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King Crimson - ProjeKct Two: Space Groove CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.11 | 237 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars A strict reading of the Prog Archives rating system would leave this album with a perfectly respectable two stars: for collectors and KING CRIMSON fans only. But in truth the music here was a departure at the time for the post-'Thrak' double trio, opening horizons beyond the vaulted ceilings of the Crimson Court.

The late-'90s sextet had been reconfigured into smaller, more manageable combinations, aiming to kick-start the band-at-large through a series of open improvisations. This particular line-up featured the single trio of Robert Fripp, Trey Gunn, and Adrian Belew, for the moment relinquishing his guitar to step behind the new virtual (i.e. digital) drum set.

Keep in mind the music here was never intended as anything more than research and development for the dormant King Crimson. The boys had just unwrapped a shiny new, state-of-the-art toy, and simply wanted to play with it. Their initial jam session, recorded immediately after first plugging in the untested V-Drums, is included here in all its unplanned spontaneity, and the rest of the album followed within a matter of hours.

Trey Gunn's initial verdict, as recorded in his dairy that day: "There is some absolutely hilarious music here." And he's right, this was a more playful sound than could be expected from the sometimes over-earnest Crimson Kings, like something George and Jane Jetson might enjoy while sipping cyber-martinis in a zero-gravity moon lounge. Belew's drumming isn't propelled with the same whirling dervish intensity later to be heard from Pat Mastelotto in ProjeKcts Three and Four (Adrian seems overly fond of that 'breaking glass' drum patch). But his steady yet unconventional rhythms, with the kick drum often programmed to trigger a sequential bass line, firmly anchor the flights of electronic fancy from the twin guitars of Fripp and Gunn.

It really didn't need to be a 2-disc album: the combined running time of just over ninety minutes could have fit on a single CD with only minor editing (hours of equally valid jamming were already left on the cutting room floor). And there are, as you might expect from an entirely improvised album, more than a few moments of seemingly aimless noodling.

But a trio of this caliber can drift all day and still be worth hearing. And the payoff from the R&D would arrive a few years later, in the exhilarating techno-grooves galvanizing the Heavy ConstruKction tour at the tail end of the Millennium.

Neu!mann | 3/5 |


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