Wilco drummer and composer Glenn Kotche conceived of Fantasyland as a companion piece to his March 2014 Cantaloupe Music release Adventureland for a number of reasons. First and foremost, he felt that the process of composing and recording Adventureland had generated so much outstanding music that he couldn’t possibly fit it on one full-length album.
“I knew almost as soon as I finished sequencing the pieces for Adventureland that I’d come back to it,” Kotche recalls. “When you get the chance to work with so many great musicians — Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird and Gamelan Galak Tika — you’re bound to have more than you know what to do with. Fantasyland is the next chapter, if you will; I wanted to put it out there for anyone who feels drawn to this music, to dig into it and maybe make some new discoveries of their own — just like I did when I made the original recordings.”
Not merely for completists, Fantasyland stands on its own as a complete experience. Its focal point is the 15-minute “Double Fantasy” (elements of which provided the grist for the sound collage “Triple Fantasy,” from Adventureland); featuring Chicago’s eighth blackbird ensemble, the piece is a rousing testament to the versatility of the musicians and the confidence and range of Kotche as a composer of challenging new music.