|P2 At Albany Again
|:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Feb 20, 2012
My thanks to J Eric Smith for sending in this marvelous review of P2 playing Albany. You can hear the gig that Eric is writing about here.
Eric writes "I was a music critic (for better or worse) in Albany, New York for many years. My wife and I recently relocated to Des Moines, Iowa, and as part of launching a web presence in my new home community, I have been reviewing old archives of my work for items that might lend themselves to new purposes. I found a ProjeKCt Two live review (copied below) while digging through old floppy discs and files, and thought I would share it here, since I have not seen many other formal newsprint reviews from that era posted here. It was a lovely show, one that I still cite as one of my all-time favorite live performances.
Valentine’s Music Hall, Albany, New York, May 8, 1998
Copyright 1998, J. Eric Smith (Originally appeared in Metroland, The Alternative Newsweekly of Northeastern New York)
"OK, now we’ve played everything we don’t know,so we can play something that we actually do know," announced electronic drummer Adrian Belew at the end of ProjeKct Two’s second all-instrumental, all-improvised set. Belew, 10-string Warr guitarist Trey Gunn and electric six-string guitarist Robert Fripp then encored with King Crimson’s "Vrooom," an angular number originally created by Fripp, Belew, Gunn and their Crimson bandmates Tony Levin, Bill Bruford and Pat Mastelotto.
As nice as it was to hear "Vrooom," the true value of the encore was to place the evening’s improvisational extravaganza in context by providing a single sample of how ProjeKct Two sounded when tackling a fully developed and structured instrumental piece. Frankly speaking, the encore paled in comparison to the 90 minutes of music preceding it, as its rehearsed complexities and nuances were nowhere near as impressive as the knotty, towering sound collages that ProjeKct Two created on the fly as the rapt audience watched and listened.
Fripp, Belew and Gunn were watching and listening to each other as well, and much of the thrill of this concert came from witnessing the interactions between these deeply talented musicians who have played together long enough to anticipate each other’s thoughts, sometimes before they eve realize that they’ve had them. Belew or Fripp typically opened each number with a drum or guitar pattern that the other musicians would would investigate, mount and ride, sometimes to loud and uplifting summits, sometimes to quiet, scary grottoes, sometimes back to the point at which they started. It was actually harrowing to experience in many cases, as the trio careened just on this side of control as they rode, the looks on their faces indicating that it was just as thrilling (and frightening) for them as it was their audience.
As important as technical prowess was to the concert’s success, mention must also be made of ProjeKct Two’s technological proficiancy. Belew was playing the latest generation of Roland virtual drums, allowing him to create a seemingly infinite number of sonic assaults as he clattered and rattled along with a look-Ma-I’ve-got drums grin on his face. (Understandable, given that he’s normally a guitarist.) Gunn matched Belew’s rhythmic and textural intensity as he tapped, stroked and and beat the touchboard of his Warr guitar.
Fripp spun out any number of his trademark spine-tingling sustained guitar lines but also used the treatment technology he has developed over the years via his Soundscape and Frippertronic performance experiments to create a wealth of tones and intonations. At times, the bands’ sounds were so far skewed from what your eyes were reporting to your brain that it was almost psychologically easier to look at the floor and imagine that Fripp was playing cluster chords on some beaten-up jazz-hall piano while Gunn blew on a baritone sax and Belew kept time by tapping on whisky bottles and ashtrays. Crazy, man, crazy.
All told, ProjeKct Two’s concert was a magnificent one, and I must confess to feeling great relief in being able to report that. Why? Because Robert Fripp’s written and recorded works have done more to shape both how I listen to and how I think about music than have any other artist’s over the last two decades, although I never actually stood in the same space with Fripp until last Friday. So imagine the potential for debilitating disappointment at this show, and then imagine the transcendent relief and joy when it didn’t come to pass. It literally moved me to tears. And how often can a wordless concert do that?"
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:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., May 22, 2015
KoMaRA - a new project featuring David Kollar(guitar), Pat Mastelotto (drums) and Paolo Raineri (trumpet etc) - have an album out next month. It's already been reviewed here however, and you can listen to a track and pre-order here.
Here's the press release which gives some insight and background into the album.
KoMaRa’s self-titled debut album is based on a dark, deviant and explicit detective story. It reflects the mysterious circumstances of an abduction and the ultimate demise of the abductee. It’s a NSFW, Rated-R release designed for the open-minded and brave. Unnerving, haunting artwork by Tool’s Adam Jones further underlines the album’s provocative vibe.
The recording is predominantly instrumental, but includes occasional vocals by Raineri, Leashya and Bill Munyon. Equally menacing, incendiary and vulnerable, they serve as interludes to either break or create moods and tension throughout. The album also has moments of light and hope, told through short trumpet vignettes by Raineri.
KoMaRa came together through social media, with Kollar reaching out to Mastelotto on Facebook about potential gigs and recordings. Everyone was mutually intrigued and met up in Slovakia, where Kollar is based, in November 2014.
The trio played gigs across myriad Slavic countries to enthusiastic, open-minded audiences. The group then went on to record in Prague, capturing three long improvisations that formed the basis of the pieces on KoMaRa’s debut album. Acclaimed engineers Bill Munyon and Adrian Benevides also contributed to faithfully reflecting the release’s mercurial approach.
“For me, KoMaRa is the epitome of my belief that great records are like movies,” said Mastelotto. “The best musicians don’t need scripts because they understand the movie is always evolving. That’s the beauty of music, too. It inspires its own script and cinematography in every listener’s head.”
Pat Mastelotto is one of the world’s most celebrated drummers. He has been a member of every King Crimson lineup from 1994 to the present. In addition, he’s one third of Stick Men, a trio with Tony Levin and Markus Reuter. Mastelotto has also collaborated with Steven Wilson, Terry Bozzio, Trey Gunn, Allan Holdsworth, John Paul Jones, and Kimmo Pohjonen.
Slovakian guitarist and composer David Kollar has released nine expansive albums, scored 18 films and worked on many multimedia projects. His last recording, 2013’s The Son, an atmospheric, emotionally-charged effort, received accolades from Guitar Moderne, France’s A Decovrir Absolument, and the Czech and Slovak Radio Head awards. He’s also worked with Eivind Aarset, Gergo Borlai, Bjorn Charles Dreyer and Lenka Dusilová.
Trumpeter Paolo Raineri takes his instrument and processes it in real-time to create ethereal, otherworldly sounds. The Italian musician combines Scandinavian nu-jazz influences with psychedelic rock, experimental and free improvisation in his award-winning Junkfood 4tet. In addition, he’s performed with Stefano Battaglia, Berserk!, The Blessed Beat, Baustelle, Calibro 35, Nada, and Enrico Gabrielli.
A Cross Stick Men CD
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., May 21, 2015
David Cross and Stick Men have released a CD documenting their recent gigs in Japan. Midori features improvisations as well as tracks from Stick Men and King Crimson back catalogue.
You can pre-order and listen to samples of the album here.
Collusion Will Be Their Epitaph...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., May 21, 2015
The details of Sony's contract with Spotify has been leaked. Find out more here.
King Crimson Canadian Tour November 2015
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., May 19, 2015
Following their acclaimed tour of America in 2014, King Crimson returns to active service in 2015. With dates for the UK and Europe already in place for August and September, King Crimson are pleased to announce they will be performing a series of concerts in Canada during November. It will be King Crimson’s first appearance in Canada since 2003.
Born on 13th. January 1969 in the basement of the Fulham Palace Cafe, London, this is the 8th incarnation of King Crimson and features:
Gavin Harrison (drums), Bill Rieflin (drums & keys), Pat Mastelotto (drums & allsorts), Tony Levin (bass & vocals), Mel Collins (Sax, flute), Jakko Jakszyk (guitar & lead vocals) and Robert Fripp (guitar & keys).
King Crimson 2015 dates and venues
please note tickets go on sale Friday 22nd May
Fri 13 Nov Quebec, QC Palais Montcalm
Sat 14 Nov Quebec, QC Palais Montcalm
Mon 16 Nov Montreal, ON Theatre St. Denis
Tue 17 Nov Montreal, ON Theatre St. Denis
Thu 19 Nov Toronto, ON Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Fri 20 Nov Toronto, ON Queen Elizabeth Theatre
Tue 24 Nov Calgary, AB Jack Singer Concert Hall
Thu 26 Nov Vancouver, BC Vogue Theatre
Fri 27 Nov Vancouver, BC Vogue Theatre
Sun 29 Nov Victoria, BC Royal Theatre
King Crimson Japan 1981
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., May 19, 2015
There’s a great audience recording of the ’81 incarnation of the group available for purchase. Check it out here. If you already bought the tour bundle to which this has been added then you’re entitled to grab it for free, already!
Cross On The Box
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., May 17, 2015
David Cross is discussing some of his favourite music on the My Vintage show today at 5 pm on Vintage TV (Sky 369, Virgin 343, Freeview 242, Free Sat 505).
Happy Birthday Robert
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., May 16, 2015
Please raise a glass of your favourite brew and sing happy birthday in the direction of Robert Fripp who celebrates his 69th birthday today. It also happens to be Robert's wedding anniversary so congratulations to Robert and Toyah on their special day as well.
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., May 14, 2015
Shallal - the Penzance based dance and arts charity which counts Robert Fripp as its patron - are appealing for support in order to secure a grant from theArts Council and Heritage Lottery Fund. Check out this news story and find out more about the group here.
Music Industry Run By 'Feckless Idiots'
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., May 13, 2015
Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan has concluded that the music industry is mostly run by feckless idiots in this interview. Well...
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