Music Reviews

King Crimson

The Deception of the Thrush: A Beginners’ Guide to ProjeKts

Discipline Global Mobile

ProjeKt One takes a more traditional approach to improvising. Bill Bruford uses real wooden drums to wrestle with Fripp as he translates Plate Tectonic Theory into guitar craft. At times it sounds as if someone is forcing a stick in ProjeKt One’s spokes, but KC has always had a gift for turning on a dime. Without the mistakes, much of the music’s development would be lost.

There has never been an incarnation of King Crimson that has been active for more than a few years. As usual, after a successful run as a “double trio,” Robert Fripp has split up the group. This time, instead of disbanding entirely, the group has divided into four smaller improvisational groups, or “ProjeKts.” Each of these units has at least one recording currently available. This CD serves as a sampler of what these recordings have to offer.

ProjeKt Three opens the show with a piece entitled “Masque.” It begins with processed guitar screams and electronic drums, suggesting that this is going to be a high-tech masturbation ritual. Instead, the group creates a slowly building piece of music guided by Trey Gunn’s repetitive bass patterns ranging from soul grooves to Funkadelic inspired weirdness. Fripp wisely keeps his guitar in check, and out of the way of Pat Mastelotto’s percussion tinkerings.

ProjeKts Two through Four demand close attention, due to their similarities in sound and instrumentation. They are noteworthy for their unobtrusive use of computerized equipment, and the rare appearance of Adrian Belew on drums. ProjeKt One delivers performances that hold up under close scrutiny and as “background music.” For that reason, I’m going to track down ProjeKt One: Live at the Jazz Café . You’ll have to choose your own favorite, for once.

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