Qualitative Action August 7, 2009
Written by sarva1
I had the opportunity to meet Fripp in 1980. I learned what power falls in a brief moment... if only I had said "hello" or recognized silence as my friend... it was an immeasurable gift. Perhaps, it meant nothing to him.
This music is brief moments qualifying years of life before and since the apparently recorded moment. Fripp’s genius belies itself, and in that tensegrity lies its power, falling far short. Perhaps, I’ve said too much.
sonictronics August 7, 2009
Written by mjboyce
I simply cannot get enough of Frippertonic material. It is stunningly beautiful, moving, compelling and devastating music. Utterly original and unique. I never tire of it - despite it apparent repetitious structure, it always sounds different and new, and it quite simply "sends" me.
This particular recording is sublime - like breathing through god’s lungs.
Stirring, haunting, beautiful moments July 15, 2009
Written by kevred
This is some intense, powerful, unique stuff. It’s great to hear the building of the pieces from the first echoing tone to the finished piece with solo. And it’s refreshing to say ’unique’ and mean it, because of Fripp’s open-ended approach to every performance.
In a superficial way, the image of this serious, stern fellow staring into his tape machine on a stool is the antithesis of the common idea of rock n’ roll. But as I thought about it, I realized that this is as rock & roll as it gets--going out onto a hot stage with no one else to hide behind or fall back on, no other sounds except those that come from your hands--and no idea what’s going to happen. That’s gutsy, and produces more meaningful excitement than, say, a group of bearded guys in jeans playing the exact same thing every night, where the only suspense is whether they’ll all hit the last note at the same time.
The more I listen to Fripp’s work, the more I appreciate and respect that approach to creating something unique in every moment, and the less acceptable the alternative seems.
Like an earlier commenter, I especially appreciate Frippertronics material like this for listening removed from the live performance, because of the more visceral quality of the analog format--I like to hear the physical touch of the guitarist on his strings and frets, the occasional odd effect of the pickups, the varieties of texture in the resulting sound. The more recent Radiophonics/Soundscapes and the like are beautiful in their distinctive ways, but for me Frippertronics--and the hazards and invention it represents--makes for very satisfying listening. Thank you.
(And thank you for leaving small traces of the audience noise just barely audible in a few places--it probably would have been easy to cut, but adds a small hint of the living space this occurred in, which makes a big difference. I’d enjoy hearing a recording like this that somehow included even more live ambience.)
The audience heard here, comes directly from Robert's guitar pick-up, which is why it is so quiet.
Summer 81 July 14, 2009
Written by Sandro
This recording brought me back to my teenager years particularly during the summer of 81 I spent in NYC and coincided with Mr. Fripp’s week at Washington Squre Church. I was 18 at the time and went with my little sister (16 back then).
We really enjoyed the show and still today we remember that occasion.
I almost spoiled the show when in a naive way I stood up and went right where Mr. Fripp was and stood in front of him to give him an awful pencil drawing I did the night before.
I wouldn’t dare to do that this days but my young spirit of the time gave the nerves.
I was surprise to see Mr. Fripp dressed with a white undershirt and jeans (I was expecting a man in suit and tie, but the show was at almost 11;30 am and was very hot.
Thanks a lot again to the DGM team for this great recording.
Most intense Frippertronics ever July 13, 2009
Written by toycritic
I attended this gig with a friend. Since then we have often mentioned it to one another and we still agree -- decades later -- that it was the most intense RF performance we’d ever seen. The sound quality of this download is excellent, RF was still using his pre-digital equipment, which had many lovely textures, and the playing is unusual and risky. Some of the guitar solos in the longest piece sound like angry outbursts, others like comic groans or howls of outrage. At the time, I thought it sounded like he’d just broken up with his girlfriend (needless to say, the artist may remember it differently). A must for anyone who collects Frippertronics or wants to know what it was all about. A great work of art.
Stunning July 13, 2009
Written by gasmrv
Is this man really 35 years old? What vision & maturity - this is indeed a stunning release. This Music is timeless.
bag of surprises July 13, 2009
Written by ckazzer
In my experience Frippertronics touch on something which Soundscapes never quite manage to touch upon. Maybe it has something to do with analogue vs. digital technology? This release is no exception. And it is quite funny and wild in places (e.g. »Loop and Solo II«) as I have not heard in Frippertronics before.
Excellent quality, stunning, moving music. Thank you. More please!
February 17, 2003
Written by Robert Fripp
A cold day here in Nashville & its environs.
The first day of winding up the Crimson Beast of Terror in preparation for unleashing it on the world. Apparently, the English magazine Classic Rock, in their review of TPTB, suggests we should call it a day. This is the simple arrogance of a reviewer not yet quite grown out of believing their own reviews. Yet not quite approaching the arrogance of Andy Gill reviewing TCOL: "music is too important to be left to musicians". Perhaps Mr. Gill's view is that music is not only important, and on this we agree, but of such importance that it should be left to Mr. Gill to decide how it might enter our world.
One of the joys of preparing for a Crimson tour, is that "True Fans" are already reliably negative, hostile & insulting, and posting. Here, from the most recent ET:
Date: Sat, 15 Feb 2003 00:24:29 -0800
Subject: Kc Screws fans/SCI ticketing
A very disappointing comment from SCI Ticketing:
"SCI Ticketing's motivation has always been to provide fans with an alternative to the high service fees and impersonal service of major ticket agencies. In addition, we believe it is the right of every artist to sell their own tickets; for without the artist there would be no tickets. Recently, there has been a mandate attempting to require us to meet arbitrary "fan club rules" in order to sell tickets.
"For instance, we must charge you a mandatory annual membership fee of $15. We must make our events password-protected so that they're not available to the general King Crimson public. We must rely on an existing King Crimson fan club - not just a "ticket buying club." And finally, we must offer the opportunity to purchase merchandise and interact w/ band members via a chat room. We are not willing to jump thru these hoops, at the expense of the people who keep us all in business. You, the people who support live music."
The Fripper 'mandating' crapola guidelines?... that keeps me from getting 'true-fan' tickets ahead of time? Could it be The Fripper & Co. wants a piece of the $15 'membership fee'?????? In which case, I have a simple reply: Bobby, kiss my arse
P.S. King Crimson is now a Clear Channel lackey?????????????????
"We regret to inform you that SCI Ticketing will not be able to offer tickets for any of King Crimson's Clear Channel-promoted concerts. This affects the following dates: March 5/6 in New York, March 8 in Boston, March 13 in Detroit, March 28 in San Francisco, and March 29 in Los Angeles.
"To purchase tickets for any of the Clear Channel-promoted King Crimson events, we suggest you visit Ticketmaster."
Bobby, if you are sucking the hind teat of Clear Channel, then I'm even more disappointed than I was before.... :( :( :(
All par for the course, then. I'm not sure there is much relevance in pointing out that the band, including myself, have not been involved in ticketing arrangements. Nor have we been consulted on setting the (too high) ticket prices.
But, for those True Fans who are already disappointed, even before the beginning of rehearsals, the course of action should be clear: this is not a band for you. True Fans can choose the band they patronise, but the band is not in a position to select its audience. This is clearly unfair. Life is hard enough already, so better to be kind to yourself primarily; and do us a favour, secondarily: take your business, ill-manners & poor attitude elsewhere and give them to a more grateful artist.
Moving right along, and as if to demonstrate that life in the basement is always, well, in the basement, an historical comment (also from the current ET) --
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2003 17:05:25 +0000
From: "Spear man"
Subject: funny read from another mailing list....
[Toby--sorry about the formatting]
as usual ill bite...back in 81, robert fripp was doing his first frippertronic tour and was playing at the u. of pennsylvania in philly...we knew we had to tape it, but knowing how quirky fripp is on this issue and the small size of the venue, we had to resort to unconventional means...so we went to a medical supply house, rented a wheelchair, taped the mics to the arm rests, and had my buddy sitting in the thing with a blanket covering the deck...fripp, who was tuning up and checking his decks, graciously requested that our suddenly wheelchair bound buddy be placed right in front of him...at the end of a nice 60 minute set, and after fripp takes his bows, my buddy, who was being fed margaritas via a straw the whole time, starts screaming: "fripp healed me...i feel my legs...hallelujah...fripp is god", jumps outta the chair and runs outta the place...pandemonium ensues of course, and fripp is flabergasted...the story does not end though...next day, fripp is doing promo signing at a record store, and i walk in with a j-card and ask him to sign it for the guy he had healed yesterday, becuz the tape of the gig would be incomplete without it...needless to say, fripp went ballistic, spewing obscenities left and right...i had a good laugh...
More par for the course, then. That Awful & Quirky Fripp went "ballistic, spewing obscenities"? I don't remember that. But Fripp clearly lost his cool when confronted by the lively wit and good humour of our pal (the one reporting the event) and his pal (the recovered invalid) now some 22 years after the event. Telling the story obviously brings back happy memories for him, and happy memories have their place.
But more accurately, this is probably 24 years later. The first Frippertronic tour was in 1979, following the release of Exposure. I spent 2 months traveling Europe, followed immediately by 2 months traveling the US & Canada. The American tour began in Boston, at the Boston Coop, where Fred Schuchman joined me as engineer & road person. The Polygram tour support for 2 months on the road in North America was $10,000. The price Polygram paid for an after-gig party for UK in Central Park (with John W & Billy B) was $8,000. Shoganai. This was probably the most grueling 4 months of my professional life tour.
The 1980 touring was mainly for The League of Gentlemen, although I did play a Frippertronics performance in Philadelphia, as a benefit organized by Kimberly Haas. I remember this performance for several reasons, among them: my intestinal composition was of a fluid disposition; I had the experience while performing of seeing the next note to play, playing it, and then the next note to be played after that; and the next one after that. This was a valuable experience, and one mentioned in an interview with Joe Strummer, conducted by Vic Garbarini, that became the cover feature (1980) for Musician in its glory years. Joe discussed this interview with Vic only a few weeks before Joe died. During the interview, Joe & I played pinball, and I turned the machine over (at 100,000) on my first ball. I liked Joe: he was authentic.
The touring in 1981 was mainly for King Crimson in its Discipline period, although I did play Frippertronics for 2 weeks in NYC, as a benefit for a Soho theatre company. The first week was a residency at Washington Square Church, the second week at the company's 80 seat theatre in Soho where writer Chip Stern brought Max Roach to a performance, and Vernon Reid also visited.
Strangely, I don't remember "going ballistic", nor "spewing obscenities left and right". But hey - it's in the nature of memory to be selective.
These reported comments, from a short visit this morning to the online world, are an accurate picture of why live performance is the front line. If True Fans love you, they will also hate you. If Untrue Fans hate you, they hate you anyway. Why should this be? Simply, "fandom" is a centre of gravity, where we live, our station, a "state of consciousness". Actually, a state of unconsciousness. These comments are reports from the Basement of what it is like to live there.
Perhaps Classic Rock were right after all.
At Crimson rehearsals we also tried to remember - some of our tunes. Pat has even more drums than last time we toured. At one point, Trey was playing two Warr guitars at once (18 strings total). He just gets better each tour. Adrian's mind, body & voice went in several directions simultaneously during Happy & Facts. The errors were honourable from where Ade & I were sitting. From behind the drums Pat suggested it was not quite as good as that.
As we listened to various pieces from TPTB, to de-select the privileging of memory, I found it more difficult than usual to reconcile the standard clichÈs of Crimson reviewers with the nominal subject of the review. TPTB is a mature work, concise & considered. Of the reviews I have read, several are concise.
Also arising from today: Toyah had read a piece in The Times suggesting that artists are increasingly viewing performances & merchandising at shows as the way forward. Artists are turning away from placing the main emphasis on records, says the article. As audiences leave the show, anyone will be able to order their bootleg of that evening's performance. That is, the ideas that Bootleg tv put into circulation in 1999/2000 are continuing to circulate. Pearl Jam & Phish have already put several of these ideas into action, and good for them.
The new world is waiting for us all. That is, with the possible exception of True Fans.
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