John Frusciante ’s new album titled Maya, will transport you back to the past, as it is a stark collection of ‘90s jungle and rave electronica!
If you’re a fan of artists like Hot Since 82, Chrome, Aphex Twin, and other names synonymous with the ‘80s and ‘90s club sound, you’ll definitely want to check out John Frusciante’s new electronic album. Better known as the funk rock, effects pedal hoarding guitar virtuoso for Red Hot Chili Peppers, it might come as a surprise to many that Frusciante’s new album, Maya, is a stark collection of ‘90s jungle and rave electronica.
Yet, whether you’re a hardcore Chili Peppers fan, old school rave kid, or just curious about electronic dance music, Maya is an impressive album. Intentional or not, the song Blind Aim is a warm, polyrhythmic tribute to Kraftwerk. Amethblowl is a dark masterpiece that pulls the listener into a turn of the century nightclub in The Matrix, arguably the best introduction to classic UK jungle and rave sounds from the entire album. Meanwhile, Reach Out is an R&B-laced masterclass in rhythm changes, with just enough nostalgia to draw you in with familiarity, only to smash everything to pieces at every opportune chance. And that’s just the tip of the synthesised iceberg.
As a review of Maya by Riff Magazine writes, the album finds Frusciante in fine form. Considering what he’s primarily known for in the music world, the entire album is a huge risk. And in every way possible, fans are reaping the rewards. At the risk of spitting blasphemy against the entire ‘90s club scene, Maya could very well be the best jungle EDM album ever created. It’s certainly the best to come out of this century.
None of this is surprising if you’re familiar with Trickfinger, the moniker under which Frusciante has previously released other electronic albums. Armed with the same Roland TB-303, drum machines, and synthesisers he used to create his EDM EPs under Trickfinger, Frusciante breaks away from the clinical tightness of his EDM alter ego. Instead, bearing his own name, Maya was created using almost the same tools but with a warm roughness – an edge that’s reminiscent of the grime and sweat of the classic jungle scene and old school Detroit techno. Indeed, Maya is a portal to the golden age of rave. It’s arguably a synthesis of the tight, complex melodies he developed as Trickfinger – an intimate peek into not just Frusciante’s process but the evolution of an almost forgotten sub-genre of EDM.
It’s no secret that Frusciante has always wanted to create electronic music, even when he was part of the original Chili Peppers lineup. For his long-time fans, this has been highly apparent in his playing style. As one of the most influential electric guitarists from the ‘90s, Frusciante’s funk rock sound is driven by classic effects like the Line 6 Delay Modeler pedal and the strange pitches of the Electro-Harmonix HOG2 octave pedal, which are just two of the stompboxes in his notoriously packed and ever-shifting pedalboard. The way he has masterfully played with octaves, MIDI patches, tape delays, and old school distortion are the very roots of his new foray into jungle EDM. Around two decades later, these roots are responsible for reviving the genre with renewed ferocity.