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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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The Vicar's Listening Party
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Apr 25, 2013
Would you like to attend the forthcoming surround sound playback event of The Vicar's new album? Places are extremely limited but we'll be plucking the names of two lucky people out of the fickle fedora of fate tomorrow. The event takes place in central London on Tuesday 30th April at 2.30. All you need to do is send your name and a contact telephone number to competitions@dgmlive.com in the next 24 hours. For blindingly obvious reasons you must be able to be in London next Tuesday to be eligible.  

Mr & Mrs
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Apr 24, 2013
As mentioned in Robert's diaries, Toyah and Fripp are taking part in the celebrity version of the veteran TV show Mr. & Mrs. Check out the details here

Keith Tippett Solo Concert
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Apr 23, 2013
Keith Tippett is performing a solo concert in London at the end of the month. The pianist, whose decisive contributions to King Crimson can be heard on ITWOP, Lizard and Islands, was offered co-ownership of KC's musical direction by Robert Fripp. Fripp of course produced several Tippett-led albums including the epic Septober Energy, the small-scale Blueprint and the engaging duet with Andy Sheppard, 66 Shades Of Lipstick

GCE Pix Aplenty
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Apr 23, 2013
Here's some snaps of the Guitar Circle of Europe's recent jaunt around Europe.
Don't forget you can nab their live album - including several surprising takes on King Crimson repertoire - here.

Greg's Views On Crimso Continuing
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Apr 17, 2013
My thanks to slaughterhouse and others for alerting me to this piece wherein Greg Lake discusses his views on bands continuing after the departure of original members. 

Creative Accounting
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Apr 17, 2013
What's a few million Swedish krone between friends? 

Mister Stormy's Monday Selection
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Apr 15, 2013
Here's a cracking previously unreleased track from around the Vrooom sessions to tickle your earbuds today. 

Hyde And Seek Keeling
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Apr 13, 2013
Andrew Keeling's explorations into rock music continue with the release of Hyde. You can find out more about the album here. Don't forget to check out Andrew's website in its new location and on a related note, ace violinist Steve Bingham (No Man, Henry Fool, etc) is performing one of Andrew's pieces at his 50th birthday concert in June. 

The piece comes from Andrew's excellent album Unquiet Earth. You can find out more about that album here and read my take on it over on the blog.

Fans On Phones
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Apr 13, 2013
My thanks to wardism and other good folk for highlighting this story about music fans and mobile phones. 

Up With The Larks!
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Fri., Apr 12, 2013
The LTIA blanket as seen in frequent RF diaries is now available to buy.

Check out the details here.

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