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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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Swift vs Spotify
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Nov 5, 2014
Taylor Swift's much publicised break with Spotify has gained some plaudits from other artists. Thanks to Mipoch for the heads up for this piece on the subject by songwriter Aloe Blacc

Photograph & Radiate...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Nov 5, 2014
Robert Fripp finds himself on the wall at London's Somerset House in an exhibition of Chris Stein's photography.

Writing in his diary in 2000 Fripp explained how the photoshoot happened.

In 1978 Amos Poe was to direct the remake of Godard's "Alphaville" starring Debbie Harry as Natasha von Braun, Anna Karina (?) in the original film. The detective Lemmy Caution was originally played by Eddie Constantine. For the remake, Debbie's co-star was to be - yo! wait for this one - an English guitarist almost universally disliked by his former band-buddies. The film was never made, but the stills from his screen-test were fabbo to the max. One of them even appeared on the front page of Melody Maker in December 1978.

2015 UK Venues Under Discussion...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Nov 4, 2014
This just in from Silesia Studios where Jakko Jakszyk and Robert Fripp are working on new Crimso material...

"Robert & Jakko discuss possible UK venues for King Crimson in Autumn 2015..."

Jakko and Robert have joined in their deliberations today by DGM supremo David Singleton to listen to tapes from the recent tour and to map out a release schedule...

All About Fripp & Eno & Travis & Fripp
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Nov 4, 2014
There's a review of Fripp & Eno's Live in Paris and the Travis & Fripp album, Discretion over at All About Jazz. 

The Elements Of King Crimson Tour Box
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Nov 4, 2014
The Elements tour box will be on general retail later this month. This limited edition 2CD set was originally on sale during the recent KC2014 tour. Housed in a DVD digi-pack style book case and a 24 page booklet, it features material from every King Crimson line-up from 1969 through to 2014. Featuring studio recordings, alternate takes, live tracks, rehearsals takes & finished recordings, much of it previously unreleased on CD, the Elements box offers a fascinating view of some of King Crimson’s best known landmarks but often from a different perspective.

The Elements tour box was devised specifically for the recent King Crimson tour. A limited number was also made available via mail order for those who weren’t fortunate enough to live within reach of the cities covered on the US tour.

It quickly sold out at the venues and the mail order stock was exhausted within days, so it’s now being given a more widespread release in the same format to prevent fans having to pay over the odds for copies on the auction sites.

The compilation provides a fascinating audio history of the band featuring extracts of the current line-up in rehearsal pre-tour, elements from studio recordings, full tracks, alternate takes, live tracks & finished recordings from 1969-2014, many of which make their first appearance on CD. Every line-up is featured across the 2CD set.

The accompanying booklet features sleeve-notes by co-compiler Sid Smith, photos of memorabilia, full info about the recent tour & a number of band & individual photos of the 2014 line-up taken by Scarlet Page.

On sale from November 25th.


1) Wind Extract (1969, London) (From ITCOCK recording sessions).
2) I Talk To The Wind (23/07/1969, London) From ITCOCK recording sessions.
3) Cadence and Cascade (03/02/1970, London, Greg Lake Vocals) From Poseidon recording sessions.
4) Cirkus (guitar extract) (11/09/1970, London) From Lizard recording sessions. Previously unreleased on CD.
5) Cirkus (10/08/1971, Live at the Marquee) From forthcoming release, Collectable KC Vol. 7.
6) Hoodoo (extract) (May, 2014, Elstree band rehearsals ) - Previously unreleased.
7) Sailor's Tale (08/09/1971, London) From Islands recording sessions. Previously unreleased on CD.
8) The Talking Drum (October, 1973, London) From LTIA recording sessions. SW alt mix.
9) LTIA (extract) (May, 2014, Elstree band rehearsals) - Previously unreleased.
10) LTIA (extract) [David/Jamie] (16/01/1973, London). From LTIA recording sessions.
11) Fracture (23/11/1973, Amsterdam). SW 2014 mix.
12) Fallen Angel (extract) [RF harmonics] (08/07/1974, London From Red studio sessions - Previously unreleased on CD.
13) Fallen Angel (July, 1974, London). From Red studio sessions.
14) 21 Century Schizoid Man (30/06/1974, Providence. From USA live recordings.
15) Starless (extract) [Mark] (08/07/1974, London). From Red studio sessions. Previously unreleased on CD

CD 2:

1) Discipline (1981, London). From Discipline recording sessions. Alt take.
2) Three Headed Doom (part 1) (May, 2014, Elstree band rehearsals) - Previously unreleased.
3) Manhattan (Neurotica) (23/11/1981, Live at The Roxy, LA). From forthcoming release, Beat 40th anniversary CD/DVD-A.
4) Neal and Jack and Me (extract) (17/03/1982, London). From Beat recording sessions. Previously unreleased on CD.
5) Sleepless (Bearsville) From TOAPP recording sessions (Steven Wilson mix). From forthcoming release, Three Of A Perfect Pair 40th anniversary CD/DVD-A.
6) Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream (rec session) (27/01/1994, Bath) - From THRAK recording sessions and on forthcoming release, THRAKBOXX.
7) THRAK (30/06/1996, Live at Shepherd's Bush) - Previously unreleased on CD.
8) Venturing Into Joy (edit) (May, 2014, Elstree band rehearsals) - Previously unreleased.
9) The Deception Of The Thrush (1998, USA) From West Coast Live, The ProjeKcts box.
10) Heaven & Earth (early edit) (14/05/2000, Nashville) ProjeKct X, TCOL recording sessions - Previously unreleased on CD.
11) Level Five (07/08/2008, Chicago, Live at Park West) - Previously unreleased on CD.
12) The Hell-Hounds of Krim (May, 2014, Elstree band rehearsals) - Previously unreleased.
13) Separation (edit) (2010, Berkhamsted) Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins sessions - Previously unreleased.
14) A Scarcity Of Miracles (2010, Berkhamsted) Jakszyk, Fripp, Collins sessions. Alt take.

Listen With Robert...
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Nov 3, 2014
After spending the early part of the day working on new King Crimson material, Robert and Jakko began listening to music from the recent Elements tour with a view to what might be made publicly available. Either way, a productive day to get Crimhead pulses quickening a little bit, eh?

RF & JJ Working On New Material
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Nov 3, 2014
Robert Fripp and Jakko Jakszyk are busy working on new material this week as can be seen here...

and King Crimson's other guitarist is also at the ready...

More pics as they arrive from Chez Jakko.

On This Date 16 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Nov 2, 2014
The last gig by ProjeKct Four took place in San Francisco. Robert Fripp's verdict was “My sense is the performance came together for the second set. A generous audience, and some good Crimson music emerging.” You can download the whole show here.

Jakko's Guitar Face
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Nov 1, 2014
Here's a short video of Jakko Jakszyk taking his Schizoid-faced PRS guitar through its paces. 

RF & The New Yorker
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Oct 31, 2014
Here's a fascinating account published by The New Yorker of a weekend in the company of Robert Fripp - albeit back in the mid-80s. 

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