Exposé Online banner

F/i — A Question for the Somnambulist
(Submergence SUB 5006, 2003, CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2007-03-01

A Question for the Somnambulist Cover art

Since they appeared on the scene back in the 80s, Milwaukee-based F/i have established themselves among the forefront of American psych rock bands. Originally issued in 2003 (and now re-issued on the Strange Attractors label with a bonus track), this disk has held up as one of the best recent examples of its kind. Song titles like “Hit the Kill Switch, Eugene” and “Prelude to the Afternoon of a Daisy Cutter” don’t adequately convey the heights to which this quartet reach with their hallucinatory musical excursions. The songs range from the quasi-improvised, psych-rock of early Pink Floyd (“Uber-Wizards of the 88th Meridian”) to 70s German electronic rock a la Guru Guru (“Surgical Procedures on the Ship”) to Djam Karet’s early jamming space rock sound (“Using Enemy Weapons”). The psych immersion really deepens with the vaguely Middle Eastern tonalities and ambient textures of “No Pepsi in Kabul” and here Grant Richter’s electronics and synths guide the way, rather than providing their usual ornamental role on songs where guitarists Brian Wensing and Richard Franecki are the focus. Though heavily based on improvisations, the band operates with a unity of purpose that prevents most of the material from veering into the sort of indulgent jamming that can become quickly tiresome (though the 15 minute title track briefly tested my patience). On the whole there’s little to complain about and fans of early krautrock and hardcore psych owe it to themselves to check this one out.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 34, 2003 releases

Related artist(s): F/i, Richard Franecki

Latest news

2017-04-16
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more

2017-04-16
Allan Holdsworth RIP – Surely in the list of artists who have contributed to the sound of modern music, there is a special spot for guitarist Allan Holdsworth. His name is known to virtually every student of the instrument in jazz and rock, and his style has been so widely emulated that it's hardly worth mentioning anymore — we can just assume that every guitarist has Holdsworth as an influence. » Read more

2017-02-20
Larry Coryell RIP – One of the greats of jazz guitar has left us at the age of 73. Larry Coryell was one of the founding figures of jazz fusion, but produced a significant body of work the bridged many styles. His group Eleventh House provided a unique take on the combination of jazz and rock that was distinct from contemporaries such as Mahavishnu Orchestra, Return to Forever, and Weather Report. » Read more

2017-01-31
John Wetton RIP – After a long battle with colon cancer, singer and bassist John Wetton has died at the age of 67. As an integral member of such bands as King Crimson, UK, and Asia, his was one of the distinctive voices in progressive rock, lending a human touch to often difficult music. » Read more

2017-01-30
Seaprog Announces First Artists for 2017 – The organizers of the Seaprog Festival in Seattle have announced the first set of confirmed performers for the 2017 festival. The best known names are Jack o' the Clock and Zero Times Everything, but a host of other bands are featured, mostly from the Northwest. The festival will take place June 2-4, 2017. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Hidria Spacefolk - Symbiosis – I’m not going to compare Hidria Spacefolk to Ozric Tentacles – I’d rather listen to Symbiosis again (well, so much for that plan). Anyway, I’m happy to report that Space Rock is alive and...  (2003) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues