About to be released to coincide with their world tour, The Crimson ProjeKCT’s Live in Tokyo showcases the Fripp-approved double trio storming their way through a set of mid to late period Crimsoid classics with all the natural aplomb of the highly skilled musicians that they undoubtedly are.
Formed out of a melding of Tony Levin’s Stick Men (Levin, Mastelotto and Reuter) and The Adrian Belew Power Trio (Belew, Slick and Ralph), The Crimson ProjeKCt first stormed over horizon as support to Dream Theater on their 2012 US tour. Boy, I’ll bet ears were ringing after that particular combination of bands!
The songs on this CD should need no explanation from me, and the sextet’s treatment of them is incendiary, in particular the double drums, which are always up in the mix. The only track not too familiar to me is Industry coming from the last of Crimson’s 80s albums, Three of a Perfect Pair. Here it serves as a neurotic’s idea of an ambient interlude, between a cacophonous Dinosaur and a rousing Elephant Talk, the latter being one of Belew’s many intriguing lyrics from the best of the 80s trio of Crimson albums by some distance, the mighty Discipline.
New life is infused into Sleepless, here sounding far more awake than the album version, propelled by the doubled-up percussion into a new land of insomnia. Lovely!
As the three ex-Crims in the band all played on versions of Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, Part II, that too is rightly included, and a ferocious take on the old monster it is, too. This leads into the Indiscipline, which remains my favourite “modern” Crim song. The tension that builds in this piece is unlike anything else you’ll ever hear, a genuinely spooky thing, even after all these years.
Another blast from the “old” Crimson to get the double trio treatment is Red, which I can well imagine pinning me to my seat when I see the band live on their only UK date on 12th March.
This is a corking album which serves to fill the gap until we all troop off to see the re-formed King Crimson in the hopefully not too distant future. Adrian Belew has shown great dignity in the way he has accepted not being invited into the new Crim set up, and you can read about this and much more in Basil Francis’ DPRP interview.
01. B’Boom (8:56)
02. THRAK (6:05)
03. Frame By Frame (3:59)
04. Dinosaur (5:11)
05. Industry (8:35)
06. Elephant Talk (4:48)
07. VROOOM VROOOM (5:12)
08. Sleepless (6:12)
09. Larks’ Tongues In Aspic, Part II (6:26)
10. Indiscipline (8:56)
11. Red (6:10)
12. Thela Hun Ginjeet (6:24)
Total Time – 76:54
Tony Levin – Chapman Stick
Adrian Belew – Vocals & Guitars
Pat Mastelotto – Drums & Percussion
Markus Reuter – Touch Guitar
Julie Slick – Bass
Tobias Ralph – Drums
Record Label: InsideOut Music
Release Date: 3rd March 2014