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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.

****************************

ProjeKct Two
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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Belew's State Of FLUX
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Apr 17, 2014
Adrian Belew has been talking on his Facebook page about his work with his FLUX app and uploaded a couple of screen grabs. If you're not on Facebook you can read a summary of his comments here.



KC81 Double Show Download
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Apr 14, 2014
Two back-to-back shows from 1981 are available to download from today.



You can find out about KC's first night at the Old Waldorf here and their second gig here. 

Stonehill House Talks
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Apr 14, 2014
Robert's latest diary update has him enthusing about his recent attendance at a talk given as part of the Stonehill House Russian Days series of talks. "Excellent food for both mind and body" says Fripp. Details on the next talk can be found here. 


On This Date In...1971
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Apr 12, 2014
Can it really be forty-three years since Boz, Mel, Bob and Ian took to the stage of Zoom Club in Frankfurt and made their live debut? Happily, the four-gig residency was (mostly) captured for posterity and you can hear a brand new, paint-still-wet King Crimson in action here. 


Slow News Week
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Apr 10, 2014
Bill Rieflin is interviewed about his work in Slow Music and The Humans here
ahead of Slow Music and The Humans gigs in Seattle next week.


On This Day In... 1980
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Apr 10, 2014
The League Of Gentlemen played their debut gig at Moles Club in Bath. 


On This Date...1969
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Apr 9, 2014
King Crimson played their first official gig at London's Speakeasy. Of this momentous occasion Robert noted in his diary "Massive success. The word starts to creep about in the business." Ian McDonald observed that the gig was "Great. Moody (Blues) there and lots of faces. Ginger Baker, Manfred Mann. Blew their minds. Took Bob and Greg home. Home 5.30. Bed 6." 


Limited Edition Tippett
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Apr 8, 2014
There's a new 4 LP limited edition vinyl release featuring Keith Tippett available from french suppliers Metamkine.



L'Étau: Choses Clandestines is a set of studio and live improvisations between Tippett, Michel Pilz (woodwinds) Paul Rogers (bass) and Jean-Noël Cognard (drums) and is limited to 300 copies world wide. Tippett aficionado, Owen Keenan, has reviewed the album over on his blog. 

Mister Stormy's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Apr 7, 2014
Mister Stormy has blown the dust of a previously unreleased P6 studio session from 2006. You can check it out here. 


Sixteen Years Ago This Week
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Apr 7, 2014
ProjeKct Two's Space Groove album was released 16 years ago this very week coinciding with a Japanese tour where they shared the bill with the crew of Bruford Levin Upper Extremities.  You can download that gig in Nagoya (or purchase a 20 gig bundle) here.

The Space Groove album came out of an intensive three-day blast between Adrian Belew on V-Drums and Robert Fripp and Trey Gunn recorded at Belew's studio, marking the first recorded shot in the frakctalisation of King Crimson's Double Trio incarnation.



Sixteen years on how does Space Groove stand up? Is it a case of lost in space or space is the place as far as you're concerned. Thoughts and comments on the guestbook please.

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