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F/I

Psychedelic/Space Rock • United States


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F/i biography
Wisconsin/USA situated F/i was founded in 1981/82. The band started producing several cassette releases first. The early material was harsh, experimental electronic sounds with drum machines and less guitars. That initially got the attention of the RRR Records label. The new collaboration started in 1986 with a split LP featuring a related band named BOY DIRT CAR. Two years later the including F/i songs were re-released under the album name 'Space Mantra'. At that time the line-up consisted of Richard Franecki (guitar, electronics), Brian Wensing (guitar), both longtime core members of the band, additionally supported by Steve Zimmerman (electronics). The music is influenced by the industrial/power sound of the days provided with references to krautrock acts like Faust and Neu.

The following 'Why Not Now?...Alan!' from 1987 shows the first changes to a more rocking style. Jan Schober (drums) had joined the band and Franecki enlarged his instrumentation with the bass guitar. Some other vinyl albums were released by RRR furthermore until Franecki left the band in 1990. The album 'Blue Star' marked the change. The studio title track from 1989 still features Franecki. The other two songs without him are live recordings from their Europe tour in 1990 (Bremen/Germany). Franecki went on with his new project THE VOCOKESH in the meanwhile along with Zimmerman and Schober.

F/i continued with Brian Wensing (guitar), Ron Faiola (drums), John Frankovic (bass) and Grant Richter (electronics) making instrumental music more in a spacey vein. 1992 saw a new release, 'Merge Parlour', a split album of both related bands. The same year F/i had toured in Germany and Switzerland and some recordings were put on the live album 'Earthpipe', released as their first CD. After a longer break a new EP with two songs similiar to HAWKWIND's heavy space rock style appeared in 1995 - this time with new members Rick Hake on drums and J. J. McAuliffe (bass, keyboards). They continued 1997 in this way with reduced avantgarde elements, more in a song-oriented manner, with the album 'Helioscopium' featuring Steve Schrank at the bass guitar.

The next sign of life is coming from 2003. 'A Question For The Somnambulist' marked the return of Richard Franecki, now being involved in two bands. This album reveived excellent reviews offering an interesting blend of psychedelic space, electronica and kraut rock ingredients. 'Blanga' followed in 2005 with a stronger spacey hallucina...
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F/I discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

F/I top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.33 | 3 ratings
Why Not Now?... Alan!
1987
4.00 | 2 ratings
Space Mantra
1988
4.50 | 2 ratings
Paradise Out Here
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Blue Star
1990
3.00 | 1 ratings
Helioscopium
1997
3.95 | 3 ratings
A Question For The Somnambulist
2003
3.00 | 1 ratings
Blanga
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Further Hallucinations In The Garden Of Blanga
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Intinerant Lanternist
2014

F/I Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Earthpipe
1992

F/I Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

F/I Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
The Past Darkly / The Future Brightly
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Out Of Space & Out Of Time
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Blue Star / Merge Parlour
2003

F/I Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 1 ratings
From Poppy With Love
1995

F/I Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Blanga by F/I album cover Studio Album, 2005
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Blanga
F/i Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
3 stars The music on 'Blanga' can be described ... maybe as acid garage space rock. Some elements like Rick Hake's straightforward drumming remember at HAWKWIND. But to let this stay so would be way too short-sighted. Many hallucinatory moments force you also to think about a recording session under heavy dope influence. If you have a look at the cover/sleeve art you will detect pictures from China with opium smoking people all around. It's said the expression Blanga results from a band's internal joke related to a german band named Amon Düül. And krautrock influences can't be denied for sure.

When you are listening with headphones on please don't close your eyes and don't forget where you are staying. Hypnotic rhythms, rumbling bass lines, twittering/bubbling synths and distorted guitars are accompanying you all the way on the journey and you run into danger of losing the orientation. It all starts with the typical space rock jam In The Garden Of Blanga,one of the album highlights. A stoical drum work provides the background for meandering guitars and synthesizer, apparently working on their own but acting in harmony in fact and finally closing in a heavier mood.

Blanga's transformation now appears much more weird oriented at the old school of krautrock. Starting as a heavy rocker with a cornucopia of psych guitars the song transforms into a melancholic spheric part and later gets back to the roots with repetitve guitar riffs remembering me at the geman band GAM featuring Günter Schickert. And then for the next ten minutes a lovely girl is dreaming of Blanga. The band draws on sitar and tabla to provide an oriental tinged hallucinatory track which gathers speed after a while. The music dramatically culminates supported by electronical effects and then falls down again alternating ... open your eyes! You have been warned!

This sounds completely rounded - probably the result of one exceptional session recorded in summer 2004. On the surface this may appeal somewhat monotonous to some listeners. But 'Blanga' is interesting for sure for genre lovers which have no problem to leave familiar paths and to turn towards some more experimental stuff - 3.5 stars.

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 From Poppy With Love by F/I album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1995
3.00 | 1 ratings

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From Poppy With Love
F/i Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

— First review of this album —
3 stars Here we have a F/i production containing two songs which express a less experimental approach. They are tending to straightforward heavy rock with spacey add-ons. Richard Franecki had left the band some years before to form his new band VOCOKESH and Brian Wensing remained as the only leftover of the original lineup.

Written by Wensing and Franecki From Poppy With Love appears in the vein of HAWKWIND. Very powerful - new members J. J. McAuliffe (bass) and Rick Hake (drums) are caring for the necessary pressure. Wensing plays the guitar with some great echo and feedback excess whilst Grant Richter (electronics) is sending the band up into the orbit with his spheric synth patterns.

Five Crowns Of The Saxon King comes more weird accompanied by alienated voices what serves a special creepy mood. Provided with the same straightforward rocking drive this song is probably suitable for accentuating a thrilling sci-fi movie outtake where aliens are causing confusion when trying to occupy mother earth.

This EP is not that typical F/i output but definetely listenable though - 3 stars are well deserved.

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 A Question For The Somnambulist by F/I album cover Studio Album, 2003
3.95 | 3 ratings

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A Question For The Somnambulist
F/i Psychedelic/Space Rock

Review by Rivertree
Special Collaborator Psych/Space Team & Band Submissions

4 stars A new sign of life from avantgarde space rocker F/i after leaving mother earth for some years. This album marks the return of Richard Franecki (guitar, electronics) who had left the crew in 1990 to move on with his new band VOCOKESH. But now he's back and besides the diversified electronical goodies the dual guitar appearance matters a great plus for this production.

They are starting off with Uber-Wizards Of The 88Th Meridian, a relaxed grooving space jam with driving drum work by Darwin Grosse, typically provided with ups and downs, smooth but also excited parts. The hypnotic bass loop is electronically generated I assume. Lots of swirling synths and a clarinet solo included. Franecki and Wensing are alternating with distorted and fuzzy guitars provided with echo and delay effects. Great start so far!

Hit the Kill Switch, Eugene opens with excellent tribal drums. The other instruments come in by and by - alienated voices appear and then they are back on the jam once more. It's the second song which is faded out by the way. The somewhat balladesque Keep The Third Eye Open comes as the first one to get out of the range - feeding into the avantgarde realm for what the band is known for. Most of the instruments are looping along which serves a special hypnotic mood and only the synths are varying. Surgical Procedures on the Ship is completely dominated by Grant Richter's electronical skills and even the trippy Using Enemy Weapons works without any guitar accompaniment ... no not correct in the end. For the last minute a guitar solo finishs the on electronics reduced excursion so far to switch over into a somewhat oriental raga part with sitar and percussion.

Prelude To The Afternoon Of A Daisy Cutter will probably stir nearly every krautrock fan's blood. Here we have another trippy track with some industrial sounding electronics and fuzzy guitars based on a blues theme. The regular album released by the Canadian Submergence label now ends as it begins - the title track is another long spacey improvisation but this time without drums and much more way-out ambient hallucinatory. The Strange Attractors release from 2006 contains one bonus track offered by another line-up featuring John Helweg and Rick Drake. The Hot Shop is a fine groovy addition played with a genuine bass and excellent guitars in a somewhat happy optimistic mood.

'A Question For The Somnambulist' is a highly recommended album when you have a preference for acid space and krautrock. If you feel comfortable with a repetitive song structure and a proper portion of electronics you are right here then as for that matter.

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