The Kitchen New York USA
Such was the demand to see the dapper-suited Englishman performing in New York, a second show was added on the night with long queues braving the freezing cold weather. The importance of the performance wasn’t lost on bootleggers and for several years a double LP of the first house show had been in circulation.
However, as Frippertronics expert as Al Okada observes this bootleg LP had been released at the wrong speed and with tracks appearing out of sequence. Listening to the work of DGM’s Alex ‘Stormy’ Mundy in restoring both the first and second houses, Okada says, “This new transfer, direct from the master tapes, enhanced with solos from bootlegged cassette recordings, has vastly improved on that sound quality. This is by far and away the ‘definitive version.’”
Al continues, “I am particularly struck by the opening section of 1st House-Loop I, which is very reminiscent of a fanfare. This was highly appropriate for the opening piece of the world premiere of Frippertronics. Loop II opening is also extremely memorable to my ears. There’s some great soloing on top of Loop IV with the end of that piece sounding like cars whizzing past on a highway.”
Okada comments that this show is important for another reason - the lack of any “beeping” type sounds that would be a hallmark of future performances. “Those sounds are created by a signal bypass switch, added to the pedalboard. It’s likely that at the time of this show, Fripp had not discovered this technique. All notes played here are either played directly or are swept in via volume pedal. This is a subtle yet distinct difference, distinguishing itself from all subsequent Frippertronics performances. 2nd House-Loop III at around 10 minutes in, Fripp creates some riveting sounds that can be best described as a fleet of dive-bombing wartime aircraft. These are just a few of the many highlights for me.”