Intaglio Zone’
‘Enclosure’ opens with Shining Desert, and the listener is greeted by multiple synthesizer patches which create a sense of unease. Frusciante’s doubled vocals are harmonised and sink deep into the mix. They are almost intelligible but flow confidently as the synth patches and drum samples catch you off guard. There appears to be chaos in the track but the artist’s ease in the madness is comforting. This is a pattern which is present from the outset and is fortified as the work continues. The chaotic nature of the movement of sounds is placed upon a stable background, from which Frusciante doesn’t budge.
The instrumental track Clinch gives anyone learned with Frusciante’s back catalogue a solid idea of how this album has been constructed. When comparing this with the opening track of his 2009 album ‘The Empyrean’, Before theBeginning is light years from Clinch. Before the Beginning is formed in a classical rock format and is reliant on Frusciante’s distinguished guitar technique. A cry back to Funkadelic’s 1971 Maggot Brain, the instrumental tracks power is in its simplicity whereas Clinch is far more elaborate. It feels like the soundtrack to an ‘80s disaster sci-fi classic.
The guitar technique seems more focused on experimenting with breaking monotonous rhythmic structures and timing. The momentum of the album brings great comfort as the listener settles into the pace and uncertainty. Even though the work is at times turbulent, Frusciante’s identity is never lost. His confident vocals shine through and the personal nature of the performance is enthralling. The energy and personality in Crowded is gripping. The textures, shifting moods and performance style grabs the listener by the throat.
The outcome of Frusciante’s toiling and experimentation is a textural masterpiece which shifts and explodes over an artist whose constant presence guides you safely through the album. The crashing drums and anarchic explosions feel like Dr. Frankenstein working in front of a sea of dials and switches, each twist and turn flashing great sparks across the bow of the observer. The madness is though utterly mesmerizing. The energies crash through your speakers and greet you with open arms. Frusciante’s dedication to the creative process must be revered and this sensational creation deserves all of your attention.