By the time Robert Fripp arrived at The Kitchen, one of New York’s leading avant-garde arts spaces, King Crimson had been declared dead and buried for nearly three and a half years. Having used the resulting space to spend time in search of personal equilibrium through a spiritual retreat, this public unveiling of Frippertronics presented Fripp as the living embodiment of the ‘small, independent, mobile and intelligent unit.’

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.”

AUDIO SOURCE: Quarter Inch Reel To Reel and Bootleg Cassette

DGM AUDIO QUALITY

AVERAGE CUSTOMER RATING

TRACK
TIME
01
Loop I
07:33
02
Loop II
26:06
03
Loop III
12:19
04
Loop IV
12:31
05
Loop IV And Solo
12:28
01
Loop I
13:14
02
loop II
17:39
03
Loop III
31:11
04
Partial Loop III And Solo
11:35
Written by Leslie Heifner
What was old is new again.
I was already well familiar with Frippertronics when I made an exciting vinyl purchase at Amoeba records in San Francisco back in 2008, and my mind was further blown. Judging by the packing, I was hoping to slide open the sleeve and see an EG "for promotional purposes only" sticker. But I had a bootleg. Cheers for the opportunity to purchase an official, definitive copy. What fun.
Written by Bruce Bubier
The Holy Grail of Frippertronics releases.
I've been asking for this to be released since the early days of DGMLive. I got a cassette of the first house in September of 1978. It's been a constant companion for 40 (gawd, can it really have been forty) years. This show takes me places no other music ever has. Absolutely my all-time favorite Frippertronics show. And now, with the second house also officially released (with much better sound than the lousy boot I acquired in the mid 1980's) what a wonderful Christmas present. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Written by Jonathan Block
Frippertronics: The Earnest Young Man Year
Fantastic. Just buy it and reimagine the live debut of Frippertronics. Have fun picking out the bits that ended up on Exposure.
Written by Alan Pierce
Best Christmas present ever!
I've been waiting for this show since the "test loop" teaser a few years ago. 2 hours and 24 minutes of blissful Frippertronics. Absolutely recommended to anyone who's into RF soundscapes.
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