King Crimson - ProjeKct Four - West coast live - 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 3, a smooth main course, and now 4. What pleasure does this dessert leave in our mouths?


So, in the dessert, chef Fripp decides to add that part of our heart called Tony Levin. Now we meet with a harder ProjeKct Three. It maintains the smooth touch but it is risky to continue calling it ambient. The previous project is completed, from a point of view in which improvisation is more concrete, with more meat. There is some more structure -never forgetting its flag is that of spontaneity-. At the beginning it can seem similar to the third, but Tony Levin shows his flair as a bass player, in fact completing the holes that Trey Gunn could leave when making melodies. Undoubtedly Mr. Levin is not just sand: it is also a structure. That is to say, Fripp and Gunn can now improvise their double melody -insisting that they are exemplary exercises of harmony - The percussive role is in charge of Pat Mastelotto that continues with his cybernetic system of creation of random rhythms. Nothing new in that sense from the third project. It would have been interesting to listen to Mastelotto as a lead drummer, without Bill Bruford eclipsing him, and without his technological apparel that is, after all, artificial.

This time there is a distinction amongst the improvisations. Mainly I would highlight a long first cut "Ghost" (1-4) whose 3º and 4º parts are the best in this project, another approach to "Deception of the Thrush" of ProjeKct Two (how can they show so many shades out of one song?, being part of K.C., obviously), and "Hindu Fizz" (the title of the song is not random) in which Tony Levin shines in a hundred thousand places, showing why his cache is high. Clearly Tony Levin has the category that allows Robert Fripp to consent in using a new number for the project when there is only a new member. This gentleman is pure musical speech. If one has to make a round base and to circulate it, he does; if it is necessary to fall in cacophony, he falls; if it is necessary to make disturbing music, he makes it. Everything is done with an exquisite pleasure. The best is in the fourth project. It seems that the dessert has been a good end to the banquet.

ProjeKcts Three and Four show, as the two first, that technology also implies an experiment: the MIDI that allows to make soundscapes, the "talker" used by Trey Gunn, the motley system of electronic percussion of Pat Mastelotto, the two Whammy pedals of Fripp. As a curiosity, one pedal allows to change the texture of the current note, being able to overcome in six eighths, above or under, the texture of the guitar: what can he make with two...? Another example more that King Crimson gives a meaning to the Progressive term: each thing they make is a step ahead, never a repetition and always a search.


To listen to anything by K.C. is a constant hunt for shades. To believe that projects three and four behave in a different way by seeming more ambient is an error. The conclusion is that the future "The contruKCtion of light", next work of King Crimson, is another query. If somebody has perceived that the four projects point toward a clear, defined and foreseeable objective, he can warn us, but I believe that if he says so, he could appear to be a bully. The maitre has modernized the menu for the umpteenth time since we ate those exquisite lark tongues, but the cooks season it with ever more detail.

author - date - rating - label

César García - March 2000 -   - Discipline Global Mobile