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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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Robert On The Box
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jul 18, 2014
The famously reclusive Robert Fripp makes yet another appearance on TV in the UK tonight when he takes part in BBC 4's The Joy Of The Guitar Riff. Here's what the Radio Times preview has to say about it. And here's what Robert had to say about it when the film crew came to call in April


Crimson In Concert: Interim Demands
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jul 18, 2014
A tongue in cheek (we hope) piece on what one KC concert-goer wants to see happening in September


Daytime Crim
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jul 18, 2014
My thanks to FraKcman who writes "Is it only me? Am I the only one who hears LTIA loud and clear in the end titles of BBC TV show ’Flog it: Trade Secrets’?
For those in the UK only please see 28 minutes and 30 seconds
In fact the music used by the main Flog It show also sounds familiar to my ears.
It doesn’t matter what country you’re in for this link."


SHUT THE @*!% UP
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jul 15, 2014
My thanks to Tariqat for this link about those folks who well, you can guess the rest. 


E For A
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Jul 15, 2014
Adrian Belew’s e recently celebrated its fifth birthday. You can read Adrian’s comments surround the making of the record here


Dyble Does It Again
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Jul 14, 2014
Judy Dyble has a new album out next week.  Live At WM Jazz features a set recorded at the Water Margin in London's O2 in December 2013. You can grab your copy via Burning Shed.



DGMLive visitor Colin Coates saw Judy and the band on Saturday night just gone in Norwich's Arts Centre. "It was wonderful. I expected the audience to be similar to myself, over 50 grey and balding, most of us with beards as well, but no, a high number of younger folk, and I would say 40% female audience. The Curator, (Alistair Murphy) and his band played stuff from his excellent albums, most of side two from Inside the Whale before Judy joined them for the rest of the evening over two sets.

 I Talk To The Wind came with a chat about recording it with the Giles brothers, Fripp and Ian McDonald back in the flat in ‘60’s when she was between Fairport and Trader Horn. Later Alistair reflected on putting together in his studio Harpsong, from Judy’s Talking with Strangers album, with Ian McDonald’s and Robert’s contributions as sound files and thinking “I’ve got King Crimson playing together for the first time since ‘74”, before playing the number live in a shorted version.

The band was excellent, very tight, yet loose in their playing giving a depth to the music, Judy nervous at first, but relaxed into it all, and poor Alistair full of cold, and enjoyable on-stage banter. I Picked up the new album by Judy and the band, Live at WM Jazz, and highly recommend this as a similar set to what was played in Norwich. It has a good sound mix, and keeps Judy’s chat in as well, though sadly no I Talk To The Wind."

You can read my take on Judy's new album over on the blog.

On This Date 30 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jul 11, 2014
On July 11th the 80s incarnation played its final gig in Montreal. The show was recorded for radio broadcast and was released in 1998 as Absent Lovers.



Following the gig in Montreal the band broke up. The irony is that the band had never sounded better.  The material from Three Of A Perfect Pair had begun to breathe and knitted well into the set. The music was tight, incisive and moving at a stunning pace.  The release of Absent Lovers release showed Crimson had never sounded better and indeed the performance of much of the material surpassed many of their original versions — LTIA II in particular hadn’t sounded so animated and full of vim and vigour for quite a while.

Fripp recalls: "We recorded the last shows on multitrack sensing that the end of the band might be nigh. This allowed for a possible live album to commemorate the outfit (as with USA).  Bill mixed the tapes for a Canadian radio broadcast, which became a bootleg (as with any radio broadcast) called Absent Lovers.  Any mix of any music is a presentation of a world-view: a sonic society of the imagination, how we see that world and our place in it.  When I was given a copy of Bill’s mix, it confirmed my sense of Bill’s Crimson world-view, and gave deep offence."

On Sunday July 12, the morning after the last show at Le Spectrum, the team were having breakfast in their hotel.  Bruford recalls Fripp joining them and announcing to his colleagues that the band was no more. 

Asked by journalist Bill Milkowski what the future held for King Crimson now that the incline to 1984 had been completed, Adrian Belew replied “I think it is unstated as to what the future holds for King Crimson. We just have to sit down and consider that at the end of all this touring. Personally, I’d like to see it take a break for a while, mainly because I feel a real need to fulfill a lot of musical ideas that aren’t fitting for King Crimson. That’s where I’m at; I don’t know about the other guys in the band. Robert likes to do things in three album sets, and it was planned that way. But I think it would be unfair to assume that once we reached our goal it would automatically be over. I don’t think Robert has said that in the press. He’s never said that to me. And I’m sure Bill and Tony want to play further. But, as Robert says, now the band is free to play together if it wants to. So there’s a lot of openness to it.”

Fripp offers this perspective on the reasons for the break-up of the group.  "We compressed the making of three albums into three years, which was probably too short for the music to emerge organically.  But, with different career interests and tensions in the band, had we waited longer maybe little more would have developed organically anyway. Regardless of what the albums achieved, Absent Lovers validates the group as a live unit, right up to the end.  That particular end was a finish, a conclusion and a completion. No discussion followed the end of the tour, to address either working together or not working together. "

Whether by accident or design, inertia took hold and Crimson’s return to the first division was at an end.  As Crimson manager Paddy Spinks sat in Montreal mulling over his breakfast, there was an despondent air.  "I think we all kind of knew that if there wasn’t going to be an actual end to the thing at the end of the tour then there was certainly going to be a long pause. And if you think about it, there certainly was a hell of a long pause."




The Joy Of The Guitar Riff
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jul 11, 2014
The famously reclusive Robert Fripp makes yet another appearance on TV in the UK next week on July 18th when he takes part in BBC 4's The Joy Of The Guitar Riff. Here's what the Radio Times preview has to say about it. And here's what Robert had to say about it when the film crew came to call in April


Keeling's Little Red Book
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Jul 11, 2014
Andrew Keeling’s latest rock-orientated album has garnered some favourable reviews of late. First up here’s what Prog magazine had to say...



and from the pages of R2 magazine...



You can grab your copy of My Red Book from Burning Shed.

Wetton & Palmer-James Reissued
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Jul 10, 2014
I Wish You Would and Monkey Business 1972 - 1979 by John Wetton and Richard Palmer-James have been reissued in a 2CD set.



I Wish You Would, recorded in 1979, dusts off some blues numbers beloved by the duo back in their school days, while Monkey Business first released in 1998 sifts through items they worked on for the King Crimson back catalogue (including Night Watch, Book Of Saturday, Starless and a remake of Doctor Diamond as well as a tracks the pair wrote intended for the follow-up to Red.

You can grab the album via iTunes (I Wish You Would / Monkey Business) or Burning Shed.

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