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progVisions

progVisions is a progressive rock e-zine, published in English and made by an international group of members. Our objective is to become a centre of information that contributes to the knowledge, growth and development of progressive rock.

album reviews

album review

King Crimson - ProjeKct Three - Masque - 1999

The release of ProjeKct Two in studio with Trey Gunn, Adrian Belew and, of course, Robert Fripp, provoked bewilderment for King Crimson followers. The extravagant idea of the "fractals" started with improvised music that took a direction different to that of the impressive "Thrak" - the album of the decade for King Crimson, not only for being splendid, but also for being the only one, except the live albums-. With the release of the box of ProjeKcts we have savored nº 1, an amazing starter, nº 2, a juicy first dish, nº 4, an excellent dessert and now 3. What pleasure does this main course leave in our mouths?

The third sample of the ProjeKcts includes Trey Gunn, Robert Fripp and the frequently attacked Pat Mastelotto. Indeed it is easy to check that Robert Fripp and Trey Gunn always come together, so the ProjeKcts plays with combinations but always with a fixed third of K.C. Keeping in mind this, we find the first characteristic of the third projeKct. That is to say, the melodic harmonic part comes exclusively from Trey Gunn and Robert Fripp. As expected, it sounds very, very Fripp. Trey Gunn is very versatile and his melodic lines, mainly those in which he supports with wah-wah effects, have an exemplary style that ends up being very lyrical, but he cannot deny that he is a student of Mr. Robert. Certainly, to those that like the "laser-ray-solo" style of Fripp, "ProjeKct Three" will be a delicious dish. If what you like is the most ambient King Crimson, you have also no place for complaints, as if the album has a personality, it is an ambient one. It is not just "ambient": it is King Crimson -or some of them - making musical atmospheres, which is very different. For it is based on the "soundscapes" technique developed by Fripp along the nineties, not as complex as those that have appeared in his solo albums, but as "medium-grade" ambient to create an improvisation base. Another positive: the superlative harmonic virtuosity of Fripp and Gunn, which consists of 40% technique and 60% head.

Pat Mastelotto has decided to work in this division of K.C. in a very special way: using an enormous technological arsenal, he shoots and mixes preprogrammed rhythmic patterns randomly. His work as a drummer is practically non existent, with the exception of some support to the loops and rest of figures. He comments in the booklet that nobody knew which rhythm patter controlled by Mastelotto would jump later, so although preprogrammed, the countless rhythms, speeds and styles would appear like an unforeseeable part of an improvisation. These are very technological rhythms. This can scares to those used to Bill Bruford that don't come closer to anything related to Drum&Bass or Rave. It is not techno or jungle music, but it can provide some confusion. These are repeat closed percussion cycles, whose insistence makes the rhythm be built as an atmosphere.

The structure of the CD expresses perfectly the spirit of "ProjeKct Three". It is a single piece named Masque divided in thirteen segments without a title. It is not a conceptual idea but an improvised atmosphere of 70 minutes. It can even become ethereal at times. It is maybe the weakest of the four ProjeKcts in the sense that it is less concrete and visceral, especially when compared with ProjeKct One, but listening to it with attention, the expert harmonic construction of Gunn and Fripp stands out. The rhythm base is maybe not complete enough. Although Trey Gunn's Touch Guitar works like a bass, it is not necessary to forget that he has only ten fingers and two wrists (at this level you cannot be simplistic and just speak of hands), so the rhythm section loses strength. Maybe that is just a starting point so everything sounds with a cloudy style. Certainly, listening with patience and attention, we can have the dessert thinking that we already ate three great dishes, the second being a little more weak.

César García - March 2000
rating - Discipline Global Mobile

 

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