Yet another year, yet another characteristically detailed and chronologically contextualized King Crimson mega-box set.
Except that 2019 is no typical year. And Heaven & Earth
is no typical King Crimson box set.
While Heaven & Earth: Live and in the Studio 1997-2008
completes (well, almost) the series of box sets documenting King Crimson's original commercial recordings (and so much more), it's far from the group's first (or only) release to go along with the current three-drummer incarnation's 50th Anniversary tour, which will span (so far) three continents and thirteen countries.
The story so far: the 1969-1972 Limited Edition Vinyl
(Panegyric) box was released a week after the official 50th anniversary of the group's formation on November 30, 1968. With audiophile 200g vinyl covering that period's four commercial Island Records studio releases and featuring Steven Wilson
and Crimson guitarist/co-founder Robert Fripp
's 40th Anniversary remixesfrom 1969's In the Court of the Crimson King
through 1972's Islands
this deluxe box also includes a bonus two-LP set, The Alternative Guide to King Crimson
, filled with alternate takes, remixes and other curios culled from the various multimedia 40th Anniversary reissues.
Next, the 1972-1974 Limited Edition Vinyl
(Panegyric) box was released at the beginning of March 2019. Collecting all the commercial studio and live recordings from the Larks' Tongues in Aspic
quintet and quartet (and, again, using Wilson and Fripp's 40th Anniversary stereo remixes), this luxury box of 200g vinyl covers releases from 1973's Larks' Tongues in Aspic
through the expanded, two-LP version of the group's live swan song, 1975's USA
, plus an additional LP of alternate takes and mixes from Larks' Tongues in Aspic
, again sourced from the 40th anniversary reissue.
Third up, the first of three planned King Crimson Collectors Club
titles that will bring the series to a close at fifty releases of live/radio shows and rehearsals across the band's history. Released in early April, Live in Newcastle, December 8, 1972
(DGM Live) adds to the relatively small official discography of live releases, ranging from audience and soundboard recordings to the very occasional multitrack sessions, by the original "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" quintet, with percussionist/drummer Jamie Muir adding an unquantifiable "X factor" to the quartet that would continue on after his departure in early 1973 (Fripp, violinist/keyboardist David Cross
, bassist/vocalist John Wetton
and drummer/percussionist Bill Bruford
). The best-sounding live recording from the quintet to date and drawn from an exceptionally well-restored soundboard recording, it's a major addition to that lineup's canon of live recordings, released over nearly the past thirty years in KCCC
, download-only and box set formats.
Also in April, Panegyric's 200g LP editions of Wilson and Fripp's 40th Anniversary stereo remixes of 1982's Beat
and 1984's Three of a Perfect Pair
complete the vinyl reissues from the '80s era Crimson that began with 1981's Discipline
(released by Panegyric in June, 2018).
And that's far from all. In a rare exception to Fripp's general avoidance of direct media contact for the past several years, the guitarist, alongside manager/producer/engineer David Singleton, current Crimson guitarist/vocalist Jakko M. Jakszyk
and Crimson scribe/biographer Sid Smith, officially launched Crimson's 50th anniversary with a full-day media event in London, England on April 6 of this year, covered with characteristic depth and insight
' Anil Prasad. The 2019 Tour Box
the sixth consecutive two-disc box set of curated Crimson curios released since the band's 2014 return to active dutyhas just been announced and, since the beginning of the year, Crimson has also been releasing a weekly series of download-only tracksrarities, live versions and morealong with accompanying commentaries from David Singleton. Later in the year, a series of twelve 50th Anniversary T-shirts, complementing the artwork for the weekly downloads, will be issued.
And there's still yet more to come, with Sid Smith's updated biography (the original, long out of print) coming soon. In October, to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the band's epic 1969 debut, a vinyl-sized coffee table book, DGM Companion Vol
, will cover the history of In the Court of the Crimson King
, alongside a limited edition box set that will expand upon the six-disc edition of In the Court of the Crimson King
, first released by Panegyric in 2009, to include all the existing live recordings from the band's first lineup, more music from the recording sessions, and a brand new 5.1 surround mix.
And if that weren't enough, Cosmic F*Kc
, director Toby Amies' feature-length documentary, along with a companion soundtrack album, will come late in the year, as will limited edition, signed and numbered (by Fripp) silk screen prints of Barry Godber's famous "Screaming Face" gatefold exterior and interior covers to In the Court of the Crimson King
Let it never be said that King Crimson doesn't celebrate in style.
Heaven & Earth in a (Relative) Nutshell
The same can be said for Heaven and Earth: Live and in the Studio 1997-2008
. Of all of Panegyric's mega-sized, multimedia (CD/DVD/Blu Ray) box sets released annually (barring 2018) since 2012's 15-disc Larks' Tongues in Aspic 40th Anniversary Box
, 2013's 24-disc The Road to Red
, 2014's 27-disc Starless
, 2015's 16-disc THRAK Box: Live and Studio Recordings 1994-1997
, 2016's 19-disc On (And Off) The Road
and 2017's 27-disc Sailors' Tales 1970-1972
, none have managed to squeeze as much material into 24 discs18 CDs, two DVDs and four Blu Raysas Heaven & Earth
Nor has any previous box covered such a lengthy period of time, or covered so many Crimson incarnations or fraKctals, the improvising duo, trio and quartet subsets that emerged from the dissolved Double Trio of THRAK
as improvising R&D units formed to explore ideas ostensibly intended for future Crim(s).
Despite representing a relatively small percentage of the music included in the box, one of Heaven & Earth
's primary focuses is on sonically updated (and, in some cases, even more extensively reimagined) versions of releases by the 1999-2003 Double Duo lineup featuring Fripp, longtime guitarist/vocalist Adrian Belew
(who joined in 1980) and, back from the Double Trio, relative newcomers Trey Gunn
(bass, touch guitar) and Pat Mastelotto
(electronic and acoustic drums and percussion). In addition to two full-length albums on CD and, in 24-bit/48KHz high res stereo and 5.1 surround, on DVD-A and Blu Ray (The ConstruKction of Light
(Virgin, 2000) and The Power to Believe
(Sanctuary, 2003)), the box also includes (again, in multiple formats) the two EPs released during that lineup's lifespan: Level Five
(DGM, 2001) and Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With
One Blu Ray disc, Bootleg TV-Europe 2000
, is devoted entirely to video content recorded during the Double Duo's first European tour, originally released, in part, on the two-DVD set Eyes Wide Open
(DGM, 2003) as part of the 2000 Shepherd's Bush show, randomly (and imaginatively) inserting different improvisations from across the tour into the set, making each watch of the Shepherd's Bush show different from the last. Eyes Wide Open
also includes the full 2003 Tokyo show released, in part, on CD as Elektrik
(DGM, 2003) and also featured on the third Blu Ray Heaven & Earth
box, The ReConstruKction of Light / The Power to Believe
, as both the reduced CD and in its entirety in 24/48 high res stereo (audio only). While no complete shows are included on Bootleg TVEurope 2000
(which is also only standard definition video and 16/48 audio resolution), between 28 improvs and 42 performances of composed material, there's nearly ten hours of video content to satisfy any who are looking to see the Double Duo in action during its early touring years.
Six complete Double Duo live shows are also included, some in multiple formats, others on CD alone, and some having been previously only available in download-only format and appearing on hard media for the first time: Shepherd's Bush, London (2000), New Haven, CT (2001 and 2003), Tokyo, Japan (2003) and San Diego, CA (2001)coincidentally, the final show from Crimson's double-header tour with the Crimson-influenced progressive alt-metal band Tool. Heaven & Earth
also includes a two-CD live set replication culled from four nights in New York City and featuring the short(est)-lived, twin-drummer lineup of Mastelotto and (making his first Crimson appearance) current Crim drummer Gavin Harrison
, alongside Fripp, Belew and returning bassist/stick player Tony Levin
. Recorded in August 2008, King Crimson: New York, August 14-17, 2008
contrasts with the sole complete show already released from the tour as a download-only DGM 2008 release, Park West, Chicago, Illinois August 7, 2008
One of Heaven & Earth
's biggest draws is the three-CD Live ConstruKction
. When asked to construct a Thrakattak
-like set of improvisations (as he did with the Double Trio), Singleton chose, instead, to create a compelling alternative to 2000's Heavy ConstruKction
, likely not included in the box because it was just reissued, late in 2018, along with a number of other live albums from across Crimson's career. Heavy ConstruKction
features a two-disc recreation of a full performance, culled from various shows across the band's 2000 European tour (and including three improvised pieces to further simulate a complete concert experience), with a third full CD of improvisations. For Live ConstruKction
, Singleton opts, instead, for a more continuous and contiguous alternative. Curated, edited, mixed and sequenced by Singleton, his constru(K)ction of an alternative live experience, interspersing tracks from the Shepherd's Bush show with fully improvised pieces drawn from that venue and others from the same tour, Live ConstruKction
may be his crowning achievement in positioning this lineup as Crimson's most improvisation-heavy band since the Larks' Tongues in Aspic
And it's of particularly significance. Live ConstruKction
sits next to Mastelotto and engineer Don Gunn's reimagining of The ConstruKction of Light
(here titled The ReConstruKction of Light
) as Heaven & Earth
's two greatest revelations.
For those on stricter budgets or disinclined to tackling such a bevy of the live material included in Heaven & Earth
, The ReConstruKction of Light
is also available on a more modestly priced CD/DVD-A combo, its DVD including, in addition to 24/48 stereo and 5.1 surround sound mixes of The ReConstruKction of Light
, the original ConstruKction of Light
mix/master, as well as the instrumental Heaven and Earth
, originally released by the Double Duo's all-improvising alter-ego, ProjeKct X, the same year, (initially only in Japan, by DGM), in 24/48 high res stereo. A second CD/DVD-A of the newly mastered (and expanded) The Power to Believe
is also available, with the 2019 expanded/augmented and expanded remaster in 24/48 stereo and 5.1 surround provided, along with the original 2003 master and 2001/02 EPs, all in 24/48 stereo, on the DVD-A.
But there's much more about ReConstruKction
In a nutshell, few groups have taken the time and energy to so completely document their recorded history as King Crimson. Beyond the Double Duo material, Heaven & Earth
also includes (virtually) every studio recording, every recorded rehearsal and every live recording from the various ProjeKcts.
All four of ProjeKct One's completely improvised December 1997 performances at London's Jazz Café, are featured in 24/48 high res on the first Blu Ray (The ProjeKcts Vol. I
), as are the single-disc compilations Live at the Jazz Café
(originally released in Japan alone in 1998, but compiled, by DGM, in its 1999 The ProjeKcts Box
, along with three other Japan-only releases) and KCCC-issued Jazz Café Suite
(DGM Live, 2003), which edits down material from the four nights into three suites ranging from six to 26 minutes. An abbreviated version of its two December 4, 1997 setsoriginally released in full (in downloadable form only) by DGM Live in 2005is also available on a single CD.
ProjeKct One's complete and utter commitment to full-on improvisation is made clear by David Singleton in his Heaven & Earth
liner notes, included in a booklet that also features contributions from Fripp and Sid Smith (who truly knocks it out of the park with one of his very best characteristically detailed and chronologically contextualized essays): "I still recall the soundcheck for ProjeKct One at the Jazz Café in December 1997, where the four musicians tested their equipment at separate times so that the very first (improvised) notes that they played together would be at the opening of the concert." The ProjeKcts Vol. I
also includes ProjeKct Three's five US dates in March, 1999 (as with everything else, in 24/48 high res), featuring Fripp, Gunn and Mastelotto, as is the compilation disc, Masque
, included in The ProjeKcts Box
but originally released in Japan earlier the same year. An abbreviated version of the trio's March 23 Austin date, originally released in download-only format (but subsequently released in its entirety as a KCCC in 2004), is also included on CD for the first time.
The only omission is Live in Alexandria, VA
, an oddity in the Crimson catalog first released as a KCCC in 2007. On that night of March 3, 2003, the Double Duo was scheduled to play but, when Belew had to pull out due to illness, the remaining trio (i.e.: ProjeKct Three) decided to go forward and perform a set comprised of improvisations and reduced versions of material from Crimson's repertoire at the time, including "Level Five," "The Power to Believe II," "Facts of Life," VROOOM," and "The Deception of the Thrush," a commonly played Fripp/Gunn/Belew instrumental. It's a shame that the show was left off the box, as it demonstrates how Crimson could quickly turn disadvantage into advantage.
ProjeKct Four (Fripp, Levin, Gunn and Mastelotto) is documented across its North American west coast dates in the fall of 1998, along with The ProjeKcts Box
's compilation set, West Coast Live
(first released in Japan, 1999) from The ProjeKcts Box
, while the slightly abbreviated San Francisco, November 2, 1998
is included on CD, omitting only P4's look at THRAK
's "VROOOM," which closed all but the first of the quartet's seven live performances.
Also included on The ProjeKcts Vol. I
: the short-lived ProjeKct Six duo of Fripp and Belew (on electronic V-Drums, bass and guitar), that played four shows along the American east coast in the fall of 2006, opening for Porcupine Tree; and ProjeKct X's Heaven and Earth
. The ProjeKcts Vol. I
also includes two not-quite-ProjeKcts that, with their experimental natures, contextual places in Crimson history and overall aesthetics, dovetail with Crimson's fraKctalisations. The Repercussions of Angelic Behaviour
is a 1999 recording featuring Fripp, Gunn and future Crimson drummer/keyboardist Bill Rieflin. XtraKcts & ArtifaKcts
(2001), on the other hand, is a larger-casted album under the moniker BPM&M. Featuring Fripp, Mastelotto and engineer/producer Bill Munyon, it also includes guest appearances from Tony Levin (on whose Papa Bear imprint the album was first released), The League of Crafty Guitarists, bassist/percussionist/guitarist Cenk Ergolu, bassist Hal Miltone, vocalists Adrian Belew, Aloke Dutta, David Byrne and Fripp, and, on one track, David Singleton on Mellotron.
ProjeKct Two, despite its moniker, came into active existence first, delivering the first (and, of the four initial ProjeKcts, only studio) ProjeKct recording in April 1998 (DGM's Space Groove
) and playing the most dates. A total of 34 shows are included on the second Blu Ray (The ProjeKcts Vol. II
), alongside music culled from two days of rehearsal in mid-February 1998, though Space Groove
and The ProjeKcts Box
's Live Groove
(a collection of tracks from P2's tour and also first released solely in Japan), are included on The ProjeKcts Vol. I
And for good reason.
In order to squeeze all of the ProjeKct Two shows and rehearsals onto a single Blu Ray disc, the sound had to be mastered at 16/48 resolution rather than 24/48though, as soundboard recordings, they still sound very, very good. Baltimore, May 2, 1998
, a complete performance, is also available on CD in the Heaven & Earth
It is, quite simply, the most material King Crimson has ever squeezed into a single box set, let alone single Blu Ray discs. With almost two days
of ProjeKct Two music on The ProjeKcts Vol. II
, 32 hours of various ProjeKcts in high res on The ProjeKcts Vol. I
, ten hours of Bootleg TVEurope 2000
on the fourth Blu Ray, nearly ten hours of various versions of ConstruKction of Light
, The Power to Believe
, EPs and Crimson live shows on the third Blu Ray, and over eight hours of music found on CD alone, Heaven & Earth
is one massive
collection of music: over four-and-a-half days
of music to absorb, covering 11 years of Crimson and Crimson fraKctals.
But first, some history.
The Double Trio: Bicker, Bicker, Bicker, Brouhaha
Following the release of THRAK
and a couple years of touring, the Double Trio reconvened for rehearsals in May 1997, with the intention of developing new music for the sextet. These rehearsals, however, yielded little that satisfied Fripp. "After a week or so of working in the big room at SIR," writes Sid Smith in his liners, "the sessions came to an abrupt end and with them the Double Trio."
Fripp then devised the idea to fraKctalise the group into various ProjeKcts, which would work on music with the purpose of exploring new vistas through largely improvised contexts, to hopefully generate ideas for the next Crimson (in whatever form that might be). It may not have been the first time King Crimson had gone gently into that good night...but it was the first time it had not done so completely, instead continuing on with four ProjeKcts until March, 1999, after which Crimson re-emerged as the Double Duo with its studio debut, The ConstruKction of Light
, released in May 2000.
Following a hectic three-year run of touring, two full-length studio recordings, two EPs and a couple of live recordings, Trey Gunn left the Double Duo in late 2003 to pursue solo projects. A ProjeKct Six duo of Fripp and Belew convened in 2006 for a handful of gigs, likely to explore ideas for a new King Crimson incarnation that did, in fact, materialize for a very brief time in 2008. That said, when that lineup (Fripp, Belew, Levin, Mastelotto and Harrison) engaged in the shortest tour in Crimson historya mere eleven dates in four cities, intended to celebrate Crimson's 40th Anniversarythere was no new material to speak of, other than two drum duets, which can be heard on the live show constructed from four nights in New York City and which occupy CDs 17 and 18 of Heaven & Earth
While it was effectively over in May, 1997, the Double Trio did not officially disband until the first four ProjeKcts had competed their individual runs. Drummer Bill Bruford was, however, only involved with ProjeKct One, which played just four dates at London's Jazz Café in December, 1997. He may have still been considered a member of the greater Crim until he officially left in 1999 to pursue, amongst other ventures, his second, more acoustic-oriented lineup of Earthworks, but his 25-year tenure with Crimson really ended with those four ProjeKct One performances.
Friction between Fripp and Bruford was hardly new, but it had always been in service of the music. However, as Fripp recalls in Smith's liners, tempers flared in a far more disturbing fashion during those unfruitful 1997 Nashville Double Trio rehearsals: "Bill became very negative and critical. Even, rather nasty. This surprised Adrian, at least. Bill then went on to criticise, negate and undermine the whole concept that underlay DGM and Crimson's business structure in the post-EG [Editions EG, Crimson's management company and label from 1975's USA
through the early '90s, when Fripp formed DGM with David Singleton] world. Bill completely blasted six years of my work setting up a new structure for Crimson as if it was all a worthless, ill-conceived approach.
"The comments appeared to come from nowhere," Fripp continues. "I don't know what triggered Bill's outburst, and I doubt that Bill was aware of their effect on me. A leitmotif of Bill's life in Crimson is that he often appeared to be unaware of the effect of his actions. We went to the restaurant afterward although, for me, something had been spoiled. This had been a very different level of critical negativity than might normally arise in band discussions, even band disagreements. Bill had missed the point of the band's business plan and structure, to a destructive degree, and had gone on to undermine the raison d'être of the group. Clearly, this view is subjective. The next day I woke up and developed a migraine, seeing no way forward. Adrian went into rehearsals without me. Bill called to apologise. What he said to me was: 'You shouldn't take any notice of what someone says after they've had a beer.' What Bill failed to mention was that his destructive comments were made prior to the beer, not during or after."
Years later, and having since retired from playing for a successful new career as writer and public speaker, Bruford was given the opportunity to respond, and while it takes a different, somewhat more congenial perspective, it also suggests that the bitterness between the two has, sadly, not entirely dissipated: "Clearly Robert's view is subjective. The words 'over' and 'reaction' come to mind, but then perhaps he needed a pretext. I was aware of my injudicious comments, but unaware that my fulsome apology the next day had not been accepted in good grace. I was also unaware that I had apparently managed to 'undermine the whole concept that underlay DGM and Crimson's business structure in the post-EG world.' This was a surprising achievement, especially in the light of my many public statements of affinity for Robert and his work vis-à-vis DGM's business structure, both before and after this event, and which I take this opportunity to re-state; and my continuing, happy and fruitful use of this structure for my own musical endeavours.
"Exasperation was thick in the air in those Nashville rehearsals," Bruford continued, "and Robert will understand he was not alone in feeling it. For me, the futile sterility of that period allowed me to sever the lifeline that tethered me to the Good Ship Crimson, and allow the old thing to recede slowly and elegantly into the 20th-century mist, as I sought more productive pastures for the new millennium."
Levin's relatively concurrent departure was predicated on more practical considerations. A busy session player, Levin also had to juggle, over the years, tour schedules for King Crimson and Peter Gabriel
, not to mention finding time for his own projects, which included the Tony Levin Band, the Crimson ProjeKct and, more recently, Stick Men, featuring Mastelotto and touch guitar innovator Markus Reuter
The ProjeKcts, 1997-1999
Still, despite the friction between Fripp and Bruford, ProjeKct One's four shows remain amongst the many highlights of the 1997-1999 ProjeKcts years. It may have been the shortest-lived ProjeKct, but during those four nights at the Jazz Café, having not played a single note together until the very first note of the very first set of the very first first night seemed to free both Bruford and Fripp from their Crimson tensions.
With tracks simply titled "night, set and track number" (thus with monikers like "1 ii 1,"" "2 ii 4," and "4 i 5"), ProjeKct One, also featuring Levin and Gunn, delivered a series of drawn-from-the-ether improvisations, exploring a myriad of collective spontaneities that mixed tempo, texture, context, color, space, complexity, groove and vibe, all with a fresh sense of excitement, surprise and purpose. As with any all-improvised music, not all of it succeeded. But when it did, it was pure magic.
As Smith recounts in his liners: "Being in the room over the four nights had the effect of casting the audience as a kind of cinema vérité
fly-on-the-wall documentary team witnessing musicians going about the sometimes difficult business of finding the music or sifting for gold and the euphoric highs of discovery."
Still, until all four nights were made available as downloads from DGM Live years later, there was an air of tension around the 1999 single-disc ProjKect One release included in The ProjeKcts Box
, Live at the Jazz Café
. Bruford was recruited as a consultant, but his consternation continued, to some extent surprisingly: "I hated it so much...and the little of it that seemed achievable was the bit that I tried to put on the record because the other stuff just seemed so excruciating to my ears."
That said, in recent years Bruford's view of ProjeKct One has changed considerably. From Gianluca Livi's 2015 interview for the Italian Artists and Bands
website, and with thanks to Valerio Bilotti for forwarding this information (and translation), Bruford says: ..."the one I played in at the Jazz Café in London ... seems to me to have a frightening amount of energy and power. I heard the CD again the other day and it nearly blew my socks off. Fabulous! Further proof that emotions play a great role in judging music, even our own..."
The resulting experience for Bruford may have been far less than pleasurable at the time, but Smith's assessment in his liners presents, perhaps, a more conciliatory view of those four nights of music that coincides with and expands upon Bruford's more recent perspective. Bruford's response, at the time, is ultimately understandable, given that Bruford was already disenchanted with Crimson and on the cusp of leaving for the final time.
"Regardless of Bruford's misgivings," Smith writes, "the residency at the Jazz Café felt fresh and different yet paradoxically recognisable and familiar, a partial kind of missing link between 1974 and 1994. Despite a fan blatantly ignoring the 'No Photography' signs posted around the venue and in doing so bringing to an abrupt end Robert's first KC-related stage announcement in over 13 years, nothing could take away from the fact that it had been an amazing week of momentous improvisations with the fourth and final evening being particularly strong. After it was all done, with the crew packing up, Bill Bruford chatted to straggling fans, signed a few autographs and eventually picked up his cases, walked out into the night to his car and said goodbye for the final time to his life as an active member of King Crimson."
Despite being named ProjeKct One, ProjeKct Two was the first to come into active duty. Also including Fripp and Gunn (who added some synth work to his touch guitar), ProjeKct Two was an intrinsically more electro-centric configuration, and a considerably different proposition to the original "string trio" plan for P2 before Belew largely deserted guitar and, instead, focused almost exclusively on his newly acquired, electronic V-Drums (the same kit to which Mastelotto was later restricted on the original ConstruKction of Light
). While still largely improvised, the trio did possess and/or evolve some rough road maps that could be defined by many of the same characteristics/qualities that drove ProjeKct One and were, consequently, substantially different from night to night. Still, certain pieces became recognizable, like "Live Groove" and "Contrary ConstruKction."
The trio also began to insert brief nods to Crimson material past and (relatively) present. An often set-closing version of THRAK
's "VROOOM" was turned from its harder-edged, more metallic Double Trio reading to a lighter, synth and guitar synth version that included a brief moment of improvisational fire in its midsection. The trio even pulled out In the Court of the Crimson King
's metal-meets-jazz opener, "21st Century Schizoid Man," for its final July 1998 gigs, though only playing the rapid-fire instrumental section (and, again, driven by synthesized vibes rather than heavy guitar) that followed the original version's guitar and saxophone solos.
ProjeKct Two also began to add occasional solo segments for Belew, in order to break up improvised sets that sometimes ran close to two hours in length, as the singer accompanied himself with nothing but an acoustic guitar. On a number of occasions, he played a solo version of THRAK
's "Dinosaur" prior to the closing "VROOOM" but, during ProjeKct Two's final dates in late June/early July, another lengthier solo segment was added earlier in the set, including Crimson material from Discipline
("Matte Kudesai") and Three of a Perfect Pair
(the title track), in addition to more pop-centric music from two of Belew's solo albums: 1982's Lone Rhino
("Lone Rhinoceros"), and the up-tempo title track and equally buoyant "Men in Helicopters," both from 1990's Young Lions
ProjeKct Two was also notable for introducing "The Deception of the Thrush," a part-structured/part-improvised piece that runs the gamut from angularity to heartbreaking beauty. It was, in fact, the only complete track that made it from the ProjeKcts into the subsequent King Crimson Double Duo's repertoire, and would also appear, in a much altered/reduced form, as The Power to Believe
's "The Power to Believe III."
Being a trio might suggest greater limitations when compared to the two ProjeKct quartets. Still, with King Crimson a group largely ahead of the curve when it came to employing changing and emerging music technologies, it's no surprise that, between Belew's V-Drums, Fripp's soundscape-enabled arsenal of sonics both guitar-and completely non-guitar-like in nature, and Gunn's similarly expansive Warr Guitar rig, ProjeKct Two was the fraKctal that covered, through its longer lifespan, the most ground, intrinsically possessing the greatest opportunity to evolve. With almost 48 hours of music across 37 rehearsals, studio recordings and live performances documented throughout Heaven & Earth
, it might seem an almost unwieldy amount of music to absorb, but stretched out over a longer period of time, yields a great many rewards.
If largely improvised music represents both a significant commitment to risk-taking and a sign of trust, even when it doesn't completely work, the journey is, as they say, as important as the destination. Describing the trio's second San Francisco date on November 2, Smith quotes Gunn as saying: "We probably pushed too hard in the beginning of the first set and couldn't bring the music in. So we countered this with more space in the second set and everything came to life. Improvisation is so delicate."
So delicate, indeed.
ProjeKct Four, with Fripp, Levin, Gunn and Mastelotto, followed ProjeKct Two later the same year in late October/early November, for a series of seven performances with a more expansive set of sonics and set lists that included the quartet's own versions of ProjeKct Two material. "Heavy ConstruKction" shares ProjeKct Two's jagged theme, but its complexion differs considerably as Gunn becomes a more full-fledged foil for Fripp, fully freed from holding down the bottom end by Levin. Gunn, in fact, is finally afforded greater freedom to demonstrate his inestimable skills as a player and sound sculptor, skills that would render him all the more vital when the Double Duo convened the following year.
The quartet also revisits "VROOOM" but, this time, more closely referencing THRAK
's recording, including Fripp's contrast of heavily overdriven phrases and cleaner-toned, shimmering arpeggios. Tracks introduced by ProjeKct Two, like "Contrary ConstruKction," here incorporate the occasional use of hockets, foreshadowing a similar technique that would drive some of Fripp and Belew's interlocking guitar parts on Double Duo tracks like the instrumental first part of The ConstruKction of Light
's title track. The techno-driven "Seizure" may have been instigated by Levin's propulsive bass ostinato, but Fripp's injection of strings also presaged Level Five
's "Dangerous Curves" by a couple of years.
Throughout the ProjeKcts, but most noticeably with ProjeKcts Three and Four, which both included younger generation players Gunn and Mastelotto (whose roles with the Double Trio were, in retrospect, under-utilized), Fripp made it possible for contemporary elements like drum 'n' bass, techno and more to be more seamlessly fused with Crimson's constant musical forward motion.
He may be more vividly proving himself the percussive "X factor" of the three-drummer Crimson lineup that's been touring since 2014 (with his more contemporary take on Jamie Muir's complete and utter unpredictability), but Mastelotto was already bringing the unexpected to the ProjeKcts and subsequent Crimson Double Duo. The difference is that, with two other drummers in the current Crim who can anchor the group, Mastelotto is more liberally freed to explore the greater capricious realms. Here, however, largely confined (if not exactly constrained) to "electronic traps and buttons" with ProjeKcts Three and Four, leading to one of The ConstruKction of Light
's bigger deficiencies, Mastelotto would ultimately better balance the clear potential of his electronics with the more muscular weight of an acoustic kit on The Power to Believe
and beyond, into the current lineup.
With Levin out of the picture with ProjeKct Three, Fripp, Gunn and Mastelotto were left to explore some of the same material during a series of five dates in March 1999, including "Hindu Fizz," which ProjeKct Four introduced during its October 27 and November 2, 1998 gigs in Vancouver and San Francisco respectively. With Mastelotto's sampled tablas, "Hindu Fizz" may share some residual DNA with ProjeKct Four but the combination of Fripp, Gunn and Mastelotto might actually supersede ProjeKct Two in potential, between Mastelotto's greater expertise with electronic percussion and the growing synergy between Fripp and Gunn. ProjeKct Three's "Seizure" assumes an even greater resemblance to the "Dangerous Curves" to come, albeit driven by Mastelotto's more frenetic electronics and with a less exponential build.
Still, despite playing only a handful of gigs, ProjeKct Three possesses plenty of spellbinding moments. In Smith's liners, Gunn recalls a particularly vivid moment during the trio's first date on March 21, 1999, in Mastelotto's hometown of Austin: "There was an utterly beautiful moment during 'The Deception Of the Thrush' when we were playing so quietly with huge amounts of silence around the sound and the audience was sucked right in with us. The music drifted along getting quieter and quieter, and then there was an enormous gap with only this long tail of echo off of T.S. Eliot's voice sailing into the silence. The audience was absolutely still, and I'm sure that my watch stopped running. It is for this, that I am a musician."
The inclusion of the four 2006 ProjeKct Six gigs by the duo of Fripp and Belew is somewhat revelatory, with the riff-driven, sketch-informed "Time Groove" evolving surprisingly over the course of four nights and the more funkified yet oblique "Queer Jazz" traversing similarly unexpected terrain. Despite its more limited sonic palette and equally restricted collection of compositional sketches, ProjeKct Six's brief appearance was, in retrospect, not necessarily a bad thing. That two musicians could make so much sound in real time is undeniably impressive, but it seems as though both players are falling into predictable patterns more often than in previous ProjeKcts. The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior
(First World) actually predates the real ProjeKcts, a session from April 1997 (also predating the failed Double Trio rehearsals) with Gunn and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Bill Rieflin, who, having first emerged in the industrial/industrial metal scene with groups including Ministry and Nine Inch Nails (later becoming R.E.M.'s touring drummer) would subsequently become one of Crimson's three drummers in 2014, before becoming the group's very first full-time keyboardist in 2017. Culled from a series of improvisations during the sessions for Rieflin's more vocal-oriented Birth of a Giant
(released a week after The Repercussions of Angelic Behavior
), it's a more aggressive and muscular date, with Fripp as unfettered as he's ever been.
As a prescient precursor to the ProjeKcts, it suggests many things, most notably the ability for musicians largely tied to the rock scene to become freely improvising units and Rieflin's ultimate recruitment by Fripp for the current Crimson lineup. And while, for personal reasons, he will not be touring with the group in 2019, as was true when he had to take another break in 2016, Fripp considers Rieflin's chair in Crimson to always be open for his (hopefully inevitable) return. XtraKcts & ArtifaKcts
, attributed to BPM&M and first released on Levin's Papa Bear imprint in 2001 (subsequently released in Japan, the following year, by DGM), is a larger-scale project centered around producer/engineer Bill Munyon, Mastelotto and Fripp. Like Repercussions
, XtraKcts & ArtifaKcts
is an album conceived by younger musicians, embracing more contemporary styles in an experimental fashion and making full use of the studio as an equal partner in the proceedings. But it also helped link Fripp, who had never been anything less than completely relevant to every emerging generation of musician, to more contemporary innovations from artists who might cite the guitarist as a seminal musical influence, but whose own work would similarly encourage Fripp to pursue new directions.
The Double Duo is Born: The ConstruKction of Light
The Double Trio and ProjeKcts might have prepared Fripp, Belew, Gunn and Mastelotto for King Crimson's whittled-down Double Duo, but that band's birth was far from easy. Contrasting the group's usual MO of rehearsing new material and then road testing it before heading into the studio to document it, this time the group went to Belew's home studio to conceive, rehearse and record The ConstruKction of Light
before hitting the road. There were a number of reasons why this was not necessarily the best idea, with the finished album bearing all of them out.
Amongst them, the relatively small room and low ceiling meant the Mastelotto had to rely exclusively on V-Drums because there was simply no way he could play an acoustic kit without it being too loud (even, according to the liners, despite using all manner of blankets, pillows and other found items to mute the kit, generally a mistake anyway, as it means the kit's natural sound is altered). While Mastelotto is, indeed, a particularly accomplished master of electronic percussion, samplers and other button-driven devices, being limited to the V-Drums was certainly one significant reason why the finished album sounded less muscular and weighty than its material demanded. That said, the intimacy of Belew's studio was also a positive when it came to this new lineup coming together and finding its voice.
Additionally, Crimson was rarely a group where anyone came to the table with finished songs. With an eight week timeframe to conceive, rehearse and record an album's worth of new music, and with little prior consideration, beyond some ProjeKct-driven music and other rough ideas that members of the band had already developed, the clock was most certainly ticking.
Belew and Fripp had begun a series of writing sessions in August '99, fleshing out ideas from various ProjeKcts into more structured form with "FraKctured" (then titled "Larks' Tongues V") and a kind of blues only Crimson could conceive, but still an unusual direction for the group, "ProzaKc Blues," clearly two impressive starts.
Still, with Fripp voicing his vision for the Double Duo, Belew became overwhelmed by both the initially planned three-year touring schedule and concern over his role in this new Crimson incarnation. Consequently, one account has Belew quitting the band in September '99, as Fripp was preparing to return to America from his home in Dorset, England. Ever dryly witty, Fripp recalls about this time in Smith's liners: "Crimson usually breaks up after tours or during rehearsals. The Double Duo is a first in that it has broken up before rehearsing, recording and touring. Even for Crimson, this is an achievement. Two Crimsons have broken up around Christmas time. This time Christmas has come early."
Looking back, however, Belew seems to remember things a little differently, though the end result was the same. "After Robert left [in August], I began to have doubts about my place in the new band. Perhaps I've read one too many mean ET ramblings [Elephant Talk, an online message board]. And I worried about the planned three-year touring schedule. But I never actually 'quit' the band. Instead, I worked out my concerns and talked to Robert... We revised our touring schedule to a one-year plan. Musically, Robert asked me to trust his vision of the new band. His feeling was that when the four of us play in the studio together great things will happen and my place in the scheme of things will naturally occur."
Since We're On the Subject: The Perils of Message Boards, Lists and Social Media
As a side note, it's surprising how vicious some fans can be, especially when hiding behind made-up handles and even when it comes to discussing their "favorite" groups. The emergence of the internet and, in more recent years, social media portals have given fan bases a greater opportunity to weigh in about the artists they follow, but some do not consider the impact of their words. Criticism is one thing, as are opinions, but some truly do not realize or appreciate the consequences of misinformed/uninformed artist trashing, especially when they'd not yet heard the Double Duo, and considering the work these musicians always put into making the best music they possibly can.
And so, The ConstruKction of Light
's surprising opener, "ProzaKc Blues," with Belew's voice pitch-shifted deeper and given more gravel, provides the lyricist a chance to respond, with the first verse especially direct: "Well, I woke up this morning in a cloud of despair.
I ran my hand across my head,
Pulled out a pile of worried hair.
I went to my physician who was buried in his thoughts
He said, 'Son, you've been reading
Too much Elephant Talk.'"
And, perhaps a little more obliquely in the penultimate verse: "What can you give a man who has everything?
Can you give him back his edge,
Can you make him want to sing?
No, you can only take from him,
And there's nothing he can do."
In his liners, Smith writes how "ProzaKc Blues" addresses "the love-hate relationship fans and musicians can have with each other." Smith goes on to provide some examples of the kind of hurtful words that can arise: "[ET] would regularly contain posts questioning whether Belew was up to the job of being in the group [surprising now, given how many people on other boards question his absence in the current lineup]... Belew wasn't the only target. After Bruford's departure some observers doubted that Mastelotto was capable of carrying the band."
That Fripp had no such reservations only serves to highlight the difference between opinion and fact. "For anyone who has doubts of Pat's capacity to Crimsonise (and doubters appear to be falling away) the part Pat played on the 'blues' completely threw me. I've no idea where he was, other than he was there. And this from someone who worked with [original Crimson drummer Michael] Giles for three years and Billy B[ruford] for 27."
And Now, Back to the Story
Instrumentals like "FraKctured," which, amongst many other compositional ideas, revisits the moto perpetuo
section of "Fracture" (first released on 1974's Starless and Bible Black
(Island, reissued Panegyric, 2011) and still one of Fripp's most powerful statements as a guitarist) and revises it for a nascent new millennium.
"Larks' Tongues in Aspic: Part IV" is another mind-boggling instrumental that carries on the tradition of previous "Larks' Tongues" installments that came before, both in the original Larks' Tongues in Aspic
group and with the '80s incarnation that closed Three of a Perfect Pair
with "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part III." One of the absolutely heaviest
tracks on The ConstruKction of Light
, it pointed towards the Nuovo Metal concept to which Fripp and the group were evolving, coming to more complete fruition on the road and with both the Level Five
and Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With
EPs, but even more successfully on The Power to Believe
But the most compelling, attention-grabbing and impressive track on The ConstruKction of Light
is its two-part title track, in particular the six-minute "Part One." On ET, there were also those who questioned Gunn's replacing Levin in the Double Duo, just as Mastelotto had been unfairly judged, juried and executed before even being heard. One listen to Gunn's complex, knotty and utterly perfect role on this track should, for any still harboring such reservations, quickly settle them.
Gunn's remarkable facility and imaginative inventions were made even clearer after he left the group, with Levin (one of the world's most accomplished bassists) having to learn the tune for Crimson's 2008 tour and relearn it, once again, in 2014. It was, in fact, a rare moment where the bassist and stick player would seem less than his usual confident self.
As Smith recounts: "Tony Levin has described the bass line threaded throughout the title track of the album as one of the most difficult he had ever encountered upon his return to Crimson in 2008. When the track was revived in 2014 by the new seven-piece incarnation, it remained the piece that caused the seasoned bassist the most problems, requiring him to actively calm himself mentally and physically prior to playing it onstage. Written by Gunn, from the twisting lines entwining themselves around a radiant circulating motif provided by Belew and Fripp's interlocking guitars, Gunn's superbly agile work provides the instrumental section of the track with the forward momentum required, making this one of the most exciting parts of the album."
Belew's vocal sections were also impressive, with lyrics ranging from the direct to the abstruse. "ProzaKc Blues" demonstrated the former, while the latter can be heard, despite the music's innate complexity, on the still curiously melodic "The ConstruKction of Light, Part Two": "Pain, day, sky
Beauty, die, black, joy, love
Empty, day, life, die, pain, passion, joy, black, day, hate, beauty, die, life, joy, ache, empty, day, pain, die, love, passion, joy, black light
And if God is dead, what am I?
A fleck of dirt on the wing of a fly
Hurtling to earth
Through a hole in the sky
And if Warhol's a genius, what am I?
A speck of lint on the penis of an alien
Buried in gelatin
Beneath the sands of Venus."
And, while the quirkily funky "The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum," with its detuned piano sample solo, is The ConstruKction of Light
's weakest track, it contains some of Belew's best wordplay, while the closing "Coda: I Have a Dream" section of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic: Part IV" provides the singer an opportunity to address the world's many illnesses.
Upon its release, The ConstruKction of Light
may have been the most under-appreciated album in the Crimson canon; and small wonder, given that even the musicians were far from satisfied with the result. Mastelotto recalls in Smith's liners, leaving one of the mixing sessions with a CD-R of the day's work: "It was still daylight outside and I sat in the car and I was really depressed. This album was almost done and it's almost embarrassing how weak and crappy the drum sound is," sighs the drummer. "thinking, 'Fuck man, what are we going to do to fix this thing?'"
In a series of email and Facebook exchanges that took place during the writing of this review, Mastelotto finishes the story with some unexpected levity: "After sitting there for five or 10 minutes getting depressed, I started the car. After it started, I heard Hooter Johnson's voice say 'oh, don't worry.' That's right; a CD-R was in the player and stopped exactly there, so when I started the car it started with those words. I sort of looked up to the heavens and thought, 'Well God, if you say so then I guess it's OK."
In the end, Mastelotto decided to let go of his frustrations, but couldn't help but feel the album didn't live up to his expectations. "I remember when THRAK
came out I would put it on and say to visitors and friends, 'Hey check this out.' I don't think I ever did that with TCoL
But when the group hit the road and began performing The ConstruKction of Light
in concert, it became immediately clear that it wasn't the material that was the problem, it was a number of circumstances that contributed to its ultimate execution on record being less than optimal, including a somewhat muddy and lifeless mix that never delivered on the greater promise, power and challenge of the material.
Fripp later referred to the Double Duo with a less than ringing endorsement, writing, in his liners to Meltdown
, that "the sum of the parts was greater than the whole." Smith would later go on to suggest, in his Heaven & Earth
box liners, that this was a reflection of the many difficulties/challenged that the quartet faced, ranging from Mastelotto's restriction to V-Drums for The ConstruKction of Light
to artistic differences between Fripp and Belew (one example, with "Coda: I Have a Dream").
Still, with The ReConstruKction of Light
and the original mix/master of The ConstruKction of Light
both included on the third Blu Ray and first DVD, it's now possible to hear at least one possible "might have been" alternative for The Construkction of Light
that more successfully demonstrates the strength of the material and the Double Duo's early potential.
Certainly, Mastelotto and Don Gunn's work on ReConstruKction
has turned the album into something that, had it been released back in 2000, would no doubt have been far better received.
Adopting new technologies as a Crimson cornerstone (not to mention Fripp's turning solely to his New Standard Tuning), Crimson has always been ahead of the curve, but few Crimsons possessed such sonic potential at their fingertips with such a relatively small lineup. Gunn split the upper and lower register strings of his Warr touch guitar, feeding each to a different amplifier so they could be sonically processed in different fashions.
And Mastelotto finally had the chance to prove his undeniable mettle as a wide-ranging and masterful drummerthough, again, with a very different approach to Bruford. Being of a generation younger than Fripp and Belew meant that, as with Gunn, there were also other, more contemporary stylistic markers, in this case informing Mastelotto's approach to his dazzling, complex array of both electro-acoustic drums and electronic/acoustic percussion instruments. Mastelotto also brought another new concept to the group: live sampling. The drummer would, for example, sample Belew's voice during a performance, only to process and feed it back to the band in real time, allowing samples, improvisations and the evolution of its music to further interact in unpredictable ways.
Fripp and Belew have long defined their own methods of engagement. In a more traditional fashion, the two guitarists combine one playing chords while the other contributes either a composed theme or a fierce improvisation, whether it's Belew's whammy bar-infused, sonically head-scratching work or Fripp's plethora of colors and textures (amongst the many, his contemporary spin on the silkily sustaining tone first heard during his solo during In the Court of the Crimson King
's "21st Century Schizoid Man" and his orchestrally conceived Soundscapes). Together, however, it was their innovative approach to interlocking guitar parts that had defined their innovative working relationship since the beginning of the '80s. Sometimes they would play almost the same line together, but with one playing a phrase that's a single note shorter, the resultant lines would diverge and re-intersect at different points, not unlike the kinds of simultaneous multiple time signatures that drummers like Bruford and Mastelotto regularly employed.
But with the Double Duo, the guitarists also engaged in a new kind of interlock, built upon past work. One example is the single-note hockets (dividing a melody between two parts, notes in one part coinciding with rests in the other) played by Fripp and Belew during sections of the first part of of "The ConstruKction of Light." Another approach to interlocking guitars can be found on the scorching "Into the Frying Pan," with one guitarist playing an ascending line as the other contributes a descending one, the two phrases creating a constantly shifting set of harmonies.
The live performances, included on the separately released Heavy ConstruKction
and various live sets in the Heaven & Earth
box, not only demonstrate how much better The ConstruKction of Light
's material was in concert (rendering clearly just how much better the studio album could have been, had the group road-tested the material), and how much the group evolved during its three-year run; it also positions the Double Duo as the heaviest, more metal-informed lineup in Crimson's long history, a quality that would be demonstrated to an even greater extent with The Power to Believe
While the band receives production credits for the album, the influence of Bill Munyon on the ProjeKct X side-release Heaven and Earth
is too rarely considered and should not be understated. Beyond his work with Mastelotto on the then-as-yet unreleased XtraKcts & ArtifaKcts
, the engineer had also worked on Masque
, the ProjeKct Three album compiled and edited from its five live dates, released as part of The ProjeKcts Box
and included on Heaven & Earth
's The ProjeKcts Vol. I
Blu Ray. He was also a key to the emergence of ProjeKct X.
As Smith writes: "Munyon was crucial to the development of the beat and glitch-orientated electronica that had gradually begun to seep into the group's sound after Munyon had worked on ProjeKct Three's Masque
album. 'Pat moved from the LA area to Austin in the early '90s and needed some help sorting out studio gear and setting up a recording space in his garage. Our relationship gradually built from there,' says Munyon, who refers to the method of working the pair developed as 'guerrilla audio.' 'That's what I call it when your studio is not a studio but some audio gear and a location like a car garage, an apartment, a tour bus.
Again, from Smith's liners, Munyon recalls: "'Project X came about because Pat and I had been developing a project constructed out of King Crimson archives, rehearsals, random samples from interviews and so forth. Folding in Pat's mad drumming and beat programming chops in addition to my computer editing and sound design skills." On the drive to Belew's house each day, the three talked about the different doors which the PX approach was opening for them. 'Pat and Trey were itching, and so was I, to go some places that Robert and Adrian as writers weren't going,' recalls Munyon. They began by sorting various phrases and grooves into different sections which could then be recorded in the various moments of downtime on what were supposed to be days off. These, in turn, were downloaded onto Munyon's computer, enabling the rhythm section to continue working on them when they returned to the apartment."
And thus, concurrent with the Double Duo, its instrumental alter ego, ProjeKct X, came to life, releasing Heaven and Earth
in Japan in early 2000, with its eight-minute title track ultimately included as The ConstruKction of Light
's closing track when it was subsequently released in May the same year, acting as a more abstract and abstruse conclusion to the album.
The Terrifying Tale of The ReConstruKction of Light
When the 40th Anniversary Series of stereo and surround remixes of King Crimson's studio recordings was first envisaged, so unhappy was Fripp, still, with The ConstruKction of Light
that it was initially planned for omission. Still, Mastelotto always felt (as the live performances bore out) that there was something
in the album that needed to get out.
"We really did have good material, we just hadn't quite put it all together yet, recalls Mastelotto, during this review's series of exchanges. "It took a few years for the band to find itself. Certainly for Trey and I to figure out how to deal with our sonic overload. Honestly, when we started to do The ConstruKction of Light
the team hadn't galvanized yet. It took us a [couple] years, I think, until we went to Russia [July 2001]."
And so, Mastelotto approached Fripp and Singleton with the idea of doing his own remix. And from such a seemingly simple suggestion emerged, ultimately, something far greater in The ReContruKction of Light
. "It was really a joy to work on," enthuses Mastelotto. "There aren't that many times when you get a chance to do a 'do over.'"
First, Mastelotto had to find the original multi-track tapes. But with the emergence of digital recording, flux in the media used resulted in a serious problem. Back in the day, multi-tracks were usually on two-inch reels of magnetic tape, with stereo masters stored on 1/4 or 1/2" reels. But by 2000, a commonly employed alternative to hard drives was called ADAT, a machine that repurposed VHS tapes into media capable of storing eight tracks each, with four machines capable of storing a complete 32-track recording that could (hopefully) be synchronized.
But there was a problem. As David Singleton explains in his liners: "Those ADATs, Heaven be praised, had survived and worked. But...(there is always a 'but')...the band had then loaded these sessions into ProTools (a computer editing system [developed in the late '80s but not fully capable and embraced until the end of the '90s]) which is when the majority of the drum parts were finalized. And those sessions were no more. Ken Latchney, Adrian's longstanding engineer who recorded the album, died suddenly in 2006, and the whereabouts of those files may have departed with him. So we had the songs---but not the correct drum parts."
Mastelotto picks up the story:
"Around the time of the THRAK
remix box," Mastelotto recalls, "I asked David [Singleton] if there might be a remix for The ConstruKction of Light
and he said 'no, he and Robert had already looked into it and it was unsalvageable.' I asked to get the tapes...and they were right, it was pretty bad, with a lot of stuff not on the same grid. When I say 'not on the same grid' I mean out of sync with each other, as we didn't actually use a screen...no grid. It seems so, so long ago. We didn't use anything with typical visual editingno monitorwe recorded The ConstruKction of Light
on black face ADATs.
The sounds were very thin and wonky," Mastelotto continues, "but I asked for permission to work on it and I think I asked for a grand ($1,000) so that I could hire an outside engineer and studio.
"Along the way," Mastelotto continues, "they found some better versions of the masters. But they never found the final masters. I remember we actually did the final mixing in Nashville on something like a Mitsubishi digital, which has real reel-to-reel tape. They never found those reels. We only found VHS tapes and CDRs."
Mastelotto continues, taking the opportunity to clear up a common misconception: "The idea I didn't dig the V-Drums? I did; I'd have been happy to play nose flute. I was just happy to be there. To be in a room, creating music with those three? I really enjoy playing the all the different electronic devices and laptops; it kicks ass and it made for a fun challenge. But there are times you still want to use real drums or
have more time to dial in the electronics sounds with an engineer that really understands how to integrate and balance acoustic and electric drums and percussion."
Mastelotto continues with the challenges and complexities of using ADATs: "In those days we recorded on Alesis ADATs, the first generation black ones. They used VHS tape format (and not so reliableADAT #3 aborted during the Live in San Francisco, the Roar of P4
[a compilation from ProjeKct Four's two nights in San Francisco and released as a KCCC in 1990]), and you only got eight tracks on each VHS tape. A drum kit might be 16 or more tracks, so maybe one performance is spread over two or more ADATs. On the 2000 European tour I sub-mixed 40 inputs of my own electric drums down to 12, which I sent to the house mixer, plus he would have had the rest of the band and later the acoustic drums that I started to add back in after the first tour.
"During the recording of The Construction of Light
at Adrian's," Mastelotto continues, "to do guitar solos or vocals they might take several passes and make a composite of the best to compile the 'master take.' This sometimes means making slave reels that are sub-mixes, so maybe a sub-mix of everything is on two tracks so that you have six open tracks on that ADAT. In those days, Crimson generally ran four ADATs in sync (32 tracks) and had another four in the ready to overlap in case we got onto a hot jam. Plus Crimson always had a few spare ADATs, since these machines didn't really like to travel-like what, for example, if we had the ADAT with the effected item but not the dry source?
"One more hitch to this newfound Alesis ADAT digital recording world that was really cool is you could 'offset' the machines. By this mean I could move the vocals from chorus one to every other chorus, or the drums from verse two could be dropped into the first verse, which meant you could be fooled if you put mislabeled parts together.
"[But] You also had to wait for those ADATS to rewind. Remember rewinding all those movies on VHS tapes to take back to Blockbuster's? Remember how long that took? [Imagine] Crimson-long songs with pre-roll so the machines could lock. Always a drag. Amazing that, at that same time, digital recording actually had these new multitrack recorders like Logic and ProTools. No rewinding, just hit 'go' and boom! You're there. I'd arranged to bring a ProTools rig up to Adrian's at no cost (gifted to me on spec by my friend Gina Fant-Saez), but Adrian and Robert preferred to use the system Ade had going inside the studio with the ADATs. Anyway, I'm not even sure we would've been able to fit the ProTools rig in Adrian's little control room, but it did fit out in the garage, so that's where I set Bill [Munyon] up, so he could work simultaneously with the band and Ken [Latchney] in the next room (well, actually, Bobby Wilcox's small bachelor pad was the room between the garage and the studio), and with external drives Bill and I were able to take stuff back to the apartment and work on our laptops.
"I did export some of The Construction of Light
stuff over to ProTools in the garage for tweaking, stuff like the old intro to "Into the Frying Pan"; I think we did those distorted overdriven things out of the garage. I know I also had stomp boxes down by my pedals to turn distortion on some of my electronic drumming, but sometimes we further processed or improved that out in the garage, and that might have been archived later onto CDRs or old SCSI drives. Maybe this provides some examples of how these tapes got lostthat it wasn't one tape or one box of tapes. Some things thought missing were later found mislabeled. But they never found the master compilation done on some other format during mixing."
Pat continues the story with the start of replacing all those missing drum parts.
"After assembling some of the missing stuff (like about half of Trey's bass on 'Oyster Soup'), I made a plan to cut my drum tracks with Mike McCarthy over at his studio. I worked with Mike a few times for [And You Will Know Us By the] Trail of the Dead and Patty Griffin, and he gets an awesome old school drum sound, so I said 'I'll just play his drums the way he's got them set up.' So it was completely low tech (no double bass-drum pedal, etc). I was just coming back from a Stick Men tour in Europe and had a short break before we started the Crimson tour up in Quebec. My plan was to work on the tapes at home for three or four days and then go in for two days and cut tracks. Unfortunately, [for personal reasons] I got off to a slow start, without much preparation or rehearsal; I went to Mike's to try and play the songs from memory.
"I don't think I worked on it again until we came home from Crimson tours after Christmas. I continued on over the tour breaks whenever I came home over the next couple years. Munyon and I were doing mixesstuff I could take away and listen to in the carmaybe go back and re-record some drums or use a different take...just getting the rough mixes sounding better and better. A lot of his reverbs and effects got printed, or printed on an adjacent track, so once I got things sounding as good as I could I played stuff for Robert [Fripp] and David [Singleton].
"Once Robert and David had individually given a thumbs up to each song, I asked Bill Munyon, [touch guitarist, composer, engineer and producer] Markus Reuter and [engineer, producer and multi-instrumentalist] Adrian Benavides if they'd like to take a crack at doing a mix. They all did fine mixing that for various reasons didn't get the full thumbs up and that's when Don Gunn came into the picture. I think this coincides with when they were mixing the Mexico Meltdown
(Panegyric, 2018) release. Don did a great job, adding a lot of clarity and power, especially to the guitars. Don did the final final mixes and he did great, but by the time the tapes got to him everything was sounding pretty darn good. Even so, there were months of emailing back and forth.
"I've never met Don," Mastelotto continues, "but I'm impressed with his work. I looked him up online and I think he's a drummer. That helps a lot with his understanding of the stuff I talk about, and it makes more sense to me now how he was able to get into it. For example, it's a crazy reference, but for the beginning of 'ProzaKc Blues' I told Don 'it needs to sound like the start of David Bowie's Let's Dance
(EMI, 1983)'the size and attitude
of the drums."
The combination of Mastelotto's new and much-improved drum parts and the sound of an old school kitin particular McCarthy's, whose wonderfully deep pudding snare drum is heard, to great effect, on ReConstruKction
's ProzaKc Blues" and "Into the Frying Pan," while Mastelotto uses his piccolo snare on "The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum"both making a significant difference to the weight and feel of the tracks. For the rest of the album, however, Mastelotto had to return home to "rethink and relearn."
"I needed more time to relearn the songs, get good performances and dial In better sounds at my house," says Mastelotto. I was lucky Machine [producer Gene Freeman, who would go on to co-produce The Power to Believe
] stopped by, with his wife and kids, for a Christmas party at my place and I put him to work. And Munyon and Benavides both live nearby and always drop by, trading favors, smoking weed and working on music. And I can always bounce things off of Markus [Reuter], even long distance, playing him some ideas, early on, just to get his reaction.
"But it's not like Robert just gave Don and I the reins. Yeah, I guess it was just me In the beginning, but once I had things to play them David [Singleton] was very involved. There were half a dozen earlier drum versions of 'The ConstruKction of Light' that were too heavy or just not right. I could probably record all the songs again in a very, very, very
different way. What's nice is that Robert could sit back and have some perspective from not having to live with the day-to-day work.
"Munyon, Reuter and Benavides helped me gobs; otherwise, I was working alone. I didn't want to play things for Robert and the guys until it sounded great, and me working alone at home on three epic tunes, I would loose perspective. I might do ten or more takes, spend the rest the day making a compilation, and then start the next day punching into that...but then, later, throwing it all away and starting again. So it was great that I had those three sets of ears that also knew the music intimately."
Mastelotto is credited, in the Heaven & Earth
liners, with adding the new drum parts to The ReConstruKction of Light
, but clearly his contributions go much further, even beyond his involvement in remixing the record before handing it over to Don Gunn. One example is a new instrumental intro to "Into the Frying Pan" that adds over a minute to the song. "I never liked the way it used to start," Mastelotto explains, "so like a lot of this redoing I took liberties. I took the Soundscapes from the end and brought them to the front, and had Munyon help me retune them and treat them.
"We also did some stuff to Adrian's voice and guitars in the middle. And then I brought in some samples from a trip to DGM HQ in Broad Chalke, back around the late '90s, mixing ProjeKct Four: samples of the keys in the door to DGM; the Broad Chalke butcher [Fripp]; and the same church bells I'd later use, mixed in with some Bible Belt TV evangelists, on [Level Five
and The Power to Believe
's] "Dangerous Curves." I thought that might raise a few hairs on Robert!"
"Earlier, and separately from that, Munyon and I had made a new intro using these different drum loops, so I just cross faded a few of the drum loops in. Somewhere there's a much longer intro mix that's pretty cool. I did most of those drums at Mike McCarthy's on his super low-tuned pudding snare.
"Regarding the segue between 'ProzaKc' and 'ConstruKction,' I think that's just some of Robert's guitar that I turned backwards, where he hits the piano note, [and] probably a lot of reverb. There's a cow skin bass drum in there now, some of the cymbals left over from the original V-Drums, and I added some kind of synth stuff in the bridge that was inspired by what [Bill Rieflin] had been doing on the [recent] tour.
Mastelotto may be finished (and happy) with ReConstruKction of Light
, but he's continues to consider other possibilities, which is why he has been such an ideal drummer (more: musician) for the Double Duo and
the current lineup. "Someday I want to make a super glitchy edit version of 'The ConstruKction of Light"the song," the drummer says. "More like what I did with Tuner [Mastelotto's duo with Markus Reuter] on the song "Flinch" [from Tuner
(Not On Label, 2005)]make it a super glitch, serious crystal meth version. Stick Men just canceled the November European dates so maybe I'll do it then. I should have time; maybe I could have it as a Xmas present."
Whether or not that comes to pass, Mastelotto's work, combined with Gunn's final mixing, has elevated The ReConstruKction of Light
, its power, clarity and detail rendering it one of the greatest revelations amongst the past decade's remixed reissues, next only, perhaps, to Steven Wilson's stereo and surround remixes of 1970's Lizard
(Island, reissued Panegyric, 2009). And when revisited years laterespecially in context with The ReConstruKction of Light
ProjeKct X's Heaven and Earth
re-emerges as something far more significant than its original release as "just another ProjeKct" might have suggested. Instead, and especially when experienced in its entirety, as is true of many albums and, without a doubt, every Crimson album, Heaven and Earth
dovetails perfectly with ReConstruKction
, the two demonstrating a group, whether Crimson or its improvising alter ego, that had once again reinvented itself and remained completely relevant in its time...and now, nearly twenty years later.
Commenting on ProjeKct X in Smith's liners, Munyon enthuses: "To really appreciate PX's Heaven and Earth
fully, one must engage it from the beginning and stay to the end, which I had recently done driving from Austin to Houston. In that listen, I began to think how the flow reminded me of Dante's circles. Each level has its own sound design. Pat did the sequencing, one of his superpowers. Alex R Mundy and Robert Fripp did an excellent job on the mastering. It was unconventional in the world at that time. It was unconventional for King Crimson, and that says a lot. I believe it is an important part of the King Crimson legacy. I think the world may be readier now to take in this kind of dangerous sonic journey. King Crimson has been ahead of its time and continues to be timeless. I think ProjeKct X's Heaven and Earth
deserves another listen, still."
Touring and The Power to Believe
Commencing shortly after The ConstruKction of Light
's street date (though there were four "rehearsal gigs" in Nashville during the week leading up to its release), the band entered a two-year period of extensive touring, during which time it began to introduce new material, some of it captured (live) on the 2001 Level Five EP
, specifically "Dangerous Curves," "Level Five" and "Virtuous Circle"the latter, later abbreviated and retitled, as well as incorporating aspects of the Gamelan-inspired "ShoGaNai" that appeared, a year later, on the Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With
EP, as The Power to Believe
's "The Power to Believe II."
2002's Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With
EP introduced an acoustic version of the soft ballad "Eyes Wide Open," which would appear, more electrified, alongside the EP's decidedly Nuovo Metal title track, its lyrics humorously explaining the process of banal songwriting, two vocal tracks that would also end up on The Power to Believe
A brief but important opportunity for the Double Duo arose in August 2001, when the group co-billed on a series of nine dates with Tool. As Smith writes: "Trey Gunn remembers that going out with the massively successful alt-metal band had been a long time in the making. Clearly, Tool were huge Crimson fans and Fripp's Nuovo Metal concept, which he had been touting as a route for Crimson, had found empathetic ears in the Tool camp.
"'The first show was at Red Rocks in Denver and it was the biggest audience I'd played with Crimson,' says Gunn. 'We knew it was sold out and we knew no-one was there to see us. And we'd heard all these stories about bands that had opened for Tool, even Primus was pounded with bottle caps and booed off the stage! Fuck! What do we play? We only have 30 minutes. Do we do the mellow songs? Do we play "Deception Of The Thrush?" It was still daytime when we played so there wasn't a concert vibe but it went over really well. I felt we were the perfect opening act for them because of how we were demanding the audience to listen. It's probably just egotism but it seemed like such a great combination for the audiences.'
"Mastelotto agrees that the gigs with Tool were incredibly important for the band. 'They put us in front of a different audience and our music was interpreted differently, the feel was different. Robert wanted the whole Nuovo Metal phase; we could get heavier. Those gigs gave confidence, in a way, to Adrian and Robert that we could maybe find a younger audience.'"
Reaching new ears continues to be an objective of the current Crimson, its 2019 50th Anniversary Tour especially intended to draw in fresher, younger faces less familiar with the band, and a better split between men and women alongside the usual gray-hairs and no-hairs, though this expanded demographic has already been growing over the current incarnation's six years of touring.
But for the Double Duo, and for Fripp and his Nuovo Metal concept, those nine dates opening for Tool were extremely significant, paving the way for The Power to Believe
, where Machine was ultimately enlisted as co-producer.
And so, the material for King Crimson's next studio album began to coalesce. Belew's processed, vocoder vocal would become a connective thread, appearing throughout The Power to Believe
as the first time Crimson had relied upon a series of thematically connected musical idea since "Peace," on 1970's In the Wake of Poseidon
(Island, reissued Panegyric, 2010).
Smith describes the germination of The Power to Believe
: "Mindful of the differences in opinion regarding the recording of TCoL
, when it came to making King Crimson's 13th studio album Fripp and Belew asked Gunn and Mastelotto to come up with a shortlist of studios. The Tracking Room in Nashville was Gunn and Mastelotto's favourite from the four or five they presented. 'We never thought for a second that Robert and Adrian would go for it. It's mondo, dude. There is a stone room, a wood room, it's just the most over-the-top place I've ever seen. The budget was maybe $3000 a day for this place. There's no fucking way they'd ever pick this place,' laughs Mastelotto, 'but that's what Robert did!'
Mastelotto fleshes out the story of sourcing an engineer/producer, in his exchange for this review: "When Robert and Adrian told me to find the engineer[/producer], I immediately thought of, tracked down and called Tchad Blake. I love everything he does, and he was the second engineer on Mr. Mister's "Broken Wings" [the hit song from Mastelotto's mid-to-late '80s breakout band]. I used to hang with him after the sessions, so I knew he was a great guy. I called him and had a long conversation, but essentially he was not available; he was just about to have a baby and had other projects lined up.
"My next choice was trying to track down David Fridmann, the guy who had produced The Soft Bulletin
(1999) and Yoshima Battles the Pink Robots
(2002), amongst other Flaming Lips albums," Mastelotto continues. "While trying to find a contact number for him there was a guy working at DGM named Adrian Maloy, and he suggested that I check out this kid Machine, who had just produced Pitchshifter [the British Industrial band's 1998 album, www.pitchshifter.com
"I did and I liked it, so I checked some of his other work, and the one that really hit me was Broke
(2000), by [American punk/rock band] Hed PE. That record showed me he really understood how to mix acoustic and electronic drums and balance the weight and sensitivity of each. I'd never met him and he lived in Jersey, so I suggested to Trey that he call him up, since Trey was living in New York and could meet him. I was a little bit afraid he would show up with a kind of 'Yo Yo Yo, motherfucker's in the house' kind of a vibe, which would definitely not go down well with Robert!"
Smith continues, in his liners: "Just as important was the decision to ask the rhythm buddies to source a producer to work with the band. After some sifting and tentative selections, the name they eventually tendered to the guitarists was Gene Freeman, better known as Machine. Having initially met up with Trey Gunn in a New York pizza house to discuss the prospect of working with Crimson, Machine was keen to take up the role being offered to him.
"Best known for his work in remixing, utilising the vocabulary of Hip Hop, Metal and Industrial dance rock, Freeman might not have seemed the obvious choice, much less one Fripp and Belew would agree to. Yet with the experience with Tool and what was now the growing realisation that the home-grown recording approach of TCOL
had to some degree stunted their sonic reach, King Crimson embarked on working with an external producer for only the fourth time in their career to date.
"'I don't think it was a big deal to them. It's more about an engineer, someone who's really good at capturing a band in a studio, and King Crimson in a way largely produce themselves live,' observes Machine. 'They have production as a part of what they do. Their guitars have midi pickups and are simultaneously feeding synths. Trey's Warr guitar splits to multiple amps, has a bass register and an upper register. The same for Adrian. It was insane and this would all be recorded live. Whereas I'd worked with a lot of younger bands and this stuff is all done in layers in the studio. It's not all performed. Not only is King Crimson's music performed but then there are portions of it which are improvisational and you are recording this massive session.'
"Although Mastelotto had originally wanted two weeks of preparation this was vetoed and the team [with Machine] was given five days before Fripp and Belew would come in to begin their work on the album. Machine says this period without the guitarists was crucial to his getting to grips with the material, creating a tempo grid that would act as a map for himself and the band. Originally a drummer, Machine was no stranger to working with grooves and beats but he remembers being amazed at what he calls 'this lesson in music theory.' 'There were times when I'd get stuck with the time signature and I'd have Pat come over and he'd go, 'Oh yeah, well that's an 11/4 bar into a 6/8 which then goes back to 4/4.' And I'm like 'Oh. Right.'"
Contrasting the original The ConstruKction of Light
with The Power to Believe
serves to illustrate how much the Double Duo had evolved in the touring years between the two albums. But it's also a testament to the benefit of road-testing new material and, even more importantly, the value of a recruiting a separate, less directly invested set of ears (not to mention Machine's dazzling skill working in the digital realm with ProTools and other software), allowing for greater objectivity and distance in contrast with those writing, arranging and playing the music. Indeed, if it is to be the final studio album King Crimson ever releases (the current band releases regularly, but only live recordings), both then and now, with David Singleton's new surround mix, insertion of some additional elements, expanding the album with three instrumentals at the end and revised mastering, it's certainly as strong a studio swan song as the band could hope for.
Still, even with a collection of road-tested new material to record, there were issues. Smith writes: "Perhaps the most controversial absence from the album is 'The Deception Of The Thrush,' only part of which survives as 'The Power To Believe III.' 'We did record a version of 'Thrush' and I think it was OK but we couldn't get the rights to use TS Eliot's voice,' recalls Gunn. 'To get past this problem Fripp suggested processing his voice in place of Eliot. 'He had some poetry, aphorisms or something. I thought I'll give it a shot.' Some of Fripp's tongue-in-cheek experimentation with the vocoder-like tones can be heard on the Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With
EP. 'I tried and tried and it felt so lame to me, for so many reasons, that I said "I can't make this work,"' sighs Gunn.
"Eventually, it was determined that the album should come to an end with a plaintive Belew vocal combined with an extract from a Fripp Soundscape," Smith concludes. "The becalmed tones were recorded at St Peter's Church, Newlyn, in December 1997, just two days after ProjeKct One's gigs in London, bringing together [on "Coda: The Power to Believe IV"], albeit obliquely, two separate timelines involving the fraKctalisation of the group and the formal Crimsonising that had begun in October 1999."
Often combining crunching, eardrum-bursting and fist-pounding (if, that is, you can do so in irregular meters) passages with more ambient, gamelan and symphonic sections, The Power to Believe
's instrumentals were amongst the group's finest in nearly two decades.
Modernized elements of its past symphonic days can be found on "Dangerous Curves," while hard-edged, interlocking guitars and mind-bending solo passages drive "Level Five" (still a highlight with the current lineup). Even more complex guitar hockets underscore the knotty yet somehow singable "Elektrik," while "The Power to Believe II" joins Balinese influences, lush string samples and a deep drum 'n' bass groove with Fripp's sustaining lines and Belew's affected vocals, reiterating the line from "Power to Believe I": "She came to me through days of apathy
She washes over me
She saved my life in a manner of speaking
When she gave me back the power to believe."
Belew once again brings elements of the same prose into "The Power to Believe III," but this time split up amidst an abstract instrumental, drawn in part from "The Deception of the Thrush," that's imbued by vocal (and other) samples, curiously quirky percussion and, ultimately, a near-anthemic yet still demanding groove that gradually slows to a halt, leading into the gorgeous blending of soundscape and Belew's simple vocal to bring the album to a close with "Coda: The Power to Believe IV." Together, they conclude an(other) Crimson album best experienced in its entirety.
Beyond Belew's heavily processed, poetic and album-connecting miniature, "The Power to Believe I," the other vocal tracks demonstrate even greater breadth, interspersed amongst the instrumentals. An electric version of the beautiful ballad "Eyes Wide Open" contrasts with Belew's riff-driven life lesson, "Facts of Life," with a particularly important phrase that's as meaningful a mantra for today's troubled times as it was then (perhaps even more so): "Doesn't mean you should, just because you can." Even further, the head-banging "Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With" is surely Crimson's most muscular vocal track ever.
While not owning a surround sound system renders it impossible to judge Singleton's surround mixes, his new master of The Power to Believe
certainly benefits from a broader soundstage, greater punch, crunch and clarity...overall a more engrossing experience. And the decision to add three closing instrumentalsthe continuous, thirteen-minute suite of "Sus-tayn-Z I," "Superslow" and "Sus-tayn-Z II," also mixed and mastered by Singletonconnects the 2019 upgrade of The Power to Believe
with the similarly instrumental and less-direct ProjeKct X closer to The ConstruKction of Light
And what of the live shows?
The Double Duo Live
There's bounty aplenty, including a chance to compare and contrast two shows in the same town (albeit two separate venues), separated by just under two years. One is an incendiary statement from a group still finding itself while, at the same time, already demonstrating both increasing strength as a unit and evolving compositional acumen. It's a strong set list, combining the best of The ConstruKction of Light
with "Into the Frying Pan," The ConstruKction of Light" and a considerably slower and heavier
"Larks' Tongues in Aspic: Part IV," along with some new music including "Level Five," "Dangerous Curves" and "Virtuous Circle," all released just a month prior on the Level Five
EP, along with the yet-to-be-recorded/released "Elektrik." There's a handful of tracks from Crimson past as well, including Discipline
's "Thela Hun Ginjeet," the influential title track to 1974's Red
(Island, reissued Panegyric, 2009), and a shortened version of THRAK
's "Dinosaur," without the chamber-like midsection. And, as ever, the set regular, "The Deception of the Thrush," fleshes out the performance to a healthy 90 minutes.
The other date, recorded in November 2003 on the last night of the band's American tour, is similarly constructed, though containing a greater chunk of music from The Power to Believe
. Only The ConstruKction of Light
's title track, and "Larks' Tongues in Aspic: Part IV," taken at a considerably faster clip, make the cut, along with a different selection of older material, adding THRAK
's balladic "One Time" to the now full-length "Dinosaur," and "Red," with Discipline
's ever-popular "Elephant Talk" also brought back into the repertoire.
There's also, by this time, an extremely rare announcement from Fripp, late in the set. After quipping how "it's extremely rare that I step up to the microphone to say, 'good evening, hippies,' Fripp then initiates a contest, offering a prize to "the first person who can answer this simple question: What is the opening line to 'In the Wake of Poseidon'?" Following some failed attempts ("You're halfway there," he says to one audience member), Fripp finally wraps it up, offering the prize "to the first person who can answer this somewhat simpler question: What do you dial to get 911?"
Despite Fripp becoming increasingly disenchanted with the rigors of the road and other matters connected to being in a band, let it never be said that he'd ever lost his sense of humor.
A shorter, one-hour recording made on the last night of the Double Duo's tour opening for Tool is also included from San Diego, in August 2001. The same three The ConstruKction of Light
songs are included alongside the three new tracks yet to be released on Level Five
, in addition to "The Deception of the Thrush," "Thela Hun Ginjeet" and "Red." The applause greeting the band is, perhaps, less enthusiastic than Tool likely received, but the group delivers another potent set, taking considerable risk with the audience by opening with the complex title track to The ConstruKction of Light
. Playing before larger crowds and in combination with Tool clearly pushed the group to play harder and with more muscle and oomph, and by the end of that first song the decibel level of the audience's response had risen considerably...but even more so following a near-nuclear version of "Into the Frying Pan" that's a little shaky at the start, but quickly find its sea legs.
By the end of a high octane take of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic: Part IV," with a more pedal-to-the-metal instrumental "Coda: I Have a Dream" and immediately following "Thela Hun Ginjeet," the crowd is even more enthusiastic, cheering even more crazily after a set-closing "Red" that lays the New Haven version included from a few months later to waste (despite it being anything but
High res audio from the 2003 Tokyo show released on the first of Eyes Wide Open
's two DVDs is included on the The ReConstruKction of Light / The Power to Believe
Blu Ray (which contains the various versions and mixes of the two studio albums plus the EPs), as is the compete audio from the 2001 Shepherd's Bush show, albeit without the random improvs included on the Eyes Wide Open
DVD and, instead, those actually played at that show.
Still, the true live carrot remains Singleton's three-CD Live ConstruKction
, with songs taken from the 2001 Shepherd's Bush performance (but not all of them, and not in concert sequence). With improvisations culled from that venue as well as a number of others alternating with the actual songs, it's clear that Singleton did not want to repeat himself after Thrakattak
and THRAK BOX
. Instead, Singleton's choice of improvisations (which reiterate the importance and influence of the ProjeKcts on the Double Duo) are not just superb, they are ideally sequenced before and after each of the ten compositions, including Belew's acoustic solo take on "Three of a Perfect Pair." The whole program is, indeed, exceptionally well sequenced, including Warsaw's Beatles-informed improvisation, "Improv: Tomorrow Never Knew Thelma (incl. Tomorrow Never Knows)," leading to a fiery "Into the Frying Pan."
With eleven improvs that can also be found (albeit without the sonic cleanup Singleton did for Live ConstruKction
) on the Bootleg TVEurope 2000
Blu Ray that includes all ten hours of selected videos, Live ConstruKction
demonstrates just how much can be done when raw source material is cleaned up, edited and resequenced to create its own standalone experience. While the other complete shows, whether on CD or Blu Ray, contribute to the success of Heaven & Earth
, it's Live ConstruKction
that stands out as the box set's concert highlight, even if it was recorded before the group began introducing the new material that would ultimately end up on The Power to Believe
, and also not representing an actual Crimson set list.
King Crimson 2008 and Closing Thoughts
The two-CD set culled from the four-night New York City show is a worthy inclusion, a fine contrast to the previously released Park West
download. But it also demonstrates how, despite the addition of Gavin Harrison and the return of Tony Levin, the music that Crimson was recycling and repurposing between 1981and 2003 was beginning to approach its best by date, at least with these arrangements. It's only since the current three-drummer lineup has begun to reinvent material from this timeframe, but also from the all-important early years of 1969-1974 (in addition to some brand new material), that King Crimson's five-decade repertoirenewly minted for a new millennium and a new audience, and with enough players to truly reproduce and reimagine all of ithas finally become not just relevant for the time in which it first appeared, but for a new era as well.
Still, as Smith writes, near the close of his liner notes: "The benefit of hindsight renders all of this period all the more astonishing. Not all of it worked but the majority of it did and if that's what it took to get to The Power To Believe
then the journey was certainly worth it. Sometimes you get lucky; you get to be in the right place at the right time and bear witness to something extraordinary, something that feels like it just might be the future arriving before your very ears."
A perfect summary to Heaven & Earth
, the King Crimson box set that squeezes the most material onto any of the group's mega-box set, covers the longest time period and documents Crimson's most extensive period of experimentation, exploration and evolution through its inclusion of (almost) all ProjeKct recordings through Crimson's brief 2008 return, alongside the best-sounding versions of The (Re)ConstruKction of Light
and The Power to Believe
It may ultimately remain something less than Crimson fans' favorite period. Still, thanks to Pat Mastelotto (with the inestimable ears and advice of Bill Munyon, Markus Reuter and Adrian Benavides), Don Gunn, David Singleton and Robert Fripp's sonic restoration/upgrade/revisionismnot to mention the participation of all musicians involved over this 11-year period and Sid Smith's detailed literary contributionsHeaven & Earth: Live and in the Studio 1997-2008
now provides the best possible opportunity to re-examine and reevaluate this often unfairly misjudged, undervalued and overlooked period in King Crimson's history.
: Bude; Happy With
What You Have to Be Happy With; Mie-Gakure; She Shudders; Eyes Wide Open (acoustic version); ShoGaNai; I Ran;
Potato Pie; Larks' Tongues in Aspic - Part IV; Clouds; Einstein's Relatives; Dangerous Curves; Level Five; Virtuous
Circle; The ConstruKction of Light; The Deception of the Thrush; Improv: ProjeKct X.
): The Power to Believe I: A Cappella; Level Five; Eyes Wide Open;
Elektrik; Facts of Life: Intro; Facts of Life; The Power to Believe II; Dangerous Curves; Happy With What You Have to
Be Happy With; The Power to Believe III; The Power to Believe IV: Coda; Sus-tayn-Z I (bonus track); Superslow (bonus
track); Sus-tayn-Z II (bonus track).
): 4 i 1; 4 i 2; 4 i 3; 4 i 4; 4 i 6; 4 ii 1; 4 ii 2; 4 ii
4; 4 ii 5; 4 ii 6.
): Introductory Soundscape; House I; Heavy
ConstruKction; Vector Drift; Light ConstruKction; Live Groove; X-chayn-jiZ; Sector Patrol; Vector Patrol to Planet
Belewbeloid; Contrary ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush; VROOOM.
): Heavy ConstruKction; Improv I;
ProjeKction; The Deception of the Thrush; Hindu Fizz; Improv II; Seizure.
): Masque 3; X-chayn-jiZ; CCCCCCs; Heavy
ConstruKction; Masque 8; Masque 11; ProjeKction; The Deception of the Thrush.
): Improv: Principio Mastelottico (Madrid); ProzaKc
Blues; Improv: Blasticus SS Blastica; The ConstruKction of Light; Improv: Tomorrow Never Knew Thelma (incl.
Tomorrow Never Knows) (Warsaw); Into the Frying Pan; Improv: Heaven C Blasticum (Legnano).
): Improv: Crim Chill Thrill (San Sebastian); One Time;
Improv: Mastelotto Maximatamus Est (Conegliano); Three of a Perfect Pair; Improv: Groovistico SS Blasticus
(Barcelona); Sex Sleep Eat Drink Dream; Improv: C Chill Unchill (Rome); Cage.
): Improv: Heaven Groovistica (Copenhagen); The
World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum; Improv: C Blasticum; Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part IV; Improv:
Mastelotticus SS Blasticus (Rome); The Deception of the Thrush.
): The ConstruKction of Light; Into the Frying
Pan; Level Five; The Deception of the Thrush; Dangerous Curves; Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part IV; Thela Hun Ginjeet;
): Introductory Soundscape; Dangerous
Curves; Into the Frying Pan; Adrian Announcement; Elektrik; The ConstruKction of Light; Dinosaur; Thela Hun Ginjeet.
): Virtuous Circle; Larks' Tongues in Aspic
Part IV; The Deception of the Thrush; Level Five; Red.
): Introductory Soundscape; The Power to
Believe I: A Cappella; Level Five; ProzaKc Blues; Elektrik; Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With; One Time;
Facts of Life; The Power to Believe II: Power Circle; Dangerous Curves; Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part IV; The World's My
Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum.
): The Power to Believe I; Level Five; The
ConstruKction of Light; Facts of Life; Elektrik; The Power to Believe II; Dinosaur; One Time; Happy With What You
Have to Be Happy With.
): Dangerous Curves; Larks' Tongues in
Aspic Part IV; The Power to Believe III; Elephant Talk; RF Announcement; Adrian Announcement; Red.
): Introductory Soundscape; Drum Duet;
The ConstruKction of Light; Red; Frame by Frame; Neurotica; Three of a Perfect Pair; Sleepless; VROOOM; Coda
Marine 475; One Time; B'Boom.
): Dinosaur; Level Five; The Talking Drum;
Larks' Tongues in Aspic Part Two; Drum Duet; Thela Hun Ginjeet; Elephant Talk; Indiscipline.
: ProzaKc Blues;
The ConstruKction of Light; Into the Frying Pan; FraKctured; The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum;
Larks' Tongues in Aspic - Part IV; Coda: I Have a Dream; Heaven and Earth (ProjeKct X).
: ProzaKc Blues; The ConstruKction of Light; Into
the Frying Pan; FraKctured; The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum; Larks' Tongues in Aspic - Part IV;
Coda: I Have a Dream; Heaven and Earth (ProjeKct X).
: The Business of Pleasure; Hat in
the Middle; Side Window; Maximizer; Strange Ears (aging rapidly); Overhead Floor Mats Under Toe; Six O'Clock;
Superbottomfeeder; One E And; Two Awkward Moments; Demolition; Conversation Pit; Çin Alayl; Heaven and Earth;
Belew Jay Way.
: The Power to Believe I: A
Cappella; Level Five; Eyes Wide Open; Elektrik; Facts of Life: Intro; Facts of Life; The Power to Believe II; Dangerous
Curves; Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With; The Power to Believe III; The Power to Believe IV: Coda; Sus-
tayn-Z I; Superslow; Sus-tayn-Z II.
: The Power to Believe I: A Cappella; Level Five; Eyes
Wide Open; Elektrik; Facts of Life: Intro; Facts of Life; The Power to Believe II; Dangerous Curves; Happy With What
You Have to Be Happy With; The Power to Believe III; The Power to Believe IV: Coda.
: Bude; Happy With
What You Have to Be Happy With; Mie-Gakure; She Shudders; Eyes Wide Open (acoustic version); ShoGaNai; I Ran;
Potato Pie; Larks' Tongues in Aspic - Part IV; Clouds; Einstein's Relatives.
: 1 i 1; 1 i 2; 1 i 3; 1 i 4; 1 i 5; 1 i 6; 1 ii 1; 1 ii 2; 1 ii 3; 1 ii
4; 1 ii 5; 1 ii 6; 1 ii 7.
: 2 i 1; 2 i 2; 2 i 3; 2 i 4; 2 i 5; 2 i 6; 2 i 7; 2 ii 1; 2 ii 2; 2 ii 3;
2 ii 4; 2 ii 5.
: 3 i 1; 3 i 2; 3 i 3; 3 i 4; 3 i 5; 3 ii 1; 3 ii 2; 3 ii 3; 3 ii 4; 3 ii
5; 3 ii 6; 3 ii 7.
: 4 i 1; 4 i 2; 4 i 3; 4 i 4; 4 i 5; Interrupted Announcement; 4
ii 1; 4 ii 2; 4 ii 3; 4 ii 4; 4 ii 5; 4 ii 6.
: Introductory Soundscape; Hindu Fizz; Sus-tayn-Z; Foot
Note; X-chayn-jiZ; Seizure; Super Slow Deception of the Thrush; ProjecKction; Heavy ConstruKction.
: Introductory Soundscape; Hindu Fizz; Sus-tayn-Z; Cactus
Masque; Super Slow; Heavy ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush.
: Masque 3; X-chayn-jiZ; CCCCCCs; Heavy ConstruKction;
Introductory Soundscape; Masque 8; Masque 11; Light ConstruKction; ProjecKction; The Deception of the Thrush.
: Masque 1; Contrary ConstruKction; Seizure; The Deception of
the Thrush; Heavy ConstruKction; Introductory Soundscape; Masque 5; Masque 11; Light ConstruKction; ProjecKction;
: Beatbox 160; Super Slow; X-chayn-jiZ; Hindu Fizz; Heavy
ConstruKction; Introductory Soundscape; Seven Teas; Light ConstruKction; Four Over Five; Seizure; ProjecKction; The
Deception of the Thrush.
: Ghost (part 1); Seizure; Ghost; Heavy ConstruKction; The
Deception of the Thrush; Ghost (part 2); Light ConstruKction.
: Ghost (part 1); Seizure; The Deception of the Thrush; Ghost
(part 2); Light ConstruKction; Contrary ConstruKction; VROOOM.
: Vancouver Set One; On Acceptance Introduction;
Seizure; The Deception of the Thrush; Hindu Fizz; VROOOM.
: Seizure; Light ConstruKction; Ghost (part 1); Heavy
ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush; X-chayn-jiZ; Ghost (part 2); ProjeKction; VROOOM.
: Drum and Bass; Heavy ConstruKction; Ghost; Super
Slow X-chayn-jiZ; Light ConstruKction; Improv: Two Sticks; Seizure; The Deception of the Thrush; ProjeKction;
: Ghost; Heavy ConstruKction; Light ConstruKction; The
Deception of the Thrush; Seizure; Ghost (part 2); ProjeKction; VROOOM.
: Heavy ConstruKction; Improv I; ProjeKction; The
Deception of the Thrush; Hindu Fizz; Improv II; Seizure; VROOOM.
: Threshold: Knock, Knock, Who's There?
Boston; Time Groove Boston; Time Groove Boston II; Queer Jazz Boston; Threshold P6 Boston; Berklee Strut, Boston;
End Time Boston.
: Threshold: Knock, Knock, Who's There? NYC; Time Groove
NYC; Mission Possible NYC; Space Threshold NYC; Queer Jazz NYC; Persian E NYC; End Time NYC.
: Threshold: Knock, Knock, Who's There? Keswick; Persian
E Keswick; Time Groove Keswick; Queer Jazz Keswick; Mission Possible Keswick; End Time Keswick.
: Threshold: Knock, Knock, Who's There? Falls Church;
Persian E Falls Church; Time Groove Falls Church; Queer Jazz Falls Church; Threshold P6 Falls Church; Mission
Possible Falls Church; End Time Falls Church.
(1998): Space Groove II; Space Groove III; Space Groove I; Happy Hour
on Planet Zarg; Is There Life on Zarg?; Low Life in Sector Q-3; Sector Shift; Laura in Space; Sector Drift; Sector Patrol;
In Space There is No North, In Space There is No South, In Space There is No East, In Space There is No West; Vector
Patrol; Deserts of Arcadia (North); Deserts of Arcadia (South); Snake Drummers of Sector Q-3; Escape from Sagittarius
A; Return to Station B.
: Sus-tayn-Z; Heavy ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush; X-
chayn-jiZ; Light ConstruKction; Vector Shift to Planet Detroit; Cintrary CinstruKction; Live Groove; Vector Shift to
Planet Belewbeloid; 21st Century Schizoid Man; Where's the Camera?
: Masque 1; Masque 2; Masque 3; Masque 4; Masque 5; Masque 6; Masque
7; Masque 8; Masque 9; Masque 10; Masque 11; Masque 12; Masque 13; Masque 14.
: Ghost (part 1) I; Ghost (part 1) II; Ghost (part 1) III; Ghost (part 1) IV;
Deception of the Thrush; Hindu Fizz; ProjeKction; Ghost (part 2) I; Ghost (part 2) II; Ghost (part 2) III; Ghost (part 2) IV;
Ghost (part 2) V; Light ConstruKction.
(2000): The Business of Pleasure; Hat in the Middle; Side
Window; Maximizer; Strange Ears (aging rapidly); Overhead Floor Mats Under Toe; Six O'Clock; Superbottomfeeder;
One E And; Two Awkward Moments; Demolition; Conversation Pit; Çin Alayl; Heaven and Earth; Belew Jay Way (2000).
(2001): Hello Ghost; The Irresistible a Blowtorch; What Were
You Expecting?; What? coda; Brutal Ecstasy (with this fuzzbox); Vracker Barrel; Multi Vibrator; Parallax Distortion;
Slow Blow; elloH gHost; Bonkers; Monkey Mind; Your Head is in my hands; Cranial Interium; Brutal Code; Danpen.
(1999): Strangers on a Train;
Blast, Pt. 1; Lost and Found Highway; Hootenanny at the Pink Pussycat Café; Heard, Not Seen; Blast, Pt. 2; Retarded
(with Steam); Re-Entry; Brown SoufflÉ; Last Stop.
: Space Groove IV; Happy Hour on Planet
Zara; Space Groove V; Bees on Mars; The Thrush Deceiver; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector Shift; Fall of the House of Zarg; Nuages
Pt II; Snake Charmers of Sector Q3; Sunset on Planet Zarg.
: Announcement; Live Groove; Sector Shift; House II; The
Deception of the Thrush; Sector Patrol; Happy Hour on Planet Zarg; Sector Drift; House I; Live Groove Reprise.
: Introductory Soundscape; Live Groove; Happy Hour on
Planet Zarg; Sector Shift; House I; Light ConstruKction; Vector Shift to Intermission; The Deception of the Thrush; X-
chayn-jiZ; Sector Patrol; Vector Patrol in Q 3; Contrary ConstruKction; Sector Shift; House II; VROOOM; Search Patrol
in Sector Q 3.
: Introductory Soundscape; Sectoe Drift; Live Groove;
Search for Planet Zarg; Sector Shift; House I; Vector Shift; Light ConstruKction; Low Life on Sagittarius A; The
Deception of the Thrush; Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector Drift; Contrary ConstruKction;
: Introductory Soundscape; Live Groove;
House I; Sector Shift I; X-chayn-jiZ; Happy Hour on Planet Zarg; Deserts of Arcadia East; The Deception of the Thrush;
Sector Shift II; House II; Sector Shift III; Deserts of Planet Zarg; ProjeKction; RF Announcement; VROOOM.
: Introductory Soundscape; Escape from
Sagittarius B; Sector Shift I; Live Groove; Sector Shift II; Return to Sagittarius B; The Deception of the Thrush; X-
chayn-jiZ; Sector Shift III; House I; ProjeKction; RF Announcement; VROOOM.
: Heavy ConstruKction; Vector Shift; Light
ConstruKction; House I; The Deception of the Thrush; Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; X-chayn-jiZ; Sector Shift;
Bass Groove: Contrary ConstruKction; VROOOM.
: Live Groove; Vector Shift; House I; Vector Drift; Light X-chayn-
jiZ; The Deception of the Thrush; Happy Hour on Planet Zarg; Sector Shift; Contrary ConstruKction.
: Heavy ConstruKction; Sector Drift; Live Groove; Vector Shift; Search
for Sagittarius A; Sector Shift; House; The Deception of the Thrush; Contrary ConstruKction.
: Heavy ConstruKction; Vector Shift; Live Groove; Sector Shift; Searching
for Planet Zarg; X-chayn-jiZ; Sector Drift; Searching for Low Life in Sector Q 3; The Deception of the Thrush; Contrary
: Heavy ConstruKction; Live Groove; Sector Patrol; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector
Shift; VROOOM; Vector Shift; Contrary ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush.
: Heavy ConstruKction; Vector Shift to Planet Jazz Café I; Live
Groove; Vector Shift to Planet Jazz Café II; X-chayn-jiZ; The Deception of the Thrush; Contrary ConstruKction; Vector
Shift to Planet Jazz Café III; House I; VROOOM.
: Introductory Soundscape; House I; Vector Shift; Live
Groove; Sector Drift; X-chayn-jiZ; The Deception of the Thrush; Heavy ConstruKction; Sector Shift; Sector Drift Search;
Disturbance in Sector Q 3; Sector Drift; Contrary ConstruKction; VROOOM.
: Vector Shift; Sector Q 3 Where Are You?; Sus-tayn-Z;
Live Groove; Sector Drift; The Search Continues for Life on Planet Zarg; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector Shift; House; Heavy
ConstruKction; Vector Shift; VROOOM; Contrary ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush.
: Vector Shift to Heavy ConstruKction; Heavy ConstruKction;
Sus-tayn-Z; Vector Drift; X-chayn-jiZ; The Deception of the Thrush; House I; Sector Patrol; Contrary ConstruKction;
: Introductory Soundscape; House I; Heavy ConstruKction; Vector
Drift; Light ConstruKction; Live Groove; X-chayn-jiZ; Sector Patrol; Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Contrary
ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush; VROOOM.
: Introductory Soundscape; Contrary
ConstruKction; Sus-tayn-Z; Vector Shift; Light ConstruKction; X-chayn-jiZ; The Deception of the Thrush; Heavy
ConstruKction; Sector Patrol; House.
: Vector Shift; Heavy ConstruKction I; Vector Shift; Live Groove;
Vector Drift; Light ConstruKction; X-chayn-jiZ; Heavy ConstruKction II; Sector Patrol; Contrary ConstruKction; The
Deception of the Thrush; VROOOM.
: Vector Shift to Heavy ConstruKction; Heavy ConstruKction; Sus-
tayn-Z; Light ConstruKction; Vector Shift to Planet NYC I; X-chayn-jiZ; Introductory Soundscape; Heavy ConstruKction;
The Deception of the Thrush; Vector Shift to Planet Zarg; Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Contrary ConstruKction;
VROOOM; Live Groove.
: Introductory Soundscape; House I; Heavy ConstruKction; Vector
Shift to Planet NYC II; X-chayn-jiZ; Sus-tayn-Z; The Deception of the Thrush; House II; Vector Shift to Planet
Belewbeloid; Vector Shift to Happy Hour on Planet Zarg; Vector Shift to Contrary ConstruKction; Contrary
: Vector Shift; Fast ConstruKction; Sus-tayn-Z; Vector Shift; Could
There Be Life on Zarg?; X-chayn-jiZ; Heavy ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush; Sector Shift; Vector Shift to
Planet Belewbeloid; Vector Shift; Contrary ConstruKction; VROOOM.
: Introductory Soundscape; House I; Heavy
ConstruKction; Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Sector Drift; Could There Be Life on Zarg?; Sus-tayn-Z; House II;
Space ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush; X-chayn-jiZ; Contrary ConstruKction; VROOOM.
: Sector Shift; House I; Live Groove; Vector Shift; Vector Shift to
Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Heavy ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector
Patrol; Contrary ConstruKction; Dinosaur; VROOOM.
: Introductory Soundscape; Slow House; Sus-tayn-Z;
Sector Drift; Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Heavy ConstruKction; Young Lions; Men in
Helicopters; Contrary ConstruKction; Vector Patrol; X-chayn-jiZ; The Deception of the Thrush; Dinosaur; VROOOM.
: Introductory Soundscape; Vector Shift; Sus-tayn-Z;
Live Groove; Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Heavy ConstruKction; The Deception of the
Thrush; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector Shift; Contrary ConstruKction; Dinosaur; VROOOM.
: Vector Shift to Planet Cleveland I; House II; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector Shift
to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Heavy ConstruKction; Sus-tayn-Z; Sus-tayn-Z Reprise; Contrary
ConstruKction; Vector Shift to Planet Cleveland II; House; The Deception of the Thrush; Dinosaur; VROOOM.
: Vector Shift to Planet Chicago I; House II; X-chayn-jiZ; Sector Shift;
Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Contrary ConstruKction; Sus-tayn-Z; Vector Shift and Search
for Planet Chicago; House I; Heavy ConstruKction; The Deception of the Thrush; RF Announcement; Dinosaur;
: Vector Shift to Planet Chicago I; Live Groove; Heavy ConstruKction;
Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Sus-tayn-Z; The Deception of the Thrush; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector
Shift to Planet Chicago II; House II; Contrary ConstruKction; Dinosaur; VROOOM.
: Vector Shift; Live Groove; Heavy ConstruKction; Vector Shift
to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Sus-tayn-Z; The Deception of the Thrush; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector Shift;
Contrary ConstruKction; Dinosaur; VROOOM.
: Introductory Soundscape; House I; Sus-tayn-Z; Vector
Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Contrary ConstruKction; Heavy ConstruKction; Vector Shift to Planet
Somerville; House II; X-chayn-jiZ; The Deception of the Thrush; Dinosaur; VROOOM.
: Live Groove; Heavy ConstruKction; Vector Shift to Planet
Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Sus-tayn-Z; Men in Helicopters; Lone Rhinoceros; Matte Kudesai; Three of a Perfect
Pair; The Deception of the Thrush; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector Shift to Planet Charlotte; House I; House II; Dinosaur;
: Vector Shift; House I; X-chayn-jiZ; Sector Shift; Vector Shift
to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Heavy ConstruKction; Young Lions; Men in Helicopters; Three of a Perfect
Pair; The Deception of the Thrush; Sus-tayn-Z; Vector Shift; Slow House; Contrary ConstruKction; Dinosaur; VROOOM;
21st Century Schizoid Man.
: Vector Shift; Live Groove; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector
Shift; Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Heavy ConstruKction; Lone Rhinoceros; Men in
Helicopters; Young Lions; Matte Kudesai; Three of a Perfect Pair; The Deception of the Thrush; Sus-tayn-Z; Sector
Shift; Slow House; Contrary ConstruKction; VROOOM; 21st Century Schizoid Man.
: Announcement; Introductory Soundscape; House I; Sus-
tayn-Z; Vector Drift; Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Heavy ConstruKction; Young Lions; Men
in Helicopters; Matte Kudesai; Three of a Perfect Pair; The Deception of the Thrush; X-chayn-jiZ; Vector Shift; Slow
House; Contrary ConstruKction; Dinosaur; VROOOM; 21st Century Schizoid Man.
: Introductory Soundscape; Live Groove; Heavy ConstruKction;
Sector Drift; Vector Shift to Planet Belewbeloid; Light ConstruKction; Slow House to House I; Young Lions; Lone
Rhinoceros; Matte Kudesai; Three of a Perfect Pair; The Deception of the Thrush; Sus-tayn-Z; X-chayn-jiZ; Contrary
ConstruKction; Dinosaur; VROOOM; 21st Century Schizoid Man.
: ProzaKc Blues; The ConstruKction of
Light; Into the Frying Pan; FraKctured; The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum; Larks' Tongues in
Aspic - Part IV; Coda: I Have a Dream; Heaven and Earth (ProjeKct X).
: ProzaKc Blues; The ConstruKction of Light; Into
the Frying Pan; FraKctured; The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum; Larks' Tongues in Aspic - Part IV;
Coda: I Have a Dream; Heaven and Earth (ProjeKct X).
: The Power to Believe I: A Cappella;
Level Five; Eyes Wide Open; Elektrik; Facts of Life: Intro; Facts of Life; The Power to Believe II; Dangerous Curves;
Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With; The Power to Believe III; The Power to Believe IV: Coda; Sus-tayn-Z I;
Superslow; Sus-tayn-Z II.
: The Power to Believe I: A Cappella; Level Five; Eyes
Wide Open; Elektrik; Facts of Life: Intro; Facts of Life; The Power to Believe II; Dangerous Curves; Happy With What
You Have to Be Happy With; The Power to Believe III; The Power to Believe IV: Coda.
: Bude; Happy With
What You Have to Be Happy With; Mie-Gakure; She Shudders; Eyes Wide Open (acoustic version); ShoGaNai; I Ran;
Potato Pie; Larks' Tongues in Aspic - Part IV; Clouds; Einstein's Relatives.
: Dangerous Curves;
Level Five; Virtuous Circle; The ConstruKction of Light; The Deception of the Thrush; Improv: ProjeKct X.
: Into the Frying Pan; The ConstruKction of
Light; VROOOM; One Time; London Improv 1: Blasticus SS Blastica; Dinosaur; The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen
Floor Wax Museum; London Improv 2: Blasticum; Cage; ProzaKc Blues; Larks' Tongues in Aspic: Part IV; Three of a
Perfect Pair; The Deception of the Thrush; Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream; Heroes.
: Introductory Soundscape; The Power to Believe
I: A Cappella; Level Five; ProzaKc Blues; The ConstruKction of Light; Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With;
Elektrik; One Time; Facts of Life; The Power to Believe II: Power Circle; Dangerous Curves; Larks' Tongues in Aspic:
Part IV; The Deception of the Thrush; The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum.
: Into the Frying Pan; Improv: Munich; The World's My Oyster
Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum.
: The ConstruKction of Light; FracKtured; The World's My Oyster
Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum; Improv: Bonn.
: Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream; Improv: Offenbach; Cage; The
Deception of the Thrush.
: ProzaKc Blues; The ConstruKction of Light; Improv: Warsaw 2; The
Deception of the Thrush.
: Improv: Prague 1; VROOOM; Lights Please; Improv: Prague 2;
Larks' Tongues in Aspic: Part IV.
: The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum;
Improv: Cinegliano; Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink, Dream.
: The ConstruKction of Light; Improv: Gardone Riviera 1;
Dinosaur; Improv: Gardone Riviera 2.
: Improv: Rome 1; Larks' Tongues in Aspic: Part IV; Cage; The
World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum; Improv: Rome 2.
: Into the Frying Pan; Improv: Barcelona 1; Sex, Sleep, Eat, Drink,
Dream; The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax Museum; Improv: Barcelona 2.
: Improv: San Sebastian; Three of a Perfect Pair: The
Deception of the Thrush.
: Improv: Madrid 1; The World's My Oyster Soup Kitchen Floor Wax
Museum; Improv: Madrid 2; Heroes.
King Crimson 1999-2003: Robert Fripp: guitar, keyboards; Adrian Belew: guitar, vocals; Trey Gunn: Ashbury bass, Warr
bass guitar; Pat Mastelotto: drums, percussion, electronic drumming, hybrid acoustic, electronic percussion, drum
King Crimson 2008: Adrian Belew: guitar, voice; Robert Fripp: guitar, soundscapes; Tony Levin: bass, stick, backing
Mastelotto: drums, percussion; Gavin Harrison: drums, percussion.
ProjeKct One: Tony Levin: bass, stick, synth; Trey Gunn: Warr guitar; Bill Bruford: drums, percussion; Robert Fripp:
ProjeKct Two: Adrian Belew: drums; Robert Fripp: guitar; Trey Gunn: touch guitar, synth.
ProjeKct Three: Robert Fripp: guitar; Pat Mastelotto: electronic percussion, samples, beat box; Trey Gunn: Warr guitar.
ProjeKct Four: Robert Fripp: guitar; Tony Levin: basses, Didgeridoo; Trey Gunn: touch guitar, talker; Pat Mastelotto:
traps and buttons,
ProjeKct X: Adrian Belew: guitar, additional V-Drums ("Side Window"); Robert Fripp: guitar, soundscapes; Trey Gunn:
touch guitar, baritone guitar; Pat Mastelotto: traps and buttons.
BPM&M: Pat Mastelotto: drums, percussion, samples; Bill Munyon: drums, percussion, samples. With: Robert Fripp:
voice; Tony Levin: basses, stick; Trey Gunn: Warr Guitar; Cenk Eroglu: synthesizer; Adrian Belew: vocals; David Byrne:
Aloke Dutta: tabla.
Rieflin, Fripp & Gunn: Robert Fripp: guitar, soundscapes; Trey Gunn: Warr guitar; Bill Rieflin: drums, loops.