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Radical Action Is In The Building...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Aug 26, 2016

The view earlier today.




pre-order links for the 3cd/2dvd/1blu-ray limited edition are as follows
Inner Knot (USA) and Burning Shed (UK & Europe)

Pre-order for the 3cd/1blu-ray set are as follows
Inner Knot (USA) and Burning Shed (UK & Europe)

Taken from the 2015 tours of the UK, Canada & Japan, Radical Action represents the most comprehensive release for this incarnation of King Crimson, and will be available as a 3cd/1blu-ray set, and in a 3cd/2dvd/1blu-ray limited edition.

Radical Action features every song and piece performed by Pat Mastelotto, Bill Rieflin, Gavin Harrison, Mel Collins, Tony Levin, Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp and as Fripp commented last month while supervising mixing, “This is King Crimson… re-imagined.”

The details for the 3cd/2dvd/1blu-ray limited edition are as follows.
CDs presented as individually themed “virtual studio albums” with no audible audience & mixed for audio presentation

One Blu-Ray featuring a complete set-list drawn from Japanese concert performances – almost 3 hours of music - in high-resolution stereo & 5.1 surround audio complete with “picture off” mode allowing the music to be heard independently in pristine, lossless audio. (24/48khz as per original recordings)

Two DVDs featuring the full concert performances in stereo & 5.1 surround sound.

Expanded, perfect bound, booklet: 36 pages with additional tour photos.

Six disc set presented in two triple digi-packs with booklet housed in an outer slipcase.

Audio/Video performances include:

Threshold Soundscape
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part One
Pictures of a City
Radical Action (to Unseat The Hold of Monkey Mind)
Radical Action II
Level Five
The Hell Hounds of Krim
The ConstruKction of Light
Scarcity of Miracles
Banshee Legs Bell Hassle
Easy Money
The Letters
Sailor’s Tale
The Light of Day
The Talking Drum
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part Two
Devil Dogs of Tessellation Row
In the Court of the Crimson King
21st Century Schizoid Man
Suitable Grounds for the Blues
One More Red Nightmare

All copies come with a postcard featuring Francesca Sundsten’s striking cover artwork

It has been stated many times that King Crimson is not so much a band as it is “a way of doing things”. Less frequently stated but equally true, is the fact that the band inevitably seeks different ways of doing things. The current incarnation of the band, 2014 – the present day, has already released two taster sets in the form of 2015’s Live at the Orpheum mini-album and the vinyl picture disc EP that accompanied the 2015 tours of Canada and Japan, while the full raw concert performance from a single night in Toronto in 2015 was presented as a 2CD set earlier this year to great acclaim.

Now, with the release of Radical Action comes the most fully realised audio and visual statement from this band to date, running to three themed CDs and a Blu-Ray disc offering the filmed content along with an audio only option in lossless high resolution stereo and surround sound.

The set includes at least one performance of every song/piece of music played by King Crimson in 2015, some pieces originally composed in 1969 the year of the band’s inception, others composed/initially performed at a variety of points since, some new to the tour, all arranged for this specific line-up. Indeed it is characteristic of this King Crimson – in direct contrast to all other post 1970s line-ups - to feature a broad range of material from the 1969 - 1974 era, performed in such a manner as to maintain much of what made the music so arresting when first issued, while arranged for fresh interpretation by the seven piece line-up of today. As Fripp put it (when asked what the title of the album meant to him): “What I like about this band is, that what it is actually doing is not what it appears to be doing...”. The idea of King Crimson re-imagined, that the music as presented is new,irrespective of when originally composed, is the key element in this band’s makeup.

The set will be released to coincide with King Crimson’s most extensive European tour since 1974, with performances slated to include, for the first time ever, material from all seven of King Crimson’s 1969 – 1974 iconic studio albums and  with limited availability via mail order and concert venues.

Audio: Three themed CDs of material recorded in 2015, each forming a separate discrete
performance with audio selected from a variety of shows and fully mixed from multi-track tapes by Chris Porter, Robert Fripp and David Singleton. As no audience is audible between tracks, this allows for a “virtual studio album” effect. (The current King Crimson line-up was deliberately conceived as a performing band rather than as a band concerned with making full studio recordings).

Video: Among the problems most associated with filming live performance, perhaps the key problems are those of the film-makers’ cameras intruding on the audience’s capacity to enjoy the show without interruption and the intrusion of the cameras on the band’s performance. In effect, both performance and audience response must be misrepresented to approximate a live show for later consumption. In order to record the performances more accurately, a series of Japanese concerts was captured via a number of discreet cameras in a “video vérité” style – with neither band nor audience disturbed by filming – by Trevor Wilkins who also edited and assembled the footage.

Audio/Video: Two DVD discs featuring the complete concert performances. Blu-Ray features the concert film in high-resolution [24/48] stereo and 5.1 surround sound with additional ‘video off’ mode allowing for high-resolution audio only playback in stereo and surround sound.

In essence the music can be experienced in a number of different ways – as continuous uninterrupted audio on CD, as a viewable concert performance in stereo or 5.1 surround on the DVDs and  Blu-Ray, or in high-resolution, lossless audio stereo or 5.1 surround without pictures on the Blu-Ray.

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2015 Tour Box On Sale Now In Japan
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Dec 8, 2015
If you're attending any of the shows in Japan be sure to pick up a copy of the 2015 Tour Box.

Designed to complement the 2014 edition, this all-new collection gathers together a mixture of well-known pieces, rarities and lots of previously unreleased material across its two discs. 

Packaged in DVD-sized fold out digipak style book case, the accompanying booklet features sleeve-notes, photos of memorabilia, full info about the current tour and a number of band and individual photos taken by Tony Levin.

CD 1:

1. Wind extract 1969 In The Court Of The Crimson King recording sessions:
from In The Court Of The Crimson King 40th Anniversary CD/DVD-A

2. Epitaph 2015 - Steven Wilson 2015 instrumental mix:
previously unreleased

3. Catfood - from In The Wake Of Poseidon recording sessions:
previously unreleased on disc

4. Bolero - from Lizard recording sessions/T. Lev overdub:
Frame by Frame boxed set/Lizard 40th anniversary edition CD/DVD-A

5. Islands (extract with Oboe) - from Islands recording sessions:
Islands 40th anniversary edition CD/DVD-A

6. A Peacemaking Stint Unrolls - from Islands recording sessions:
Islands 40th anniversary edition CD/DVD-A

7. LTIA II (2014 rehearsal extract) - 2014 Band rehearsals:
previously unreleased

8. LTIA II - 1974 Asbury Park:
USA CD/DVD-A and Road to Red boxed set

9. Fracture - 1974 Gottingen:
Starless boxed set

10. One More Red Nightmare (guitars extract) - from Red studio sessions:
previously unreleased on disc

11. One More Red Nightmare - 2014 Los Angeles:
Live at The Orpheum

12. Elephant Talk (12" mix) - 12" single version, dubbed from vinyl:
Discipline 40th Anniversary edition CD/DVD-a, previously unreleased on CD

13. Absent Lovers - from Beat studio session:
from forthcoming Beat 40th anniversary edition CD/DVD-A

14. SF soundcheck extract - 2014 San Francisco:
Previously unreleased

15. Larks' III/Sleepless - Three Of A Perfect Pair studio sessions:
from forthcoming Three Of A Perfect Pair 40th anniversary edition CD/DVD-A

CD 2:

1. Jurassic THRAK (edit) - THRAK recording sessions:
from forthcoming THRAK boxed set

2. The Hell Hounds of Krim - 2014 Los Angeles:
from 12" Cyclops Picture Disc EP, previously unreleased

3. VROOOM - Live in London 1995:
from forthcoming THRAK boxed set

4. VROOOM Coda Marine 475 - Live in London 1995:
from forthcoming THRAK boxed set

5. ProjeKction (P4) - 7th Note,1998 San Francisco:
previously only available via mail order CD

6. Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part IV / The ConstruKction Of Light - from The ConstruKction Of Lightrecording sessions:
previously unreleased on CD

7. Sus Tayn Z (P3) - May 2000:
previously unreleased on CD

8. The Power To Believe II (demo) - 2002:
from the forthcoming The Power to Believe 40th anniversary CD/DVD-a

9. The Power To Believe II - 2003:
from Live in Milan

10. Ex Uno Patres (Fripp, Belew, Levin, Mastelotto) - 2004:
previously unreleased on CD

11. The Light of Day - 2010:
Alt take from A Scarcity Of Miracles CD/DVD-a previously unreleased on CD

12. Ba Ba Boom Boom (Harrison, Mastelotto) - 2008:
previously unreleased on CD

13. ATTAKcATHRAK (end edit) - 1996:
from forthcoming THRAK boxed set

14. 21st Century Schizoid Man - 2014 San Francisco:
Previously unreleased, From 12" Cyclops Picture Disc EP and forthcoming USA II album

If you're not in Japan approaching the merch table but would like to grab one of these beauties, then don't worry. You can nab from Inner Knot or Burning Shed. Here's a review of the set as well.

Tokyo Setlist
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Dec 7, 2015

King Crimson unveiled a new number at their first show in Japan and brought back an old favourite that had been previously debuted in Canada. If you don’t want to see the results (as they say out there in TV Land), look away now.

King Crimson setlist
Bunkamura Orchard Hall, Tokyo
December 7th 2015

Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part I
Pictures Of A City
Radical Action (To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind) I
Radical Action (To Unseat The Hold Of Monkey Mind) II
Level Five
Peace - An Ending
Hell Hounds Of Krim
The ConstruKction Of Light
The Letters
Banshee Legs Bell Hassle
Easy Money
The Talking Drum
Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part II
Devil Dogs Of Tessellation Row
In The Court Of The Crimson King
21st Century Schizoid Man

Mr.Mister's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Dec 7, 2015
Here's a piece on the "lost" Mr Mister album, Pull, which Pat Mastelotto recorded in the '90s but which had to wait until 2010 to see the light of day. 

New Video From Tokyo
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Dec 6, 2015
Thanks to Trev Wilkins for sending these two videos from King Crimson’s rehearsal rooms in Tokyo. First up is a teaser of the team talking The Talking Drum for a walk in Tokyo. If that doesn’t get you all excited then how about a stonking rendition of Suitable Grounds For The Blues here. 

Meanwhile, for those folks on Facebook, you can take a look at Pat Mastelotto's silent movie-style tour of the King Crimson rehearsal space.

Hot News From Tokyo!
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Dec 5, 2015
News just in from Robert in Tokyo this morning.

“In the KC rehearsal studio today, a new piece, written on Friday morning, presented this Saturday morning c. 10.55, werned & twerned, now ready for a premier presentation to our Japanese audiences from Monday. Entitled: Crimson Sensibility-Pulping Bone-Crushing Slab Of Terror - And Joy! aka Radical Action Part Two...”

Meanwhile as we wait to have our sensibilities pulped and our bones crunched,  here’s the latest video of the team in Tokyo a-movin’ and a-groovin’ thanks to the steady hand of Road Dog Wilkins. 

Extra Norway 2016 Show
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Dec 4, 2015
An extra date has been added to King Crimson’s appearance in Norway next year. Tickets for the extra show on Wednesday 28th September at Norway’s Sentrum Scene will go on sale via Ticketmaster on Saturday 5th December at 9.00 CET

Tickets for the band’s two Friars Aylesbury shows also go on sale Saturday 5th December at 10.00 a.m.

The revised 2016 tour dates are as follows

King Crimson 2016 European Tour

Sun 4th Sept    Friars Aylesbury  Friars at the Waterside Theatre UK
Mon 5th Sept    Friars Aylesbury  Friars at the Waterside Theatre UK
Thu 8th Sept   Stuttgart, Beethoven-Saal, Germany 
Sun 11th Sep     Berlin, Admiralpalast, Germany
Wed 14th Sept Prague, Forum Karlin, Czech Republic
Sat 17th Sept, Zabrze, House of Music & Dance, Poland   
Sun 18th Sept,   Zabrze, House of Music & Dance, Poland   
Tue 20th Sept,     Wroclaw, National Forum Of Music, Poland
Wed 21st Sept Wroclaw, National Forum Of Music, Poland
Fri 23rd Sept     Copenhagen, Falkoner, Denmark
Mon 26th Sept    Oslo, Sentrum Scene, Norway
Tue 27th Sept    Oslo, Sentrum Scene, Norway
Wed 28th Sept Oslo, Sentrum Scene, Norway

On This Date 44 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Dec 3, 2015
King Crimson released their fourth studio album, Islands on December 3rd, 1971.

Recorded at Command Studios, largely because it was cheap and could be had at short notice, the tracks were laid down in a series of guerilla-style raids in between Crimson’s  gigs around the UK.  The bulk of Islands was recorded in this way during September, with most of the overdubbing and mixing completed in early October. “It is difficult to convey the level of exhaustion during this last week” explains Fripp.  “I’d get home about 3-4 in the morning from the studio, pull out a pencil and write orchestral parts for Song Of The Gulls, before getting to bed anywhere between six and eight. Up around ten to leave for the studio for noon. The final night began around 18:00 and never ended for me — Peter bailed in the early hours and I carried on. Richard Williams came in to listen to the playback/run-through the following late morning, then the van arrived after lunch. I got in, fell asleep, we drove to the first show of the tour, and I woke up shortly before we arrived.”

The final night that Fripp refers to was the same evening that overdubbing on Sailor’s Tale was finished. “The solo was, and is, from some other world” notes Fripp. “Technically, the right hand could only have been developed by someone familiar with the banjo. My connection to this was through Don Strike (his old guitar tutor in Bournemouth). Other references would include Sonny Sharrock (notably with Herbie Mann) and the idea of Peter Townshend’s flailing. And maybe a subversion/perversion of early Scotty Moore, with echo delay, at the Sun sessions. But none of this seems relevant somehow. Late at night, faced with a solo to be played, for which there was no solo available, something happened: a young guitar player was confronted by necessity. And then something remarkable happened…”

There are many stand-out moments on this curiously schizophrenic album; Formentera Lady’s laid-back sunny dreamscapes (Peter Sinfield’s lyrics inspired by his recent holidays in the Balearic islands); the free-jazz tussle within The Letters’ melodrama; the skewed, mutant blues guitar licks and raucous sax of Ladies of the Road; the genteel classical music climes of Song of the Gulls; the emotional reverie of the title track. 

Arguably, the most stylistically diverse KC release to date, it features some fine singing from Boz, including heroically singing into a studio fire bucket for Ladies Of The Road complete with a raging hangover. There’s also superb jazzy flourishes as well as understated and detailed throughout from Ian Wallace. Mel Collins also displays both sides of his musical personality with moments that are both tender and brutal.

If Lizard represented a wild party between the progressive strand of rock music and the UK jazz scene, Islands, for the most part, was more akin to a more gentle, laid-back kind of communion between those two worlds. 

Though he’s woefully under used on Formentera Lady, Harry Miller was one of the most gifted bassists of his generation who at the time of this recording was founding his own independent record label, Ogun. Along with Keith Tippett’s delicate additions on the title track comes his cornet player, Mark Charig, whose free-flowing and impassioned blasts, over the top of Fripp’s folksy harmonium, lends a poignant warmth to the stirring coda of one of Fripp’s most beautiful melodies.

However, it’s Sailor’s Tale which arguably overshadows everything here. The solo makes a break with the symphonic and jazz-inspired leanings of previous albums, clawing its way into a spikier, fractious metal-edged territory. It’s the sound of Fripp hammering out a new map of where he wanted to explore next.

Upon its release the album netted a good reaction from the music press of the day though there were some notes of caution as well. Sounds' Steve Peacock lauded the album for its "rare sense of ease and grace" and hailed it as a "Great Leap Forward.” One unnamed critic was enthusiastic in the extreme. “Despite the shoddy packaging, this is one of the most extraordinary albums ever to emerge out of the general idiom of rock. It’s impossible to describe the warm, lambent feeling obtained by a juxtaposition of Mark Charig’s cornet over a pedal harmonium on the title track’s long, gradual climax, or the breathtaking rightness of Fripp’s splintery chorded solo on “A Sailor’s Tale.” And it’s not pretentious and it’s not self-indulgent.”

However, the Melody Maker’s verdict was less certain. “Islands is altogether different from their former work. Where their preceding albums had a dominant strain of almost overbearing intensity, which matched the dark imagery of the lyrics, this is more muted and soft.”, concluding, “This isn’t the master album that Fripp threatens to produce, but the day can’t be far off.” For his part, self-confessed Crimso aficionado Nick Logan, writing in the NME, observed “Islands confirms a growing belief that Crimso have evolved into a skillful but somehow cold and dispassionate band. Warmth is what is lacking.”

Having previously been responsible for commissioning other artists to produce album covers for the band, Islands saw Peter Sinfield provide the artwork directly.

In the UK the album was presented in an unmarked single sleeve with a photograph of the Trifid Nebula in the constellation of Sagittarius. The inner sleeve was a fragile cream coloured gatefold with delicate islands created by Sinfield's patented method of food dye on blotting paper on the outside, and a collage of five individual portraits and three group shots of the band in concert. This was the first time the faces of the band had ever appeared on an album sleeve.

On its release in the USA, the inner gatefold was used as the outer cover. “The change of cover for the US was because the UK cover was considered so feeble.” explained Fripp. “The cover artist for the UK cover was Peter. Peter’s ‘move onstage’ through use of the VCS3 now expanded to include designing the cover as well. If this works, fine. But Peter’s cover wasn’t striking, and wasn’t in the same league as the other Crimson covers. The Nebula really wasn’t much of a cover either, because it hadn’t been chosen as a cover."

When it came to remixing the album as part of the 40th Anniversary Series in 2010, the multi-track tapes yielded many extra takes and a revelatory missing-link piece that would become Larks’ Tongues In Aspic Part I and parts of Lament.

Perhaps the greatest surprise regarding Islands however comes from the inclusion of Sailor’s Tale and The Letters in the current setlist. It’s a fair bet that when Robert Fripp and Mel Collins left Command Studios in the autumn of 1971 they never thought they’d be playing those numbers live some 44 years later. 

:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Dec 3, 2015
Time for another crop of Thrakkies. Any ideas on what the collective noun for these might be? A thump of Thrakkies? A B’Boom of Thrakkies? Answers on a postcard please. First up today, Robert Wright-Stasko says “After 20 years, I got my upgrade to Maximum Vrooom!”

"Me and my brand new box" offers a presumably happy Francesco Buscemi peeping over the great wall of THRAK BOX, so big it can be seen from space.


"It’s huge!" shouts occasional TED talker and all-round entertainer, George Hrab with incontrovertible photographic evidence that puny humans are dwarfed by the THRAK BOX’s monolithic immensity...

Jonathan Sindelman pauses from the keyboards to let us know he’s “Just received the THRAK box after much anticipation!”

Finally, Sugarmouse writes that he’s "Happy with what I have to be happy with" although, to be honest, it’s hard to tell from this stern expression...

Keep ’em coming. If you’ve not got your THRAK BOX order now to beat the Xmas rush. Available from Inner Knot for US-based folks and Burning Shed for Europe.

Vancouver & Victoria Pix
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Dec 2, 2015
Tony Levin has posted up another gallery of photographs from the band's visit to Vancouver and Victoria. You can take a peek here. 

No Phone Zone
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Dec 2, 2015
My thanks to Adrian Reynolds for sending in this item explaining how comedian Dave Chappelle is getting around the problem of mobile phones ruining his shows. 

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