Tag Archives: Experimental

Contributions by Robert (part IV)

In 1992 Fripp contributed to David Cunningham’s “Water” on a single track “Stars” – the saxophone player is Peter (Laurence) Gordon.

Fripp had already been involved with contributions to Cunningham’s group “The Flying Lizard” back in 1981. This time the music was more ambient and minimalistic.

 

Also in 1992 Fripp contributes on English electronic group The Grid’s album 456. Fripp’s plays on 3 tracks, Ice Machine, Aquarium and Fire Engine Red.

While Fripp is very evident on all the tracks, Ice Machine stands out as the most hilarious and at the same time brilliant. A must know track for any Fripp devotee. Vocals performed by Dieter Meier from Swiss band Yello.

And then, as python said, to something completely different.

 

In 1993 Fripp played on a track from Lawrence Gowan “…but you can call me Larry” sorry to say so, but to me this is very forgettable.

Anyway here it is, it might be that others will think it is great:

Lawrence Henry Gowan is a Scottish-born Canadian pianist and singer, since 1999 Gowan has been a member of legendary American rock band Styx

Ataxia

Ataxia, was an American band, only active in a short period in the beginning of 2004, Josh Klinghoffer, present guitarist from Red Hot Chili Peppers, was the drummer. John Frusciante at the time guitarist in Red Hot Chili Peppers , did the guitar duties and Joe Lally, from hardcore band Fugazi, did the Bass.

Ataxia plays experimental rock, far from Red Hot’s funky style, this is basic, basement, raw, and very direct Rock, much more grunge and stoner rock expression, that we get from Red Hot. Not much studio either, sound just like you would expect if you was invited into a live jam session. Frusciante constantly fires his often distorted guitar, a constant bass line keeps pounding, some nice drumming to back it all up, and vocals sometimes aggressively screaming, sometimes almost just talking, sometimes twisted, sometimes clean.

This may well be seem as another Frusciante based jam session, both albums by Ataxia was recorded at the same time, and within only a few weeks. But the music was created between the three people involved, so it is fair that it was credited as a band effort, not a solo album.

Hidden 80′s Gems – Part 4 1984

1984 is an absurd year in music, a year so full of good stuff coming out that it should be impossible. But I did decide to pick just one, because that is what I set out to do in the first place. The two albums I found it hardest not to choose was Hüsker Dü’s brilliant “Zen Arcade” and “Dead can Dance” unique self-titled debut. I have chosen Laurie because she was the one I bought just when it came out, the one important to me back then.

Sharkey’s Day

Laurie Anderson – Mister Heartbreak – 1984
My mother had read an article in her newspaper about this American poet, having made an album with an impressive cast of supporting musicians, she knew I was crazy about Peter Gabriel, so she showed it to me. When I also read that King Crimson guitarist Adrian Belew was playing on the album. I had to go get it.

Gravity’s Angel

Only one album, I have ever heard before this one, is based on Poetry and still work as an album, and that is Jim Morrison’s posthumous An American Prayer, it is very hard to combine spoken words and music into something listenable, but Laurie and her cast, makes it melt together, one supporting the other.
Mister Heartbreak is a journey, sunny and beautiful, dreamy and surrealistic, surprising and changing all the time, that is just the music, when you get deeper into the lyrics, things become really strange.

Kokoku

Hidden 80’s Gems – Part 1 1980-1981

Those of us growing up with the supreme albums of the 70’s, time of the allmighty supergroups of Progressive Rock and Jazz/Rock Fussion, those devastated by the loss of Lenon and Zeppelin, tends to think of the 80’s as bullshit, remember the nightmare of watching Phil and Jon selling out on MTV. But that is just an ilusion, because there was a lot of crap in the 70’s, and there was a lot of good stuf in the 80’s, hidden in the boxes in the backest back of the record store. What I intend to do now, is pick one of those albums for every sorry year, from the dark age of music. (all characters appearing in the above post are fictitious)

1980 – Pere Ubu – The Art Of Walking
Pere Ubu’s version of new wave is truely unique, avantgarde experimental garage rock (or punk?)
Having made improvised noice for years, I was amused to find, that it was an artform in its own, and that some people was able to sell it. I had found hope, and faith !!

On The art of walking Ubu takes their music to the extreme abstraction, It is caos, but caos with a lot of beauty, drama, dreamy moods and a hole lot of humour. The album was my first Ubu so to this day its my favorite.

1981 – Brian Eno and David Byrne – My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Another 80’s album, twisting my views on what music is, what in can do, and how its should be done.

As opose to the idear of (rock) music, as albums made by bands of 3-6 people, in studio sessions. This was something very diffrent, it was a collage of sounds, mixed together, to create a piece of art. It sounded like a trillion of samples played at the same time, and yet, it worked perfectly. Another game changing fact was, it was a totaly multi cultural mix, a milestone in the development of music in years to come.

Another Wierd World

Friday is Fripp day
What a Fripp
After working together at No Pussyfooting Fripp was again working with Brian Eno, on his mid 70’s Art Rock/Glam Rock albums. Starting with 3 tracks on ”Here Comes the Warm Jets” recorded in 73, and released in 74.
From Before and After Sience 1977

”Here Comes the Warm Jets” in my opinion is the funniest and best Art Rock album ever recorded, so ahead of it time, avantgarde and naive at the same time. Eno’s ability to create moods and unbelivable rythm pattern is stunning, ad Fripp soloing like mad, and it blows my mind. Its not nearly as easy listening as Roxy Music was, its definately an acquired taste, but its absolutely worth the effort.
From Here Comes the warm Jets 1974

(fan made video)
On Enos third solo album Another Green World from 1975 Fripp was again invited as Guest Guitarist. It marks Eno’s first attempt to move away from song based Art/Glam Rock towards instrumental music, Today seen as the transformation album pointing against Eno ambient era. At the time it was not recived well, most likely because the changes was too unexpected.
From Another Green World 1975

Today it is probably his highest praised album, and has often been on Rock media’s top album lists, like Roling Stones 500 greatest albums of all times, and New Musical Express list of greatest albums of the 70’s. Fripp again fires some stunning solo’s on the album.
From Another Green World 1975

Fripp also played on Eno’s “Before and After Sience” and “Music for Films”, Eno would later invite Fripp to works with him on a series of album he would produce for other artists, and they would make albums together, but that is material I will get back to later.
From Here Comes the warm Jets 1974

Happy family, one hand clap !

Lizard (part 2).
If you did not check out part 1 start here.

Happy Family is the last of the upbeat tracks from side 1 of the original vinyl.
A surreal reflection on the Beatles split. The track features distorted vocals, that may seem a bit over the top, in today’s ears. The true brilliance on this track is the piano (Keith Tippet), and the numbers of solo’s going in and out, often many at the same time, on a lot of instruments, a total trip attacking our ears, very experimental , Jazz Rock Fussion +.

Steven Wilson (Porcupine Tree/No-man) liner notes for his remix of Lizard 40th Anniversary Edition.:
“I’ve always felt that if presented in the right way, I could make a case for this being the most experimental rock record ever made. It’s extraordinary what they’re doing on this album. In terms of fusing free-jazz with progressive rock for me there’s almost no parallel and yet it seems to an album that is overlooked by jazz fans and progressive rock fans alike.”

After those complex tracks, it would be time for a softer piece, and that is what we get. The first half of the album concludes with a ballad of pure beauty. LADY OF THE DANCING WATERS

The Original Version.

Alternative take, bonus track from the 40th Anniversary Edition.

To be continued.

Dangerous Curves

Friday is Fripp day
What a Fripp
So lets Fripp out.

King Crimson is not just one band, have been so many constellations, with so different members, playing so different music, that it would be very hard to digest in a post, or even a few posts. On the other hand, it would be too strange to do Fripp Fridays, and continue to avoid Crimson, so what I will do, is take one little piece once in a while, and post them in between other things Fripp.

“Dangerous Curves” is a track first found on the Level Five Live “Tour EP”, released I 2001.
It is a Crimson Instrumental, starting very calm and slowly building more and more heavy, towards a climax. In this version with a strange intro of (Belew’s) spoken words, and a wonderful clean sound.

This is not found on Youtube – But i would recomand every KC lover to get it, one of the best records KC did, from the mid 80’s and onwards.

R-2634654-1329441245_jpeg

The track appears again on the 2003 full studio album “The Power to Believe”. It is now longer, scary, darker, a nice example of how Crimson develops their material, the track had changes quite a lot. The studio production of this particular track, in my opinion, makes it a bit weaker than the cleaner “Level Five” version

From “The Power to Believe”

There is another live version, from the 2003 tour, supporting the release of “The Power to belive”.
Again we get a very different version, this time with a very raw (Belew) guitar base, an ambient texture of almost symphonic sounds, wild futuristic electronic percussions, now more robotic, industrial.

Live 2003

King Crimson, in this period:
Adrian Belew – Guitar, Vocals ; Robert Fripp – Guitar ; Trey Gunn – Warr Guitar ; Pat Mastelotto – Drums

Previous Fripp Friday January 24.

Ulver : “Providence”

“Masters of Darkness” – Part 2

Norwegian band Ulver have allways been very unpredictable. From black metal to soundscapes, from symphonic to noise, a musical evolution and experimentation you find in very few bands. with a heavy reliance on electronic recording techniques.
The only clear line, is that they are almost always dark and melancholic.

From 1995-1997 they made 3, folk-themed black metal albums, Bergtatt 1995, Kveldssanger 1996, Nattens madrigal 1997, Kveldssanger with classical guitars, cello and chamber chants, less heavy , while still having a folk theme. With Themes from William Blake’s The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (1998), came a sudden shift in style moving into a mix of electronics, industrial, avant-garde, ambient and metal, a double album of epic proportions. Since then Ulver have been all over the place, with different experiments.

“Providence” from their eighth studio album “Wars of the Roses” features Kristoffer Rygg’s deep vocals contrasted by female vocals from guest singer, Siri Stranger. A beautiful piece mixed from several styles.

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Friday is Fripp day

What a Fripp

So lets Fripp out !!
Today with a few track’s from Rieflin ,Fripp ,Gunn : “The Repercussions Of Angelic Behavior”
Robert Fripp and Trey Gunn was both involved with Bill Rieflin’s solo album “Birth of a Giant” (1999), and in the process of making that album, they did some extra sessions together, resulting in “The Repercussions Of Angelic Behavior”.
The Album is a pleasant travel in the realms of Jazz Fusion, with a very clear Fripp signature. Avant-garde in the true sense of the word. There is no liner notes (apart from : ““random play is required for full effect”) but I believe it’s safe to say, a lot of this was improvised.

Rieflin is an American drummer who have worked with a lot of Experimental/Industrial rock bands, Ministry, Swans, Nine Inch Nails, R.E.M., King Crimson, and many more.

Gunn is mostly known as a member of King Crimson since 1994, but have worked with a lot of other musicians : Tool, Puscifer, Gordian Knot, David Sylvian, John Paul Jones (Ex Led Zeppelin), Eric Johnson ect.
He has released a number of solo albums.