The tireless explorer that is Francesco Tristano returns this fall with a new solo album whose title, Idiosynkrasia, is almost an artistic manifesto. “This record is the fruit of a quest for an idiosyncratic
language that is somewhere between acoustic and electronic, a quest that spans time and space, and I want to bring the piano into the 21st century. My ambition is to provide the piano with a new identity, because it is often associated with classical music and viewed as an instrument of the past, while I genuinely see it as an instrument of the future.” To make this futuristic, sound-odyssey of an album, Francesco was keen to team up with Carl Craig, a long-favored traveling companion. And this is why the album took shape in Detroit, at the Planet E studios. “Carl and Detroit played an essential part. Some of the tracks wouldn’t even exist or might have sounded completely different if I hadn’t recorded in Detroit. The city’s atmosphere, the people I worked with and the equipment in the studio, all of it had a great influence on me. The wealth of equipment there provided me with an endless source of ideas and sounds. To me, Planet E was the Mecca of sound. Since then, I’ve never looked at Detroit in the same way, as it is there I experienced so many mind-blowing things while making Idiosynkrasia. I learned so much.” The influence of Detroit-bred techno shines through here and there quite unmistakably, especially on the astounding Hello – Inner Space Dub, which is driven by a relentless propeller of a piano line. But it is by no means the only hue tingeing the album, exuding as it does the very soul of Detroit. The city is one of the birthplaces of techno and, via Motown, a flagship for soul and rhythm’n’blues, and black music in general. Evocative of a kind of minimal neo-funk, Eastern Market perpetuates this tradition very strikingly.
Fundamentally polychromatic, evolving ceaselessly from one mode to the next, Idiosynkrasia nevertheless proves to be perfectly coherent and reveals, in fine, an extra-large conception of music.