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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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#KC2014 - A kCaption kCompetition WINNER
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Aug 30, 2014
A few days ago we asked you to provide a caption to a photograph taken by KC Guitar tech hero, Biff. Today I asked Biff to pick the one that made him smirk, guffaw or generally tickle his funny bone.




"Let me get this straight, you are seriously trying to tell me
the goat ate my guitar?"


That was sent in by Clockgate, who wins a download of his choice from the DGMLive library.  Many thanks to everyone who took part. There'll be another caption competition next week.



#KC2014 - More Photos Please
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Sat., Aug 30, 2014
Here's some more photos taken by Trev Wilkins of the team at work in Applehead.

Trev writes: Looks like we're finally in full 'GO' mode after installing the UK Switchblade. Robert now has everything as it should be after a few days of using a limited set of controls. I have to say though he was very patient and understanding throughout considering he'd got such restrictions. Currently wading through finding the best way to back up the Switchblade without losing anything. We have a new one that needs programming as a backup. Onwards!



Around the studio...















A many-handed beast of bass terror spotted by Biff...



The many-handed beast of bass terror isn't the only wildlife around the place. This snake was safely dispatched by tour manager, Dave Salt. (neither Dave nor the snake were harmed during its removal).



Meanwhile, the Crims are locked in deep discussions...



#KC2014 Robert Talks To Toyah
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Aug 28, 2014
Toyah Willcox has posted a snippet of conversation with her husband, Robert wherein he chats about the current rehearsals and Kate Bush's return to active service. Click here to eavesdrop! 


#KC2014 Robert's Diary Backdated
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Thu., Aug 28, 2014
Fans of a certain rabbit who’ve been wondering how the old bun is getting on need wonder no more as Robert has updated his diary - oh there’s a few other things mentioned as well. 


#KC2014 - A kCaption kCompetition
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Aug 27, 2014
There’s a chance to win one download of your choice from the vast library of archive recordings here on DGMLive. The rules are simple: the caption to the following photograph that makes me snort my tea through my nose and all over my screen gets the prize. You only get one go so make it count and post your answer on the guestbook. The winner will be announced on Saturday 30th. OK, without further ado here’s the pic you want to caption...




pic by Biff Blumfumgagnge

#KC2014 - Crimson, Gremlins & Goats!
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Aug 27, 2014
Here’s some more photographs from the King Crimson rehearsals taking place at Applehead Studios.



Not everything is going to plan as Trev explains "Fending off the gremlins. Complicated electronic problems with the Sirius Probe and equipment failure has made the first few days tough. We’re now flying some of the UK gear out and have ordered some replacement units. The Eventide guys are also on the case with us so on we go."




The team at work...





Time for refreshments...



Back to work...



The new crew arrives...



Switching over to the BiffCam...



Anyone up for a spot of Pet Sounds?




#KC2014 - Careful With That Axe, Jakko
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Wed., Aug 27, 2014
There's been a bit of a stir created by the appearance of Jakko Jakszyk's stunning PRS custom-made guitar at the KC rehearsals this week. Here's the official portrait of a familiar face...





#KC2014 Robert's Diary Updated
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Aug 26, 2014
In between attempts to revive an ailing Sirius Probe and shopping for nuts and fruit, Robert has found time to update his dairy and he takes us into the thick of the current KC rehearsals. Check it out here. 


#KC2014 KC rehearsals Stateside
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Aug 26, 2014
Trev Wilkins has posted some more pics of the Crims as they prepare for next month’s tour.


































#KC2014 Tee
:: Posted by Sid Smith on Tue., Aug 26, 2014
Here's the first pic of the #KC2014 Tee shirt in the wild which dedicated Crimheads will be wearing at the forthcoming KC tour.



This handsome fella belongs to the equally handsome Tony Isch who'll be proudly sporting it at the Vic Theatre in Chicago on Sept 26th. You can get yours at the Inner Knot shop.

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