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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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How would you like to hear a previously unreleased 17 minute extract from The Power To Believe writing sessions? You would? Well, thanks to Mister Stormy, you jolly well can. 


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:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jan 24, 2014
Here's an interview with Tony Levin discussing his work. 


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:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jan 21, 2014
"We all have new music we're making, so it's not like we're being nostalgic here - we just want to keep this brand of Crimson music alive, and play it for a lot of people who remember it, and a lot of people who never got a chance to see and hear it!" Adrian Belew talks about the Crimson ProjeKCt's personnel and motivation in this new interview.  


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:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jan 21, 2014
Slow Music, featuring Bill Rieflin, Pete Buck, Matt Chamberlin, Fred Challenor and Robert Fripp, return to active duty in April. The improvising group play two nights in Seattle alongside The Humans. You can book tickets here.  


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:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jan 21, 2014
Here's a trip down memory lane: Bill Bruford in 1978 talking to Radio Tees about his just released album, Feels Good To Me


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:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jan 21, 2014
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Vrooom Goes The Getaway Car...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Jan 18, 2014
Here's a link to an article which points to other culprits whose business model appears to depend on paying musicians as little as possible. 


The Road To Red At Home 28
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Jan 18, 2014
Here's Dan Sonnier's snap of The Road To Red. "It's my 55th birthday present to myself" says Dan. Well, we hope you had a very happy birthday indeed!





The Road To Red At Home 27
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Jan 18, 2014
Jukka the reindeer says that The Road To Red is the "Best non-stop listening party ever!" He's right, you know.



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