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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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Good News For The Majors Bad News For The Artists
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Apr 16, 2015
Meet the new boss, the same as the old boss: Forbes on the the rise of the majors in the digital / streaming world.


The Vicar's Power To Believe Speaking Tour
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Apr 13, 2015
DGM's David Singleton will be undertaking a series of speaking engagements in the USA later this month.

David Singleton, the music producer, has worked with some of the best British avant garde artists, including King Crimson, Robert Fripp & Brian Eno, David Sylvian and John Paul Jones. A leading innovator, he has been at the forefront of developments in music DVD, music downloads and high resolution surround sound, as well as the field of artists’ rights, for which DGM Ltd, the label he co-founded with Robert Fripp, is rightly feted.

His latest project, The Vicar, is the convergence of all that experience. It has been described as a “groundbreaking multimedia satire on the music industry”, a heady brew encompassing novels, graphic novels, videos, social media, and, of course, music.

Under the title, “The Power to Believe”, Singleton gives a unique insight into what it takes to change a dream into a reality – a fascinating ten-year journey of promises from the great and the good, false dawns, disillusionment and dogged determination. Almost as much intrigue as the stories themselves. An inspiring story for any of us who aspire to realise our own dreams, in whatever field.

Singleton will be in LA (18/19th Apr), Cambria (20/21), San Francisco (22), San Jose (23), and Seattle from the 28th. Venues and times will be posted shortly.



New Jamie Muir Gig For Download
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Apr 13, 2015
There's a new audience recording previously unavailable anywhere else of the Cross, Fripp, Wetton Bruford and Muir incarnation available for download.



In addition to this new archive recording, KC's Bremen Beat Club TV recording date and an audience tape from the line-up's penultimate concert at Rainbow theatre are also making their online debut.

Remix An ORK
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Mon., Apr 13, 2015
There's an opportunity to remix a track on an album featuring Pat Mastelotto  due out later this year by a new outfit called O.R.K. The new record is entitled  Inflamed Rides and is a project featuring multi-instrumentalist, Lorenzo Esposito (Obake & Berserk), guitar Carmelo Pipitone and Colin Edwin on bass. Pat contributed drums to the entire album last year following King Crimson's tour in the USA.



ORK are running a competition to include a track remixed by a member of the public. For full details of how enter or simply order the album, head over to their musicraiser page. You can take a listen to two tracks from the record, Pyre and Jellyfish.






Polygraph Talk
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Apr 9, 2015
Check out this new interview with Gavin Harrison talking about his latest solo album, Cheating The Polygraph and King Crimson. You can also check out the details on the album here. There's a Q&A video with Gavin and ex-Bruford Earthworks player Laurence Cottle, who provided the detailed brass arrangements on the album.


The Humans UK Tour
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Apr 8, 2015
King Crimson's Bill Rieflin is working in the UK this month with his other band, The Humans.



The core trio consisting of Toyah Willcox, Chris Wong and Rieflin will be joined by returning Human, Igor Abuladze and Tim Rose, long-time member of Toyah's regular group.  For details of the six gigs the group will be playing check out Toyah's website.


Theo Wraps It Up
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Apr 8, 2015
Theo Travis has finished work on his new solo album due to be released in July. You can read a short update about it here. Also worth looking at is
Theo's personal tribute to Daevid Allen, who died last month.


Cross & Stick Men In Japan
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Apr 8, 2015
David Cross has joined Stick Men to play two gigs in Japan this week. The violinist joins Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Markus Reuter, bridging the gap between 70s, 80s and 90s Crim. Leonardo Pavkovic, from MoonJune Records posted this picture of the team as they go over logistics and setlists.











More Crimso For iTunes
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Apr 7, 2015
Four more albums by King Crimson are about to be released on iTunes later this month.








ITWOP, Lizard, Islands and Starless And Bible Black will be available for download from April 14th and are available for pre-order now.  These titles join ITOCTCK, LTIA, Red and Live At The Orpheum on the iTunes roster.



Crimso On BBC Six Music
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Apr 7, 2015
King Crimson and Islands got a special namecheck and shoutout on BBC6 Music yesterday.  The station’s output had been given over to The Unthanks, whose latest album, Mount the Air, has attracted  widespread critical acclaim.

Adrian McNally, pianist with the group introduced the track:  “This next piece, alongside Sketches Of Spain by Miles Davis and Gil Evans, has had more influence on me as an arranger and producer than any other, and also reveals the source of inspiration of our use of trumpet in The Unthanks. For most of my adult life this piece has been just a distant memory from childhood. I wasn’t even sure who it was by until I looked it up again recently.

All I could remember was the feeling it gave me, and now I realise that my limited armoury of tricks that relate to the impact of scale on the power and intimacy of music were all subconsciously learnt from this one piece. As an adult I can see its flaws but the best prog is full of flaws because the best prog was pushing boundaries, and if you’re pushing boundaries and not getting it wrong half the time, you’re not pushing hard enough. This is Islands by King Crimson...”

The programme then goes on to play the full track with Adrian adding afterwards, “Before we get any King Crimson aficionados regarding my comment about trumpet on that track, that was Mark Charig playing the cornet not the trumpet but did inspire us to use trumpet in The Unthanks which we’ve gone on to do.”  You can listen to the whole show here with the King Crimson section starting at around 01.09.34.

The band have previously covered Starless by King Crimson on their 2011 album, Last. You can read my take on the record over on the blog


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