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King Crimson - ProjeKct X: Heaven and Earth CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

3.36 | 235 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars I have to respectfully disagree with previous (and possibly future) reviewers who don't regard this pseudonymous effort as a legitimate KING CRIMSON recording. On the contrary, I would argue that it represents a truly 21st Century (schizoid) vision of the band, and one that embodies the time-honored, forward-thinking spirit of the Crimson King better than its year 2000 companion album "The ConstruKction of Light".

Both of them, believe it or not, were recorded simultaneously, this one assembled from various outtakes and studio jams while the 'official' album was still in gestation. The big difference between the two is that ProjeKct X was the brainchild of the ace Crimso rhythm team led by drummer Pat Mastelotto, whose affection for techno-pulse percussion and drum 'n' bass soundscapes reaches something close to critical mass here.

You may have already heard the sultry title track, added as an epilogue to the "ConstruKction" album (and arguably the best thing on it). But by itself it doesn't give an altogether accurate impression of the adrenalin-driven, hyperspace grooves on display here. Crimson's next studio album, 2003's "The Power To Believe", may have better integrated the ProjeKct X ethos into an actual song-based format, but this is Mastelotto's Crimson King in all its unexpurgated glory, at last fulfilling the promise of the post-Double Trio research and development fractals (or 'fraKctals', if you prefer) in brilliant, no-holds-barred fashion.

If, like myself, you thought the first V-drum driven ProjeKcts foretold a potential major leap forward in the ongoing evolution of King Crimson, but were disappointed with its relatively conventional application on "The ConstruKction of Light", or if you found yourself teased by the tongue-in-cheek techno-geek cut-ups of the Mastelotto / Bill Munyon sub-Crimson spin-off BPM&M, then you owe it to your ears (not to mention all the starving gray matter in between) to hear this album.

Exactly how state-of-the-art is it? Consider that the running time of each track, as listed in the CD booklet, is broken down to a ridiculous 1/100th of a second, something only a true music nerd could appreciate.

I only wish it had been released under the official King Crimson banner, instead of half- hidden behind an insecure studio alias. You'd think, after the daring anti-commercial improvisations of 1996's "Thrakattak", that Robert Fripp would have enough nerve to again challenge the accepted wisdom of the marketplace. But, whatever the name on the CD case, there's no mistaking the color of such brain-bending monsters like "Superbottomfeeder" or "Demolition": both undeniably Crimson in every way, shape and form.

Like it or not, this may be a sneak preview of a possible KC future, as usual way ahead of its time.

Neu!mann | 4/5 |


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