|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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Rounding Up The Circles
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Aug 12, 2014
There are a number of Guitar Circle courses coming up over the next few months in Europe and Latin America.
The Berlin Guitar Ensemble Special Project (Writing, Performing & Recording)
Monday 18th to Sunday 31st, August 2014
Antikriegswetkstatt Sievershausen (Lehrte), Germany
Introduction To Guitar Circle
Monday 13th to Saturday 18th of October, 2014
Lunlunta, Mendoza, Argentina
The Orchestra Of Crafty Guitarists X - Special Performance Project
Monday 13th to Tuesday 21st of October, 2014
Lunlunta, Mendoza, Argentina
Discounts and special payment terms are available if needed. Inquires, further info and Application Letters email here.
On This Date 18 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sun., Aug 10, 2014
Robert Fripp released A Blessing Of Tears in 1996.
One of the guitarist's most powerful and moving soundscape albums, recorded at different venues in 1995, it is dedicated to the memory of his mother, Edie Fripp, who passed away in 1993.
Frampton Throws A Live Phone
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Aug 7, 2014
My thanks to Rich Mlinar for this story of what happened when Peter Frampton asked a couple of punters to stop filming him on their cell phones.
On This Date 41 Years Ago
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Aug 4, 2014
Swastika Girls from No Pussyfooting was recorded at Command Studios in London.
From Robert's diary in September 2007 when he was remastering the album with Simon Heyworth.
"The original recording of (Side Two) Swastika Girls,
took place at Command Studios in Piccadilly. Brian set up the looping
in the control booth and, after 5 minutes of listening to the loops
playing-in to the multi-track, I walked into the studio, strapped on
& wailed out.
Command being what is
was, we took the tapes to Air Studios (George Martin’s studio at Oxford
Circus) & continued mixing & assembling No Pussyfooting
there. On the way to one of the sessions, Brian looked down & saw a
torn-out page of a magazine, which he brought into the studio for
examination. It featured young women in (incomplete forms of) Nazi
uniform, sporting swastikas & the headline Swastika Girls.
this time, F&E’s work together was not very much supported by the
business representatives nominally forwarding our interests (that is,
our work was actively opposed). No Pussyfooting was
also disliked by former Crimson buddies when I played it to them. So,
on a piece of paper, written in large letters & placed on the
mixing console - No Pussyfooting – that we should not compromise what we felt to be right."
Fripp & Eno's No Pussyfooting is available in vinyl format. The album’s return to the 12" format is cut from masters approved by the
artists, manufactured on 200g super-heavyweight vinyl and presented
in a re-worked version of the original gatefold sleeve, using variant
photos from the original photo shoot by Willie Christie. Also
available on vinyl is the second Fripp & Eno release, Evening Star.
No Pussyfooting here (UK)
No Pussyfooting here (US)
Don't Get Caught Up On Court
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Aug 1, 2014
There's an interview with Robert Fripp in the latest edition of Uncut magazine. In it Robert offers this advice to prospective concert-goers "A guiding King Crimson principle is the music is new whenever it was written. So it's all new music. What I will say is, if you are coming with the explicit or implicit demand that you need to hear this music or that then don't come. And if you've already bought tickets, sell them to someone and you might make a profit. The point is with Crimson, if you come with an open mind, generally something worthwhile happens. If you don't, it's less likely. If you go there thinking, 'If I don't hear In the Court of the Crimson King I will have a lousy show', then you will have a lousy show. It's not on the setlist."
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Aug 1, 2014
Julie Slick and Marco Machera have a new album available. For further details check out Julie's website.
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