Published Nov 12, 2013Since leaving the Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Frusciante has ventured away from rock, instead trying his hand at "modern classical music," "progressive synth pop," and experimental world fusion. Now, he's announced his latest unexpected project: producing an album for Los Angeles hip-hop duo Black Knights. Medieval Chamber is due out on January 14 through Record Collection.
Black Knights members Rugged Monk and Crisis reportedly met Frusciante by chance through mutual acquaintance RZA. This led to a creative collaboration between Frusciante and Rugged Monk, and once Crisis came on board, the project turned into a full-length Black Knights LP.
This is Frusciante's first foray into rap production, although there has been a distinct hip-hop undercurrent to some of the sampled beats in his recent solo work.
"The great freedom I've found in doing hip-hop is that as long as the beat is hard and something that rappers will respond to creatively, the music can be literally any style of music you want," he said in a statement. "On any given song I can end up chopping up classic music or rock music or melodies based in free jazz ideas. I've felt more free doing this album than I have doing anything else."
Rugged Monk offered, "This is his first go-round as far as doing hip-hop, but John Frusciante is a very musical guy. If you sit down and talk to him, he can take you from Donna Summer to Led Zeppelin to Jane's Addiction back to Ice Cube. His range in music is vast. So, when he channelled into what we wanted to do as far as our sound, we were able to bring things out of each other."
And Crisis added, "As a producer, you hear the elevation every time he comes with a new beat. It sounds like you're recording with a whole band, but it's just one dude doing it."
The tracklist is below. As you can see, nearly all of the titles are faithful to the medieval theme. Those who pre-order a copy of the album over here will additionally get a free download of the B-side "Never Let Go." Hear that song at the bottom of the page.
2. The Joust
3. Medieval Times
4. Trickfingers Playhouse
5. Sword In Stone
7. Deja Vu
9. Keys to the Chastity Belt