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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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Crimson ProjeKCt Down Under
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Oct 30, 2013
Crimson ProjeKCt have announced they will be touring in Australia next year. This article outlines what Oz fans can expect at the gigs in January. Meanwhile check out their full itinerary in Europe over at Adrian's website.  


Fripp Uncut...
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The latest edition of Uncut magazine contains a six page feature on Robert Fripp...





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:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Oct 29, 2013
My thanks to DeVito for this piece about working for free. 


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Here's an article exploring the possible impact changes in big data use might have within the music industry and uses, as its starting point, a diary that will be familiar to site visitors.  


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:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Oct 28, 2013
Mister Stormy has blown the cobwebs off a little gem penned during the writing rehearsals of The Power To Believe but until now has never been released. 


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:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Oct 28, 2013
Whilst large chunks of the recording industry including the major labels are happy with Spotify, some artists seem less than impressed and are seeking legal redress, as noted here and here


All About Levin Rudess Minnemann
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Oct 26, 2013
There's a review of the brand new album by Levin Rudess Minnemann over at All About Jazz. 


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Three Of A Perfect Pair
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Oct 23, 2013
Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Adrian Belew are teaming up again for their third summer camp in August next year. Check out the details here. 


Two Of A Perfect Pair
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Oct 23, 2013
Stick Men's Markus Reuter recently performed a concert with Philadelphia-based guitarist Tim Motzer. The whole thing was filmed and is now available for your consideration. You can check the whole gig out here. 


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