Imagine a bunch of members of King Crimson joining forces with the Stick Men and other luminaries...imagine them touring under the name "The Crimson ProjeKCt"...imagine a selection of these concerts being released as digital downloads...
Read on to learn the details of these stunning releases...
THE CRIMSON PROJEKCT Official Bootleg Live 2012 (DDL on Iapetus Media)
This release from 2013 offers 46 minutes of Crimson music.
For this concert, the Crimson ProjeKCt was: Adrian Belew (on electric guitar and vocals), Tony Levin (on Chapman Stick, electric bass and backing vocals), Pat Mastelotto (on drums and percussion), Markus Reuter (on U8 Touch guitar), Julie Slick (on electric bass), and Tobias Ralph (on drums and percussion).
The set list: "BÕBoom," "Thrak," "Dinosaur,Õ "Elephant Talk," "Red," "Frame by Frame," "Thela Hun Ginjeet," and "Indiscipline."
One might think (from the instrumentation) that this music might be bass-heavy, but trust in the skills of the guitarist and the drummers to keep up their ends of things, resulting in a strong and well-balanced sonic presentation.
BelewÕs masterful guitarwork is (as usual) quite stunning, whether playing crystalline notes or belting out searing pinnacles or contorting sustains into expressions of piercing beauty. ReuterÕs Warr guitar stylings hold their own with this excellence, generating some equally stunning riffs.
Those multiple basses lend the tunes a particular growl, establishing a foundation that bristles with barely restrained domination. One could almost believe a herd of dinosaurs are snarling amid the mix.
The percussion is abundant and severe, delivering rhythms of breathless complexity. The beats possess an unearthly puissance, propelling the tunes with a vitality equaled by the other madcap instruments.
ThereÕs no need for "electronics" here. The string instruments undergo extreme warping, producing an ample degree of strangeness.
BelewÕs vocals perfectly cement the entire Crimson flair, since heÕs CrimsonÕs inherent vocalist. As for the lyrics, well...Crimson aficionados know full well how oblique (and often bewildering) CrimsonÕs lyrics can be; while newcomers are in for a puzzling treat.
Being Crimson songs, the compositional purity of these songs is beyond question; the original band stands as the vanguard for slick intensity. The performance here is just as capable. The melodies surge and throb with enough power to melt a battleship; paint will peel; ears might bleed; consciousness is in danger of expanding. There are some differences, which serve to delightfully elaborate on the original compositions.
This release is guaranteed to satisfy longtime fans and newcomers alike.
THE CRIMSON PROJEKCT Live at Club Citta, March 15,2013 (DDL on Iapetus Media)
THE CRIMSON PROJEKCT Live at Club Citta, March 16,2013 (DDL on Iapetus Media)
THE CRIMSON PROJEKCT Live at Club Citta, March 17,2013 (DDL on Iapetus Media)
The March 15 set was released in 2013 and offers 79 minutes of Crimson music.
The March 15 set list is: "BÕBoom," "Thrak," "Dinosaur," "Elephant Talk," "Red," "Sleepless," "Industry*," "Larks Tongues in Aspic, Part 4," "Frame by Frame," "Indiscipline," and "Thela Hun Ginjeet."
The March 16 set was released in 2013 and offers 84 minutes of Crimson music.
The March 16 set list is: "Red," "Dinosaur," "Sleepless," "Elephant Talk," "3 of a Perfect Pair," "BÕBoom," "Thrak," "VÕRoom VÕRoom*," "Neurotica**," "Indiscipline," "Frame by Frame," and "Thela Hun Ginjeet".
The March 17 set was released in 2013 and offers 100 minutes of Crimson music.
The March 17 set list is: "BÕBoom," "Thrak," "Dinosaur," "Elephant Talk," "Larks Tongues in Aspic Part Four***," "Neurotica**," "Industry*," "3 of a Perfect Pair," "Frame by Frame," "Sleepless," "VÕRoom VÕRoom*," Indiscipline," "Red," and "Thela Hun Ginjeet."
* means the track was performed by the Stickmen.
** means the track was performed by Adrian BelewÕs Power Trio.
*** means the track was performed by the Stickmen with Adrian Belew.
For these three gigs, the Crimson ProjeKCt was: Adrian Belew (on electric guitar and vocals), Tony Levin (on Chapman Stick, electric bass and backing vocals), Pat Mastelotto (on drums and percussion), Markus Reuter (on U8 Touch guitar), Julie Slick (on electric bass), and Tobias Ralph (on drums and percussion).
Okay, now that you have all the specific data, we can proceed to the actual reviews of these concert releases. Because of the similar nature of the releases, this will be an overall description.
Suffice it to say that these performances are breathtaking, meticulous and highly slickÑexactly what youÕd expect from the personnel involved. In fact, so tight are things, there are occasions in which it is difficult to believe the songs are not being played by the full King Crimson band.
Among the notable differences, the March 16 and 17 concerts feature a long ambient intros in which things escalate into full-out masterful sustains, culminating with a double drum solo outburst. And regardless how tight these compositions might be, their structure intentionally leaves room for individual variations, especially in during seemingly chaotic passages. Case in point: the two versions of "Larks Tongues" are primarily samish, but exhibit definite unique aspects. And the two performance of "Neurotica" distinctly explore different renditions.
The guitars wail with voices that defy the imagination, expressing riffs as solid as hard candy. BelewÕs snaky sinuous guitarwork work excellently in tandem with ReuterÕs weirdling Warr guitarisms.
A thunderous rank of basses provide a relentless growl that often strays from an undercurrent vantage and erupts into the musicÕs forefront. Those forefront instances are particularly memorable too.
The percussion is equally thunderous, evoking a multitude of intertwining rhythms. A virtual snakepit of beats, more than any single pair of legs can dance to. Often relentless, almost exhausting.
There are solid reasons these compositions are considered progrock classics.
If you can only afford one of these releases, the obvious choice is March 17 (as the longest one it offers more music)...but sooner or later youÕll find yourself wanting to hear how the other dates measure up. You wonÕt be disappointed.
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