Sunday, December 21, 2008

Robert Fripp String Quintet - Soundscape (Tokyo '92) (mp3 160kbps)

Back in 1992 I was a sophomore in college and starting to discover and develop my musical personality. This period in my life helped to define the kind of music I would want to play and listen to for the rest of my life (so far).

On a whim, a friend and I went to the TLA on South Street to see a Fripp solo show. We knew and liked King Crimson, but there was no King Crimson back then, so this was the best we could do. I knew what Frippertronics were and liked ‘No Pussyfooting’ and ‘Evening Star’. I had never heard of Soundscapes, but I could sort of figure out what that meant. The California Guitar Trio, which I thought was an opening act was a band that may have had one album at most.

So there we were, having no real idea what to expect. Although the attached post is from Tokyo, it is the most reliable indicator of what we heard on South Street that night. Alternating ‘soundscapes’ that traveled the emotional depths of new age and avant garde, to the surf-inflected classical lockstep of the trio, banging through three minute arrangements with ferocity, wit and extreme dexterity.

So there they were, five musicians on stage: a plucky trio conjuring the spirit of Leo Kottke from three acoustic guitars, a tall and swaying touch bass player and the old master himself, with computers, racks, pedals, effects, synths and his guitar. They would watch each other with measured silence when not performing, and then push each other to new heights when all combined. It had a holy air and I said, at the time, I don’t what any of this is, but I know that I really like it.

There is an ‘official’ release from this tour called The Bridge Between. That’s a good name considering that this project takes the listener from a quieter period in Fripp’s career to the reemergence of King Crimson in ’96. That record always sounded too thin to me and lacked the organic beauty – the woody-ness, if you will – of this bootleg I got on Bleeker Street so many years ago. Though not an official release, this is one of the best and most accessible Fripp releases out there. Listen with joy to the performance and sound quality!

Recorded live at TFM Hall, Tokyo, Japan, 11 November 1992.

1. Soundscape
2. Yamanashi Blues
3. Melrose Avenue
4. Kan-On-Power
5. Firescape
6. An Easy way
7. Moving Force
8. Asturias
9. Walk don't run
10. Chromatic fantasy
11. Contrapunctus
12. Eye of the needle
13. Blockhead
14. Hope
15. Urban scape
16. Pipeline
17. Kan-On-Power

Robert Fripp (guitar)
Trey Gunn (stick)
Bert Lams (guitar)
Paul Richards (guitar)
Hedeyo Moriya (guitar)

1 comment:

MPomy said...