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

The view earlier today.

I...



II...



III...



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
Peace
Radical Action (to Unseat The Hold of Monkey Mind)
Meltdown
Radical Action II
Level Five
Epitaph
The Hell Hounds of Krim
The ConstruKction of Light
Scarcity of Miracles
Red
VROOOM
Banshee Legs Bell Hassle
Easy Money
Interlude
The Letters
Sailor’s Tale
The Light of Day
The Talking Drum
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic Part Two
Starless
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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Fripp & Symphony
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Oct 11, 2015
Robert Fripp's last public engagement with the Guitar Circle "for the forseeable future" takes place later this week in Holland.



Tickets and details for this coming Thursday's performance are available here.

Starless And Bible Black Vinyl Pre-order
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Oct 11, 2015
Following on from USA last month, Starless And Bible Black is the eighth in a series of audiophile King Crimson vinyl reissues and completes the availability of the band's studio output from 1969/74 on 200g vinyl editions.





Newly cut from masters approved by Robert Fripp, this super-heavyweight vinyl re-issue is housed in a reprint of the original gatefold sleeve.

The first run of this edition contains bonus MP3 codes giving access to a download of a transfer of an original 1975 pressing.

Pre-order here for November 6th release.


Wetton By Satellite
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Oct 11, 2015
John Wetton, still undergoing chemotherapy, has a new live album out. Entitled Live By Satellite, taken from radio broadcasts the 2-disc set offers a career overview. Thus sayeth the blurb:

This 2 CD set collects together both of John Wetton’s acoustic solo concerts for radio broadcasts. The XM radio broadcast was only available for sale via his website over 10 years ago and has never had a commercial release.
The Swedish radio broadcast (previously unreleased) was thought lost in a fire, until a duplicate of the master tapes was found thanks to a long and tireless search by John Wetton’s fans.

Of the release, John Wetton said: “Both of these shows are from the same time period, but come from very different sources. The first, a Circus tent-like venue in a funfair in Stockholm: the second, a state-of-the-art facility in Washington DC, so the repertoire is similar, but venues could not be more different. Recording production is superb on both, it's a document of a slice of my life.”

As a lead singer, bassist and songwriter, John Wetton initially rose to fame with King Crimson and after that Wetton co-founded UK. In the early 1980s he was the frontman of the super-group Asia, his biggest commercial success.  ASIA’s self-titled debut album was the biggest selling album in the world in 1982 and the band continues to this day.

He later formed the duo Icon with Geoff Downes (YES and The Buggles) and has had a successful solo career releasing a large number of studio and live albums, including the recent compilation The Studio Recordings Anthology.
John Wetton's “Live via Satellite” will be released 9th October 2015 and is part of the ongoing release schedule of his own Primary Purpose label, working via Cherry Red.



DISC ONE 

1. THE CIRCLE OF ST. GILES 

2. HEAT OF THE MOMENT

3. BOOK OF SATURDAY 

4. BATTLE LINES 

5. ARKANGEL 

6. THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES 

7. EASY MONEY

8. EMMA 

9. 30 YEARS

10. HOLD ME NOW

11. RENDEZVOUS 6:02 

12. THE NIGHT WATCH 

13. YOU’RE NOT THE ONLY ONE 

14. STARLESS

DISC TWO 

1. INTRODUCTION 

2. THE CIRCLE OF ST. GILES

3. HEAT OF THE MOMENT 

4. MONDRAGO / BOOK OF SATURDAY 

5. THE SMILE HAS LEFT YOUR EYES 

6. 30 YEARS 

7. HOLD ME NOW

8. ARKANGEL

9. EMMA 

10. SOLE SURVIVOR 

11. RENDEZVOUS 6:02 

12. THE WATER IS WIDE 

13. STARLESS 

14. BATTLE LINES

15. THE CELTIC CROSS
To purchase:
Amazon CD: http://geni.us/1A9M
Amazon Digital: http://geni.us/1jj0
iTunes: http://geni.us/1FY4




On This Date 46 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Oct 10, 2015
Today marks the 46th anniversary of the release of King Crimson's debut album, In The Court Of The Crimson King.



"Wessex Studios mid-August 1969. The apocalyptic blast of 21st Century Schizoid Man is abruptly cut off in mid-flow as recording engineer, Robin Thompson, mutes the speakers. Gathered in the cavernous performance area of Wessex Studios below, Robert Fripp, Michael Giles, Ian McDonald, Peter Sinfield and Greg Lake stopped work to welcome the arrival of artist Barry Godber, carrying a large rectangular package wrapped in brown paper.
 
A few weeks previously Sinfield had commissioned his friend to come up with something for the cover for what would be King Crimson’s debut album. “I used to hang around with all these painters and artists from Chelsea Art School” says Sinfield. “I’d known Barry for a couple of years...he’d been to a few rehearsals, and spent a bit of time with us. I told him to see what he could come up with. I think I probably said to him that the one thing the cover had to do was stand out in record shops.”

Godber tore off the brown paper and laid the painting on the floor as the band gathered around to see his handiwork.


Greg Lake recalls “We all stood around it and it was like something out of Treasure Island where you’re all standing around a box of jewels and treasure...this fucking face screamed up from the floor and what it said to us was Schizoid Man - the very track we’d been working on.  It was as if there was something magic going on.”



Here's how some of the music papers of the day reacted to the album.

Melody Maker:
This eagerly-awaited first album is no disappointment, and confirms their reputation as one of the most important new groups for some time. It gives little idea of their true power on stage, but still packs tremendous impact especially the brutally exciting “21st Century Schizoid Man” and the eerie title track, with its frightening mellotron sounds. It’s not all high power stuff though - there’s some nice flute from Ian McDonald on the beautiful “I Talk To The Wind” and “Moonchild” is pretty, though too long. The vocals are clear and controlled and the instrumental work can hardly be faulted. This is one you should try and hear.

Disc:
The first LP from the group heralded by those who know to be the most exciting discovery of the year. Get over the most horrific cover of the year and you’ll find the pundits are not wrong. A brilliant mixture of melody and freakout, fast and slow, atmospheric and electric, all heightened by the words of Peter Sinfield.


International Times:
The Ultimate Album. There is little one can fault with it: the arrangements make masterful use of multi-tracking, compressing and reducing, the standard of playing almost defies belief at time, the vocals are merely excellent and the numbers are brilliantly and excitedly written.

I don’t like one of the numbers, despite my total commitment as a Crimson-Bopper, which is ‘Moonchild’ and is too long. Otherwise a gassy, jazzy, heavy, complex, smooth and totally magnificent album: written, arranged, played and produced by the most original group since ........ (fill in your answers to Apple Ltd., Saville Row, London., for instance.


Finally, the American edition of Rolling Stone had this to say:

There are certain problems to be encountered by any band that is consciously avant-garde. In attempting to sound "farout" the musicians inevitably impose on themselves restrictions as real as if they were trying to stay in a Top-40 groove. There's usually a tendency to regard weirdness as an end in itself, and excesses often ruin good ideas.

Happily, King Crimson avoids these obstacles most of the time. Their debut album drags in places, but for the most part they have managed to effectively convey their own vision of Desolation Row. And the more I listen, the more things fall into place and the better it gets.

The album begins by setting the scene with ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’. The song is grinding and chaotic, and the transition into the melodic flute which opens ‘I Talk to the Wind’ is abrupt and breathtaking. Each song on this album is a new movement of the same work, and King Crimson's favorite trick is to move suddenly and forcefully from thought to thought. ‘Epitaph’ speaks for itself: "The wall on which the prophets wrote/Is cracking at the seams...Confusion will be my epitaph."

‘Moonchild’ opens the second side, and this is the only weak song on the album. Most of its twelve minutes is taken up with short statements by one or several instruments. More judicious editing would have heightened their impact; as it is, you're likely to lose interest. But the band grabs you right back when it booms into the majestic, symphonic theme of ‘The Court of the Crimson King’. This song is the album's grand climax; it summarizes everything that has gone before it: "The yellow jester does not play/But gently pulls the strings/ And smiles as the puppets dance / In the court of the Crimson King."

This set was an ambitious project, to say the least. King Crimson will probably be condemned by some for pompousness, but that criticism isn't really valid. They have combined aspects of many musical forms to create a surreal work of force and originality.

Besides which they're good musicians. Guitarist Robert Fripp and Ian McDonald (reeds, woodwinds, vibes, keyboards, mellotron) both handle rock, jazz, or classical with equal ease. Bassist Greg Lake and drummer Michael Giles can provide the beat, fill in the holes, or play free-form. While Dylan and Lennon are still safe, lyricist Peter Sinfield does show a gift (macabre as it may be) for free association imagery.

How effectively this music can be on stage is, admittedly, a big question. The answer is probably not too well. Still, King Crimson's first album is successful; hopefully, there is more to come.


KC 2000 - More Bootleg TV Footage Now Available
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Oct 9, 2015
Fancy watching over twenty minutes of previously unseen footage of King Crimson in 2000? Well, click here, turn up the speakers, sit back and enjoy!


On This Date 41 Years Ago...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Oct 6, 2015
King Crimson released Red, their final studio album of the 1970s on October 6th, 1974.



Now regarded as one the most important albums of that decade, Red frequently turns up in numerous best of lists by artists and magazines.

Here's what the New Musical Express had to say about the album upon its release that week 41 years ago today. 

THE PREVIOUS two albums by this final King Crimson lineup have never been as hysterically self-conscious in their obvious adventurousness as the first four studio records that came out under the band's name.

In fact, listening to certain parts of each of those early albums can frequently provoke nothing as crassly simple as severe brain damage but a rather more civilised basic aural pain.

In general, it's a pretty tidy set of neuroses, instability and insecurity — both musical and personal — that cuts a jagged edged swathe across the eight sides. The psychic melodramas do, though, have the saving grace of being carried out with an appropriate sense of artistic folly.

Indeed when juxtaposed against the histrionics of those records Larks Tongues In Aspic, Starless And Bible Black and, now, Red would seem to have been recorded in a state of almost Calvinistic general togetherness — or, if you prefer, what used to be known at school as "maturity" — and even if Larks Tongues does marginally fail to cut it due to a rather too noticeable excess of zeal then Starless, which is minus both Jamie Muir and His Percussive Pistacchio Nuts and the perfectionist production of the former — though not credited on the sleeve as such the whole of side two was cut live — comes up with a more consistent and relaxed amount of highs than any of its predecessors.

There's one other little plus that Starless has going for it...uh...it...well, it nearly swings.

And so to Red. No two ways about it, and putting aside for the moment any little thoughts we may have about its being The Final Work this outfit — now reduced to the basic three-piece of Robert Fripp, John Wetton on bass and vocals, and Bill Bruford on drums (sorry, percussives) — were really starting to whizz those thought patterns around amongst themselves.

Side One is actually rather a funky, even heavy, piece with 'Fallen Angel' and 'One More Red Nightmare' restating the weighty note progression emphasised almost to the point of a calculated ennui on 'Red', the first track.

'Fallen Angel' moves things on with some of your old mellifluous free-flowing melody ending up as a variant on a basic pop track with a surreal middle eight that has some most impressive reed honking from Mel Collins. Robert Palmer-James' lyrics are virtually indistinguishable, which on past evidence is most certainly in the record's favour, whilst Wetton's voice, doable or triple tracked on the chorus fines has the chore of both sounding like Greg Lake and being able to highlight the inadequacies of any similar ELP technological ballad.

'One More Red Nightmare' puts the rather curious counterbalancing of the first two tracks into a comprehensible perspective as it grips together the main themes of each title with some hot ice howling lead percussion from Bruford that does just now and then veer dangerously towards intellectual doodling.

'Providence', which opens the second side, features "guest" violinist David Cross on a schizoid quasi Prokofiev piece of impressionism which, when joined by the bass and Bruford, displays at first the sense of spacing and notation which was particularly evident on Larks Tongues but which ultimately dissolves as it's hurled into a rather early model King Crimson piece of mellotron madness.

The truly enigmatic side of Crimson gets really well held up to the light on the twelve-minute final track, Starless, with the baroque intensity — and extremity — of Fripp's Mancini-like mellotron strings that carry a hint of the mood of side two of Lizard until the scorching guitar, bass and jangling percussion work up and along several note and chord structures with each instrument underlining the other until a pattern is shaped like a continuous loop of sound restating the album's themes.

It's really quite curious and should, I suppose, be put down to some psychic state evolving from the demise of the band but Red is truly the first Crimson album that I can find myself listening to over and over again.

Would it be that same psychic state that makes me believe it's the best album ever made under the name of King Crimson?



Vote For King Crimson
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Oct 5, 2015
King Crimson have been nominated in the Band of the Year category in the forthcoming Classic Rock magazine awards. Click here to cast your vote. 


KC's Mojo Working In Aylesbury
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Oct 1, 2015
The latest edition of Mojo contains a generous review of King Crimson playing Aylesbury.



Crimson In Utrecht
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Sep 29, 2015
Here’s Tony Levin’s final gallery of photographs from King Crimson’s UK & European tour.  Also worth taking a peek at is Dave Stafford's thoughts on Crimson's first night in Utrecht.


Mister Stormy's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Sep 28, 2015
Mister Stormy has uploaded three tracks from the Live At The Warfield video that is part of the forthcoming THRAK BOX. Check it out here.

Meanwhile, you can order the 16-disc THRAK BOX from Inner Knot (USA) and Burning Shed (UK & Europe)


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