Review: The first two Trickfinger albums on Acid Test, released in 2015 and 2017 respectively, portrayed John Fusciante as a producer more than adept at delivery raw, rowdy and mind-altering blends of acid, electro and techno. It's telling then that Fusciante's third album under the alias is being released on Acid Test's more electronica-focused sister label, Avenue 66. "She Smiles Because She Presses The Button" does contain hints of the producer's previous club-focused work - a body-popping electro groove here and there, for example - but for the most part it sees him explore more melodic, adventurous pastures that some will compare favourably to classic IDM of the 1990s, and particularly the early works of Autechre and Aphex Twin. It's a bold leap, but one that Fusciante's made with ease.
Review: Former Red Hot Chilli Peppers guitarist John Frusciante has enjoyed an eclectic career since leaving the band, moving between solo albums that touch on lo-fi rock, psychedelia, synth pop and, bizarrely, drum and bass, and production stints for hip-hop acts, and, weirdly, Duran Duran. Here he changes tack again, donning the Trickfinger alias to deliver an enjoyably melodious, no-nonsense set of electro, acid house and techno tracks for the Acid Test series from Absurd. There's not a guitar in sight, but plenty of ragged 303 motifs, punchy drum machine rhythms, tuneful synthesizer refrains and barely disguised tributes to vintage Reflex Records jams. Highlights are plentiful, with the skittish, early Aphex Twin style madness of "Sain" standing out.