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The Crimson ProjeKCt: Live In Tokyo

It may not be the most celebrated era of the band but I have a real soft-spot for 80s King Crimson and so the chance to revisit some of its most interesting moments, alongside a few obligatory classics has to be a good thing. But hang on a minute, if a certain Mr. Fripp is only reviving his long lost interest in his revered band later in the year, where does this recent Tokyo recording emanate from?

OK, so we are in the murky waters of officially endorsed "tribute" act here, Fripp happy to allow his ex-bandmates Tony Levin (Chapman Stick), Adrian Belew (vocals/guitar) and Pat Mastelotto (drums) to join with Markus Reuter (touch guitar), Julie Slick (bass) and Tobias Ralph (also drums) to bring the music of King Crimson to audiences starved of these sounds for many a year. As you'd expect, they do it well and while the lack of the KC lynchpin goes further than devaluing things, Reuter is a talented player who, while obviously not exactly filling the shoes, does at least keep a shine on them.

Opening with the drum solo "B'Boom" and following it with "THRAK" separates the devotees from the casual observers immediately, before the reward of the vocal led "Frame By Frame" and "Dinosaur" pats the patient audience on the head. "Industry" remains challenging and moody, "Elephant Talk" an acquired, yet classy departure. Wisely things are kept straight, there's little in the way of "interpretation" here, this is music you know, done the way you know it. In a way in itself that very ethos questions the need for this release at all, in others it demonstrates exactly why these live shows are vital (I know I wish I'd been there to witness them). "Sleepless" pulsates through rhythms and beats, before the crowd goes wild for "Larks' Tongues In Apsic, Part II". Then "Indiscipline" again illustrates why so many people are split over the era of KC from which it came, the second classic "Red" is the pay-off. Although the set closing with "Thela Hun Ginjeet" does then feel like a bit of an anticlimax.

The debates will rage long into the night as to the merits of this release seeing the light of day. All I know is I enjoyed it immensely, even if it isn't King Crimson at all, but then The Crimson ProjeKCt never claimed to be.

Track Listing
1. B'Boom
3. Frame By Frame
4. Dinosaur
5. Industry
6. Elephant Talk
8. Sleepless
9. Larks' Tongues InAspic, Part II
10. Indiscipline
11. Red
12. Thela Hun Ginjeet

Added: March 29th 2014
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: The Crimson ProjeKCt Online
Hits: 1796
Language: english

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The Crimson ProjeKCt: Live In Tokyo
Posted by Pete Pardo, SoT Staff Writer on 2014-03-29 07:23:32
My Score:

With three former/current King Crimson members present (Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, and Pat Mastelotto), plus touch guitar sensation Markus Reuter, bassist Julie Slick, and drummer Tobias Ralph, Live in Tokyo from The Crimson ProjeKCt kind of feels like a tribute project, but seeing as when this was recorded (early 2013) Crimson founder Robert Fripp had pretty much sworn off activity in his legendary band. Since, we've all heard that he's had a change of heart, and the mighty Crimson will be rearing its head in a new incarnation here in 2014. However, that's a story for another day.

This collective however does a damn fine job in recreating the mighty '80s & '90s version of the band, with some really super renditions of classics like "Thrak", "Frame By Frame", "Dinosaur", "Elephant Talk", and the always engaging "Thela Hun Ginjeet". Having Belew on hand is the incing on the cake really, his unmistakable vocals and wild guitar excursions always a unique aspect to any band he appears with. Other highlights here include the wild "Indiscipline", a heavy "Vrooom Vrooom", and killer takes on staple cuts "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part II" and of course "Red".

All that's really missing is Robert Fripp, but Reuter does a great job filling in for the master. This is quite the entertaining live album to satisfy our quench for some vintage King Crimson material while we wait for the next version of the band to wow us yet again.

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