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Legendary Fripp & Eno concert from 1975 will finally see official release
07.30.2014
07:34 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Brian Eno
Robert Fripp
bootleg
Malcom LeGrice


 
Robert Fripp’s web presence, Discipline Global Mobile, has announced that an oft-bootlegged Fripp/Brian Eno show recorded in Paris in 1975 has been mixed and mastered to the best possible quality, and pre-orders are now being taken by Amazon, Inner Knot (US), and Burning Shed (UK/Europe).

Hearing the tapes in fully restored audio quality, it’s easy to understand why it attracts such reverence now and perhaps, why the shows attracted such hostility then. No Roxy Music hits, No King Crimson riffs, just a duo sitting in near darkness with a reel to reel tape recorder, improvising over the pre-recorded loops with a filmed background projection. Replace the reel to reel machine with a couple of laptops/iPads/sequencers and the core of much current live performance from electronica to hip-hop was there some thirty years in advance. At the time, audiences responded to such a glimpse of the future with booing, walkouts and general confusion.

Thanks to the discovery and restoration of the original backing tapes, it was possible - with much painstaking restoration work by Alex Mundy at DGM - to isolate, de-noise and match the live elements from the performance tapes to the studio loops to produce the final recording.

 

 
An article by Frippertonics archivist Allan Okada (OK, you know, “Dangerous Minds Contributor” is a damn cool title, I won’t lie, but “Frippertronics Archivist” sounds like a mighty sweet gig, too…) describes the concert itself thusly:

Fripp just recently disbanded King Crimson at a point which many would describe as their artistic pinnacle. Eno also recently parted ways with Roxy Music at a similar juncture and then aborted his first and only extensive solo tour after only a handful of shows, due to a collapsed lung. Fripp & Eno live in concert? What would they do? All the shows in Spain and France were, not surprisingly, accompanied with unrealistic fan expectations, hoping for a presentation of ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’ combined with ‘Baby’s on Fire’ perhaps? What this audience got was something entirely different. The programme was largely improvised and totally instrumental. Adding to the event’s unorthodoxy was the absence of all conventional stage lighting. The sole illumination was provided by Malcolm LeGrice’s colour saturated and looped short film ‘Berlin Horse’ projected behind the two shadowy figures on stage, visually mimicking the music. The result was an unprecedented live performance format, years ahead of its time. It was also mind-boggling to most of the unsuspecting 1975 audience, yielding wildly different reactions. Reportedly about half the shows on this tour were also plagued with some sort of major technical hazard, stemming from the venue, the PA or the duo’s stage equipment. In Saint-Étienne, the audience went as far as booing the duo off the stage! Fortunately for us here, this Paris Olympia performance was technically flawless and from a musical standpoint, incredibly inspired.

You can judge the show’s level of inspiration yourself—as mentioned above, bootlegs have been around forever, and they are of course on YouTube. See what you think.
 

 
The trance continues after the jump.

Posted by Ron Kretsch | Leave a comment
King Crimson: Incredibly heavy, yet somehow still gravity-defying live set from 1974
03.10.2014
02:11 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
King Crimson
Robert Fripp
prog rock


 
As there is precious little live footage of the pre-80s incarnations of King Crimson—Beat Club, the poor quality fragment from Hyde Park in 1969 and the Central Park 1974 clip, not much—this extended 29-minute set from France’s Melody television show is a treasure (even with all of those goofy video effects, in fact, I think they enhance it nicely).

The line-up is Bill Bruford, John Wetton, David Cross and Robert Fripp.

1 - Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Part II
2 - The Night Watch
3 - Lament
4 - Starless

Larks’ Tongues here is frighteningly good.

The quality is great, but it’s even better on the deluxe 40th Anniversary Series edition of Red that came out in 2009. That release, with Steve Wilson’s insane 5.1 surround mix of the album (done with Robert Fripp’s participation), sounds like a jet plane lifting off inside your living room skull. Red happens to be one of the heaviest rock albums of all time. Crank it up loud enough and the sonic power of that album can blow you away like a feather in the wind. Most King Crimson albums I find to be a bit spotty (some of them are really spotty, in fact) but when they lock into a serious groove, like on Red’s unfuckingbelievable title cut, well it’s awe-inspiring.

If you haven’t heard the Steve Wilson 5.1 surround treatment of the classic King Crimson albums and you’ve got a 5.1 set up for TV and gaming, they are simply superb. I recommend starting with the first King Crimson album, In the Court of the Crimson King, because it’s a great—indeed the perfect—place to start anyway, plus Wilson did such a crazy good job with it. Ditto with Lizard. Hell, I never even liked that album, but in Wilson’s mix the “rock band as symphony” aspect of the work is teased out nicely and envelops you like you’re standing inside of a large (and especially complex) audio equivalent of an Alexander Calder mobile.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Cute Couple Alert: Robert Fripp & Toyah Wilcox on ‘All Star Mr & Mrs’
05.20.2013
09:20 am

Topics:
Television

Tags:
Robert Fripp
Toyah Wilcox


Frippercakes?

They’d only just met a second time in 1985, but within a week, Robert Fripp asked singer/actress Toyah Wilcox to marry him. They did so on Robert’s 40th birthday in 1986, when the pint-sized “force of nature,” to hear him describe his wife, was 28.

That they are still very happily wed decades later—and the fact that they’re both famous, of course—qualified them for an appearance on All Star Mr & Mrs, the ITV game show where celeb couples compete for charity. In this episode, which aired on May 8th, 2013, Toyah and her crafty guitarist hubby squared off against BBC sports presenter Gabby Logan and her husband and EastEnders actor, Jake Wood, who is best known on these shores as the voice of the GEICO gecko and his wife.

I can’t imagine that this was Robert’s idea, but it’s absolutely adorable that he went along with it. Who would have thought the fiercely intellectual Fripp could be this cute???

His adoring wife, obviously. This IS cute, make no mistake about it, and it shows a side of Robert Fripp—quite a big part of his personality, I’d say, from the looks of things here—that few outside of his immediate circle are likely to have seen before.
 

 
Via Richard Lindsay and WFMU

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Happy Birthday Robert Fripp!
05.16.2013
12:08 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Robert Fripp


 
King Crimson’s Robert Fripp turns 67 today, just one day after his frequent collaborator Brian Eno became an OAP. They both look great for their age.

Previously on Dangerous Minds:
In the Court of the Crimson King: Intelligent BBC documentary about Robert Fripp

Dislocated: Robert Fripp & The League of Gentlemen

Fripp and Eno: The Heavenly Music Corporation

Below, Robert Fripp demonstrates Frippertronics in 1979:
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
In the Court of the Crimson King: Intelligent BBC documentary about Robert Fripp
01.16.2013
12:29 pm

Topics:
Music
Thinkers

Tags:
King Crimson
Robert Fripp


 
Contemplative 1985 BBC doc about Robert Fripp, who gives the cameras a real glimpse into his life in Wimborne—we even get to meet his mother—his career as a constantly traveling musician and his reasons for leaving King Crimson (and his worldly possessions) behind in the mid-1970s to study the work of philosopher JG Bennett.

Fripp also discusses working with David Bowie, living in NYC and having brunch with Debbie Harry and Chris Stein. Musically, he’s seen playing with Andy Summers and doing a solo Frippertronics piece.
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
The Drive to 1981: Robert Fripp’s art-rock classic ‘Exposure’


 
In 1977, King Crimson founder Robert Fripp—who left the world of music in 1974 when he dissolved the group—moved to NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen (later the Bowery) and immersed himself in the city’s punk and “new wave” music scene. Inspired by New York’s frantic energy and wanting to combine the new sounds he was hearing with “Frippertronics,” the droning tape loop system he had developed with Eno, the final product was his solo record, Exposure.

The ambitious Exposure is one of the ultimate art-rock documents of late 70s New York, a classic album that sadly seems to have fallen through the cracks for many music fans. It’s a brilliant and underrated missing link between what was to become King Crimson’s next incarnation, the “Berlin trilogy” of David Bowie and Brian Eno (and indeed Fripp and Eno’s own collaborations), Talking Heads, Peter Gabriel and believe it or not, Hall and Oates!

That’s right Exposure was meant to be seen as the third part of a loose trilogy that included Daryl Hall’s Sacred Songs and Peter Gabriel’s second album (both produced by Fripp). Daryl Hall’s management threw a wrench in the works, concerned that Hall’s decidedly more esoteric solo material might confuse his fan-base expecting catchy, “blue-eyed soul” AM radio-friendly pop tunes and that this would harm his commercial appeal. Additionally, they insisted that Fripp’s own Exposure album be credited as a Fripp/Hall collaboration. As a result, Fripp used just two of Hall’s performances on the album, recording new vocals by Terre Roche and Van Der Graaf Generator’s Peter Hammill.

Sacred Songs didn’t come out until 1980 and sold respectably well. Both albums include the snarling buzz-saw rave-up, “You Burn Me Up I’m a Cigarette.”:
 

 
The first voice you hear in the “Preface” is Eno’s and the voice before the phone starts ringing is Peter Gabriel’s. The vocal however, is obviously Daryl Hall, but not as we’re used to hearing him. Fripp later described Hall as the best singer he’d ever worked with and compared his musical creativity to David Bowie’s. High praise indeed.

Another highlight on Exposure is Peter Gabriel’s amazing performance of his “Here Comes the Flood,” perhaps the best version of the many he has recorded: Gabriel disliked the orchestral arrangements for the song on his first album, considering it over-produced. He did a different version on Kate Bush’s Christmas TV special in 1979 and still another on on his Shaking the Tree greatest hits collection. The rendition heard on Exposure is sparse, haunting and moving. I think it’s one of his single greatest vocal performances. Eno, Fripp and Gabriel are the only musicians on this track:
 

 
In 1985, a remixed “definitive edition” of Exposure was released and finally, in 2006, a remastered 2 CD set came out on Fripp’s own label with the original 1979 album and a second disc containing yet a third version of Exposure with bonus tracks including the Daryl Hall vocals as originally intended.
 
Below, a promotional video for Exposure. Not a lot happens here, but in the context of 1979, this would have seemed absolutely futuristic. I’m assuming that this was shot by Amos Poe (director of Glenn O’Brien’s cable access show TV Party) or else Blondie’s Chris Stein:
 

 
After the jump, Robert Fripp being interviewed Wayne’s World-style on NY cable access in 1979.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Read vintage issues of ‘Synapse the Electronic Magazine’ in their entirety


Summer 1978: Read this issue in its entirety here.
 
Holy cow! What a goldmine! Someone wonderful uploaded all the 70s issues of Synapse Magazine for your reading pleasure. Seriously, if you’re an electronic music buff, be prepared to spend days soaking it all up!
 

January/February 1979: Read this issue in its entirety here.
 

Summer 1979: Read this issue in its entirety here.
 
More issues of Synapse Magazine after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
King Crimson: In the Court of the Crimson King
05.31.2010
08:50 pm

Topics:
Music

Tags:
King Crimson
Robert Fripp

image
 
Over the weekend, I picked up a copy of the 5:1 surround mix of King Crimson’s classic 1974 album, Red, but I didn’t have a chance to listen to it properly until this afternoon. And when I say properly, I mean loudly, as Red happens to be one of the heaviest rock albums of all time. Crank it up loud enough—as I did today—and it feels like a jumbo jet is taking off inside your skull. The sonic power of that album can blow you away like a feather in the wind at top volume. Most King Crimson albums I find to be a bit spotty (some of them are really spotty, in fact) but when they lock into a serious groove, like on Red’s title cut, it’s an awe inspiring thing to listen to.

This new surround version, mixed from the original multi-source mixdown tapes by Porcupine Tree’s Steve WIlson (with Robert Fripp’s participation) tends to put the listener in the middle of the mix, that is to say, it sounds like you are standing in the room as they are playing. I find that this approach worked great on Wilson’s redo of In the Court of the Crimson King in 5:1, but with Red, the violent onslaught of Fripp’s buzzsaw guitar riffs sounds emasculated somewhat (when compared to the familiar stereo version) unless the album is played at an almost ear-splitting volume. Me, I’m happy to oblige. Listen to it as loud as fuck and it sounds wonderful. I suppose that was the point. Who’s going slap on Red to listen at a background volume anyway?

There’s not much by way of film footage of pre-80s incarnation of King Crimson. As in nearly none. I did find two amazing clips, though. First an intense run-through of Lark’s Tongue in Aspic on what appears to be Germany’s Beat Club show.
 

 
Below, a 1973 performance in New York’s Central Park of Easy Money:
 

 
(Incidentally, the new leaked Kanye West single, Power, samples King Crimson’s 21st Century Schizoid Man)

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment
Dislocated: Robert Fripp & The League of Gentlemen
03.27.2010
09:37 am

Topics:
Music

Tags:
Robert Fripp

image
 
Robert Fripp doing what he does best—tearing it the fuck up—with his “punk” combo, The League of Gentlemen. The Disinformation logo was inspired by this album cover (which was done by Danielle Dax).
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Leave a comment