Taken together they comprise a kind of audio documentary, a fleeting glimpse of the quartet in action as it moved closer to formalising the ideas, material, and structure arising from the ProjeKcts’ lengthy period of experimentation that would finally result in the 12th King Crimson album, The ConstruKction Of Light and ProjeKct X’s Heaven And Earth, both released in 2000.
That ‘bright, lambent mood’ moves into a lovely undulating piece with a distinctly sunny disposition. It contrasts somewhat with the rather heavier outlook of Frying Pan which is vectoring here for feel as much as anything else, with Gunn’s sinuous bass lines being a particular treat.
Resounding around Power House are the residual echoes of ProjeKct 4’s Seizure resolutely slogging through the chaotic melee of tumbling drum rolls and thorny guitars. Thematic ideas are constantly reshaped and remodelled as lines cross, harmonise and splinter away again within the roiling atmosphere.
In contrast to the previous selection, against Pat’s scuttling, electronica-tinged shuffle and swathes of calming chords from Fripp’s string patches, Bellow’s bittersweet soloing is a moment of outstanding beauty.
“Can we look at the pure rhythm shots,” asks Fripp after discussing the tempo during work on Larks’ IV. After some initial slicing and dicing, they go into the details, and as we hear, some ideas come and some, ultimately go. When they unexpectedly happen upon a staccato build-up, Fripp is heard to say, “Not a bad beginning, actually.” However, as with many such moments on the fly, this possible introduction is dispatched as quickly as it came.
If the finished album is only ever the tip of the creative iceberg, this collection, at least in part, gives us a deep dive under the waterline.